Both Amazon and Barnes and Noble offer FREE downloads so you can read Kindle or Nook e-books on your personal computer or electronics. The links are scattered through the website, but you can find links to both of the download pages on the "Black" page. They're way down at the bottom, I don't like to "junk up" my pages with advertising.
I would love to feature more new authors here in these pages. If I have the link, I can put your cover up and link it to your order page, whether it's Lulu or Amazon. I think that e-books are the wave of the future and an opportunity for independent writers and artists to get their work "out there" in the real world.
(I will review it though. I won't be mean, there's no need for that, but I will let you know if I think you have grammar or pacing or plot issues.)
However, today and tomorrow, I have to live in my real world, and do some writing or I won't have a deposit on Friday!
Yes, I've started a Twitter account. It's a pretty easy address: alienstarbooks
Moving into the 21st century isn't easy, even for those of us who've been using computers and the Internet for a good while. Social media seems, well, intrusive in all too many ways. Now that some employers have the gall to ask for prospective employees' Facebook passwords, it seems even more so. (Personally, I think that's illegal, but maybe that's just me. It's certainly against Facebook's TOS.)
I'll try not to go overboard with Twitter. Really.
My sister gave me the website for AR (she's a middle school teacher) and I looked up as many books as I could find so I could incorporate the recommended grades/reading levels. It's not as easy as it sounds. Just as an example, remember your beloved copy of The Wizard of Oz? It's listed as Middle Grades, IE grades 4 to 6, but at a 7th grade reading level. Oh my, no wonder there's a number of retellings that simplify the original language!
And you know, I kinda don't approve of "dumbing down" these classic books. I also don't approve of "cleaning up" the language -- good, bad and ugly -- in books written and set in a particular era. I think we need to remember the ugly parts of our history, including the language, attitudes and racism of those times.
Please don't think I'm comfortable with those terms -- I'm not. But I'm old enough to remember when people thought that it was OK to use derogatory words toward our Brothers and Sisters of Color, for no other reason than, well, they could. I'm forever grateful for the Civil Rights movement, knowing that in all too many ways, that vision of equal rights for all continues into the present and on into the future.
The AR web address: http://www.arbookfind.com/default.aspx
Being a woman, and a sci-fi/fantasy fan from my early teens, I'm accustomed to the usual White male protagonists. Still, oh my goodness, wouldn't it have been nice to read a few books that featured a strong woman protagonist! Perhaps even someone with a similar ethnic or racial background (Welsh/Cherokee)? I would have devoured the Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series back when I was a teen, just like I anxiously await the next books in those two series!
No Podkayne of Mars doesn't count. Heinlein really wasn't that great with female characters. I'm a fan, but seriously now!
While I'm a voracious reader, my kids are definitely reluctant readers. It certainly isn't because we don't have books to read in a huge variety of genres, both fiction and non-fiction. No, they just don't like to read. And they have expressed the opinion that most books are directed to the White male reader -- they just don't relate to that life experience. Thus, this website evolved from my search for books that I'd like and that my kids might find characters that they could relate too.
I know I'll say this over and over again, but this isn't about excluding anyone on the basis of anything. It's about including my Teens of Color in the fantastic future that I totally believe in...
I'm actively soliciting your published works for teens and young adults, particularly those books featuring protagonists of Color.
Send me your information, the link for purchasing your book, and your bio for inclusion on these pages. This is a place for new authors as well as the classics. Be aware, however, I'm going to read and review the book, so I do reserve the right to constructively criticize the book.
I'm looking forward to your submissions!
While I haven't incorporated the Edgar Rice Burroughs books yet, no worries. I'll probably put them under "Everybody Else" because John Carter is the rugged Western hero (aka White guy) but they were so, so fun! Yeah, there were definitely signs of the era, but then again, the Princess was "red" so maybe it wasn't quite as bad as it could've been...
Unfortunately, I haven't seen the movie John Carter yet, but I personally think that Disney set it up for failure. The title doesn't even say "Mars" in it! I'm thinking this will be a Netflix movie for me.
Before I had a water pipe break in my house, destroying a LOT of books and two thirds of my comic book collection, I had pretty much the entire John Carter/Mars series by Burroughs. Now I'm going to have to search them out and reread before I can write a competent review. After all, what we remember is filtered by time. Books that I enjoyed when I was young, I now think "What pap!" and books that I thought were boring are now aborbing reads.
If it seems like I'm moving slowly on this website, hey, I read several books every week. It helps to be a speed reader but I also have to maintain my writing to keep the money flowing in. And speaking of, I should get busy with a few how-to articles today!
I'm so excited about this website! I'm re-reading a lot of my books so I can do a review for you -- without giving away the whole story!
I just finished Patricia Briggs' new book, Fair Game and it was great, like always. Better than Twilight by far. (OK, I couldn't get past the first two pages of Twilight. Pap. Just pap, but you know, anything to get our kids into reading. If THEY like it, who am I to say "Don't read it!")
Shoot, I'm going to tell you privately "UGH" and hand the teen the next book in the series. After all, this IS all about reading and sharing...
I was talking to someone yesterday about a great post from ChroniclesofHarriet and was shocked when the person was insulted because the blogger focused upon Black children and Science Fiction/Fantasy.
Why shouldn't someone discuss issues facing children with whom he/she shares a racial/ethnic/cultural background? Who else is better suited to discuss these issues?
Sure, I think that all kids should be exposed to my favorite genres. ALL kids. And yet, I'm bewildered by the very thought that someone would be insulted when a blogger is focused upon their own children.
I'm still wondering.
Well, here we are, voracious readers, reluctant readers, parents, caregivers, teachers, homeschoolers -- whatever your connection is to a teen or young adult, the reviews and links are meant to help you locate age-appropriate, well-written, exciting Sci-Fi and Fantasy tales.
Now, I understand that some may feel that this website is excluding White protagonists, however, nothing could be further from the truth! The purpose here is not to exclude, but to INCLUDE. I want to include People of Color in our diverse universe of Sci-Fi and Fantasy!
I want to include POC writers, characters, cultures, alternate universes and the evolution of humanity. I want to include aliens and humanoids and moreau. I want to take my teens and young adults beyond the day-to-day grind of our earth-bound existence.
In no way could I ever exclude the finest Sci-Fi and Fantasy ever written! But I want to bring in more great stories that my children can relate to as Teens of Color as well as members of the human race.
So, having went live and still organizing this work in progress -- let the journey begin!