Monday, January 4, 2010

MJ Fredrick Brings Her Gadgets to the Lair

by Trish Milburn

It's a new year, but many of us are probably still in love with the new electronic gadgets we got for Christmas. I, for one, adore my new Toshiba netbook. I saw lots of people in stores during the Christmas shopping season looking at netbooks, Sony Readers, and cell phones that allow you to do just about anything but bring about world peace. And by Christmas 2010, much of this gadgetry will be out of date and we'll all be enamored of some new wondrous piece of tech wizardry. Today's guest, MJ Fredrick, is here today to share her own latest techy love story. Take it away, MJ...

I have a new love...e-books. I know, I know, I publish them, but reading them was always a pain because I’d read them on my computer, which was too much like work. You know, I’d find myself editing or whatever.

But now with the iPhone, I have Stanza and Kindle for iPhone (and I have a ton of free books from them!). I had some books already on the laptop that I loaded onto the phone, and I have to say, it’s really cool. It’s well lit and you can adjust the font, which is the best. Yes, I have to "turn" pages faster, especially because of the small screen, but that doesn't bother me---yet.

There are a few issues, though. The books from The Wild Rose Press didn’t translate well from the computer to the iPhone and instead of listing the author, it lists the editor, I think. Also, the formatting is gone, so there are no paragraphs. Everything just runs together. All but one are novellas, though, so I can deal. Still, a little frustrating.

And while Samhain books are cheap on Kindle, other books aren’t. Some of the books on my wish list are as cheap in e-book as mass market. And you can’t put e-books on the wish list. BUT some books aren’t available as e-books (Stephanie Rowe’s and Elisabeth Naughton’s latest, for example). Now that I’ve found this addiction, I’m reluctant to buy paper.

I’ve not tried Harlequin books from the Web site or My Bookstore and More. Fictionwise uploads the books straight to the iPhone, using eReader, which I love.

Have you tried reading e-books on any mobile devices? Where do you get your e-books? What do you read them on?

Love to read e-books? Or thinking the start of a new century might be the time to take the leap and try one? Why not try out MJ's latest release, Breaking Daylight?

Here's a little about this wonderful romantic adventure story to whet your reading appetite:

Sergeant Alex Shepard is all about getting the job done. That single-minded purpose helps him forget the fact he hates the jungle as he leads his Special Forces team in search of Honduran drug lord Santiago Saldana. His quarry eludes him, but the woman left behind in the compound is the next best thing. Saldana’s mistress—an American woman who clearly puts her own pleasure over right and wrong.

Isabella Canales has been Saldana’s prisoner for four long years. Worse, he’s taken away her most precious possession. Except Alex doesn’t believe a word of it. The clock is ticking, and she’s frantic to do anything to convince him to take her home. Even agree to serve as bait to draw Saldana out.

As they push through the tangled jungle dodging bullets and ambushes, Alex fights his growing respect for Isabella’s determination—and an attraction that’s impossible to resist, whatever she’s done. But Saldana never lets go of what’s his. And betrayal is his deadliest weapon…

You can buy Breaking Daylight (as well as her two previous Samhain releases, Hot Shot and Beneath the Surface) at the Samhain Publishing site: You'll notice that Hot Shot is also available in print.

To celebrate her latest release, MJ is doing some giveaways. To one lucky poster today, she'll give away an electronic copy of Beneath the Surface. And for cool giveaways of Bath & Body Works lotions and handmade jewelry, check out her Facebook fan page.

Visit MJ's Web site at and her fun blog, The Bandwagon, at


Helen said...

Is he coming to my place

Have Fun

Helen said...

Hi MJ and Trish

This book sounds really good, I don't have any new electronic gadets but I do have a few e-books on my PC I actually read a short one today a prelude to the book I am now reading. I still prefer a paper book but e-books I think are going to get more popular as time goes by.

Congrats on the new release MJ and have fun with the gadets.

Have Fun

Jane said...

Hi MJ,
Congrats on the new release. I don't have an ereader, so I read my ebooks on the computer. I still buy a lot more print books than I do ebooks, but I have been buying more and more ebooks lately. I buy them from Fictionwise and MBam.

Congrats on the GR, Helen.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

The feathered one must like summer weather, Helen. :)

I think you're right, Helen. I'm still a paper gal for the most part too, but anything that gets people to buy and read books, I'm all for.

And MJ does write wonderful romantic adventure. Never a dull moment and lots of action.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Jane and Helen, care to share the titles of what you've been reading in e-book form?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Helen! Congrats on the bird. Like Trish said, he must be missing the warm weather. Grins.

I'll second Trish again and say, "whatcha readin'?" on e book?

HEY MJ!!! Sorry, didn't mean to neglect a shout out to you. Welcome to the Lair!

Helen said...

I read Alexandra Benedicts Mistress Of Paradise this morning it is a short prelude to the book I started today, I have some harliquin books to read and I have the 2nd epilogues of The Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn. I really don't have many but I hate to miss out on something I really want to read LOL.

Have Fun

Helen said...

As for the weather it is overcast and a bit humid here today but by tommorrow we expect it to get back up in the 30c, the air con will be back on tomorrow LOL

Have Fun

Jane said...

I bought a bunch of ebooks during Fictionwise's end of the year sale including Susan St. Thomas' "Meltdown," Christyne Butler's "Reilly's Promise" and Jo Webnar's "Saving Tampa." My first ebook was Maya Bank's "Undenied."

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi MJ! Welcome to the lair! Hey - didn't we meet in Columbus last fall? We talked about rooting interests?

I'm still a paper reader. I spend so much time at my computer as it is, I'm not anxious to spend more. I've heard of reading books on iphones but I haven't tried it yet. I think that development might have an impact on the pacing of books. Those book will need to have more cliffhangers and tighter writing overall, I would imagine.

It's a whole new world!

flchen1 said...

Hi, MJ!!!

Until recently, I only read e-books on the desktop, which really cut down on the portability appeal :) Now that I have access to an e-reader, I still find that I mostly have been either reading e-books on the computer or reading print books. I've been reading way more e-books, but I definitely won't be giving up print titles any time soon!

Congrats on Breaking Daylight!! Can't wait to read it, whether on the computer or on an e-reader!

And hooray for you, Helen! Enjoy that pesky GR!

MJFredrick said...

Good morning, ladies! I snoozed the alarm three times this AM--not a good sign on the first day back to school!

Thanks for the congratulations on my new release. I'm super excited.

Donna, no, I've never been to Columbus. Interesting comment about an e-book needing tighter writing. I think you're probably right. With three e-reader apps on my phone holding 80 books, as well as a couple of hundred paperbacks in my house, it's easy for me to just turn to another book!

Okay, I woke up WAY late, so I'll check in again at lunch time!

Caren Crane said...

Helen, so glad the chook is visiting with you today. It's FAR too cold in North America! *g*

MJ, it's great to have you here! Your book sounds fabulous and makes me want to dip my toe into the e-book world. I haven't got any gadgets other than my PC for reading e-books, so I'm all old school. *g*

I have downloaded short stories and a few books friends had with e-presses. It's frustrating to be tied to the PC to read, though, so an e-reader is definitely on my horizon. I think I'm old school enough that I will always cherish my print books, but I love the portability of the e-reader, too.

Believe me, it will be a LONG time before I have to worry about reading a book on an iPhone. *g*

jo robertson said...

Hey Trish and MJ, loved your post. When I was at a conference in Hawaii, they had a fascinating workshop on eReaders and the experts were saying that the upcoming ipad would be a dream device. Does anyone know when the ipad will be released? I'm quite interested in one. Thanks!

Kim Howe said...

I just posted this but it came up under Jo's name. Sorry for the technical glitch.

Hey Trish and MJ, loved your post. When I was at a conference in Hawaii, they had a fascinating workshop on eReaders and the experts were saying that the upcoming ipad would be a dream device. Does anyone know when the ipad will be released? I'm quite interested in one. Thanks!

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, MJ! Thanks for swinging by the lair today & sharing your new obsession! I haven't tried ebooks yet but I have a feeling I'll be forced to break down soon.

I think I'm maybe just a Luddite but I'm ferociously protective of my tech-free space. I resisted cell phones forever, we keep our TV (the single one we own) in the basement family room. We do have a stereo on the main level but I'm forever turning it off. I think this is the stay at home mome in me speaking but I cherish silence. I adore things that don't light up, buzz, or require batteries.

And for me, that means books. Good, old-fashioned, paper paged books I can take into the bathtub with me. So while I'll likely break down & get on the ebook bandwagon sooner rather than later, I think there'll always be a place in my heart for the paper & ink version. :-)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Sounds like some good choices, Helen.

As for weather, I just opened the blinds this morning to see the first snowflakes of the season flying. Brr.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Jane, sounds like you stocked up well with the sale. I need to get Christyne's book.

Donna, speaking of Columbus, I think I'm coming to speak to your RWA chapter at some point.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Caren, I hear you about the iPhone. I'd love a new phone, but I'm not yet willing to double my monthly bill to get it. My current phone would just laugh hysterically at me if I even thought about downloading anything to it.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Kim, you're assuming other people's identities now? You intriguing gal. :)

Susan, I understand the need for quite, even though I do love my tech. For instance, love my hubby dearly, but he just went to work for the first time in two weeks. It's quiet, and I have a day of revisions ahead of me.

p226 said...

Reading in electronic medium is the story of my life. 90% of my professional world is on the screen. So, reading screens is kind of a way of life. Reading books on the screen doesn't bother me at all.

As for the Kindle, I don't own one. But I got Mrs. P226 one for Christmas. I haven't seen her since.

~Drew said...

Hi MJ and Trish!

Wow this is a timely post, I just purchased my very first ebooks yesterday at Harlequin. 2 HH undone!
I downloaded Microsoft reader, but after an hour of frustration and banging my head on the keyboard,it wouldn't work, so I downloaded Adobe Reader instead.
I am not sure I like sitting in front of a computer...reading. I like the portability of a book, take anywhere! Tub! Exercise bike!
Back deck! Bed!

So, I guess this is where the mobile devices come in.
I have an Itouch, (which has everything the Iphone has except the phone and the camera, I assume) So I suppose with a wireless router, I can read them on that...or can I? I have no idea.
My age is showing here!
I like the concept, I just don't think I will be embracing it full force.
I only just found out what a 'kindle' is, LOL!
Congrats on the new release!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

p226, LOL on not seeing Mrs. p226 since she got her Kindle. I know several people who have one and love it. It makes book buying and reading so simple, so instantaneous.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Drew, hope you enjoy your Undones. I've heard good things about them. MJ or someone else here will have to answer the techy question. While I like my gadgets, I fear I have to admit I most often have to ask my husband to set stuff up. I tend to curse a lot when my computer, car, whatever doesn't work like it's supposed to.

Deb said...

Good morning, everyone. I'm short on time today, so just popped in quickly. Getting back to the grind at school hasn't been too bad. The kids are a little chatty and I promised them a gab session just before lunch!

I am on my computer a lot and can't imagine not having one. But, when it comes to reading and the printed page, I like to hold a book and be able to sit where I want, etc. Granted, you can do that with electronics (if you have them), but I like a feel of a book in my hands and being able to turn the pages, physically. :)

MJFredrick said...

Kim, the dh is anxious about the iPad. I think it's coming out in the fall.

MJFredrick said...

Trish, my bill has settled down and is now about $40 more than it had been for three phones. Worth it to mesince I'm visiting you right now!!

MJFredrick said...

Drew, I use PDF files on the Stanza app for the iPhone and you can use that on the Touch, I know. Adobe Reader makes me nuts. I still haven't bought a book from eHarlequin.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey MJ, welcome back to the Lair.

I've read a few e-books on line, but haven't gotten an e-reader, yet.

This year I had to choose between an iPod or and e-reader. Since I can't listen to music at work anyother way, the iPod won out. And e-reader may be next year's wish list.

MJFredrick said...

Oh, Suzanne, I wish you'd gotten an iPod Touch. Best of both!

Anna Campbell said...

Hi MJ! Congratulations on the new release and happy new year! Actually I'm a complete luddite and I must say I've always loved the printed book as an artefact. The only time I'm even half tempted to get an e-reader is when I travel because as we know, lugging heavy books around can get a bit of a pain. I even love the fact that my house is overrun with books - it's kind of like a map of where I've been in my life. So I guess I'm going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the new reading universe!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Helen, congrats on the chook!

Beth said...

Just sticking my head out of the writing cave long enough to say Hi and Welcome, MJ! Your new book sounds fantastic *g*

I'm not much into gadgets so I enjoy hearing about what's new out there and all the pros and cons :-)

MJFredrick said...

I have to say I love being part of the conversation where people use the word "luddite!" I call my friend Cindi that all the time and she doesn't know what it means!

Anna, my house is still overrun with books--4 bookshelves of my books alone! My 18 year old son is a lover of books, too, and won't go e-book. I have to say I love having 80 books to choose from in the palm of my hand, though!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

MJ, funny that you call Cindi a Luddite and she doesn't get it. :)

One of these days, I'll break down and fork over the dollars for an e-reader, but considering I have more than 1,000 books in my home, most of them as yet unread, I think I better whittle down the stock first. I can see where an e-reader would be great for someone who travels a lot or for someone who has limited space (say, you live in a tiny space in NYC or you've given up a house altogether and taken to the road in an RV).

MJFredrick said...

Trish, that was my feeling too--I have a ton of books I haven't read (and just got a new one in the mail today) but when the dh found the iPhones for $89 each, and I knew I could read on them, and I already had about a dozen books on my computer....I had to try.

Another thing--with the Kindle, you can get a bunch of free books, like Jane Austen and Little Women and Dracula.

joder said...

Since Santa ignored all my hints (and I lost every contest I entered) I bought myself a Sony eReader (the 300 version) and love it. It works great for a disabled person such as myself and it was easy to start up for a person not so tech savvy.

MJFredrick said...

LOL on the ignored hints, Joder! I looked at the Sonys at Borders. My boss bought her husband a Kindle and I am hoping she brings it to school so I can see one in person.

MJFredrick said...

Deb, my kids were rowdy, too. Was this your first day back? And with the weather change on the way---it's only going to get worse.

48 days till Spring Break.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

MJ, I'm laughing that you know how many days until spring break. :)

Joder, glad you got yourself that nice gift of the e-reader. Enjoy all the reading!

MJFredrick said...

If you had this class, you'd know, too.

Deb said...

Oh, Trish...we teachers always know how many days until breaks. P.S. We love snow days more than the kids!!

MJ, today was our first day back after 12 days of vacation bliss. However, the temp was -7 with a windchill of -25, so there was indoor recess today and that didn't help with the chattiness. (I teach 5th grade.)

MJFredrick said...

DEB!!! I can't imagine those temps. I'm in South Texas and we're all excited because we're going to be in the 20s at the end of the week.

I teach 4th! I taught 5th three years. I can't imagine them being cooped up, least ours can go outside!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Excited, about the 20s? And we're friends? :)

MJFredrick said...

We NEVER get that cold! We can't imagine! YaYa is not thrilled, however ;)

Lady_Graeye said...

Hi M.J. and Trish!
This book sounds fantastic. I have yet to get a Kindle, Nook or any other electronic reader. I am saving up Christmas money and other funds to get on. I do have on downloaded on my laptop. I look the thought of having an eReader but I still like a hard copy of a book. It can be autographed! :-)

Congrats on you new release and good luck!

MJFredrick said...

Thanks, Lady Graeye!