I must confess, I’m not much for e-books. I hate reading on the Kindle app on my phone, and, while I have a Kindle Fire, I couldn’t even tell you where it is right now… I need the feel of the paper in my hands, the smell of a real book, in order to get into it. I spend enough time staring at a screen; reading is my escape from constant connection to technology and emails and Facebook. Nowadays, I only use Kindle for my e-book ARCs.
Since I haven’t opened it in a while, I got curious and decided to take a look at what is actually ON my Kindle. Is there anything I downloaded but never read? Anything I downloaded a Sample for, but never got around to purchasing? Maybe I’ve missed a real gem somewhere along the way…
I’m pretty horrified by exactly how much I’ve left unread… And there was so much trash on there, I genuinely had to think about what I had, and had not, already read. Maybe this is half my problem? If I had a quality library on there, maybe I would pick the Kindle up more often?
To which end, I decided it’s high time for a clear out!
I’ve decided I’ll read the first chapter, and, if I’m not sold – it goes.
Author: Cat Winters | Publisher: Amulet Books
Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud.
She’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women.
The first chapter was pretty good, very solid writing, but I’m not sold on the description and there were a few glaring anachronisms in the language already, which put me off.
Author: George Bellairs | Publisher: Unknown
Old Alderman Harbuttle, an elder of Zion Chapel, grew unusually frolicsome at the Anniversary Tea Party, even condescending to lead a game of follow-my-leader round the precincts.
In the darkest part of the chapel, however, the revels became a riot, for the Alderman was stabbed to the heart with a bread knife. Superintendent Nankivell, of the local police, comes close to solving the mystery, but not before he has stirred up the dark depths of the lives of many of the pillars of Zion.
Turmoil in Zion got very poor reviews on Goodreads (as I just discovered). Apparently, the author has other, much better, books. The first chapter was quite interesting, but I think I’ll listen to Goodreads and bin it. It wasn’t interesting enough to make me want to perservere.
Author: Wendy Warner | Self-published
A spree of unexplained serial killings rocks the quiet, God-fearing town of Eastwood, shattering nearly 350 years of peace and harmony since the witch trials in neighboring Salem. Rachel, a successful interior decorator, finds her own past is inexplicably entwined with the happenings.
Rachel finds herself in a race against time as the genteel women are being targeted and murdered before they can divulge their secrets. Each new murder leads Rachel further into their murky past to try to unearth the truth behind one cryptic symbol, and what it means to the future of the town.
Pitted against the killer, will Rachel succeed in unlocking the mysteries of supernatural phenomena, save her new friends and prevent a rebirth of Wiccan hysteria?
Although the writing wasn’t bad, The Color of Fear could use a really good edit. Poorly edited, self-published e-books are a pet peeve of mine… I’m out!
Author: Joan Aiken Hodge | Publisher: Fawcett Publications
I’m such an Austenite, and I already like the slightly old-fashioned tone of Only a Novel. However, if I was entirely honest, I will probably never finish a serious text on the Kindle. It’s will some sadness that I confine this one to the digital bin.
Author: Wayne Dyer | Publisher: Hay House UK
The greatest gift you have been given is the gift of your imagination. Everything that now exists was once imagined. And everything that will ever exist must first be imagined.
Wishes Fulfilled is designed to take you on a voyage of discovery, wherein you can begin to tap into the amazing manifesting powers that you possess within you and create a life in which all that you imagine for yourself becomes a present fact.
I already know I want to read this, because the reviews are fantastic and I remember thinking the sample chapter was interesting. This one’s a keeper.
Author: Hope Mirrlees | Publisher: Gollancz
Lud-in-the-Mist is a prosperous country town situated where two rivers meet: the Dawl and the Dapple. The Dapple springs from the land of Faerie, and is a great trial to Lud, which rejects anything ‘other’, preferring to believe only in what is known, what is solid.
Nathaniel Chanticleer, a dreamy, melancholy man, is deliberately ignoring a vital part of his own past; a secret he refuses even to acknowledge. But with the disappearance of his daughter, and a long-overdue desire to protect his son, he realises Lud is changing – and something must be done.
I really wanted to fall in love with this one… But I didn’t. The first chapter was beautifully written, and very dull. I’m out.
Author: Sue Monk Kidd | Publisher: Tinder Press
Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily’s fierce-hearted black ‘stand-in mother’, Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina – a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past.
Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey. And there Lily starts a journey as much about her understanding of the world as about the mystery surrounding her mother.
The sample of The Secret Life of Bees broke my heart. I know I ought to want to read this, because it’s great. But I just don’t think I can deal with a sob-fest right now.
Author: Emily R. King | Publisher: Skyscape
As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood in the ancient Tarachand Empire, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.
But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.
Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.
This might be the best book in the world, but that premise sounds terrible. I’m out. Not even bothering to read the Sample.
Author: Robin Hobb | Publisher: Harper Voyager
Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service to the crown.
But behind the facade of respectable middle-age lies a turbulent and violent past. For Tom Badgerlock is actually FitzChivalry Farseer, bastard scion of the Farseer line, convicted user of Beast-magic, and assassin. A man who has risked much for his king and lost more…
On a shelf in his den sits a triptych carved in memory stone of a man, a wolf and a fool. Once, these three were inseparable friends: Fitz, Nighteyes and the Fool. But one is long dead, and one long-missing.
Then one Winterfest night a messenger arrives to seek out Fitz, but mysteriously disappears, leaving nothing but a blood-trail. What was the message? Who was the sender? And what has happened to the messenger?
Suddenly Fitz’s violent old life erupts into the peace of his new world, and nothing and no one is safe.
I already know I struggle with Robin Hobb. I really want to like her books… Everyone raves about them! So I keep trying. But I didn’t love this Sample…
Author: Bethany Adams | Publisher: Self-published
I’m so, so done with self-published fantasy right now. Not even bothering to try on this one… And I just read the description, and it sounded cheesy af. Nope.
Author: John Gwynne | Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors, learning the art of war. He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king’s realm. But that day will come all too soon. Only when he loses those he loves will he learn the true price of courage.
The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed in battle, the earth running dark with their heartsblood. Although the giant-clans were broken in ages past, their ruined fortresses still scar the land. But now giants stir anew, the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of giant wyrms. Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars. Sorrow will darken the world, as angels and demons make it their battlefield. Then there will be a war to end all wars.
High King Aquilus summons his fellow kings to council, seeking an alliance in this time of need. Prophesy indicates darkness and light will demand two champions, the Black Sun and the Bright Star. They would be wise to seek out both, for if the Black Sun gains ascendancy, mankind’s hopes and dreams will fall to dust.
I’m already invested in this after one chapter from the Sample. This one’s a keeper.
Author: D.W. Hawkins | Publisher: Laconic Press
Her family massacred, her home destroyed, Shawn Llewan escapes with nothing but her mother’s heirloom and the desire for vengeance. When she’s found by Dormael, a Warlock of the Conclave, she learns that her mother’s keepsake—the very reason her family was killed—holds the power to unleash boundless destruction. Dormael and Shawna must flee for their lives before a vengeful enemy and guard against the deadly secret it seeks to unearth.
Some secrets are best left buried, and vengeance must be pulled from the fists of the gods. With danger closing in around them, Shawna and Dormael are left with little choice. Will they escape, or will they drown beneath a tide of blood?
I didn’t find the first chapter of the Sample particularly gripping, so this is another one for the digital bin.
Author: Marion Zimmer Bradley | Publisher: Penguin
Here is the tragic tale of the rise and fall of Camelot – but seen through the eyes of Camelot’s women: The devout Gwenhwyfar, Arthur’s Queen; Vivane, High priestess of Avalon and the Lady of the Lake; above all, Morgaine, possessor of the sight, the wise, the wise-woman fated to bring ruin on them all.
I’m really not a big fan of King Arthur legends. I know this is a classic, but it’s a bin from me.
Author: Trisha Ashley | Publisher: Black Swan
Alice Rose is a foundling, discovered on the Yorkshire moors above Haworth as a baby. Adopted but then later rejected again by a horrid step-mother, Alice struggles to find a place where she belongs. Only baking – the scent of cinnamon and citrus and the feel of butter and flour between her fingers – brings a comforting sense of home.
So it seems natural that when she finally decides to return to Haworth, Alice turns to baking again, taking over a run-down little teashop and working to set up an afternoon tea emporium.
Luckily she soon makes friends – including a Grecian god-like neighbour – who help her both set up home and try to solve the mystery of who she is. There are one or two last twists in the dark fairytale of Alice’s life to come . . . but can she find her happily ever after?
I’m going to buy a physical copy of The Little Tea Shop of Lost and Found, because I really like Trisha Ashley’s other books. I’m fairly confident this one is a winner. I can’t understand why I didn’t even start it…
Author: W.R. Gingell | Publisher: Self-published
King Markon of Montalier is at the end of his tether. His son, Prince Parrin, is afflicted with a rather nasty curse that slaughters, maims, or brutally attacks any woman with whom he so much as flirts. After the rumour that sweeps around the kingdom, promising that any woman breaking the ‘curse’ will be eligible to marry the prince, there is no shortage of willing volunteers. Unfortunately, there is also no shortage of bodies piling up.
Markon needs to do something, but what? Can a visiting enchantress from Avernse help, or is she simply another accident waiting to happen? And will Markon be able to give her up to his son if she does break the curse?
I’m really not keen on novellas, or self-published e-books… I’m going to give this one a miss…
Did I miss out on any treasures here? Does anyone disagree with anything I trashed?