A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka


My latest review on Bold Book Blog.

Originally posted on Bold Book Blog:

A Girl Called Fearless

A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka takes place in a reality where fifty million women died from cancer caused by a synthetic hormone called Scarpanol, which was injected into beef. In a matter of years, millions of homes were shattered as mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and grandmothers fell victim to cancer. Once the cause of the cancer was exposed, America began the long process of healing its wounds, and the Paternalist Movement emerges to “protect” women and girls. But with a lack of voting-age women to counteract their agenda, Paternalist elected officials begin implementing patriarchal laws which strip women of their rights to work, gain an education. The Paternalists push legislature that allows fathers, or other male relative, of minor girls to essentially sell teenage girls to be married in what are known as Contracts—the girl promises to marry someone, and person pays the girl’s father or male relative…

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Join Me on Wattpad!

Greetings and salutations!

Well, I’ve joined Wattpad–the free reader/writer online community. Writers post stories in short, manageable sections; readers read, vote for, and comment on the stories. Users can be both writers and readers.

I first heard of Wattpad a few years ago, but was skeptical about the whole thing. I don’t mind reading other writer’s works, but post my own writing? Nope! People could easily plagiarize my work and many literary magazines and journals won’t accept anything that has appeared previously online.

Then I changed my mind.

First, I really can’t stop someone from stealing my work. I’d much rather not have my work stolen, but if it happens, then I’ll cross that bridge when it comes. It’s not something I should lose sleep–and possibly an increased readership–over. Other people’s actions are out of my control.

Secondly, I occasionally submit to mags and journals. I’m not obsessed with having someone else publish my work. I entered writing through self-publishing, and that has gotten ingrained into my psyche. I get “publishing withdraw” between long gaps in published work. Besides, I think I’ll like having my work read by readers and receive feedback from them (I hope).

At the time of writing this post, I haven’t added any writings to my profile. I’m still getting used to the site and reading other people’s work (including Thriller Suite: New Poems by Margaret Atwood).

I will add my own work to it soon. I’ll keep it updated with new and original pieces, probably on a weekly basis. Come follow me on Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/ajh_books.

Amazon is Just Plain Rude

Greetings and salutations!

Over the weekend I received an email from Amazon, because I published with them using their Kindle Direct Publishing platform. The email was essentially Amazon’s call to action to indie authors to help the retail juggernaut in its contract dispute with Hachette Book Group. I’m not going to go over the email’s details, as Electric Literature has posted the email in its entirety, but I will say that I’m disappointed in Amazon spamming authors who use its platform asking them to spam one of the major publishers.

I’m doing no such thing.

First of all, this isn’t my battle to fight. When two giants go to battle, it’s best for small-fry like me to stay out their way. Amazon needs to put on its big boy pants and handle its business.

Secondly, if I had to choose a side–which I won’t–I understand Hachette’s desire to set their ebook prices however they see fit more than I agree with Amazon’s attempt to put a cap on ebook prices. Yes, I prefer that ebook prices don’t go above $9.99, but I haven’t purchased an ebook over $4.99, and I don’t plan to. If Hachette wants to price ebooks at $14.99 or $19.99 or $199.99, more power to them. If people are willing to purchase their ebooks at those prices, so be it. Let readers decide how much ebooks they’re willing to pay for ebooks.

Thirdly, dude, Amazon, for real, you went there? You went into a history lesson about how George Orwell was against the paperback back in his heyday. And then Amazon reiterated its earlier failed attempts at trying to dictate ebook royalty terms between Hachette and its authors, which is overstepping boundaries if borderline criminal.

I find this whole situation extremely inappropriate on Amazon’s part, up to the point that I’m seriously considering ceasing to use their services in book publishing. This includes Createspace–Amazon’s print-on-demand service–which is unfortunate because it offers some of the best printing prices around. I’ve already pulled most of my Kindle titles from KDP (in favor of making them available for free on Scribd), as Amazon doesn’t allow authors to price their books as free. That’s ironic, since Amazon claims its fight against Hachette is to keep ebook prices low–what’s lower than free?

Call for Submissions: Sharp Road


The press I run is looking for submissions for a new journal titled Sharp Road. We want poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, art, photography and comics. This is a paying market. View guidelines and submit!

Originally posted on Hidden Clearing Books, LLC:

Greetings and salutations!

We’re currently seeking poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, art, photography and comics for the first issue of our new journal, Sharp Road. We’re looking for the 10 best pieces that speak on finding a balance between who one is vs. who one wants to be, believes one is or what society wants one to be. For fiction, we prefer literature that makes us feel, and speculative fiction genres are accepted. Sharp Road is coming Spring/Summer 2015. Payment is $5.00 plus one contributor copy.

View full guidelines and how to submit here.

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Widow’s Lake by Michael Monroe


New review on Bold Book Blog! My review of Michael Monroe’s fantasy novella WIDOW’S LAKE.

Originally posted on Bold Book Blog:

Widow's Lake

Widow’s Lake by Michael Monroe

I downloaded this novella when it was free without hearing much about it. I thought I’d just read one paragraph to get an understanding of the book, and then continue reading another title I was in the middle of. Well, I was hooked by Monroe’s poetic prose and the world he created with magic users called “dancers,” and the story of an assassin vs. his prey. It seemed Monroe took his inspiration for the setting from feudal Japan. Although I figured out rather early where the plot would lead me, I enjoyed every moment of it, as Monroe’s guided me along with a deft pen and was able to stir emotions within me. Highly recommended!

Download Widow’s Lake by Michael Monroe from Amazon.com.

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