Saturday, October 26, 2013

Gameland Episode 1 by Saul Tanpepper

Gameland Episode 1 by Saul Tanpepper
The Undead were created to be soldiers. After the wars, they became common laborers. Now they're avatars in a live-action computer game.
Welcome to GAMELAND, a forbidden wasteland in the middle of Long Island, where the rich and privileged act out their violent fantasies by pitting cybernetically-controlled zombies against one another.
Everyone's dying to play The Game. If you're lucky enough, you can buy your way in. If you're desperate enough, you volunteer. Jessica Daniels and her gang plan to hack their way in.
In a world drowning in contradictions, Jessie Daniels is struggling to make sense of it all. Her long-dead father is universally reviled for having invented Reanimation technology, yet the very monsters he helped create have become entrenched in a society increasingly dependent upon them. For security. For work. And now, for entertainment. As Jessica -- a computer gamer and hacker -- approaches her eighteenth birthday, all she wants is to put her family's dark past behind her.
She's about to crash headlong into it.
Length of episode: Amazon states 132 pages.
Serial Complete?: Yes, people can buy the entire omnibus for $9.99. (I already did.)
Length: 8 episodes, plus there is a prologue called Golgotha that I haven't read yet.

I am going to have to backtrack a little because I was too into it to write a review. (I know, bad me). I already had the first book on my kindle, so I started with it. (Yes, unread books, don't we all have them?)

It starts out a little boring, some teens playing a game. Yet, that's not the end of it. It's not a regular game, and this isn't present day. Instead of Zombies coming up from the ground, mankind had willingly created them. They manipulated them into whatever it was they desired. At that current day, they were being used as avatars for online games.

Then, one of them, Reggie, says the first thing that changes everything.

"You know what we should do? We should break into Gameland."

They want to break into where the zombies are, and play the game for real. Can we all guess how it would turn out? Of course, but then the author makes it even better by suddenly taking us toward the end. We see almost the final results, and just like any good horror movie, now you are hooked and want to see how it gets there. Jessie is the character that is the narrator, retelling events to the reader. Sort of like Ewan McGregor in Moulin Rouge, except I'm not so confident she is going to make it. Then again, maybe she will?

The reading slows back down, and we get to meet Jessie's Grandpa and family. We get the slowdown time while we wait and gather information (even though we are just ready to break in already.) Which is part of the reason I took so long to review, I wanted to break in already.

By the end of book 1, they are on their way. Don't worry, it doesn't stop with them looking at it going 'let's go!' or anything. This isn't a facility someone can just walk up to, they've got to swim.

And that isn't boring either, it gets really good (although no spoilers. promise.) Basically, they are starting to realize just how stupid of an idea it had been in the first place.

Before you know it, you've got to continue!:)

This book is great for the zombie enthusiast, for horror fans, or for those who just want to try something different.

The first book is currently free on Amazon, so click the picture of the book below, and you'll be taken there to it. If you can't read the javascript on your computer, you can click here.

Poll (for those who can't use the side of the site)

What else would you like to see? *For those that can't use the poll on the side currently because of browser issues, you can leave a comment here about what you'd like to see. I can't include everything under the sun, but what interests you?

 1. NOTHING: Having serials on a website is cool enough, and I should leave everything else alone.
2. INTERVIEWS: Getting to know about the author and the serial they created.
3. UPCOMING SERIALS: What is going to be coming out soon, and more information about it.
4. SERIAL GIVEAWAYS: The chance to win an episode by an author, or maybe even the entire serial. (Depends on what the author would want.)
5. GUEST POSTING: Letting another author have a guest post for the day.
6. COVER REVEALS: Seeing what a new cover to a serial would look like. (Connected to upcoming serials.)
7. SERIALS THAT ARE ON WEBSITES: Not all serials are on Amazon, even though that's where I shop. Some authors write serials on their website, and then place the whole book or so many episodes up at once for sale instead. Would you like me to include them here?

 I think that's about it. I can't do everything because I'm not a full fledged review site with thousands of visitors and income. So let me know what you would be most interested in, and of course, you can choose more than one.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Official Introduction

I am one woman, 32, with one little girl in Kindergarten. I have a loving husband who has a great career. I cook, clean, and have as close to a normal life as I possibly can. I also like to write, although I don't have anything actually new to write. All the money is tied up right now so...

Yeah, I'm reviewing. It helps keep me in the business of books and reading while my life gets itself back under control. Yet, it's a hobby. I make no money off this site. (If I did, I'd have to ban erotic romance off it. I've had enough of banning free speech lately.)

I read, but I don't spend all day reading. I don't post absolutely spectacular reviews that describe plot, setting, grammar, and everything between. This is fun. This is really one of the funnest things in my life that is going on. You know that old saying, when you have lemons, make lemonade? This is my lemonade.:)

I don't post every single day. I don't read every single day. If I make one post a week for reviews, you are lucky. This site isn't about pressure for me. It's about finding good serials to read and serialized novels, a concept that doesn't have many review sites on top of it. So, it makes me feel like I'm contributing too.

I don't accept payment for reviews. I don't accept payment for advertising. To get on the side of my site the serial is either something I am reading, something I've read, or it was empty and an author asked if I'd put it on. That simple.

I don't accept books as gifts. Either it's free and I can pick it up like any reader, I pay for it, or I can pick it up on a select day. I hate saying 'I got this book provided by the author for an honest review.' Tired of that crap.

I read what I like. I don't care if I read everything sent to me. There are things I like, and things I don't. I'm not a prude, I just like certain things more than others. Plus, I am using my own money and time to read. Save the money. I'll only be reviewing serials I LIKE. That's it. I won't even bother with stars on the blog.

I review here and on Amazon. Amazon is always a little different so it's not a cut and paste. Usually it's briefer too. I don't care about GR or the new booklikes or any other review site.

I don't mind sharing free book info, but not repeatedly. This blog isn't going to get thousands of readers because I am not following any basic blog rules. Like following the same genre, updating twice weekly, or anything like that. I don't facebook or twitter. It's the kiss of death not to market! I already know that.

You'll reach a minimal crowd. Same reason I don't care if someone wants to put their serial on the side of the site. It's all good to me. I just bet that there will be some serial authors who wouldn't mind the chance of getting a REVIEW. I am no star keeper. I don't have any set number of reviews or actions from authors or anything keeping me from a book. If the book is good, I'll post a review. Bottom line.

And that's it. This site is something I want to run in my free time. I miss my daughter in Kindergarten, I am stuck in a place where I am surrounded by well...not as many good things personally, so I'd rather read and review something fun. That's all it is.

Life can be stinky, so it's nice to freshen it up and escape into some books.:)

Welcome to Slow Burning Reads

This site focuses not on full blown series, one standing novels, or even short stories. It focuses on serials.

Some people don't know what serials are. Well, that's another thing this site is for, to help you gain knowledge. Especially since serials are becoming ever more popular, you don't want to see a book in it, and not understand what it is.

For clarity reasons for this blog, I will be separating serials into two different categories.

Serialized novels: These are not complete novels. You are reading sections of a novel, and must get all of the books in it to complete the novel journey. These are usually lower in word count/pages, but some are of a decent length.
Serials: These are what I would call adventures. Sometimes, there is never an ending. I would call these closer to TV shows. They can stand alone, but there is a large arch over it that keeps it all one big show.

How do I find these serials?

You might stumble across serials when you are searching for books at online retailers, or looking at author sites. They are easily found on Amazon. To actively find them, I use some keywords in the search box. While 'serial' is popular, it also shares books that have the name serial, or are about serial killers. You will also run into a mess of TV shows that are serial.

I prefer clicking the down button and going to kindle first. This will get rid of anything that isn't an ebook. Then I put 'episode' into the search box. Usually, I like to make sure an author has some kind of commitment so I'll put 'episode 3' or 'episode 4' into the box. Another good one is to try and find your field like 'episode science fiction'. Then, you might be able to find episodes that are fiction.

You get the point.

Why do people publish serialized novels?

I think everyone has their reasons. I haven't published any yet, but if I can find a willing, affordable, and able editor to help me out I would. (This however remains to be seen.) I think some people think they can get more money, but that's not everyone. I think some feel that the more books they have beneath their name, the better they will do, but that's not everyone. Some just want to. Who knows all the reasons? Is seeing eight segments of a novel going to make a higher priced novel look better and valuable? I have no clue, but not every serialized novel is a cash cow.

Why do people publish serials?

They wanted it to be a serial. They want to continue adventures with the same people, but finish off one adventure in each book. Each book is an adventure, but more books improves the adventure. Or, you know, they have other reasons. I'm not a mind reader really.

Why do serials cost so much?

Both serials and serialized novels can't be given away free easily. Just like many other books, retailers don't always allow free. Writers can try and make usually the first one or two free, but there's no guarantee it can happen. Since they can't choose how or when it goes free, serial cost can add up. Say there are going to be ten parts to a novel and each part is .99. It sounds cheap, .99 pays for a lot. However, over ten parts at .99. That would cost at least ten dollars for one novel.

One way to ignore that is to find out if the author will put out the whole novel after it's all over. Sometimes, they do. (Most times they do because they can make more money this way because a one time higher cost of .99 produces more royalties.) On the other hand, you'll have to wait to read it. For those that see something good, they don't always want to wait.

This approach can also bring some 1 stars to serials. Comments like 'too short' and 'incomplete' and 'good story but I hate the fact I have to wait for the next one'.

Amazon has started Kindle Serials though, where a one time buy will let the reader get the whole story as it is updated on their kindle. Except that an author must be accepted, and this is not an easy feat. The only other way to offer this value, is to continually update one book. Yet, updates are a tricky beast too. Amazon decides whether or not to tell people it has been updated.

Most other outlets besides them wouldn't even warn about it, so this approach may not be as simple as it sounds.

Some writers are using their serials to have something free, or to entice, but still care about the readers dollar. If they share how long the serial is, and how many episodes it will be, that's a good sign. Some only have small numbered serials, give the first one or two away, and make money on the last books. So maybe, 3 or 6 bucks?

Look at the whole picture if you decide to buy a serial.

There is also no guarantee that an author will finish a serial. In this respect, it reminds me greatly of fanfiction. An update could be the next day, in six months, or never. It's a trust issue.

However, if you find a serial or serialized novel that treats everything professionally, you can have a great time. Sometimes the way they leave you hanging can make you salivate for the next book, or the next adventure with these characters.

My Favorite Serials or Serialized Novels have this in common:

I hold the most respect for serialists who don't break up their book into tiny, tiny pieces. There are some great pieces out there that if they were a full blown novel, you'd probably tear your hair out. Reading over time in maybe 20-30,000 words is an easier way to read these mammoths.

If an author is breaking up a novella into 5,000 words a piece over time though, I really am less of a fan of that. I still might read though if the writing and plot is good enough.

One word about erotic serials.

Erotic serials break all the rules, and are usually taken better with readers. Other serials may have a harder time shifting their books, or may have to be lower in price.

But, not every serial is erotic, and that is what I'd like to focus this blog on. A little bit of each. If a book is erotic, I will warn you before telling you about it.