Free Audio Book of The Hunger Games


Until 1 September, two free audio books will be available every week to download from Sync. This week’s selection is:

From 7/29 – 8/4,

THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins (Read by Carolyn McCormick)
Download Courtesy of Scholastic Audiobooks

THE LOTTERY by Shirley Jackson (Read by Carol Jordan Stewart)
Download Courtesy of BBC Audiobooks America


Must a Vampire Be Sexy?


Somehow Jeaniene has conspired to leave me to kick off one of the hard questions that we discussed and I have not noticed it until now. Yes, she’s a sneaky one, so be wary. Of course, the idea was mine so I guess it is only fitting that I kick this one off. I guess I have no one to blame but myself, but I will try blaming Jeaniene anyway.

So, now that I’m done rambling, let’s get down to business. The question that I raised weeks ago when Jeaniene and I were talking was whether you would write a vampire story without a romance. And in truth I think that answer has become a double-edged sword. My first inclination is to say “Yes, you can.” You can very easily make a vampire the villain of the story, wiping away all hopes of the vampire becoming a romantic lead. In fact, you can very easily take the vampires back to their earliest roots of making them a monstrous creature that is a decaying undead that no one wants to date. It’s hard to make someone sexy when they are rotting all over you.



Source: Philip Pullman @

PHILIP Pullman, 65, is the author of the fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials. He has contributed artwork to Play The Shape Game (Walker, £5.99), a charity book by Children’s Laureate Anthony Browne. You can bid for his original illustration in an online auction (until Sunday) at to help raise money for The Rainbow Trust which provides support to families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness.

Middlemarch by George Eliot
Penguin, £7.99

The novel to go to once you’re well and truly grown up, once you’ve been married, you’ve had children, your parents have grown old and your hopes are beginning to look a little faded. It’ll remind you that this is the common experience of everyone and that everyone’s experience is strange, wonderful and unique.

Bernard Shaw Collected Letters: 1898-1910 edited by Dan H Laurence
Out of print

Shaw was one of the kindest, wittiest and most perceptive of correspondents. These marvellous letters will give delight even to readers who think they don’t like his plays. I find them a never-failing source of sheer joyful energy and pleasure.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Penguin £5.99

The opening of this thrilling book never fails. Neither does the middle or the end. A perfect piece of clear, taut, vivid storytelling and one I re-read often to remind myself of what I’m trying to do.


Parallel Universe: The Broad Canvas of Science Fiction Romance by KS Augustin


Welcome to 2010’s Parallel Universe and many thanks to Heather for inviting me here. When she told the participants that this year’s theme is “diversity”, I didn’t know where to begin. Diversity is exactly the reason I write SFR, and I’m not just talking about the diversity of characters, their traits and their sexuality. I’m actually being a bit selfish and talking about my diversity. Let me explain.

I have a very low boredom threshold and ideas are always popping into my head. SFR gives me such a broad canvas that I can come up with a variety of ideas and work them out through the genre. What I love about SFR is how it never constrains me. It also allows me to posit certain truths without having to walk the minefield of cultural sensitivities. For example, the majority of my characters are coloured. And why not? We already outnumber the white-skinned humans on this planet. Why shouldn’t the future of a human-inhabited galaxy also be the same? Yet, the Republic (to take one of my universes as an example) is sufficiently divorced from current considerations that I can choose how I portray exploitation, discrimination and politics without somebody calling foul because I’m not citing history correctly. With SFR, I create my universe’s own history.


Paranormal Romance Grab Bag You-Know-What-Friday-Means!


Look, we’ve been seeing each other for like a month now, and I think we have something really special going on. There’s so much I want to give you, you know? Love and trust and a good roll in the hay and OH YEAH BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS. It’s grab bag giveaway time! Enter to win an assortment of tasty paranormal romance and urban fantasy books.


There’s quite a bit in the book news today – whaty caught your interest?

Join us in the forum to discuss!