Discovering Amanda Hocking’s Hollowland

Once upon a time, my reading choices were limited to my favourite authors but since the purchase of my Kindle, I’ve discovered new-to-me authors. While romantic comedy and women’s fiction are still my number one choice, my reading tastes have broadened and become more eclectic. And IMO, one of my favourite parts of the reading experience is discovering a new-to-me author and then reading their backlist. To a diehard reader, this is better than chocolate.

So I’d like to share some of the books I’ve recently read and loved. First off is Hollowland by Amanda Hocking.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Amanda Hocking, she was unable to sell her books to traditional publishers so began to self-publish in April 2010. Since then, she has sold over a million copies of her books. In March 2011, she signed a four book deal with St. Martin’s Press and has gone on to have a book optioned for film and another one made into a graphic novel.

Hollowland is the first book I’ve read by this author and I’ll definitely be reading more. While I’d always intended to try one of Amanda’s books – she is, after all, a superstar in the self-publishing world – my Kindle is already filled with books that I haven’t yet had a chance to read. But the other day, when I received the Free Kindle Books & Kindle News email, I saw Hollowland on it. I immediately downloaded the book on to my Kindle.

My reading MO starts out with admiring the cover, reading through the reviews, acknowledgments, then finally delving into the opening lines of the book. Monday night, I started reading Hollowland and wow, does the story start out with a bang. To whet your appetite, here’s the first sentence:

“This is the way the world ends; not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.”

I’m halfway through the book and hope to finish it tonight. It’s that good. It’s the story of a nineteen year old girl’s quest to find her eight year old brother in the wasteland of a post-apocalyptic world that is filled with an army of flesh-eating zombies. Fortunately, for those of us who don’t enjoy carnage, Amanda Hocking has kept the unpleasant descriptions of zombie gore to a minimum.

If you’ve always wanted to try a book by Amanda Hocking but just haven’t gotten around to it yet, I highly recommend starting with this one. Last time I checked – just a few minutes ago – it was still free on the Amazon site.

I’m anxious to read the rest of the Hollowland series but see that book two hasn’t been released yet. It’s due out any day now but in the meantime, there’s Amanda’s My Blood Approves series to try.

So what new-to-you authors have you tried lately? And what books are high on your list of favourites?


About Sheila Seabrook

Author of contemporary romance and women's fiction.

Posted on November 2, 2011, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. I have never read any of Amanda Hocking and zombie’s and horror are not something I enjoy. But I have just started reading my first Diana Abu-Jaber book, Birds of Paradise, and I can already tell it won’t be my last. I, too, love discovering a new-to-me author who has plenty of other books to read.

    • Hi Emma … I was surprised to discover that Hollowland does not read like a horror story, despite the zombie storyline. This is just a really good story about a young woman’s search for her brother. In fact, I’ve read thrillers with more horror than this. Can you tell how much I’m enjoying this book? 🙂

      So now I’ll have to check out Diana’s books. I read the blurb for Birds of Paradise and it sounds very intriguing.

      Thanks for stopping in and sharing this new-to-me author!

  2. I love my Kindle for reading all the e-books my indie published friends have out. It’s such a great tool for accessing a favorite author’s backlist, too. I just bought “Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons” which is my Book Club’s selection this month. I think it is available in print copy also. If I like it, you can be sure I’ll be searching this author’s backlist!

    • Hi Tracy … ditto on the Kindle love. 🙂

      This is another author and book I haven’t heard about yet, so I checked out the book blurb and it sounds like a fun read. It’s a good thing we never have to worry about running out of reading material. Yay for that!

      Thanks for sharing.

  3. Just started reading “Sleeping with Ward Cleaver” and enjoying it. It’s funny and snarky and I can’t wait to see what the main character is going to do next. And I think a lot of women can related to how she describes marriage.

    • Hi Patti … I loved Sleeping With Ward Cleaver. Jenny Gardiner has such an easy-to-read writing style and I had several laugh out loud moments during the book. Yes, and there were even times I could relate to description of marriage. 🙂

      I have several more of her books on my Kindle, waiting to be read. Slim To None immediately comes to mind.

      Thanks for sharing.

  4. That is one very good opening line.

    I’m loving my kindle too. Just got it and have some books in queue for my upcoming trip.

    Good post, girlfriend.

    • Hi Vicki … that opening line totally hooked me and from a writer’s standpoint, all I could think of was “why couldn’t I have written an opening line like that one?” LOL!

      Enjoy your Kindle and your upcoming trip. Hope you’re getting away to somewhere warm and relaxing. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping in!

  5. Free and low cost ebooks are a great way to try new authors. I’ve enjoyed so many there isn’t room enough to list them all!

    • Hi Christy … you’re so right. I just downloaded my first Chicki Brown book and am looking forward to reading it. I’ve discovered so many new authors that my Kindle is overflowing and I know I’ll never have enough time to read all the books. But stop buying books … never! I’d rather give up clothes shopping first. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment.

  6. Ha! Hollowland just flew (Look, Ma, no wires!) into my Kindle. (You can tell by my giddiness that my Kindle’s new.) Thanks for the recommendation, Sheila.

    • LOL! It’s addictive, isn’t it, Pat? And you’ll have to let me know what you think of Hollowland. I’d love to know what other womens fiction readers think of this book. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. A big hug and a thank you, Sheila. Just got my free copy of Hollowland and I can’t wait. I am so lucky to know the women of this group, of Magical Musings, Writers In The Storm,Gem State and a few individual writer sites. I have also read Entangled, downloaded, Every Witch Way But Wicked, and Author Moments … all three of which gave me a wonderful selection of women writers I either had not read before, or only one or two of their stories. Yes my love, Kindle is my heart’s delight and will be with me, as well as print, for a very long time 🙂

    • I have Entangled on my Kindle but haven’t read it yet. And the other two look like anthologies also. If memory serves me right, Entangled proceeds are being donated to breast cancer, and it looks like Every Witch Way But Wicked is being donated to cancer, also. Need to dig further into Author Moments.

      Thank you for all the suggestions, Florence, and for stopping by! 🙂

  8. Thanks for the heads up. I was curious about her books and now I just downloaded hollowland. 🙂

  9. Hi Sheila – nice report on this book. I haven’t read it but it sounds interesting. And I love the free Kindle downloads from Amazon. I’ve found a couple of good new authors that way as well. And likewise, I’m attracted to an intriguing cover.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Hi Patricia … I look forward to the daily free Kindle newsletter (even though all of the books aren’t free). Like you, I’m often caught by the cover and will then stop to read the blurbe. I love how much our reading options have grown. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping in!

  10. Hi, Sheila! Thanks for this. Just downloaded Hollowland. I’ve read others pf hers and liked them. New to me? I just read my first Mary Balough Regency and loved it. About to begin a new to me Scott Nicholson book — was not free, but 99 cents which is close enough!

    • Hi Alicia … I love Mary Balough but I haven’t ready anything by Scott Nicholson yet and I definitely want to try him.

      Thanks for the recommendation and for stopping by! 🙂

  11. I have not read any of Hocking’s books–yet. I do have Hollowland on my Kindle for PC (couldn’t pass up a free book!), but I’m waiting until I get an actual Kindle. It’s too hard to relax and read with my laptop.
    Thanks for this review Sheila!!

    • Coleen, you’re going to love your Kindle when you receive it. It’s so easy to buy books — like we need an excuse to buy books, right? — and I’ve discovered so many new-to-me authors.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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