Category Archives: amazon

Back again for Beguiled Again!

Yes, a new contest to give away a $20.00 Amazon Gift Certificate to one lucky Amazon reviewer!

Meet Cecil. Available at Amazon and Book View Cafe!

Meet Cecil. Available at Amazon and Book View Cafe!

All you need to do to be eligible is post an honest review of Beguiled Again on Amazon and make sure I know who you are and how to let you know if you win. Easiest way to do that is to come back to this entry and leave a comment letting me know.

1. Post a review.

2. Leave a comment here and let me know how to contact you if you win [seriously, unless you know I know you, you must make sure I can contact you] when I draw a winner after midnight, September 2, Labor Day.

Remember, you don’t have to buy a book at Amazon to leave a review there. You can get DRM-free, epub or mobi downloads from my publisher, Book View Cafe.

It’s that easy.

Good luck!



Filed under amazon, Book Pooks Wrote, Book View Cafe, Books, Giveaways

My Fountain Pens (by request)

I’ve mentioned my fountain pens several times recently in various places and have been asked more about them. I am not a true collector. True collectors know more about them, and generally have pens that cost much more than mine.

dragon penThis would be an easy thing to get addicted to with pens that look like this dragon pen that was rereleased to celebrate what would have been Bruce Lee’s 70th birthday.  “Prices for “The Dragon 2010 Bruce Lee” limited edition series range from $4,675 to $102,200 with the ultra-rare, three-piece set retailing at $290,550.” Montegrappa makes some pretty pens.

chaos penHere is a roller ball pen–Montegrappa Chaos Limited Edition 18K Gold Rollerball Pen–you can buy on Amazon. Seriously, click that link and go buy it. I am not sure, but I might get a tiny percentage of the sale. I think it’s a worthy experience.

At a mere $69,350.00, what the heck. Go ahead and buy two.

I’ll just wait here while you all go buy one and I’ll let you know later if it worked!

Now, for those of us who are stingy-guts (my late mother-in-law’s term for thrifty people, of which she was one), I offer my pen, the Lamy Safari.

Compared to your Office Depot Bic, it’s expensive. Compared to even the more reasonably priced fountain pens, it’s a bargain. Especially so because it writes really well. I use the EF [extra fine] nib because I have a messy scrawl that is hard to read, and the thicker the line, the harder it is. I was actually quite pleased to read that advice when I first started investigating fountain pen nibs, because I’d never made that connection before. The bolder the stroke, the more careful I’d have to be to write legibly.

Whether you want something like this fun yellow:

lamy_safari_fountain_pen_yellowor something more classic like this CHARCOAL:


I recommend the Lamy Safari for a pen from just under $20 to around $30, depending on where you buy it and what color you get. I have linked to Amazon Prime links for those of you who wouldn’t have to pay postage. When I’ve chosen colors where I couldn’t use Amazon Prime I bought from Daly’s Pen Shop. At that time they had the best prices and were great to work with, though it has been a few years.

While we’re at it, you can use these as cartridge pens and just put a new cartridge in every time you need to. This is certainly the easiest way to do it, but also the most expensive. I buy the cartridges so that I can refill with ink myself and choose my own colors. Messier, but fun. I like choosing colors.

noodler's redNote: For blood red marking on my editing work [for myself] I prefer Noodler’s Red. I tried other shades but this one is deep, bright and bloody.

Hey, I have to make it fun or editing would be way too much like work. [Okay, it’s work, bloody work. Which is why I choose red. That, and to get in touch with my inner Snape, who would be ruthless when editing.]

If you’ve never used a fountain pen, here is what you need to know. When you get it, sit down with a piece of paper and write a page or two to break the pen in. Copy something straight out of a book if you want. I’ve done that before just so I don’t have to actually think while I’m doing it. That generally will break the nib in so it writes as smooth as possible, though the more you use it, the smoother it will get. The Lamy Safari was recommended to me because it has a smooth-writing nib for the price, and I’d have to agree. For awhile I did get into collecting some inexpensive but pretty pens that were imported from various places known for inexpensive stuff. And though some were very pretty, I just couldn’t bring myself to use them that often because they were scratchy to write with and that bothered me.

Do you use fountain pens? Do you remember using fountain pens? Or do you look at a fountain pen like I would look at a quill and think, holy cow, somebody still uses those things?

Meet Cecil. Available at Amazon and Book View Cafe!

Meet Cecil. Available at Amazon and Book View Cafe!

Update on Open Letter to Amazon coming Tuesday. A few interesting things to report. And for the record, as I said before, I like Amazon. I use Amazon. I think the fact that they make it so easy for the ‘little guys’ to sell things through their site, and easy for customers like me to find the ‘little guys,’ puts them light-years ahead of WalMart and others who sell cheap and make it a point to put all their competition out of business. I understand if you disagree.



Filed under amazon, Fountain Pens

An Open Letter to Amazon

Dear Amazon,

AmazonKindleToday you seem to have made a move toward WalMart evil, and I am appalled. When I was told that people with the Kindle App for Windows 8 couldn’t read non-Amazon books, I knew there had to be a mistake. Instead, a friend shared this email from customer service with me:


click to read full email

click to read full email

Money quote: “Unfortunately, .mobi files can not be downloaded on the kindle for windows 8 application as these books are not compatible for kindle for windows 8. Only kindle ebooks can be read on the kindle application for windows 8. I understand it is disappointing and we are really sorry about it.”

To complicate things, this is a new and apparently deliberate action. Feedback from a different friend: “Been using Win8 since Dec. I haven’t had trouble opening anything gotten from non-Amazon sites (Smashwords, Project Gutenberg, web captures, manual, etc.) so far as I’ve noticed.”

NOTE: Only people who have the new 2.0 app seem unable to read these files.

This is part of their “improved” app, and something they are not calling a bug or a mistake.

I have recommended Kindles to students for years, and one reason is the ability to put my own work on there and see how it will look when published digitally. Sometimes you see errors or problems that didn’t show up when you were simply looking at a manuscript or screen.

I have been a loyal customer of yours for too many years. I have defended you against those who compare you to the Great Satan WalMart because unlike WalMart, you have reached out to small businesses and made it easier for them to exist and grow. I understand about bookstores and don’t diminish the impact you’ve had on them, but in the bigger picture you’ve given thousands upon thousands of people the ability to run businesses from their homes by selling through you. In the world of used books, this has been huge. I love books. I love the ability to put my fingers [digital or physical] on books from all over the world with one-stop shopping.

Bottom line: If the future of the Kindle is to become a reader for books bought on Amazon only, you just lost a loyal customer. Sony, here I come.


Filed under amazon

You knew it was coming…

Yes, in with the new year is a new contest to give away a $20.00 Amazon Gift Certificate to one lucky Amazon reviewer!

All you need to do to be eligible is post an honest review of Scandalous on Amazon and make sure I know who you are and how to let you know if you win. Easiest way to do that is to come back to this entry and leave a comment letting me know.

Post a review.

Leave a comment here and let me know how to contact you if you win when I draw a winner after midnight, February 14, Valentine’s Day.

That easy.

Good luck!


Filed under amazon, Book Pooks Wrote, Books, Contest, Giveaways, Scandalous

Why I'm Nickel and Diming Myself to Death

I subscribe to several sites that share good deals in ebooks and audiobooks and such, and usually that doesn’t mean much. I pick up the occasional book, but it’s not a big deal.

But it’s Christmas and omg, everybody is hurling bargains at me right and left. I bought five or maybe six audiobooks at $3.95 each yesterday. How could I turn that down? Today, they have James Patterson books on sale and fortunately that doesn’t tempt me because–

Still loving my Kindle.

Today was all about the ebooks, people. OMG, the ebooks. [In answer to a question, I have linked to Amazon but my understanding is that many if not all of these books are on sale for the same prices everywhere, not just there.]

I bought Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union for $2.99.

I bought F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby for $3.99.

I bought Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower for $3.99.

I bought Pamela Morsi’s Simple Jess for .99.

I bought Susanna Kearsley’s Winter Sea for $2.99.

I bought S.C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon for $3.99 and could have bought David McCullough’s Truman for the same price, but finally drew the line.

But–tomorrow is another day.

And we’re not going to talk about what I bought yesterday and the day before and last week and…

It’s just too damned bad I don’t have a Nook, because right now if you have a Nook?


You read it right.


Knock yourself out. Tell ’em Pooks sent ya.

1 Comment

Filed under amazon, Books, ebooks, Reading

Entry from Deanna the "Nana Ghoul!"

My Nana never took me out trick-or-treating dressed like a ghoul, nor would she have pulled it off with this much flair!

Thanks, Deanna, for being the first entry in the “Out of Paisley’s Closet” Contest!

The contest rules.

Entry #2.

Entry #3.

Entry #4.

Entry #5.

Entry #6.

Entry #7.

Entry #8.

Entry #9.



Filed under amazon, Book View Cafe, Contest, Out of Paisley's Closet Contest, Scandalous

The "Out of Paisley's Closet" Contest

Paisley “wears” a cigarette holder the way other women wear diamonds.

I wish I could give away something out of Paisley’s closet.

Heck, I wish I even owned something out of Paisley’s closet.

In SCANDALOUS, my new ebook release from Book View Cafe, Paisley is emptying her closet… one memory at a time.

“The contents of the closet drew him. He pulled the chain that switched on the overhead light, and jewel-toned colors glowed from within plastic coverings. Pinks, reds, yellows, oranges—every color of the spectrum in what must be a lifetime collection of couturier fashion. A very long lifetime. He ran his hand down the row of dresses, and a very special one caught his eye…”

But that comes later.

Today I’m announcing a contest in the spirit of Paisley’s closet.

Since she uses clothes as armor and would rather appear costumed than “ordinary,” I’m hosting a contest for all the free spirits who like to play dress up.

Here’s a chance for you to flaunt your inner diva, demon, anime character, historical period or design statement.

It’s time to play dress up, peeps!

Send me a link to a picture I can share, or send me the picture so I can post it. Contest ends midnight December 4, the day that Scandalous is once again for sale–this time as an ebook. I will announce the winner Dec 5, to be determined by a drawing.


Send me a pic of you dressed up (see above) that I can show on my blog. Post the link in comments here or email me: planetpooks (at) gmail (dot) com.

I will draw numbers to determine the winner.


A copy of the book Scandalous (.mobi or .epub, your choice) and a $25 gift certificate to the book store or fabric store of your choice, as long as I can actually purchase it online! Amazon? Book View Cafe? Book Depository? Powell’s? Joann’s? Hancock’s? Hobby Lobby? If I can get the certificate online, you can win it!

Okay, let’s have some fun here!  Ready? Set? GO!

The Book That Launched the Contest is Now for Sale


ETA:  We have a winner, and she is HERE.

Entry #1

Entry #2

Entry #3

Entry #4

Entry #5.

Entry #6

Entry #7.

Entry #8.

Entry #9.

Entry #10.

Entry #11.

Entry #12.




Filed under amazon, Book Pooks Wrote, Books, Fashion, Giveaways, Scandalous