Friday, November 18, 2005

Breakfast? An entire chocolate cake (because you're an adult now and you can do what you want.)

Hey, sweet tooth. We put extra calories in everything we bake here at the Cafe, so don't worry about gaining weight (it is certain.)

Speaking of calories, here's your P5 :

(1) SUFFER IN SILENCE: 22,842 5
(2) COOKIN' FOR LOVE: 71,999 5
(5) A TEST OF SURVIVAL: 144,224 5


For fans of Ian Hocking's DEJA VU (like me) or anyone who wanted to read it but has not yet made the effort (you lazy bastard), now you can listen to it--for free!

It turns out that Dr. Hocking is releasing DEJA VU as a free podcast audiobook, with installments being delivered every Saturday at about 20 minutes per clip. This is a great idea--and something many POD authors should look into to generate some publicity. Word of mouth never hurt anyone.


For those of you who enjoyed STORIES OF STRENGTH, it turns out Lulu has another book benefiting the Katrina victims (via the Red Cross). This book, IN KATRINA'S WAKE is also inspirational, though in the form of poetry. Check it out!


Ahhh, the negative Amazon review. Why do so many folks work so hard at getting the negative reviews of their books removed? Well, as we all might've guessed, they have an effect on sales. And, in relation, all of those endless positive comments don't seem to have much impact at all. If they did, half of all the PA books would be bestsellers. (I have seen some with over fifty 5-star ratings, all reviews with two sentences, all by "readers" instead of people using names, and all (wouldn't you know) possessing the same spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Personally, I will ignore reviews if I pick up on that vibe. Some books, however, do get countless 5-star reviews and are reviewed by folks who review regularly and that offer some unique insight into the book. Overall, I'd say I trust a genuine Amazon reviewer over most of the reviewers for national papers. And I certainly trust a consensus of a dozen Amazon reviewers over Michiko.

Well, enjoy your day. No complaining about tummy aches, now. They come along with being an adult.

Back Monday with #41!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The End is Near! (sort of)

It's hard to believe (hardest for me) that I've been doing this blog thing for nearly eight months. And if you look to the left, you'll see we have 40 of our 50 books for the debut year of POD-dy Mouth. That means there are only ten slots left for 2005 (actually, only eight slots; two have already been pre-filled.)

And wouldn't you know . . . I've got 117 books I haven't even started reading yet. (With more coming in as I type.)

This has been an interesting year and I've been able to profile some great books that were unearthed from the pile, along with some books that were submitted to me that I would never have found on my own. It was worth reading (all or parts of) over 1,000 books to find the excellent 40 listed on the right. And the success of the blog has been surprising as well, now with nearly 90,000 hits per month, I could seriously cash in on some advertising.

But fear not. I never will. This is an exercise in free speech (or whatever) as well as madness (or whatever.)

When all is said and done this year, I will give you all of the crazy stats. (Like how many books I read total, how many books I read where I didn't make it past two pages, that sort of thing . . . ) And then, of course, the Needle Awards (assuming things like my day job, my writing, my family and holiday shopping don't push it into 2008.)

Stay tuned, because the rubber will indeed be meeting the road in the near future. It's gonna be a fun ride!

Monday, November 14, 2005

A TEST OF SURVIVAL by Marnie Schulenburg (iUniverse)

What if you could cure cancer? Would you be embraced and heralded before the entire world?

You'd think so.

But such is not the case in Marnie Schulenburg's A TEST OF SURVIVAL. Here we go deep into the world of cancer research (Ms. Schulenburg has the background, and this novel is based on various real events) to learn of how--and why--some people would do anything to keep the world of cancer treatment (chemotherapy, etc.) exactly the way it is.

If you're a fan of the classic thriller, you have found a home--and a unique one. The writing is perfectly paced, carefully thought-out, and well-edited, with all the bells and whistles of Barnes & Noble front-table seller--and best of all, it's an intriguing idea!

And expect to learn something. The book is chunky, the way a thriller should be, and what Tom Clancy did for naval intelligence and submarine design/functionality in THE HUNT FOR READ OCTOBER, Marnie Schulenburg does for cancer research in A TEST OF SURVIVAL. In fact, change the title to TUMOR and you've got a Robin Cook novel, except for one thing: Ms. Schulenburg weaves a fresher story than Mr. Cook.

Though at the higher end of the POD price range ($21.95--still a distance from PA pricing), it is worth every penny. A keeper. And when this title goes the traditional route (or Hollywood) you'll be glad you got an early copy.