Archive for ‘Amazon Bites’

December 31st, 2011

Kim Harrison’s “A Perfect Blood” Is Bloody Good Fun!

by Venomous Kate

Long time fans of Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series — and I’m certainly one of them! — have much to rejoice about in her latest, A Perfect Blood. Harrison’s ability to craft an engrossing, multi-layered plot just keeps getting stronger. As for the characters we’ve all come to know and love, they’re all here:

  • Our strong, yet vulnerable heroine, Rachel Morgan, who continues to grapple with the knowledge that she’s the demon’s only hope to save their species.
  • Rachel’s roommate and best friend, Ivy, a sexy vampire who is literally a femme fatale.
  • Jenks, the chivalrous and defiant Pixy who is the third member of the Vampiric Charms detective agency with Rachel and Ivy.
  • Algaliarept, otherwise known as Al, the demon who’s been both Rachel’s mentor and tormentor for years.
  • Glenn, the human FIB detective who’s been in Rachel’s corner for years and now, much to Rachel’s surprise, is also in Ivy’s bed.
  • The loveable yet awkward Bis, a teenage gargoyle who’s moved into the tower in the church where Rachel, Ivy and Jenks live.
  • And last, but certainly not least, Trent Kalamack, the capitalist/politician Elf whose complicated relationship with Rachel has kept the sparks flying throughout the series.

When we last saw Rachel, she’d surrendered her ability to practice ley line magic out of fear that an angry Al would trap her in the Everafter where, due to her demonic genetics, she could single-handedly (womb-edly?) save the demons as the only one capable of giving birth to more of them. But a witch without her magic is vulnerable in ways even Morgan couldn’t imagine, though she quickly discovers just how great of a danger she’s placed herself as she’s hired to investigate murders committed by HAPA (Humans Against Paranormals Association), a militant human group bent on destroying all the magical species.

But practicing ley line magic isn’t the only thing Morgan’s isolated from. Jenks continues to recover from the loss of his wife, thanks in part to the attentions of a fairy warrior named Belle, while Ivy continues to solidify her romance with Glenn. Even Bis has someone to keep him company in the form of Wayde, a werewolf hired by Rachel’s step-father to act as her bodyguard. With her friends moving on with their own lives, and maturing in ways that she has rejected out of fear of getting hurt again, Rachel is forced to confront how her emotional shields have not only isolated her from finding love but, thanks to HAPA, might very well lead to her own destruction.

[Read more of my review at where you can pre-order your copy of Kim Harrison’s A Perfect Blood (The Hollows, Book 10) to lock in Amazon’s low price guarantee before it’s release date on February 21, 2012.]

Sadly, here’s something Kim Harrison told me on her Facebook page when I mentioned how excited I was to receive my advance copy of A Perfect Blood: “I hope you like it, Kate!!!! I’m starting to set up the last book…” As someone who pretty much drops everything to read Harrison’s books as soon as I get my grubby hands on them, I have to say those were the very first words of her that I didn’t like. Then again, I’m fairly certain I’m going to enjoy whatever project she pens next. I just hope it’s soon!


November 3rd, 2011

Amazon Announces A Kindle Lending Library!

by Venomous Kate

Since VH and I have drastically different tastes in reading material (his sucks), keeping our Kindles stocked with new titles has been pretty pricey. Not anymore! Amazon has opened a Kindle lending library for Amazon Prime members.

Amazon Prime, if you aren’t already aware, is an $79 all-you-can-eat free 2-day shipping plan from Amazon. But you don’t just get free shipping with it — though in our house, the price of the membership is worth that alone. You also get free access to over 100,000 instant videos, so if you’re as ticked off at Netflix as we are, you can make the switch painlessly.

And did I mention the free Kindle Lending Library with thousands of books, including over 100 NY Times bestsellers like The Hunger Games???

UPDATE: To borrow books from the lending library, you MUST get them via your Kindle. Even though Amazon’s price page will tell you that it’s a free library book, you WILL be charged. (We learned this the hard way.) To borrow a book, turn on your wireless connection, go to the Kindle store and click “See All Categories”. You’ll see a link to the Kindle Owners Lending Library, and from there you can browse the thousands of titles available. Also note: there is a 1-book per calendar month limit.

September 28th, 2011

Amazon’s Tablet Is Real: Presenting the Kindle Fire

by Venomous Kate

I have wanted an iPad since they first came out, but like many people the price tag scares me off. (Okay, I’m also put off by having yet another tie to Apple, since I’m already a slave to my iPhone 4.)

Now Amazon’s entered the tablet market with its full-color, tablet dubbed “Kindle Fire” that works with any public or private wi-fi or hotspot so you don’t have to shell out for some phone company’s service plan! With a proprietary browser called Amazon Silk, the 7-inch touch screen boasts 16 million colors, all the better to enjoy Amazon’s 100,000+ movies and TV shows, millions of books and ever-growing catalog of apps. (Yes, even Angry Birds!) Stream your music from Amazon’s cloud servers or download it for on-the-go listening. Take your favorite PDF, Word or other documents with you. Answer email from the bar around the corner from your office — no one will know! And, of course, you can read your favorite Kindle books, too, which — like video — will be synced to your last-read or -viewed spot via Amazon Whispersync.

I want!

February 22nd, 2011

Amazon Prime Gives Free, Unlimited Instant Videos!

by Venomous Kate

Dancing concessions - bring back movie night! A little over ten years ago, when people were still dismissing the internet as a fad that would never catch on*, I read in some magazine a prediction that the only way the internet would be useful was by allowing us to watch any movie ever made whenever we felt like it. (Of course, we’ve all found out since that know the most useful thing to come from the internet is access to pr0n, but the movie-watching thing is a close second, amIright?)

Until recently, Netflix has dominated the internet-streaming movie niche but as of today is making a serious run for the crown with its free, unlimited instant movie and TV-shows for Amazon Prime members.

If you aren’t familiar with the Prime program, it’s a $79/year membership that provides you with unlimited 2-day shipping from Amazon. (Click here to get a one-month free trial.) In our house, just about every day something arrives that we’ve ordered from Amazon — paper towels or TP by the case, books, the 35-lbs of gummy bears I bought one night after taking an Ambien. Our UPS guy is here so often he now recognizes when I’ve bought a new pair of pajamas. So, not surprisingly, the cost of our Prime membership paid for itself the first month.

Granted, Amazon’s free offerings are rather slim compared to Netflix so far, and hopefully they’ll expand their catalogue in the very near future. For those who haven’t signed up with either service, Amazon’s Prime program is a good way to get familiar (and addicted to) instant video streaming and, hey, if you don’t like it you still get unlimited 2-day shipping on anything you order from Amazon for an entire year!


Bryant Gumball tries to explain “that little a with the circle around it” (@) sign to Katie Couric in 1994, asking “What is the internet, anyway?”

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to go burn all of the old photos in which I sported that same haircut that Katie’s wearing. What were we thinking????

October 5th, 2010

Scrabble for the Kindle — I’m Addicted

by Venomous Kate

Tony Curtis will spend eternity with an Armani scarf, a Stetson hat, a copy of Anthony Adverse and… his iPhone. That last one doesn’t sound in the least bit crazy to me. In fact, I think I’ll update my control freak dictates list of funeral requests. I mean, having a phone in your coffin just makes sense in case coroner was wrong!

Something else my loved ones better place in my casket: my Kindle. Actually, I’m not worried about them honoring that wish. They probably won’t be able to pry the thing out of my cold, dead hands in the first place since I will, no doubt, have died playing Scrabble on it.

July 30th, 2010

The New Kindle: Back In Black

by Venomous Kate

If you’ve been on the fence about getting a Kindle, now’s the time. Amazon just released the latest generation Kindle, and it’s a beaut.

For those who could care less about downloading books at the beach or while waiting in line at the doctor’s office, the WiFi-based Kindle 3
is perfect and, at $139, it’s perfectly priced, too. Plus, for the first time ever, Amazon’s offering the Kindle in graphite black as well as plain ol’ white.

Amazon Kindle 3Of course, Amazon’s also offering a Wi-Fi plus Free 3G-enabled Kindle 3 for $189, a price smartly designed to compete with other e-Readers.

Frankly, I adore my Kindle… even if I paid $60 more for it. Though I’ve always been an avid reader, that’s even more true now that I can carry what amounts to a small library in my purse. Last I checked I have 389 books on my Kindle (divided into categories like Literature, Fun Reading, History, etc.) so, no matter my mood, I always have something on hand to read. I love that it doesn’t take up much space in my purse, either!

Of course, my biggest concern when I bought my Kindle was whether I’d be able to afford the ebooks to read on it. But even though books cost less in Kindle format than in printed form, I haven’t had to buy many thanks to the huge selection of free Kindle books. (Here’s how to find millions of free books for your Kindle).

Sure, I know what you’re thinking: why not just get an iPad, right? The answer’s simple: when I want to read, I want to read, not get tempted by the internet, Facebook, Twitter and all of the other distractions that already drain the hours out of my day. The Kindle does what it does perfectly, and now with such a great price I plan to buy one to keep my Mom entertained, too. (Hey, if it’ll cut down the nagging phone calls and stupid forwarded email jokes, it’s worth its weight in gold!)

May 17th, 2010

Recent Amazon Reviews

by Venomous Kate

A few months back, Amazon invited me to become one of its Vine Reviewers. That means I occasionally get free stuff in exchange for reviews. Unfortunately,my “Vine Voice” status shows up on every product I review, including the ones I’ve purchased out of my own pocket. It also means that people assume my reviews are going to be glowing since, after all, I get free stuff sometimes.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Here are a few of the things I’ve reviewed on Amazon recently, along with my ratings. Items I received for free from the Vine program are noted, as are the things I paid for myself. (You’re also welcome to check out my other reviews, too.)


Source: Vine Program
Rating: 2 of 5 stars.
Find my review here: Too Many Flashbacks, Too Little Editing

Source: Review copy provided by author
Rating: 5 of 5 stars.
Find my review here: A Whole New Way Of Thinking About Change


Source: Self-pay
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Find my review here: Immersive little HOG


Source: Vine Program
Rating: 1 of 5 stars
Find my review here: Difficult to format properly with Word

As always, caveat emptor.