Tuesday, May 31, 2011
What, you might ask, is heroic about any of that? Doesn’t he have any good points?
Well yes: he’s sexy. And he had charisma. He looks amazing, is awesomely strong and has a larger than life personality that both charms and overwhelms. Being several thousand years old, he’s had a lot of time to perfect his sexual technique. And he has a sense of humour.
What’s not to love?
Well, there’s all the other stuff about evil, blood drinking etc. Any nice heroine, however lonely, should be put off by all of that. And Elizabeth is repelled, to the extent that she plots to kill him - except when she’s with him and the sexy stuff seems more important.
Blood on Silk and Blood Sin are already available, with the final part, Blood Eternal, scheduled for release in October. To explain a bit more, Elizabeth is an academic, researching vampire legends in Romania, when she accidentally awakens Saloman, who was betrayed and staked in the seventeenth century and is now released to extract revenge and assume world domination. To reach his full strength he needs the blood of his Awakener, Elizabeth.
I suppose it’s a bit risky to make a romance hero quite so wicked. But he’s a vampire, not a human with a dietary requirement, and I wanted him to exude that danger that so draws us to vampire stories. Saloman has it in spades, but also has enough appeal, enough mystery to keep Elizabeth guessing as to his true motives. She gets glimpses of his vulnerability and loneliness, odd moments of compassion and genuine emotion, and begins to think there is more to him – as indeed there is.
Not being human, Saloman doesn’t think like one. By his own lights, he isn’t evil. He merely has a plan and believes the end justifies the means. And under Elizabeth’s influence, his plans alter subtly. When it comes down to it, neither seems capable of killing the other. Although their ultimate aims are totally opposed, they become each other’s weakness as well as each other’s strength. The question becomes how will this affect the world?
Well, I’m not going to tell you that here – you’ll have to read the books :) . Instead, I have another question for you. How dangerous do you like your fictional heroes? And why do you suppose we love that danger so much when in real life, we’d run a mile? :) .
I’ll be happy to give away a copy of Blood on Silk or Blood Sin (winner’s choice) to one person who answers the questions or who makes some other comment.
Monday, May 30, 2011
This photo shows a portion of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, but it was also the picture I kept in my inspiration file while I wrote about Prince Alexei Voronov and Paige Barnes. I envisioned Alexei's Russian palace as looking just like this.
I really loved writing about Alexei and Paige! From the explosive moment they first meet, when Alexei is trying to save Paige from a gang of men with questionable intentions, to their troika ride in the snow, to their super-charged love scenes and their confrontations throughout, this book was pure joy for me. These characters were so real. Alexei’s loneliness and heart ache, Paige’s sense of responsibility and Southern upbringing, and the way they learn to forge a life together had me alternately in tears and laughing while writing this book.
This book was originally released in the UK in January under the title PRINCE VORONOV'S VIRGIN. It was the Mills & Boon Book of the Month and spent 6 weeks on the Mills & Boon bestseller list -- 3 of those weeks at #1! I'm so happy it's finally available to my North American readers. I hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it for you!
‘Kiss me,’ he growled… ‘And make it believable.’
Alone and scared on the dark streets of Moscow, staid, bespectacled Paige Barnes has no choice but to comply with the handsome stranger’s command…
Little does Paige know she’s been rescued by Alexei Voronov—a Russian prince and her boss’s deadliest rival. Now he has Paige unexpectedly in his sights, Alexei is prepared to play emotional Russian roulette to keep her close and discover her true motives. But in his splendid gilded palace his game of chance spins out of control and passion takes over…
It’s only when she’s back home that Paige realises she’s pregnant with the Prince’s baby…
Today, I'll give away a signed copy to one lucky commenter. Since I'm late putting this post up, we'll run the contest through tomorrow. Just leave me a comment and tell me why you'd like to read this book! I've also started a Goodreads Q&A group to talk about this story. You can join here if you like. :) And even if you don't wish to join the group, if you're wondering why I didn't address Soviet history (the effects of Communism on Alexei and his family) in this story, I wrote a post on that here.
UPDATE: The winner of the signed copy is Mary Anne Landers! Mary Anne, email me at lynn AT lynnrayeharris DOT com with your details! Thanks everyone for stopping and talking with me. :)
Lynn Raye Harris is a USA Today bestselling author who writes glamorous, sexy romance for Harlequin Presents. You can learn more about Lynn and her books at http://www.lynnrayeharris.com/. You can also follow Lynn on Twitter @LynnRayeHarris or visit her author page on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLynnRayeHarris
Sunday, May 29, 2011
An artist creates images on canvas with paint, and a sculptor sculpts.
A singer possessed of a voice so pure, it catches your breath.
More than talent, practice. A gift?
One of my favourite quotes is by Michelangelo - I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
It made me wonder what artists see before they begin to craft - whether it be writing, painting, sculpting.
Does a writer visualize the characters, the setting, imagine what they say - to the point where it all seems to become real, and the struggle to convey that image is the talent, persistence - ok, sheer bloody-mindedness - to employ the right words, so the reader shares the writer's visualization?
Is there any particular artist, author - anyone - who has touched you in life? Inspired you?
I'll share a few of mine ...
A painting by Monet 's garden
O Holy Night sung by Celine Dion
Shakespeare for his prose
Daniel Day Lewis for his dedication and preparation in order to play a scripted part.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Yesterday, I received this Romantic Times review on the second of the Callahan Cowboys series, THE COWBOY'S BONUS BABY; in part, "Warm characters with devastating wit."
That made me laugh! Devastating wit is not how I'd usually describe my writing, but another reader comment on the first of the Callahan Cowboys series, THE COWBOY'S TRIPLETS, went like this:
I loved your first Callahan Cowboy's novel! It was funny &
fast-paced & had fantastic characters! I look forward to more stories
featuring these smart-aleck brothers. Thanks for making a
stay-at-home mom's busy days more enjoyable! --Jenny
So this is the fun of all the hours spent in writing a long series. As many of my long-time readers know, I do love the drama of a big family. I find myself living in their world, wondering about their dreams, wanting them to reach their goals. When the readers love the series, it's the payoff, the big ticket. Nothing makes me happier. Years ago, back before there was email as it is today and people still wrote letters, I got a fan letter that had a dollar in it so I could write the reader back. She had most considerately tucked this money in—and I somehow lost both the dollar and the letter. This has grieved me more than anything over the years in my writing career, that one letter that made its way through both Harlequin and the post office with money it, and I have no idea where it went. How I wish I could write that reader and tell her how much her words had meant to me! Every writer who has struggled for hours with their craft knows that the reader is the best part, the bonanza, the happy ending, to the writer's journey.
So thank you to that kind reader, wherever you are—your words were worth their weight in gold! And thank you to the many other kind readers over the years who have given me a career and a ready audience for my work. You, too, I thank from the bottom of my heart.
Love to you all,
Friday, May 27, 2011
I don't have proof or a chart or a grid to prove my feeling, but I do believe in karma or the return of the energy that we sow in the world. We reap what we put out there. We give and we get. What we do can come back to haunt or reward us. There is an accounting page in the universe, somewhere, and things balance out.
Most days, I think we try to forget this while at the same time trying to mind our own business and deal honorably with the world. Sometimes, we don't do so well, doing something slightly to incredibly egregious. Being curt or rude, driving like an idiot, snapping at someone, refusing to budge during an argument. We tell one of the two lies folks apparently tell per day. We ignore a request for help. We fail to file our income taxes. All of that stuff builds up, and then one day, the doorbell rings, and it's payback time.
I've been trying of recent years to consider this accounting system, this tit for tat. Some might say this is a ridiculous notion, and while it does seem wacky, I can't help but hold to it.
Revenge seems to be built out of trying to control or manage this accounting system. Something terrible happens "to" us, and we decide that we are going to extract it back from the person ourselves, unwilling to wait for karma to be enacted. We feel wrong or slighted or hurt or wounded, and what do we do? We go to the source or something around the source. We are in a fight with someone, and we write an email to a person related to tell our side of the story first, with details and effect. Someone won't write us a letter of recommendation, and we call that person's place of employment to complain and accuse, hoping that the non-letter writer will get into some kind of trouble. We are hurt in a relationship and instead of going to counseling to deal with our pain, we undermine that person's next relationship.
We want immediate karma. We want it now so that we can see it. We don't want to wait a lifetime or several--we want to see the person writhe a little, squirming, twisting in the wind or on a noose. And oh! how good we will feel.
But I don't think it feels that great. In the end, the fight still happened, the letter wasn't written, the relationship is still over. The hurt remains.
Capital punishment is the extreme form of this attempt at instant karma, and I've read that the family members who fought for years for the person to die don't have what they want in the end--the crime undone, the person harmed by the criminal alive and well and living in Peoria.
I'm not a Christian, but I am a big fan of Jesus. He was one cool, unattached, Zen dude, who seemed to understand this accounting system like no one's business. He was no doormat, though his seeming passivity in the Sermon on the Mount has been interpreted otherwise:
If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.There's a lot going on here, but what I take away from it is that if our landlords won't give us back our deposits or a student complains or a former boyfriend calls to read us the riot act, turn the other cheek. Don't write an expose on rental practices in Oakland, using your landlords first and last names. Don't write to the college your student wanted the letter giving them the "real" story about her work in your class. Don't post anything about the former boyfriend on Yelp.
Take a big breath. A really big breath. A damn, flipping HUGE breath, and walk on. There is that system out there that will even it up in some way, someday, maybe in a few lifetimes or maybe tomorrow. Don't worry about it. It's not ours to worry about any more.
Jessica Barksdale Inclan
(I am giving away ebooks this month to the first five people who comment and write me at email@example.com)
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Now and in the aftermath, resources will be taxed and depleted. Charitable organizations will make their appeal. Religious institutions will ask for your help. Calls for volunteers will be sent out. We are a global community beyond race, religion, and other artificial boundaries. Whatever assistance we can provide, I'm sure will be appreciated.
Moreover, beyond the physical toll, will be the emotional pain of recovery. Doctors, psychologists, therapists will play a part in so many lives. Even as storytellers, while volunteer time, money, and donations continue, we also play a role in the emotional recovery with our stories of love, hope, reconnecting with family, celebrating new friendships. Our tales of empowerment motivate and inspire when the weight of the world seems heavy.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
***Jo's Daughter is the winner for a copy of The Unclaimed Baby! Congratulations, Jo's Daughter! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and mailing address. Thanks to everyone else who left a comment!***
Monday, May 23, 2011
My next release for Harlequin Presents, A Night of Scandal, is out in the US next month and part of my research for that book involved plying my friends with wine and asking them the key question:
How would you feel and act if suddenly, with no warning, you had a major Hollywood star in your living room?
The hero of my book , Nathaniel Wolfe, is a Hollywood superstar. He’s the ultimate Bad Boy who uses his incredible acting ability to conceal the shocking truth about his past. But secrets, especially nasty ones, have a way of escaping and when his carefully protected world fractures and he realises his past is about to be exposed, Nathaniel needs somewhere to hide. He turns in desperation to the first person he sees, costume designer Katie Field.
Katie lives alone. Coping with family problems of her own, she works hard, spending all her spare time drawing and designing costumes and trying to follow her dream. The closest she comes to glamour is when she dresses other people …….until the night Nathaniel Wolfe begs her for sanctuary. The only red carpet Katie has ever walked on is threadbare and her budget doesn’t allow for meals in expensive restaurants but suddenly she’s entertaining Hollywood royalty in her cramped London flat.
Which brings me back to my research. How does a normal girl behave with a Hollywood superstar in her living room?
The answers varied. Some thought they’d be embarrassed, some tongue tied, one vowed never again to leave the house without loading the dishwasher in case it actually happened (I did point out that this is fiction but she’d already dashed home to start tidying).
Frankly he wouldn’t make it through the door of my house without breaking his neck because my boys always take their shoes off when they walk through the door (well trained) but never quite get round to tidying them away (not so well trained) which leaves a death trap for the unwary. So in my case the Hollywood superstar would have a broken neck and the only ensuing embarrassment would be about where to hide the body, but that’s a whole different round of research.
How would you feel if you suddenly had a Hollywood superstar (a single one, of course) in your living room? Would you be star struck, thrilled, embarrassed…….or would you sneak upstairs and find that gorgeous underwear you’ve been saving for this very occasion?
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Imagine my surprise when she announced she wanted a party. It's still a couple of of months away but I've been helping her choose paper and fonts and I'm printing invitations because, at almost 80 she's pretty busy. She leaves soon for Scandinavia...as you do when you're almost 80. Dad, who is a spritely just-turned 79 is accompanying her on the six week trip.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Thankfully the toy problem has now been solved thanks to some careful instruction reading, but I'm not so sure that the other things on my list will be quite so easy to manage! Which is why, in a lieu of doing a proper blog post, I thought I'd give away a copy of my latest young adult book, Fairy Bad Day to a Tote Bags 'n' Blogs reader! Especially since my hectic day was nothing compared to what happens to my heroine, Emma Jones.
I actually wrote this book about two years ago so it's quite strange to think that it's finally coming out. It's even stranger to think that my editor let me write a book that involved giant killer fairies, a hero on crutches and a whole lot of Skittles. Still, the good news is that so far the reviews have been nice. I've received one from Publisher's Weekly and I even passed my first Kirkus review without any visible scarring!
Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby coming 9th June 2011
While most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot. Then she sees a giant killer fairy - and it's invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she's going to need help. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well! Why does she think it's going to be a fairy bad day?
"The exciting plot, humor throughout—often provided by the little fairies—and relatively innocent romance between characters will grab readers and keep them involved. " Kirkus Reviews
"In a fun mashup of the modern and the magical, Ashby (Zombie Queen of Newbury High) creates nicely developed characters and supports them with strong plotting and zippy writing. Laced with humor, danger, and romance, this book will have readers smiling all the way to the last page." Publisher's Weekly
So to be in with a chance to win all you need is to tell me what has been your craziest day! This is an international competition and I will send you a copy once the book releases on the 9th of June!
Friday, May 20, 2011
I got to be a bridesmaid again just a few years ago. At the ripe old age of 39, plucked from my post of matronly mother to magically metamorphose into the role of sprightly ingenue.
[this was definitely not the dress though]
The thing is, middle-aged, of which, alas, I’ve become a card-carrying member, just doesn’t seem to cut it in some roles. I mean, you reach a certain point in life and you start to look stupid wearing long hair, for example. Or bleaching it blonde, for that matter. And eventually, if you wear a mini-skirt or a bikini, you’re likely to be accused of trying to be your teen-aged daughter. This is kind of how I feel about mid-life bridesmaids. It just doesn’t work. You gotta know when to call it quits.
Nevertheless, that’s where I found myself. In the whirl of pre-matrimonial frenzy, negotiating dress sizes with brutally dictatorial bridal shop employees, mean women who insist you are lying to them about your dress size, and insist you’re doomed to be wedged like a sausage into a too-tight dress if you don’t follow their advice.
Did you know that bridesmaid dresses standardly measure about five sizes up from your rack size? I thought it was bad buying bathing suits, which invariably size far larger than your street clothes. I suspect this bridesmaid-sizing is intended to make the bride feel that much more superior. Place her up on the pedestal, the only time she’s gonna get to enjoy this position. So the bride is sporting her size 4 clingy little number, while the bridesmaids are ordering their dresses in a size 20. No doubt created by my favorite designer, Omar the Tentmaker (see below).
When the day finally arrived that my bridesmaid outfit was delivered, I was shocked. My two-pieced strapless floor-length number in steel gray sateen was practically shiny enough to see my reflection in.
Then came the time I’d dreaded: trying on this flattering bit of haute (or should I say “not”) couture. The moment of truth was humiliating. All I needed was a trunk and a swishy little tail and I’d have been placed on the endangered species list because I was hunted for my ivory tusks. The words “husky” and matronly kept swimming through my head. Husky is fine, if you’re a blue-eyed sled dog, but not so flattering if you’re a blue-eyed mom, even if you are a beast of burden. And matronly, well that’s a word that evokes its own connotations, none of which are too great. Suffice it to say, a red hot mama, I was not.
The whale-bone support structure in the strapless top pushed my breasts up to chin-level, preventing my arms from resting flat at my sides. I wondered how I was going to negotiate eating and drinking at the reception with my newly-endowed cleavage getting in the way of my wineglass. Perhaps I’d be able to just rest my dinner plate right on top of my boobs, doing away with the need for a table. The small mercy for which I was thankful was that the dirndl style of the skirt hid all sorts of figure flaws. Of course, by hiding them, this amplified my amplitude, if you know what I mean. Add 18 wheels and this baby could’ve rolled on down the highway, ten-four good buddy.
[yeah, this was not the dress, either]
How sad, in middle age, when I have finally come to accept my imperfections with something close to good grace, that I then have them flouted at me by my being forced to parade around alongside a bevy of young, slender beauties, the lone matronly bridesmaid. Here I was, fully prepared to attend this wedding dressed in an age-appropriate, somewhat elegant dress, and instead, I was relegated to laughingstock status—looking much like a dingy gray London sky, in my shiny sateen gown. The wedding guests sniggering as I sashay down the aisle, “Good lord, who on earth is that? She must be someone’s sister, poor thing.”
The good news, though, is I think I’m out of relatives of marrying age now. I’m pretty sure the next wedding I’m invited to, I’ll be able to dress as me. Only problem is if I end up picking some hideous looking garment, I won’t have the bride to blame it on—I’ll have to take all the credit myself.
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Thursday, May 19, 2011
Here are just a few of my favorite moments.
The tanginess of fresh lemon, the searing bite of cold snow, the delicious smoothness of vanilla frosting.
Sunlight through branches, the perky smile on my four year old granddaughter’s face as she appears from my office with glasses perched on her nose and announces, “I’m working!”
The welcoming sound of silence.
All of this reminds me that life is at its best when we allow ourselves to experience those moments that make our world special.
Stella MacLean writes for Harlequin Super Romance.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Here is the third and last installment of Grandpa Larry's World War I reminiscence. He called it "Under Sealed Orders" and the words that follow are all his. (Not too bad for a man with a sixth grade education!)
* * *
There weren’t many rumors going around on this crossing. All had a pretty good idea where we were going and that was to England, which proved to be correct. We arrived at the Devonport Naval Base where our guests departed. We were there several days and I went on liberty to nearby Plymouth and later took a rip to London. We had to coal ship while there and it turned out to be quite a chore. In the States, we always coaled ship under good, modern conditions, but there we had to coal by wheelbarrow. It took the crew 36 hours straight.
When we finished, we cleaned up and were preparing to go home. Tied up at a dock nearby were two American destroyers. They were at the Devonport Base for minor repairs, I suppose, and this day they were preparing to leave to go back on patrol. One of them, as I well remember, bore the historic name of John Paul Jones. This vessel sent a request to the Huntington for a replacement draft of eight men, as they were undermanned for one reason or an other. The draft was to be on a voluntary basis. It just happened that for some time I had had it in the back of my mind that I would like to get destroyer duty, but the opportunity had never presented itself. Now here it was.
I went back to the ship (inaudible), such things were handled there and put my name in for the transfer. A while later, the bosun’s pipe sounded the call with the names of the men on the draft to pack their bags and hammocks and stand by for the transfer. My name was among them. My friends thought that I must be somewhat off my rocker to volunteer for duty with the tin can fleet, as the destroyers at that time were called. You see, the destroyers are expendable. I don’t know – maybe that was the reason I wanted that duty. They were much smaller in those days than the big powerful ones of World War II and the present time. They were just a heartily-armed tin cans. A rack on the stern loaded with ash cans (depth charges) from three tube torpedo launchers, deck-based, two on each side of the ship, each tube with a warhead torpedo at ready, and a strong battery of three-inch guns, plus speed. Speed was their best defense, otherwise a rifle bullet could blow them out of the water (not literally speaking, of course.) After a while, the word was passed for the men on the John Paul Jones draft to lay aft on the quarterdeck with bag and hammock.
We lined up and were given envelopes which held our transfer papers. Then it was the old service system of “hurry up and wait.” We discussed the transfer and reckoned that soon we would be heading for the ever turbulent North Sea. Then a yeoman came from the ship (inaudible) office and spoke to the Officer of the Deck. Soon he came over to me and took my transfer envelope, saying that I was instructed to return to my Division with bag and hammock. I was highly disappointed but there was nothing I could do. I wondered if I was unqualified, but I was conceited enough to reject that idea. The other seven men of the draft were dismissed and shouldering their bags and hammocks. I watched them walk down the gangplank to oblivion.
I took some good-natured kidding that night from some of my friends about my short period of service with the tin can fleet. The next morning the report came in: the John Paul Jones had no more than reached the open sea when she took a German torpedo and went down with heavy casualties. I never heard whether any of our seven men survived or not. I must admit that it sure shook me up. That was a close one. I never learned who gave the order or why my transfer was canceled, but there is one thing I know and that is that somebody high up there did not want me to be on the John Paul Jones.
My Note: Grandpa lived another eighty years after that incident!
* * *
He was begotten in the galley and born under a gun. Every hair was a rope yarn, every finger a fish-hook, every tooth a marline-spike, and his blood right good Stockholm tar.
PS: I'm Barbara Bretton and you can find me here and here. Leave a comment behind and you'll be automatically entered in a drawing. The winner will receive signed copies of CASTING SPELLS, LACED WITH MAGIC, and SPUN BY SORCERY and a little sweet surprise.
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Some stuff is easy to get rid of - the toys the kids have outgrown, the clothes I've outgrown (LOL), the things that are broken and chipped, the old school uniforms...
But some things are SO much harder!
I'm sure this won't surprise you, but we're a book family. We have a TON of books. We all have at least one big bookcase each in our bedrooms (there are six of us) plus extras in the lounge and dining room. Added to that I have books in crates out in the garage. The copies of my own books are kept in boxes under my bed and in crates in my wardrobe and cupboards above. There are books everywhere.
I've tried to thin the children's books now my youngest (the twins) are coming up five and ready for school... but of course, all those lovely little picture books with a single line on each page are perfect for emergent readers... so I didn't donate many at all.
So, clearly I need some help. How do you decide which books you simply HAVE to keep? How do you manage a spiraling collection?
In order to help me cull my collection even just a little, I'd love to give away a copy of my R*BY finalist book, HOT BOSS, BOARDROOM MISTRESS to someone who can give me their best 'moving house' advice!
With very best wishes,
Monday, May 16, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
One of the great loves of my life is reading. When I was growing up, my idea of a great treat was to go to the library. There is just something about a library...I also like talking about books that I have read. Thankfully all of my family share my obsession with books. Being able to discuss books with my children is a favourite part of parenting for me. It is great when they discover a book I love or when they pass a book on to me. My daughter is especially good about passing books on. She recently recommended GRR Martin's Game of Thrones which is basically the War of the Roses with dragons. A tv adaptation is currently being televised in the US on HBO and in the UK on Sky Atlantic but the books are better.
Various websites understand that people like to talk about books with other people. My publisher Harlequin runs eharlequin http://www.eharlequin.com/ and the Mills and Boon sites www.millsandboon.co.uk which I enjoy. The Eharlequin site has been around for over ten years. But what if you want to talk about more books from other publishers? Or you want to list all the books you have read? And how can you connect with other people who love books?
Facebook is not really suited for that sort of activity.
The three main social platforms that allow you to do that are: GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/ , Shelfari http://www.shelfari.com/ and Library Thing http://www.librarything.com/. Each has its own advantage and particular style. You can take a tour at each site and find out which one suits your own personal needs best. All of the sites allow you to say which books you have read, put a review up or simply discuss the book. You can also see the books that your friends on the site have put up and enjoyed. You can also friend authors and other readers plus send them messages.
Shelfari, for example, now has an interface with Amazon. Authors have the ability to put character lists, themes and books that influenced the writing of the book on to Shelfari or books that are linked to that book as well their author profile. These are now integrated with the kindle network and when someone downloads a book on to their kindle, they can get the extras provided by Shelfari. You can also easily add all your Amazon purchases to your Shelfari book shelf and you can put your book shelf on to your blog etc.
Library Thing has the ability to list events and have local chats. It is actually the platform I know least about. But it does have a dedicated base and it does operate a lot like Wikipedia. Authors are allowed to use the RSS feed to put their blogs on Library Thing. Various publishers participate in the early reviewer program and it can be a way to get your hands on free books. Library thing also has author chats and lists local signings and readings.
GoodReads happens to be my fave at the moment. It claims to have over 4.6 million users. Among other things, it has that great procrastination tool – the Never Ending Book Quiz where you can answer multiple choice questions about books that other members have submitted. There are groups, author Q & A and then there is the giveaway section where it is possible to get free books. It is easy to become a fan of an author and discover when they are doing events, or having a new book come out. Like Library Thing, GoodReads allows a RSS feed of blogs, so you can follow a variety of author blogs.
So what do other people think of book social platforms? Do you have a favourite?