7 tips for protecting your Kindle: A Guest Post from Case Happy.

Kindle’s are great for when you finally accept you have run out of room for physical books or for those hard to get books.

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If you are considering making the transition from hardback books to digital books you have a fun journey ahead of you.  The Kindle provides lots of fun and is not too overwhelming to get your head around although it may feel a little different to regular paperback books.  As you take the time to navigate around your new device you will soon pick up lots of tricks and tips.

To help you we have come up with seven tips for protecting your Kindle including shopping for Kindle cases, ways to protect your device and how to minimise battery usage.  I asked Case Happy a Kindle cases provider for tips and they were happy to discuss in a little more detail.

SAVE THE BATTERY LIFE

New Kindle owners are often not aware that an active wireless connection can drain your battery.  The majority of the time you only need to access…

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Book Review: Writing the Paranormal Novel by Steven Harper

So as well as reading the Auto-Correct book, I have read this book.

Writing the Paranormal Novel is about exactly that, writing a paranormal novel. This book does focus mostly on Urban Fantasy and covers everything includes what makes a novel a paranormal or fantasy novels, working out what magical elements are going to be in the work, if the paranormal elements are secret in the world or in the public domain and if the magic is persecuted or dominates lives, magical culture, research, whether to have clichés  keeping the magic/paranormal real, plotting, fight scenes, dialogue and a whole section on getting published.

This book was the first one I ever bought on Kindle and so far, it is proving to be some of the best money I have spent. Written in a way that is easy to understand without condescending, it provides excellent information on world and character building and gets a writer (often addressed as you and yours in the book) to think about the things that they may not have considered before, such as about the economy of the magical world and fight scenes, especially if you have characters like werewolves. It also covers the use of clichés and how to craft and handle those when creating the magical creatures in the novel. Whilst some of the information is available in other how to write books, this is completely focused on the paranormal novel and crafting the elements in that book. It also looks at the idea of story arcs, in books and across series as well as general plotting.

This book definitely covers everything possible and is all-encompassing, which I have not found with any other how to book I have read or looked at. I am trying to think of anything negative with this book and finding nothing to say. I know, I know. It sounds bad to say, I know, but it is the honest truth.

I could not recommend this book highly enough as a must have and must read for anyone wanting to write paranormal stories (short stories or novels). It is certainly a reason I keep my Kindle nearby when writing so I can dip in sometimes to find what I need when I need help.

Book Review: Damn You Auto-Correct by Jillian Madison

So I’ve decided to leave the romance and erotica novels and memoirs behind and moved to a comedy book.

In a similar theme to Texts From Dog, Damn You Auto-Correct started out as a website given the rise of the auto-correct feature on smartphones. This book features texts that have been submitted to the website where their meaning has been changed thanks to auto-correct changing just a single word. The texts go from being simply gooble-de-gook to outright shocking.

SOME of these texts made me smile, grin and some were genuinely laugh out loud funny and the majority of them feature very adult themes (sexual content appears in many of the text). This book is definitely not for children but it is very funny and very enjoyable. It is also ideal for dipping in and out of occasionally and can make someone without an auto-correct feature on their phone (such as me) be VERY glad they don’t have it after reading the sometimes alarming results of having it on.

The texts are presented as being on Smart Phone screens but not all of them are very clear so made them difficult to read. This might be due to me reading this book on Kindle and it being in black and white. If it was in colour, it might have been easier to read and made some of the texts funnier but not all of them are funny in my opinion. I sometimes found myself reading a text, then re-reading it and re-reading it again and failing to grasp what was funny about them.

This book is fun and would appeal to some people, such as fans of the website, but personally I don’t think this is as good as Texts from Dog and would rather re-read October Jones and not this. It is sometimes laugh out loud funny and I would dip back into it sometimes but I just don’t think it’s very good.

 

Book Review: Texts from Dog by October Jones

Since I have just reviewed 364 Days of Tedium, the Santa comic, I thought I would review this book which is in a similar vein and would possibly go together with the Santa book as a gift for someone.

Texts From Dog is similar to the Santa book in that it is an adult comic though it can be read by teens and even some of the texts and jokes could actually be shown to children. Having started a blog on Tumblr (and continuing on today), October Jones’s dog has a mobile phones, he is not afraid to use it and often texts his owner to reveal what he is up to, whether it is running around as BatDog and trying to defeat his nemesis CatCat (basically a cat but evil) or refusing to take a bath to protect the Fleatles. He also texts his owner with typical dog behaviour, like hearing his owner opening a bag of crisp and saying he is going to find him just to stare at him.

Unlike the Santa comic, there is no toilet humour but there are texts with sexual themes and some expletives but mostly, it is a laugh out loud look at what dogs would probably text their human owners, you know, if they ever did develop the ability to text. This book is much easier to read on the Kindle, unlike the Santa comic, mostly because the texts are shown as being on a touch smart phone screen and the only drawn pictures are those which would normally fill a page in a physical book, large and yet simplistic. Admittedly, I like this book far better than the Santa one, mostly due to the lack of toilet humour and I think the jokes are funnier and it is a better premise.  It’s audience is men and women, twelve years and above and the humour is more far ranging so giving it a larger appeal.

I have sat reading this book on the bus before and had to quickly stop as I found myself constantly bursting into giggles and having to hold down great big belly laughs at the jokes. I therefore don’t recommend reading this book in a public place, unless you don’t mind getting stared at for laughing out loud too much!

In saying that, I would recommend this book more than the Santa one due to it’s humour, the pictures and mostly because it is very much a laugh out loud, extremely enjoyable book.

Book Review: Ranger’s Apprentice 11: The Lost Stories by John Flanagan

This book is the 11th in the Ranger’s Apprentice series by Australian author John Flanagan. This book answers many questions he has had over the years from readers and tells the stories about what happened after Will’s return from Nihon-Ja in the form of a collection of short stories. The book also includes a story about who Will’s parents were and how he became to be a ward in Redmount in the first place. Though the series is advertised as the reader being able to read the books in any order, it is advisable to read the preceding books beforehand, unless you want spoilers.

For me, I have read this book after only reading the first 4 and then getting only part way through book 5, getting the samples of the other books on my Kindle then deciding that having already given myself spoilers by reading the samples, I might as well buy this book on my Kindle. Even so, this book is very enjoyable and easily readable, encompassing the wit and humour, the adventure and the excellent fight scenes that readers have come to expect from this series. I found myself getting sucked in further and further by this book then having to force myself to put it aside just in case I miss my stop when sitting on the bus. I also had to put it aside because I kept laughing out loud on the bus.

The stories include what happened to Gilan during the events of book 3 (The Icebound Land), the weddings of certain characters, what happens when Ranger horses get past a certain age and also how Halt came to join the Rangers Corp and some of his background.

The only thing I would criticise about this collection of stories is the fact that Flanagan seems to skim over certain details, certain events (especially during the wedding ceremonies) to get to the scenes with more action and more interesting story. This I felt was a shame and is the only drawback to the stories in my opinion.

Otherwise, this book and it’s stories is a great and fun read for fans of the series. It is aimed more at younger readers who might have just started getting more confident at reading and started reading alone but even as an adult, I do thoroughly enjoy his writing. For newcomers to the series, it would probably be best read after reading a few of the earlier books beforehand so as to understand how the world is set up (based upon Medieval Britain) and what the various organisations (such as the Rangers Corp) actually do, their skills, etc. but it is still a highly recommended book to read, providing you don’t mind the odd spoiler or two if you haven’t read all the earlier stories.