Tag Archive | books

Interview With Author Donna Kauffman

It is a great pleasure to welcome Donna Kauffman author of the Blue Hollow Falls Series. I knew Donna from the Prodigy Romance Readers Club back when I was in college and before she was a famous writer of romantic fiction. I am extremely excited that we reconnected and she agreed to this interview.

Welcome Donna to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know more about you and your stories better!

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

My current series, Blue Hollow Falls, is set in my home area of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I love my mountain home and have long wanted to set a series here. I had been waiting for the right story inspiration and am thrilled to finally be sharing it with readers.
The current story is this season’s holiday novella, Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls, which is part of the A SEASON TO CELEBRATE anthology. Each story in the series stands alone, but the stories do give readers of the series a chance to check back in with family and friends they’ve met along the way.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples...

Blue Hollow Falls is a fictional town, is absolutely a composite of all the things I love about my home. While the place names and character names are all fictional, I have used many of the names of places and people in the story, just in different ways.

As an example, I live along the Rockfish River. In the book, the county name is Rockfish. I hike along Goodwin Creek. The heroine in my first book, her last name is Goodwin. And so on… Not all, but many of the place names and some of the character names are drawn from my area and used in some way in the book, to give it an authentic feel.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I enjoy contemporary romance as a reader, and wanted to write the kind of stories that I love to read. In particular, I live in a small, rural town, as does my extended family, so small towns are a big draw to me personally, and as a reader. It’s great fun to get to build my own small towns and create stories about the people there. Blue Hollow Falls is my third small town series. Each one has been set in an entirely different locale, from an island off the coast of Georgia in my Cupcake Club series, to coastal Maine in my Blueberry Cove books. The places are always special to me personally and such a joy to be able to “visit” any time I want.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

I always travel to the areas where my books are set. Most often, I choose those areas because I have already spent a significant amount of time there. I go back when writing as various story elements require a bit more exploration. In the case of the current series, I didn’t have to travel anywhere given I live in the area I’m writing about, but other elements of the stories have required some wonderful field trips. Wineries, lavender farms, orchid growing, fiddle making and playing, raising goats and sheep, and even rehabilitating abused llamas have all played roles in the various stories in this series. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the research.

What makes you laugh?

Most often, watching the antics of the wildlife out here. They have so graciously allowed me to plant myself right in their midst, and I never get tired of their company. From the fawns bedded down in the back, waiting for mama to come back, to the baby bears getting stuck up high up the pine trees every dang spring, to the birds who frequent my many feeders and water fountain, it’s never a dull moment.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

The next full length book in the Blue Hollow Falls series comes out this January. LAVENDER BLUE is set, as the title might suggest, on a lavender farm and the four women who own and run the farm have become close friends. I look forward to telling more of their stories in upcoming books. I hope they become good friends of yours as well!

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Readers can follow my blog at www.donnakauffman.com/blog or find me on social media at the following places:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/donna.kauffman1/
Twitter: @DonnaKauffman
Instagram: @donnakauffman
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/donnakauffman
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/donnakauffman
BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/donna-kauffman

Donna Kauffman is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over 70 novels, translated and sold in more than 26 countries around the world. The recipient of multiple RT Book Awards, she is also a National Readers Choice Award and PRISM Award winner and a RITA finalist. Born into the maelstrom of Washington, D.C., politics, she now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she is surrounded by a completely different kind of wildlife. A contributing blogger for USAToday.com, she is also a DIYer, a baker, a gardener and a volunteer transporter for the Wildlife Center of Virginia and Rockfish Sanctuary. Please visit her online at www.DonnaKauffman.com.

Available now:

A SEASON TO CELEBRATE

BLUE HOLLOW FALLS

Available for Preorder:

LAVENDER BLUE

#AtoZChallenge: Books in my TBR pile

#AtoZChallenge: Books on my TBR pile

  

I have lots of books in my TBR <To Be Read> pile. These are books that I bought, but for one reason or another have not started reading yet. Here is a peak at the most recent books that I have added to my TBR pile:

Butterflies, Flower by Yuki Yoshihara

 

Choko Kuze is the sensible daughter of a venerable family who went bankrupt. She joins a real estate company as an entry-level office worker, but her eccentric boss is harder on her than anyone else in the company! After hearing him inadvertently call her “milady,” she realizes he was the young servant boy she knew as a child. At work he’s a tyrant, but after hours he insists on treating her like a lady of the nobility. Is romance even possible for a couple locked in such a crazy role reversal?

Three Weeks With Lady X by Elosia James

  

Having made a fortune, Thorn Dautry, the powerful bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife. But to marry a lady, Thorn must acquire a gleaming, civilized facade, the specialty of Lady Xenobia IndiaExquisite, headstrong, and independent, India vows to make Thorn marriageable in just three weeks. But neither Thorn nor India anticipate the forbidden passion that explodes between them. Thorn will stop at nothing to make India his. Failure is not an option. But there is only one thing that will make India his. The one thing Thorn can’t afford to lose–his fierce and lawless heart.


Star Wars: Rogue Squadron by Michael Stackpole

  

They are sleek, swift, and deadly. The are the X-wing fighters. And as the struggle rages across the vastness of space, the fearless men and women who pilot them risk both their lives and their machines. Their mission: to defend the Rebel Alliance against a still-powerful and battle-hardened Imperial foe in a last-ditch effort to control the stars! Its very name strikes fear into enemy hearts. So when Rebel hero Wedge Antilles rebuilds the legendary Rogue Squadron, he seeks out only the best — the most skilled, the most daring X-wing pilots. Through arduous training and dangerous missions, he weeds out the weak from the strong, assembling a group of hard-bitten warriors willing to fight, ready to die. Antilles knows the grim truth: that even with the best X-wing jockeys in the galaxy, many will not survive their near-suicidal missions. But when Rogue Squadron is ordered to assist in the assault on the heavily fortified Imperial stronghold of Black Moon, even the bravest must wonder if any at all will survive. . . . 

Shall We Dance by Chris Keniston

 

Success in the courtroom comes easily for J.P. Hartley, but not so much in his love life. Tired of superficial pretty faces, after a bitter loss in court all he wants is to unwind with his best friend and colleague Kimberly Anderson. That is, until a snazzy blonde forces him to face what—or who—has always been right in front of him.

Nebula Nights: Love Among The Stars

  

11 Sci-Fi Romances that’ll sweep you away!If you like your science fiction blazing with adventure and your space opera spiced with romance, this boxed set is for you. From first contact to battles for survival and love on war-torn planets, this collection from bestselling & award winning authors will leave you sighing with satisfaction 

 

Books, stories or series that influenced me

I have been challenged by few of my friends on Facebook to name 10 books that changed or influenced my life. However, I have so many books, stories and series that changed or influenced my life that I cannot possibly only name 10. Therefore, below is my attempt to limit this list to only the top books, stories or series that changed or influenced me throughout my life so far!

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

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This was actually one of my Mom’s favorites. It influenced her so much that she made a gift of this book to me as an adult. My Mom told me, when she gave me that gift, it was to remind me that there is always a silver lining no matter how dire things are. Now that she has passed away, this story is even more precious to me and will continue to remind me of her for years to come.

Poky Little Puppy A Little Golden Book

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This was a favorite story when I was in elementary school. I am not sure how it changed or influenced me, but I read and re-read this book so much that I wore the binding out and pages fell out of the book.

Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene

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I was first introduced to these stories in elementary school, by the school librarian. The first story of the series I read was The Hidden Staircase. These were first set of stories that I became obsessed with and just had to read!

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

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I first read an excerpt of this story in Middle School as part of an overall reading assignment in the textbook. However, it was the scene where Mr. Collins proposed to Elizabeth and her response to that proposal. The character of Elizabeth was just so powerful in that short scene that I just had to find out more about her and her life. It influenced me to seek out the novel and of course all of the other iterations and adaptations.

Once and Always by Judith McNaught

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This is my very first adult historical romance novel. The story, characters and the steamy romance scenes really caught my attention. For a long time, this is the historical romance story I used to measure all the other stories I read in the same genre!

LONG, TALL TEXANS SERIES by Diana Palmer

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This series has been a part of my life since 1988 and I mentioned that this was one of my favorite series before. I bought the first story in the series, Calhoun, with money that I earned working part time at a local Kmart store. I was so proud that I was able to not only read such an amazing story with great characters, but that I was able to buy it new with my own money!

Mallory-Anderson Series by Johnanna Lindsey

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This is another series that I have mentioned before and has been a part of my life for over 25 years. The first story in the series, Love Only Once, introduced my favorite male character, James Mallory, and I was NEVER the same since.

Legacy by Jayne Ann Krentz

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This is the first story that I found by one of my favorite authors, Jayne Anne Krentz. I found this at a used book store one Saturday afternoon. The book was so good that I went to find all her previous books. In addition, because all the other books were just as good as the first, Jayne Ann Krentz became a must read and buy author from that time on.

Flirting With Trouble by Cathie Linz

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This is my first signed book by the author! I met the author through an online Bulletin Board while I was in College. The members of the Bulletin Board decided to have a meet up in Cathie’s home town. Not only did I get to meet this amazing author and have this book signed, but it found a life long friend as well.

A Night In the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny

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This story is one that my husband and I re-listen to every year during the month of October for Halloween. Each time we listen to it, it feels like brand new all over again. In addition, we have the rare audio version of this story narrated by the author himself!

And, but definitely not least…

Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold

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I have mentioned this series before. Every single story in the Vorkosigan Saga constantly changes and influences me, even in small ways. However, if I had to choose one book from this amazing series to list it would be Shards of Honor!

Highlights in Fandom History – October

Topic: Highlights in Fandom History – October

Today, I will highlight some interesting events in “fandom” history during the month of October for the following fandoms:

Technology:

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October 18, 1985: Nintendo NES first released in New York and select North American markets.

Literature:

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October 31, 1892: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the first collection of stories by Arthur Conan Doyle was published.

Pokémon:

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October 28, 1997: First volume of the manga Electric Tale of Pikachu was published in Japan.

Disney:

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October 30, 2012: Disney announces that it will acquire Lucasfilm Ltd

Star Wars:

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October 30, 2012: Disney and Lucasfilm announce

…new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.

Highlights in Fandom History – August

Topic: Highlights in Fandom History – August

Today, I will highlight interesting events in “fandom” history during the month of August for the following fandoms:

Technology:

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On August 22, 1888: The “adding machine“, the precursor to the modern calculator, was patented by William Burroughs.

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On August 24, 1995: Microsoft Windows 95 was released.

Movies and Animated Features:

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On August 1, 1973: “American Graffiti” directed by George Lucas opened in theaters.

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On August 15, 1939: Wizard of Oz premiered in Hollywood. Check out the video the Origins of Oz from the Smithsonian Channel.

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On August 9, 1930: Betty Boop is introduced in the animated short, Dizzy Dishes. For more information check out this LA Times Article!

Disney:

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On August 13, 1945: The animated feature film, Bambi, opened at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Star Wars:

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On August 15, 2008: The CGI animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars debuted as a full length feature film and introduced Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan, Ahsoka Tano.

Recent Adventure: My Interview with Author Cat Devon

Today, I am excited to introduce author Cat Devon, who is a former librarian and, like me, a confessed bookaholic. She has recently written a new series of paranormal romance novels set in Chicago, IL.

I have already read the first two novels in this series and, between the dialog and the variety of characters, these are a delight to read. Full disclosure: I have known Cat for many years and I am a member of her Street Crew. I thought a good forum to spread the word about her new series is through a series of unusual interview questions for a blog post. I hope that you enjoy these unusual questions and Cat’s responses.

Welcome Cat to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl!

What do the titles of these novels signify?

My editor, Jennifer Enderlin, is one of the top editors in the business. She is Kristin Hannah’s editor. She came up with the first title which is a spin on the word Enemy. She used Entity instead. The following two titles THE ENTITY WITHIN and LOVE YOUR ENTITY were a brainstorming collaboration between us. And coming out Oct 15 is my holiday enovella THE ENTITY WHO CAME FOR CHRISTMAS which was another of my editor’s brilliant ideas! I also absolutely love the covers that she and the art department have come up with for these books!

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Does the names of the characters in your Entity novels have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

Nick St. George, the hero of SLEEPING WITH THE ENTITY, shares the name of St. George who saves the princess from the dragon. I love the flow of Daniella Delaney (and love the actress Dana Delaney).

What prompted you to move into this romance sub-genre?

My editor asked if I would be interested in writing paranormal romances with humor and I was eager to try as I had some story ideas.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and does your characters reflect some of these attributes?

A sense of humor! It is a lifesaver and has helped me survive some very tough times. My characters have a sense of humor as well. My books feature heat and humor as well as fast-paced dialogue and heart.

What kind of research did you have to do for these novels that was different from other novels you have written?

I had to research cupcakes! I did that thanks to my local cupcake shop Sugar Monkey. The owner gave me a tour and some baking secrets. I also researched historical elements like Gettysburg or World War I or Catherine the Great from Russia. I researched vampire lore as well as other paranormal elements. Then some fun stuff like shoes from the 1920’s!

What makes you laugh?

Funny cat videos! Darynda Jones book FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT and also Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove historical romance series. And of course books by Jayne Ann Krentz and Susan Elizabeth Phillips!

What makes you cry?

Lots of things! Emotional commercials, beautiful music, feel good stories

Thank you for sitting down and taking the time out of your busy writing schedule to answering these questions!

To read an excerpt of Cat’s book SLEEPING WITH THE ENTITY check out her website www.catdevon.com and for fun updates and info Like her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/catdevonauthor

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Highlights in Fandom History – July

Topic: Highlights in Fandom History – July

Today, I will highlight interesting events in “fandom” history during the month of July for the following fandoms:

Technology:

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July 1, 1979: Sony Walkman is first introduced in Japan

Literature:

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On July 21, 2007: The final book in the Harry Potter series: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is released (and I was one of those throughout the world who bought it right at midnight)!

Disney:

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On July 17, 1944: Disneyland Opens.

Star Wars:

Read More…

Highlights in Fandom History – Beginning of May

Topic: Highlights in Fandom History – Beginning of May

Today, I am starting a new blog topic that will highlight interesting events in “fandom” history. The plan is to post select historical events that took place within a two-week time period. Below are select historical events that took place sometime in the beginning of May (between May 1st and May 15th) for the following fandoms:

Anime

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On May 14, 2005: Samurai Champloo premiered on the Adult Swim anime block.

Books

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On May 3, 1937: Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for Gone With the Wind.

Comics

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On May 10th, 1962: The Incredible Hulk #1 published by Marvel Comics and written by the legendary Stan Lee was available on news stands for purchase.

Disney

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On May 8, 2011: World premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides at Disneyland Park in California.

Films

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On May 1, 1941: Citizen Kane directed by film star Orson Welles, considered by many to be the GREATEST AMERICAN MOVIE OF ALL TIME, premiered in New York.

Music

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On May 4, 1959: First Grammy Awards Ceremony was held in both Los Angeles and New York to recognize and honor musical accomplishments.

#AtoZChallenge Vorkosigan Saga, Recommended Reading Order

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A-Z Blog Challenge Topic: Vorkosigan Saga, Recommended Reading Order


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Picture courtesy of Tor.com

As I mentioned in a previous post, I love the stories of the Vorkosigan Saga. Since it is a long series of stories, I thought that I would share a recommend reading order to this wonderful saga, especially for new readers. Below is an excerpt from a Goodreads post, called The Vorkosigan Saga Reading Order Debate: The Chef Recommends, by the author herself, Lois McMaster Bujold:

Many pixels have been expended debating the ‘best’ order in which to read what have come to be known as the Vorkosigan Books, the Vorkosiverse, the Miles books, and other names, since I neglected to supply the series with a label myself. The debate now wrestles with some fourteen or so volumes and counting, and mainly revolves around publication order versus internal-chronological order. I favor internal chronological, with a few caveats.

I have always resisted numbering my volumes; partly because, in the early days, I thought the books were distinct enough; latterly because if I ever decided to drop in a prequel somewhere (which in fact I did most lately with Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance) it would upwhack the numbering system. Nevertheless, the books and stories do have a chronological order, if not a strict one.

It was always my intention to write each book as a stand-alone so that the reader could theoretically jump in anywhere, yes, with that book that’s in your hand right now, don’t put it back on the shelf! While still somewhat true, as the series developed it acquired a number of sub-arcs, closely related tales that were richer for each other. I will list the sub-arcs, and then the books, and then the caveats.

Shards of Honor and Barrayar. The first two books in the series proper, they detail the adventures of Cordelia Naismith of Beta Colony and Aral Vorkosigan of Barrayar. Shards was my very first novel ever; Barrayar was actually my eighth, but continues the tale the next day after the end of Shards. For readers who want to be sure of beginning at the beginning, or who are very spoiler-sensitive, start with these two.

The Warrior’s Apprentice and The Vor Game (with, perhaps, the novella “The Mountains of Mourning” tucked in between.) The Warrior’s Apprentice introduces the character who became the series’ linchpin, Miles Vorkosigan; the first book tells how he created a space mercenary fleet by accident; the second how he fixed his mistakes from the first round. Space opera and military-esque adventure (and a number of other things one can best discover for oneself), The Warrior’s Apprentice makes another good place to jump into the series for readers who prefer a young male protagonist.

After that: Brothers in Arms should be read before Mirror Dance, and both, ideally, before Memory.

Komarr makes another good alternate entry point for the series, picking up Miles’s second career at its start. It should be read before A Civil Campaign.

Borders of Infinity, a collection of three of the five currently extant novellas, makes a good Miles Vorkosigan early-adventure sampler platter, I always thought, for readers who don’t want to commit themselves to length. (But it may make more sense if read after The Warrior’s Apprentice.) Take care not to confuse the collection-as-a-whole with its title story, “The Borders of Infinity”.

Falling Free takes place 200 years earlier in the timeline and does not share settings or characters with the main body of the series. Most readers recommend picking up this story later. It should likely be read before Diplomatic Immunity, however, which revisits the “quaddies”, a bioengineered race of free fall dwellers, in Miles’s time.

The novels in the internal-chronological list below appear in plain text; the novellas (officially defined as a story between 17,500 words and 40,000 words, though mine usually run 20k – 30k words) in quote marks.

Caveats:

The novella “Weatherman” is an out-take from the beginning of the novel The Vor Game. If you already have The Vor Game, you likely don’t need this.

The original ‘novel’ Borders of Infinity was a fix-up collection containing the three novellas “The Mountains of Mourning”, “Labyrinth”, and “The Borders of Infinity”, together with a frame story to tie the pieces together. Again, beware duplication. The frame story does not stand alone, and generally is of interest only to completists.

Note the following:

Since I was introduced to the Vorkosigan Saga via the audiobook format, all the links go straight to the audiobook publisher’s pages of these stories. However, these stories can also be found on other sites as well, such as Audible.com, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Kobo.com, Baen eBooks and the Apple iTunes Store.

Happy listening or reading!

Re-purchasing old adventures in new formats

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infographic from: http://digitalmediadiet.com/?p=280

I am an avid reader of books and manga in both print and digital formats. Now I am mixed on if I am going to re-purchase a book or manga in a digital format when I already own the printed format. In my case, it depends on many different factors. However, some of these factors can be summed up in some basic “rules of thumb”. These “rules of thumb” help me determine when and if I will consider re-purchasing a book or manga that I already bought in a printed format in a digital format as well.

Basically, my “rules of thumb” are:

    If I loved the book or manga and it is on sale and I want to re-read it wherever I go, then I will re-purchase in a digital format.

    If I liked the book or manga, but do not feel the need to re-read it wherever I go, then I wait for a sale before I decide to re-purchases.

    If I thought the book or manga was Ok and did not keep the print version, then I wait for it to be free or DEEPLY discounted, otherwise I will not re-purchase it at all.

Now new books or manga do not get this debate. Here is my rule of thumb for deciding to purchase the print version, the digital version or both.

    If a new author and I am interested in the story, then I see what the price is and purchase the lower priced version!

    If it is a new story by an author I have read before, but do not collect their print versions, then I will wait for the price to be discounted, for a book paperback price, for a manga a sale price, before purchasing.

    If it is a new story by an author I have read before and I collect their print versions, then I will more likely purchase both the print and the digital versions, but usually not at the same time.

So as I said before I am mixed when it comes to purchasing or re-purchasing books or manga in print or digital formats.

What is your opinion?

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