Friday, July 29, 2011

On the note of Virtue...

Happy Friday everyone,
This week our chosen book to review was Virtue by Amanda Hocking.
Now I have to note, I LOVE Amanda Hocking. I have so much respect for her as a person and a writer. I follow her blog and find her story one of much inspiration, especially for all of you Indie authors out there. So don't take my review as a bash on her as an author, it just wasn't my favorite story of hers.  Maybe all of this is unnecessary to say but I don't want anyone to think that just because I didn't care of a specific book, that I dislike the person who wrote it.

With that out of the way, I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend. :)

Review: Virtue by Amanda Hocking

“In a world filled with magic, love might be the final answer in the eternal battle between good and evil. When Lux is tasked with retrieving the virtuous Lily for his master, his entire world is put in jeopardy. Lux must battle goblins, demon dogs, and sea dragons to rescue the one he loves, and that's only the beginning of what he must face...”

I was beyond excited when I heard Amanda Hocking was coming out with a new book. When she said that she had posted it to Amazon, I was checking my phone and my Kindle every half hour to see if the book had uploaded yet. But after I began reading the book, I have to say I was a bit disappointed. The idea for the plot was fantastic! How she had selected people being a certain virtue, the idea of finding your opposite (such as lust and purity falling in love) and the classic idea of good and evil fighting for victory was brought about in an all new way. But the way she went about writing everything was just something I wasn’t a fan of. The characters weren’t personal, a bit too much insta-love and oblivious characters that made the story difficult to believe and get into- yes, even for a faerie tale.
For me, the book was difficult to finish reading, and the ending wasn’t one that had me excited that I forced myself through it. But I could see the book being great for a young teen audience vs. the young adult world.

My rating for this book:

Amanda Hocking lives in Minnesota with her best friend Eric. She is the author of the My Blood Approves series as well as the Trylle Trilogy. Hocking was recently signed by St. Martin’s Press and You can follow her at:
 Twitter        Facebook        Goodreads         E-mail        Blog

Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to Loan E-Books

I’ve wondered for some time how this process worked, so today we will be discussing how to loan a book to a friend on the Nook, as well as doing it on the Kindle.
There are a few things you need to know before you get started, and this applies to both e-readers. Once a loan is made and accepted, it cannot be taken back. Unless the person you lent the book to already has that book, then the book will appear back into your library.  You can only lend a book once, so if I lend Virtue by Amanda Hocking (which I’ll be reviewing Friday) to my mom, I can’t later decide to loan the same book to my sister. During this time, you have no access to that book. When you loan a book, the person who is borrowing has up to 14 days to read the book before it disappears back onto your e-reader. Also, not all books are lendable, but many of them are. From what I understand, this limitation is set by publishers but if you ask me, is a step in the right direction for sharing books.
Nook Directions:
1)      Choose the book title in your library. Press “lend” in the Menu.
2)      Add a contact or select an existing contact. The only things that are required is the person’s name and e-mail address.
3)      Type a note if you choose to (completely optional).
4)      Submit and confirm your loan!
The Nook lending process is really cool because you can let anyone who uses the same B&N book format borrow books! Inotherwords you can send it to an iPad reader, PC, Mac, Android reader, ect. You aren’t simply limited to your Nook friends. However, this doesn’t cross over into the Kindle world, Amazon has their own format altogether.
To accept a book that someone is trying to loan to you, go to your library. From there you will see a offer to accept, click on “Yes, borrow this.” Or “No thank you.” If you do not answer within 7 days, the book will be returned to the owner.
Kindle 3 Directions:
1)      Go to “Manage Your Kindle” from the Amazon website.> Your Account -> Digital Content Box-> Manage Your Kindle
2)      Find the book title from your Kindle library, click “Actions”
3)      From the drop down box that will appear, press “Loan this title”
4)      Fill in the lending details! And click “Send now”.
You can send Kindle books to anyone with a Kindle or a Kindle app whether that is on their Android device, iPhone, PC or Mac.
To accept a book that someone is trying to loan to you, go to your e-mail where the book was sent. Click on the e-mail, then “Get your loaned book now”, which will pop up a link with the book, name of the person lending, message and “Get your loaned book now”. From there it will be sent to you via Whispernet.
I hope this little guide helps you, I know I educated myself quite a bit! I'm sure as time goes on there will be improvements made to make both processes easier and more flexible. What do you think? Is this a good process? How would you like to see this improved?

Monday, July 25, 2011

From Books to the Big Screen

Books have been made into movies for years.  There was Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice and multiple classics that are still being remade to this day.  Only until the past decade has it become a trend to for young adult books to be put on to film, for instane the Harry Potter series.  Since then, books such as the twilight series and those by Nicholas Sparks have hit the big screen, but that’s just the beginning.  Books have also become popular prime time series.  So far The Vampire Diaries by L.J.Smith, The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar, and Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard are the main ones that have made it to the silver screen although it too is an ever growing trend.
So what does this mean for authors?  For J.K. Rowling it meant that she became the first billionaire author in the world.  But that is a stretch of reality for most authors.  Most, although their income will increase with the rights of their books sold to movie producers, won’t be making that kind of money.  What they get is the chance to see their books brought to life and an increased fan base.  It used to be that it was a rarity for books to be transferred to film but it’s becoming more popular everyday giving some authors more hope that they too with get to see their stories brought to life.       

-          The movie already has a fan base which means that there will be people interested in seeing it.
-          Fans of beloved books always want to see it produce on film.
-          By making a book into a movie, it introduces fans to the books. (Lots of people began reading the twilight books after it was made into a movie)

-          Movies always leave off parts of the books.
-          Movies always add stuff that wasn’t in the books. (example: the Weasley house burning down in the movie of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
-          Movies are rarel yas good as the books if you’ve read them first. 

Upcoming books that are being made into movies/tv shows:
-          The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
-          The Hunger Games by Susanne Collins
-          Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard
-          Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
-          The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
-          The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
-          The Secret Circle by L.J. Smith

So what do you guys think about all of these books being brought over to film?  Are you going to read any of these books before they hit the big/silver screen?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Friday!

M's first review is posted today! It also happens to be our first review on a non-indie author, Aprilynne Pike. Wings is a book that will have you questioning everything you thought you knew about the faerie world!
I am very excited to say that we have a few topics planned out for next week that I think will interest you guys. But you'll just have to stay tuned to hear about them....

I hope everyone has a fantastic and safe weekend!
Until next time,

Review: Wings by Aprilynne Pike

“Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful- too beautiful for words. Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like magic.
In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.”

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” We’ve all heard it a million times, although usually we’re referring to other people and not literally books. But I did just that. I have seen Wings a million times in the bookstore and didn’t even pick it up to read the back of the book simply because of the cover. But after seeing a brief description of it on an entertainment block, I decided to give it a shot. I’m definitely glad I did too! When Laurel’s family moves from their land to a small town, so her father can persue his dreams of owning a bookstore, aspects of Laurel’s life begin to change. She is now being forced to go to public school after years of homeschooling, she actually has a friend for the first time in her life and on top of that- she has a big flower sprouting out her back! This book is a page turner, one I couldn’t put down. It is a thriller, romance and fantasy novel all wrapped up in one story that has a refreshing new take on faeries.

My rating for this book:

Aprilynne Pike is the young adult author of the New York Times bestseller, the laurel series.  On top of that Wings (book one of the Laurel series) was her debuted novel.  She has a BA in creative writing and lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and three kids.  She is currently finishing up the last book of the Laurel series and starting her second. If you want to know more about her visit her website here

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Better Late Than Never...

We have a new review up today!  It's Belinda Boring's short story, Without Mercy. You can access it by clicking on the book reviews tab at the top of the page. I'm sorry it's up late, I was going to have it posted Wednesday but I felt so sick last night I was in bed by 8:30. And trust me, that NEVER happens. Thank you Susan for suggesting this book, it was a thrill to read.
I know that some of you contacted me about some comment posting issues and I think (hope) they've been resolved. I may have had some settings that clashed that could have caused the problems, or it could just be those computers out to get me again. Nah, we'll definitely blame it on the computers! ;)

I was pondering having a day of the week where we give little tips for the Nook/ Kindle. Like discussing one thing a week that you can do with your e-reader that doesn't involve reading. Would you guys like to hear more on that?

Be on the look out for M's review post tomorrow on Wings by Aprillynn Pike. I know she's been hard at work to get that ready for you guys!

Chinwag soon,

Review: Without Mercy by Belinda Boring

Smashwords Review:
‘What would you do if a simple errand takes a deadly twist, turning you from cautious prey to dangerous predator?
When Darcy’s outing takes a turn for the worst and tests her to the point of breaking, she struggles to maintain her humanity. Where loyalty and pack mean everything, she surrenders to the inevitable and only an act of complete trust can touch her. When all is said and done, with memories flooding her mind, Darcy holds tightly to the only thing that makes sense – it was all a dream. Or was it?’
First off, I have to be honest: I’ve never been one for books on werewolves. But my oh my did Belinda Boring surprise me! The first page will have you reeling as she jumps straight into the action. 10% in and you feel like you belong to the pack. You will find yourself anxious, grieving and in love all in the same moment as you watch Darcy fight her inner wolf in a metaphoric act for self-control through heart-breaking situations.
My rating for this book:
Belinda Boring is a writer that leads a book blog The Bookish Snob. She lives in Arizona with her friends and family and considers herself a “self-proclaimed addict of romance and all things swoon worthy.”
You can contact her by: ,!/thebookishsnob ,!pag-es/Belinda-Boring-Author/200626723318915

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kindle VS Nook

With the evolution of the e-reader came the opportunity for many writers to self-publish their books. Since we will be covering a lot of those independent or “indie” authors for reviews, I thought it would be best to make a basic post covering the two most commonly purchased e-readers: Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s Nook Color. Both devices are fantastic, but have special features to offer that is different from the other. This way, if you don’t have an e-reader and decide in the future that we’ve won you over from the traditional way and you want one, hopefully this list can help you decide what’s best for you.

Amazon’s Kindle 3:

·         - Graphite display which means no color, but less glare
·         - 10 days battery life with wireless on, 3 weeks with Wifi on
·         - Free Wifi with browser to surf web
·         - Whispernet technology- Allows any book you purchase from to be downloaded to your Kindle without use of USB cord
·         - Kindle apps are available on Android and iPhone devices
·         - Built in dictionary
·         - Ability to make the font smaller or as large as you want it while reading
·         - Read to Me feature- Reads books aloud to you
·         - Audiobook and music compatibility
·         - Ability to trade books with other Kindle users (still in development)
·        -   Kindle apps are available, such as games, calendars, blogs, ect.
·         - Prices  begin at $139 for just Wifi, $189 for Wifi & 3G
·       -   Kindles with “Special Offers” are $114 with Wifi & $139 for Wifi & 3G, Special offers are ads that  show up on the front of the Kindle in the sleep screen, & a small bar at the bottom of your library page

Barnes and Noble’s Nook Color:

·         - Has backlight, color and touch screen
·         - Up to 10 days of battery life
·         -  Free Wifi with browser to surf web, check e-mail, upload music or pictures
·         - Built in dictionary
·         - Ability to make the font smaller or as large as you want it while reading
·         - Access to online bookstore to download books straight to the Nook
·         - Lendme Technology- allows you to share books with other nook users
·         - Enhanced books- Example, Reading a recipe, you can read it but also watch a video
·         - Loosely based Android system to provide what has become known as “The Readers Tablet”
·         - Apps such as Angry Birds and friendly kids apps
·         - Nook apps are available on Android and iPhone devices
·         - Price is $249

Economically speaking, e-readers are fantastic. Less gas to travel to a bookstore, more environmentally friendly with printing and you have thousands of books at your fingertips!

So what do you guys think of e-readers? How has it changed your reading experience? Which one do you have?

Until next time,

Thursday, July 14, 2011


First, I would like to start off and let you guys know I finished Wenona Hulsey’s short story Blood Awakening and the review is posted. Thank you Wenona for sharing your story with me!

Next on the list of exciting news is that we now have a twitter account: and I’m working on getting the Networked Blogs up and running on Facebook but every time I go to set it up, the website is down. So as soon as that’s working, you’ll be the first to know. Now onto all that snazzy Harry Potter news…

With the release of the final Harry Potter movie this weekend, it’s a bittersweet time for you Hogwarts graduates. H.P. is the prime example of how one book can get a child reading who hated the idea before, open new doors for the paranormal and fantasy world altogether and kept an entire generation anxious and waiting for more. Just as everyone thought that our beloved characters were moving on somewhere without us, J.K. Rowling pulls out something else from her sleeve. How many of you stayed up to hear J.K. Rowling’s announcement concerning Pottermore the night of June 23rd? From the friends that I’ve talked to about this, there seem to be a lot of mixed feelings over the subject. So let’s start from the beginning.

What is Pottermore?

Pottermore is a website that J.K. Rowling is creating to make all Harry Potter books available digitally for the first time ever. However, the excitement doesn’t stop there: by signing up on you’re going to be able to have interactive reading experiences with your favorite books through your most treasured moments with Harry and the gang. You’ll also be able to do things such as learn spells, try on the sorting hat to find out which house you belong in, as well as visit Diagon Alley.

So when is Pottermore available?

For the first one million fans to complete their registration, the website will be released on July 30th, the birthday of both Ms. Rowling and Harry himself. Don’t fret if you miss the initial registration though, October is when the site opens to the public.

There are just a couple of bumps in the road…

Rowling wants to make the Harry Potter series available to every e-reader on the market. However, as the Apple iPad, Barnes & Noble’s Nook and most other digital readers support books formatted as electronic publications (ePubs), Amazon’s Kindle doesn’t. And currently, according to paidContent, Kindle readers make up 60% of the e-reading market. So who gives in? Does Rowling cave and make her books available in Kindle format? This could be possible if she chose to go the route of, which provides multiple formats of e-books for download. Or does Amazon begin to accept and sell other formats of e-books? The second seems to be the more likely choice. After all, who wants to be known as the e-reader that wouldn’t work with Harry Potter? And while it’s understandable that Amazon could fear the decrease in sales from the Kindle library, who’s going to ignore the simplicity and convenience of their Whispernet downloading system? When it comes down to it, Amazon will rise and be just as powerful as before no matter their choice. Just as businesses like Google and Apple have.
We will just have to see how all of that plays out but we will definitely have an update as we get closer to October. Until then, what do you think this means for authors? Now that someone has stepped up, put their foot down and cut out the middle man, is it only a matter of time before other writers do the same? What about readers? Is this the hopeful beginning of reasonably priced traditionally published e-books?You’re turn! Respond and let us know what you see coming from all this.-J

Review: Blood Awakening by Wenona Hulsey

Smashwords Review:
‘Nicole, a small town Alabama girl, and her best friend Kat take a weekend trip to Panama City, Florida. Kat, looking to have a good time and Nicole, hoping to escape the pain of losing her mother for a little while. Little did Nicole know, the escape would awaken a ancient power that is hidden in her blood. A power that evil wants for its own and will do whatever it take to have it.’
Blood Awakening is a short story that works as a prelude for Wenona Hulsey’s upcoming novel Burden of Blood. The silly banter between Nichole and Kat is hilarious, their friendship is one that you can admire and relate to. There is so much foreshadowing! Between the stranger in the dark, Nicole’s dream and the intriguing ending, the story does a fantastic job of building as you go. Did we mention the love interest? For a small vacation crush, the relationship was done tactfully and not pushed too quickly.
Burden of Blood is set to be released late August, early September. Who doesn’t want to know what the deal is with this mysterious figure lingering in the shadows? I know I’m curious!

My rating for this book:
Author’s Personal Bio:
Author Wenona Hulsey is a lover of all things written. When she was a child, you could find her reading anything from Edger Allen Poe to the back of cereal boxes. Today you will find her with an e-book reader glued to her hands except for the times when she is writing or spending time with her family. She is also an avid social networker who loves to meet new people. You can friend her on
 like her on Facebook or
follow along on her blog

To see our fun interview with Wenona, click here!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

1st Review and Facebook!

Great news guys!
We have our very first review up. The book is S.W. Benefiel’s Day of Sacrifice. Everything is still a bit disorganized but we’re hoping to get all that up to snuff here before too long. Also we have our Facebook group set up now! The link for that is:
Check it all out and "like" the page!
- J

Review: Day of Sacrifice Vol 1 by S.W. Benefiel

In a world where supernatural powers are inherited, this gift doesn’t come without a sacrifice. To appease the gods, the first born in every family is to remain pure and be sacrificed on the day of their 21st birthday. Day of Sacrifice is about Flora Hamilton, a young woman who is 3 days away from her sacrifice when she’s caught in the middle of a hit from a rival family. On the day her best friend Aiden Grant is to give his life to the Gods, Flora’s forced to go on the run with her sexy guardian angel only to discover that destiny has a much larger plan in store.S.W. Benefiel did a fantastic job bringing just the right amount of laughs, gasps, frisky time and conflict into this short story. The world you find as you turn the pages is a new idea and perspective on the supernatural world. The background is extensive, the characters detailed and the courage is astounding. When you know your life is ending so quickly, how do you live it to the fullest?  You’ll be eager for more of Flora and will downloading Rebellion, the second installment of Day of Sacrifice, in no time!
My rating for this book:

 Stacey Wallace Benefiel is an Indie Author that writes mostly YA paranormal romance novels. She lives in Oregon with her husband, children and many pets. And has other works that include The Toilet Business and the Zellie Wells series. You can learn more about her at her website where she gives book updates and many fun posts at: 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Welcome to The Ink Puddle.

This is a place where two friends come together for the sake of reading and post reviews. Good, bad or just eh, here is the place you can find honest opinions. Our main focus is the young adult paranormal genre, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see the occasional stray.
With the (awesome) evolution of e-readers there have been so many opportunities for authors to come out, revealing their talent and their stories that they otherwise may not have been heard through traditional publishing. We hope to reveal many new authors as well as shining a light on those more popular.

So check out our reviews, skim through our news and send us an email if you have any questions.