1st October 2014 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Carrie Mesrobian
Perfectly Good White Boy
Lerner Carolrhoda Lab (US: 1st October 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Sean Norwhalt can read between the lines. He knows Hallie’s just dumped him. He was a perfectly good summer boyfriend, but now she’s off to college, and he’s still got another year to go. Her pep talk about futures and “possibilities” isn’t exactly comforting. Sean’s pretty sure he’s seen his future and its “possibilities,” and they all look DISPOSABLE. Like the crappy rental his family moved into when his dad left. Like all the unwanted filthy old clothes he stuffs into the rag baler at his thrift-store job. Like everything good he’s ever known. The only hopeful possibilities in Sean’s life are the Marine Corps, where no one expected he’d go, and Neecie Albertson, whom he never expected to care about.

30th September 2014 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

S. A. Bodeen
The Fallout (Compound, Book 2)
Macmillan Square Fish (US: 30th September 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Eli and his family lived in an underground shelter they called the Compound for six years. They thought they were the only survivors of a nuclear attack, but when Eli learned that it was all a twisted experiment orchestrated by his tech-visionary father, he broke the family out. His father died trying to keep them imprisoned. Now, the family must readjust to life in the real world. Their ordeal has made them so famous, they must stay in hiding – everyone from fatalists preparing for doomsday to the tabloid media wants a piece of them. Even worse, their father’s former adviser continues to control the company Eli and his twin brother are the heirs of. As Eli tries to determine who the family can trust, he learns the nightmare of the Compound – and his father’s experiment – might not be over.

Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, Book 1)
Scholastic (US: 30th September 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Deluxe foil edition. In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before – and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire (Hunger Games, Book 2)
Scholastic (US: 30th September 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Deluxe foil edition. Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumours of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay (Hunger Games, Book 3)
Scholastic (US: 30th September 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Deluxe foil edition or movie tie-in edition. Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived. But her home has been destroyed. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding… The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay – no matter what the personal cost.

Sean Cummings
The North
Bloor Street Books (US: 30th September 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Sixteen-year-old David Simmons is on a mission to save his eight-year-old sister. In a smouldering world infested with walking cadavers, the survivors of Simmons infantry reserve unit are going hatches down in a pair of armoured personnel carriers and everyone knows that it’s only a matter of time until their fuel runs dry. There’s a weak short wave radio signal from a place called Sanctuary Base and it’s supposed to be zombie-free. But there’s more than a thousand miles to cover, a biting, unforgiving cold, armed survivalists, legions of the living dead and someone called SUNRAY. They’re outgunned, outnumbered and out of time.

Alaya Dawn Johnson
Love is the Drug
Scholastic Arthur A. Levine (US: 30th September 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Emily Bird was raised not to ask questions. She has perfect hair, the perfect boyfriend, and a perfect Ivy-League future. But a chance meeting with Roosevelt David, a homeland security agent, at a party for Washington DC’s elite leads to Bird waking up in a hospital, days later, with no memory of the end of the night. Meanwhile, the world has fallen apart: A deadly flu virus is sweeping the nation, forcing quarantines, curfews, even martial law. And Roosevelt is certain that Bird knows something. Something about the virus – something about her parents’ top secret scientific work – something she shouldn’t know. The only one Bird can trust is Coffee, a quiet, outsider genius who deals drugs to their classmates and is a firm believer in conspiracy theories. And he believes in Bird. But as Bird and Coffee dig deeper into what really happened that night, Bird finds that she might know more than she remembers. And what she knows could unleash the biggest government scandal in US history.

Dawn Metcalf
Invisible (Twixt, Book 2)
Harlequin Teen (US: 30th September 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Joy Malone wants it all – power, freedom and the boyfriend who loves her. Yet when an unstoppable assassin is hired to kill her, Joy learns that being the girl with the Sight comes with a price that might be too high to pay. Love will be tested, lives will be threatened, and everyone Joy knows and cares about will be affected by her decision to stand by Ink or to leave the Twixt forever. Her choice is balanced on a scalpel’s edge and the consequences will be more life-altering than anyone can guess.

SubTweeting

NOTE: Please excuse the repetition of the term “alleged,” and its derivatives, throughout this post. I use them because:

From Wiktionary.org: Allegedly: “This term is used in the media to avoid litigation when the facts are not 100% certain, or when referring to evidence in an ongoing trial.”

(I’m not sure if a defamation suit is a trial, but let’s err on the side of caution.)

Jaid Black of Ellora’s Cave has filed a defamation suit against Jane Litte of Dear Author, allegedly-based on the post Ms. Litte compiled about EC’s allegedly-questionable business practices. Ms. Litte backed up her view with links to financial and news articles, along with public posts from Ms. Black’s social media. But because Ms. Litte shared alleged-information and linked to the sources…

One would think allegedly-not paying one’s authors, editors, and staff – or allegedly-not reverting rights to the authors – is what’s most allegedly-defaming EC.

When anyone – author, blogger, or other – shares opinions that leaves us open to criticism. We weigh up the pros and cons, and consider, “Is this worth it?”

Ms. Litte and Dear Author discovered that Ms. McGuire’s book had been plagiarised. Ms. McGuire took the plagiarist to court, and won. She openly thanked Ms. Litte.

But some time between then and now, Ms. McGuire no longer likes Ms. Litte and Dear Author. Ms. McGuire, Teresa Mummert, and who knows who else have openly celebrated the defamation suit, calling it “karma.” But because they deliberately did NOT name the publisher, they can deny – however untruthfully – that they weren’t talking about EC at all. Ms. McGuire claims “zero knowledge” if or not EC pays their authors. So she’s up-to-date enough to know that the suit has been filed, but NOT enough to know that EC allegedly-owes a lot of people a lot of money, and they allegedly-haven’t reverted publication rights back to the authors?

Ms. McGuire was “subTweeting”: Clearly talking about a person/group in particular, but deliberately NOT naming names. I do it, and I’m just a lowly reader. But authors subTweet as much as anyone else.

And I’m so vain I think the following subTweets are about me…

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P2P: What It Is, and How It Damages Both Authors & Readers

NOTE: In this article, “monetised fan fiction” does NOT refer to OFFICIALLY-LICENSED fan works. (eg. Star Trek has a spread of officially-licensed stories, as do Kindle Worlds – these are all fine.) In this article, “monetised fan fiction” refers to UNOFFICIAL monetised fan works.

(Meme from my Pinterest.)

I’m quite simple with my reading tastes: I just want to read original fiction that wasn’t fan fiction in a previous incarnation. If something used to be fan fiction – however heavily revised, expanded, and changed since then – it should be clearly labelled as such, so consumers aren’t led astray.

But it’s not just the reading public being cheated: Authors of the fiction that inspired the fan fiction are being robbed of a cut of the profits that should rightfully be theirs.

Welcome to the world of “pulled-to-publish” (P2P) fiction.

Fanlore.org says, Filing off the serial numbers refers to taking a piece of existing fan fiction and removing any details that tie it to a copyrighted source. At the very least this involves renaming places and characters or replacing them with analogues. This is done by a fan trying to turn pro, trying to sell the work as a piece of original fiction…”

My thoughts on fan fiction are simple:

Writing/sharing your fan fiction is fine.
Selling your ORIGINAL fiction is fine.
Selling your UNOFFICIAL FAN FICTION is NOT fine.

Some claim there’s nothing black-and-white about P2P; that it’s all shades of grey. Which brings us to E. L. James’s novels: Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed. They originally appeared as Master of the Universe I and II by Snowqueens Icedragon – and they were fan fiction of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga. Now, the story of Ana Steele and Christian Grey is the most high-profile P2P in the world.

“But it’s original!” you may claim. “There are no vampires in the Fifty Shades ‘verse.” But can you honestly claim that Ana Steele has NOTHING in common with Bella Swan, and that Christian Grey has NOTHING in common with Edward Cullen?

To put it bluntly: P2P authors make money off another author’s characterisations, plotlines, and/or worlds. They may put their own “spin/twist” on it, but at the crux of it, the characters will be overwhelmingly familiar to those with even a vague knowledge of the original work that sparked the fan fiction.

“But it’s legal!” you may claim. “Stephenie Meyer would have sued E. L. James if Fifty Shades infringed on her intellectual property. Random House wouldn’t have bought the rights and published it widely.”

It may not be entirely illegal – that’s why the character names are different. But is it moral or ethical? P2P makes its writer money from another author’s creation, but parades it as one’s own. But E. L. James clearly doesn’t have a problem with it, and neither do other P2P authors.

Here is a blog post by an author who was frustrated that her original works weren’t selling as well as P2P books. So she expanded one of her Twilight fan fics, and published it under a different name. She hasn’t “pulled” her fic from the Internet, so technically she hasn’t “pulled to publish,” but it’s still based on Ms. Meyer’s work. I reiterate: Fan fiction is fine. It’s only when you monetise your unofficial fan fiction that we have a problem.

Two friends of that blog author contacted her with concern that someone had ripped off her fan fic, so she outed her P2P identity. A cynical view (mine) suggests she may have revealed to get readers of her original works and fan fics to buy her P2P stories. (I have screenshots of that blog post: 1, 2, and 3.)

Never mind that she’s making money from Ms. Meyer’s creation, this author – who used to be against it – is now all for P2P, and is unashamed of it (note that she blogged about it). However, she doesn’t take kindly to criticism of her actions (she and her friends refer to the “P2P police”), which makes one of her replies to the thread’s comments rather odd:

“And YES, p2p is not my favorite thing, and i wish all authors would write their own original material.”

“[A]ll authors” except for her, apparently.

But what most grinds my gears is a line from one of the author’s defenders:

“Oh and what happened to women empowering other women to succeed?”

Feminism and “sisterhood” are NOT get-out-of-criticism-free cards. There are plenty of women who do terrible things, and I definitely do NOT support them. Some women burgle homes, businesses, and properties. Some women abuse children. And you know what? Some of those victims, burgled or abused…might actually be WOMEN.

Correct me if I’m wrong about her gender, but the author of that blog post is a woman. Her fan fiction was based on Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight ‘verse. And Ms. Meyer is a WOMAN.

Yes, I empower other women to succeed – but only those women who don’t rip off another woman’s work. I support ORIGINAL fiction, NOT P2P.

It’s been a long time since Ms. Meyer last published fiction (Twilight graphic novels excluded). Her most recent release was The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner in 2009 – that’s FIVE YEARS AGO. She’s since turned her career focus to film production, and who could blame her? If she writes more original fiction, there will be unscrupulous authors who’ll monetise their unofficial fan fiction based on her creations.

According to TwiFanfictionRecs, here’s a partial (many more at the source) list of Twilight fan fics, the usernames of those who wrote them, and who and what they’re most recently published under:

Clipped Wings and Inked Armor by hunterhunting
Published as Cupcakes and Ink, Clipped Wings, Between the Cracks, Inked Armor, and Cracks in the Armor by Helena Hunting

Edward Wallbanger by feathersmmmm
Published as Wallbanger, Rusty Nailed and Last Call by Alice Clayton

Master of the Universe I and II by Snowqueens Icedragon
Published as Fifty Shades, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed by E. L. James

Million Dollar Baby by clpsuperstar
Published as A Million Dirty Secrets and A Million Guilty Pleasures by C. L. Parker

Sub Plans by SnowWhiteHeart
Published as How To Discipline Your Vampire by Mina Vaughn

The Office by tby789
Published as Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

The Submissive, The Dominant and The Training by tara sue me
Published as The Submissive, The Dominant and The Training by Tara Sue Me

The University of Edward Masen by Sebastien Robichaud
Published as Gabriel’s Inferno, Gabriel’s Rapture and Gabriel’s Redemption by Sylvain Reynard

FURTHER READING
Twi Fanfiction Recs: Published Fics
Fan Fiction Turned Traditional: Why It Hurts Authors and Readers – by Megan at Book Brats, 14th November 2012
Why Pulled-to-Publish Fanfiction Does Not Work – by Christina Wilder at The Book Lantern, 6th January 2013

October 2014 Releases

Done with September 2014 Releases? Here are October 2014 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist. NOTE: The images and formatting don’t show up properly through Feedly, so click the title of this post to view it on WordPress.

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[SPOTLIGHT] No Time to Die – Kira Peikoff

This blog post is part of the official blog tour for Kira Peikoff’s No Time to Die. Below, you will find the author’s links, as well as information on her books – including No Time to Die.

Kira Peikoff
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[COVER REVEAL] Rebellion – J. A. Souders

This post is part of the official cover reveal for J. A. Souders’ Rebellion. Below, you’ll find the author’s links, and information about her books – including Rebellion.

J. A. Souders
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