Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bookish Outposts in Cyberspace, Part II

Apprentice Writer's Magical Mystery Tour of cool bookish places to hang out in cyberspace, continued:

Number One Novels - this site is devoted exclusively to interviews of authors who have just published their debut novels. AW has a special love for debut novels, so the Gentle Reader can imagine her delight when she stumbled upon this outpost. The Gentle Reader can go on to imagine her even greater delight that each author interview involves a giveaway of the featured debut. Finally, the Gentle Reader can no doubt imagine AW's Canuck dissappointment to learn that the majority of these giveaways are for American readers only. This, however, does not stop her from visiting as she is addicted to "How I Sold My First Book" stories and loves reading about authorly background stuff.

A Piece of My Mind - this lovely, high-content site is the cyberhome of AW's online amiga Julia, devoted to art of all kinds. Julia's creative interests seem to know no bounds, and a visit may result in education or opinions on paintings, novel-writing, poetry, music,dance, cinema, etc. etc. Though AW's family is most excellent in its own way, Julia's family has long caused AW to plot (so far, unsuccessfully) as to how she might get herself adopted into a Maritime family because, Holy inspirational Atlantic sea spray, Batman, ALL of Julia's relatives possess creativity of some type or another. (Not kidding. Every. Single. One). Though AW may not share Julia's views on, say, all musicians featured, or fully comprehend the symbolism of every line of poetry posted, she does look forward to having her spirits lifted each time she ventures to this site.

Popcorn & Chainmail
- this excellently funny site devotes itself to affectionate snark of historical movies, conducted by cinemaphiles who have the background necessary to spot historical inaccuracy at a hundred paces. The Gentle Reader may question why AW includes this site on a list of so-called bookish outposts, to which AW would say, "Hey, I said BookISH, didn't I? And lots of those movies were based on books. Sort of. I think." She would also go on to add, "They haven't posted in a while, so rush over before the site goes dark!"
AW remembered it recently while watching "Kingdom of Heaven" (which she really liked, by the way, flaws and all) and recollected how she'd giggled at what the sporkers (they call what they do sporking a movie) had to say.

More site tours to come.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bookish Outposts in Cyberspace: Part I

Where, the Gentle Reader may wonder, does Apprentice Writer go in the Blogiverse when she isn't here at home?

To various bookish landing spots, some well-known and some deserving a wider audience. In no specific order:

Dear Author - this reader-oriented site (as opposed to author- or publisher-oriented) was begun by Jane Litte, a reader whose training is in law. As a result some of the most interesting discussions at the site involve legal interpretation on developments in the publishing industry or legitimacy of various threats made in the kerfuffle du jour. The site is devoted mostly to genre fiction (heavily of the romance persuasion including any and all subgenres), but from that single blogger beginning it has grown to multiple reviewers of widely differing tastes. Authors comment frequently in the threads, there are many guest posts, and publishers regularly hold impressive giveaways. Jane and Sarah of 'Smart Bitches, Trashy Books' also collaborate on all sorts of bookish ventures - the annual DABWAHA tournament (AW will let you google that on your own), commentary in various conferences and workshop panels, and who knows what else. You never know what you find when you visit Dear Author, but it is interesting enough frequently enough that AW keeps checking in.

S. Krishna's Books
- this single reader site records the thoughts of Swapna, reader extraordinaire. Every time AW, who considers herself a fairly heavy reader, visits she is staggered by Swapna's readerly output (or perhaps consumption is the better word), mostly in literary fiction with some memoir, women's fiction, and mystery sprinkled in. This could perhaps be rationalized by supposing that Swapna does nothing else but read, however she is also a student and has a spouse, who presumably needs some attention now and again. As if that weren't enough, she looks stunning. AW has tried to hold all of this against her but fails miserably due to curiosity about thoughts on the titles AW is thinking about checking out, and Swapna's special interest in multicultural authors.

A Life With Books - this single reader site talks about daily life and bookish topics in roughly equal measure. Since both kinds of posts, and the ones that mix it all up, are entertaining and laidback, AW enjoys her visits. Jenners has a laid-back yet thoughtful style, an easy-to-read five point book review system, and has a talent of picking up on fun memes from the blogosphere.

More sites to come.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Free Ebook

Readers of this space may recall that Apprentice Writer reviewed historical fiction author Ciji Ware's novel "Island of the Swans".

Ms. Ware has just released a new novel, A Race to Splendour, with another lovely cover. The premise sounds intriguing, being set in San Francisco with a female architect trying to rebuild a landmark building destroyed by earthquake. From April 5-11 the ebook is priced for 4.99 U.S. at a slew of ebook retailers.

To celebrate the new novel, Sourcebooks is offering a previous novel, Cottage by the Sea, for free through the same eretailers, April 5-11.