A new e-reader

Dear e-reader,

No, I don’t consider you a device but this is mainly directed to people who, like I do, like to read on an electronic device. An e-reader for electronic book-readers.

I have acquired a new one. It’s the Onyx Boox T68 Lynx. My old Sony PRS-350 is getting a bit dated, the screen’s getting a bit blotchy (travel abuse, sorry screen) and since Sony stopped making e-readers I was on the look-out for other options. They are plentiful. There ‘s the Kindle paperwhite and the Kobo Aura HD, for instance. In places I am sure I can still get a B&N Nook Glow which also is a nice device. Still I decided on the Onyx. My main reason for that is that it’s an Android device. This has the benefit that I can install my favourite reading app (Moon Reader+) on it. Moon Reader+ syncs where I left off reading via Dropbox so regardless of (Android) device I pick up, I can read on where I stopped the last time.

Onyx Boox T86 lynx

I chose an e-ink device because it’s the primary device for reading when I go on vacation, and reading outside is a must then (weather permitting).

Outside, E-ink beats any LED or OLED screen with ease as far as I know, although the new Samsung Nook seems to do a good job too. I have a regular Android tablet on which I read at home, but outside it’s hopeless. I’ve tried. The Onyx has a built-in light so reading inside is no problem either.

I’m impressed by the clarity of the screen and the time a charged battery lasts. After about a week it went from 100% to 80%.

Book review – A Stranger in a Strange Land

stranger-in-a-strange-land

Title: A Stranger in a Strange Land
Author: Robert Heinlein
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating

stranger-in-a-strange-land

This is not the first time I read this book. The first time is many years ago and when I read it back then I didn’t grok the entire depth of it. This is an amazing read from start to finish, partly seeing our world through the eyes of someone from another planet, partly seeing how we the people are wrapped into things. The explanations of Jubal, who’s a wonderful character in the book, excel in clarity for me. Definitely worth the re-read.

A real book. Is it what you hold in your hands?

Dear reader,

Many a question’s being asked about what is a book. A real book. I think that’s a valid question, and also something that only can be answered from the right point of view. Books

A book always used to be something made of paper, with a cover around it, and words inside that smell of ink.

 

 

 

 

ebook

The digital revolution bestowed the e-book upon us, with a cover around it that looks like a little machine (e.g. e-reader, tablet or even a smartphone), and the smell of ink is absent for now (but wait for it, technology will catch up on that!).

So what is a book? Is it the medium that carries the story, the paper, the ink, the weight that comes with it? Or is it the story that’s conveyed, regardless of the medium it’s read from? Do you read a book or do you read a story? I think it’s fair to say that both options are true and real, and books are books, be they paper or e. As for the weight that comes with a book… e-readers have weight too and that can be a blessing for people who have problems holding up the big paper tomes.

There will always be paper books. There will always be e-books. And that’s the grand thing. Stories appear on both media, so you can take your pick. There is no absolute in what’s the best. The absolute could be your personal preference, and that’s not even a fixed point because there are people who appreciate a heavy, smelly book when they’re at home, but who take their e-reading device along when they travel (for instance when they don’t want to risk damaging the paper version).

The choice is yours.

Read an E-book week at Smashwords

Yes, dear reader,

 

It’s happening again. Over at Smashwords the ‘read an e-book week’ promotion is off again, and I am participating. If you felt reluctant to read some of my titles, here’s your chance to get one or more of them with a 50% discount.

The books that are up for that this week are Green HavenThe Story of the MimosaCharisma the young witchBactine, and The Devil’s Diary. Just enter the coupon code “REW50″ as you check out and the discount is applied. Note that this is a Smashwords-only promotion, it won’t work for Barnes&Noble, Amazon, Apple iTunes or the other usual suspects.

Smashwords offers e-books for any platform you can think of. Epub for Sony, Nook and Apple-devices, MOBI for Amazon Kindle devices and apps, and more.

The Coming Storm – Blogtour!

Tour-Button-Valerie

Welcome to Valerie Douglas’ The Coming Storm Blog tour.  Check back to The Finishing Fairies daily to find out where she’ll appear next.

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Excerpt from The Coming Storm

 

The orcs, those monstrous, bear-like things with their oddly hinged jaws were more than his small party could face, particularly Iric and Mortan. Despite their protest, he and the two other elves had taken their watch this night. In the end, both men had to admit they were too weary to be useful. What tricks men used to stay alert had long since worn off. They were completely exhausted, and both now slept deeply.

Alic gestured a warning and Colath tensed.

They’d had many nights like these, startled into alertness by some sign or strange noise. Once they’d had to kill a basilisk looking for a temporary den. Alic had been caught and frozen, to his shame, before the glare in those eyes.

That was the basilisk’s magic, their method for capturing their prey.

No shame to him, though, as basilisks here were as common as salamanders – that is, not common at all. They were southeastern creatures.

Then Colath caught the scent of what alarmed Alic, a faint stinging in his nostrils. A boggart or boggarts, and near. He nudged Jalila gently. She rolled over, instantly aware and awake.

The two men were so deeply asleep they dared not nudge them to consciousness for fear they would cry out. As cruel as it was, it was still much better to press a hand over their mouths and frighten them awake than it was to risk an outcry. He nodded to Jalila to wake Iric, while he went to Mortan.

Mortan bucked beneath his hand, but then his eyes opened enough to see Colath’s face in the dim glow cast by elf-light. Abruptly, he subsided, but he looked more alert than he had in several days, the little bit of sleep and fright charging him with energy. It wouldn’t last, Colath knew, beyond a few hours. He hoped it would be enough.

Tapping his sword, he drew it, so the two men could see it. Nodding, they drew their own.

 

about-the-book-valerie

Elon of Aerilann, Elven advisor to the High King of Men, helped negotiate the treaty between Elves, Dwarves and men. He suddenly finds that fragile truce threatened from without by an unknown enemy and from within by old hatreds and prejudice. With the aid of his true-friend Colath, the wizard Jareth and the Elven archer Jalila, he goes in search of the source of the threat.

Ailith, the Heir to Riverford, fights her own silent battle. Her father has changed, but her quest to discover what changed him puts her life and very soul in danger and leaves her only one direction in which to turn. Elon.
To preserve the alliance, though, Elon will have to choose between his honor, his duty and everything for which he fought.

Amazon | Goodreads

series-buy-links

A Convocation of Kings (The Coming Storm, #2)

 (The Coming Storm, #3 (Novella))

 (The Coming Storm, #4(Novella))

meet-valerie-butt

valerie-douglas-001Valerie Douglas is a prolific writer and a genre-crosser, much to the delight of her fans. A fan of authors of almost every genre from Isaac Asimov to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, she writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and as V.J. Devereaux, erotic romance. Who knows what will pop up down the road!

Happily married, she’s companion to two dogs, four cats and an African clawed frog named Hopper who delights in tormenting the cats from his tank.

You can find more information at Valerie Douglas Books, or at Alexandria Publishing Group.

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Book review – Shadow Games

Title: Shadow Games
Author: Doug Welch
Genre: Fantasy
Rating

shadowgamesWhen a twin brother and sister, Paris and Alexandra Fox, learn about the death of their parents, they plan to visit their town of birth temporarily. Strange people who observe them, mysteries in their father’s computer, and uncanny revelations from their attorney make that their stay in town is prolonged more than they had expected. And who are the brother and sister they meet in the spot they thought was their hide-away in the forest? Cab Ceasar and Elizabeth Rowan do something to relieve the precarious situation, or are they putting themselves in more danger than they bargained for?

Shadow Games is a great read where dangers and almost-friends lurk in the shadows. Do you know what’s hiding in the shadows?

Indie Promo – Katheryn’s Secrets

Dear reader,

It is Monday again, so I present to you: today’s Indie Promotion:

Katheryn’s Secret

Katheryn's secret
by Alexandria Publishing Group author Linda Hall

Ebook Short Description: Mystery writer Sharon Colebrook finds herself the unexpected recipient of her deceased Aunt Katie’s papers, and hopes to learn about a murder Katie had hinted at years before. But as Sharon and her husband Jeff head from the west coast of Canada to the east coast of Maine to begin to investigate, the carefully kept facade of her strict religious family begins to crumble. Secrets, long buried, begin to surface, and only God’s grace can put this family back together again.

 

Where to find: this e-book is available from Amazon.com, where you can also find a link to a paperback version.

 

Book review – Mortal Engines

Title: Mortal Engines
Author: Philip Reeve
Genre: Scifi, Steampunk
Rating
mortalenginesFar in the future, very far into it actually, cities will be on the move. How they do it, you can find out in “Mortal Engines”, the first book in the “Predator Cities” series where Tom Natsworthy, Historian Assistant Class 3, has the time of his life, and that life is being tossed upside down when he tries to save the life of the Head Historian of London.

His heroics are appreciated in a very odd way, and soon he finds himself town-less, and at the mercy of the outside world. Many travels and encounters lie waiting for Tom and his unexpected female companion, Hester Shaw, and as the story progresses, more and more becomes clear about her  and her parents.
Mortal Engines was a fascinating read with a lot of action, an interesting depiction of the world where towns move and the Anti-Tractionists try to stay where they are. Many aspects of the world created by Philip Reeve feel like steampunk to me, although there is a lot of everything, so there must be something for almost everyone.

Electronic reading

Dear Reader who uses electronics to read,

Here is a critical question for you: what to do when your battery runs out?

empty battery warning

Panic? As someone who likes to read, I know of this problem first hand. Do you too? And if you do, what is your line of action to make sure you can read on in case this kind of disaster strikes? I’ve heard of people carrying paperbacks with them. Paperbacks, although much larger than e-readers, don’t run out of power, so that makes sense. My strategy is a bit more complex, but so far it’s worked great for me.

Strategy. I fixed my problem the electronic way. I have a 7″ tablet and a rather large phone, both running Android. Both devices have the same e-reading software on it, called Moon Reader + Pro. Why the Pro version? There’s the trick. I have configured Moon Reader to save the last-read location of each book online. You can choose between Google Drive and Dropbox, or use both. If the tablet runs out of power, I fire up the reader on my phone, open the book, and Moon Reader checks where I stopped reading. It then asks if I want to continue at the latest saved location, I say yes, and off we go. :-)

Tips. If you need some tips on saving power on your e-reader or tablet, follow this link to E-readers In Canada!