The Case of the Missing Paperwhite
I first became aware of the Paperwhite’s disappearance at 8:57 p.m. last Wednesday night. I was preparing to make progress on my Goodreads goal to finish 65 books this year. The past few days had been slow going. Out-of-town company had visited on Monday. The weekend immediately preceding, I had put up the Christmas tree, rearranging some furniture in the process, and put up other decorations.
In this time period, I read a paperback I’d been wanting to tackle for some time, so the Paperwhite had not been used for the time period extending approximately from Saturday morning to Wednesday evening.
I traced the Paperwhite back to the location where it had last been positively identified. However, that location had since been occupied by the aforementioned guest, so there was no evidence. Further investigation revealed that every possible room the Paperwhite may have been in had been disturbed in a rare frenzy of housekeeping associated only with visiting guests and the annual Christmas decorating.
The Paperwhite had picked the perfect weekend to vanish.
A canine in the vicinity was held for questioning. It was obvious he knew something, but it was impossible to get any useful information out of him.
For further assitance, I turned to the Daily Cheap Reads Facebook page and enlisted the advice of seasoned readers. A consistent theme emerged – Kindle’s gravitate toward couch cushions and bed frames.
Thursday evening, the manhunt resumed with intensity. The couch, recliner and nightstand were searched. I’d already poked around the bed, but some clue suggested it was worth reopening. Crouching down, I lifted the comforter and there facedown, nearly half way under the bed was a flat black piece of plastic. A flashlight reflected off the letters “Amazon.” A positive identification was quickly made.
Reconstructing the crime scene, it was determined the Paperwhite fell off the nightstand, then was kicked under the bed.
The Paperwhite was charged. And as soon as the battery was back to full power, regular reading resumed.
Have you ever lost your Kindle e-reader or tablet? Ever find your Kindle in an unexpected place? Tell us about your experience.
Holiday Ordering Deadlines
For delivery by Christmas, visit amazon.com/amazonholidayshipping for details. The following ordering deadlines apply:
Cozy Christmas Capers: Holiday Short Story Collection ($1.99) Nineteen holiday short stories by nineteen New York Times, USA Today and award winning authors! Enjoy these tales of mystery, romance, and laughter amid the backdrop of pine tress, gingerbread men, and Santas galore!
The perfect short bites for cozying up by the fire with a cup of cocoa…or waiting in line at gift wrapping!
**Holiday Recipes Included!**
Building a Holiday Reading List
Yesterday we posted the then-free book Remembering Christmas, now $3.99. Carol commented that she was currently reading the novel which is set during the 1980s. She laughed at the main characters outrage that gas was over a $1.00 per gallon.
I replied back that I had enjoyed The Unfinished Gift ($3.99) written by the same author, Dan Walsh.
Carol asked if I had other recommendations, even ones including the “big man in red” were welcome. Here’s my list of Christmas reads recently enjoyed:
Christmas with Tucker by Greg Kincaid – $9.99
A Dog Named Christmas by Greg Kincaid- $7.99
The Christmas Pony by Melody Carlson – $1.99 (short read)
The Perfect Gift by Dani-Lyn Alexander – 99 cents (short story)
A Gift from Tiffany’s by Melissa Hill – $8.89
The Christmas Train by David Baldacci – $4.04
What books are your holiday favorites? Price isn’t an issue for building this reading list. All genre are welcome – mystery, romance, fiction, fantasy, whatever you have enjoyed. Leave a comment and tell us!
Holiday Reads – Gone before you know it
Publishers are reducing prices on holiday reads faster than a 9-year-old adds to her Christmas wish list. Many of our posts in the coming days will feature great seasonal reads at great prices. We also want to be sensitive to site visitors who are searching for books that aren’t knee deep in tinsel and sugarplums. The goal is to keep our posts balanced. Some days it’s hard work!
Stick with us because the holiday flurry will end in a few weeks. There will be a short respite before the romances flood the site in the weeks before Valentine’s Day. Sigh….
Cheap Holiday Reads
No doubt you are sensing a theme in this week’s Housekeeping. If you are looking for a cheap holiday read, the books below are only 99 cents each – SuperCheap!
The Christmas Violin (99 cents) A widower, a grieving mother and a homeless woman have one thing in common – a cemetery.
Willow, a concert violinist, begins each morning by playing her son the lullaby she wrote for him at his tomb. The melody enchants Peter during his daily visit to his wife’s grave. The homeless woman, who finds refuge in the cemetery, is equally drawn to the haunting music.
Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe (99 cents) Issy Randall, proud owner of The Cupcake Cafe, is in love and couldn’t be happier. But when her boyfriend Austin is scouted for a possible move to New York, Issy is forced to face up to the prospect of a long-distance romance. And when the Christmas rush at the cafe begins to take its toll, Issy has to decide what she holds most dear.
When Elves Attack (99 cents) It’s ho, ho, ho time in this hilarious and wacky Florida holiday tale, featuring bighearted psychopath Serge Storms and his sidekick, Coleman. Like Santa, Serge knows who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. Few can give with the generosity and creativity of Serge, and as December 24 rolls around, he is filling up the Serge sleigh with an unforgettable bag of presents.
Reading and Meeting My Goal
I (Susan) entered October ahead of schedule. According to Goodreads, I was more than on track to meet my 2014 goal to read 65 books this year. But by the end of October, I had slipped to a precarious position. The root cause can be traced to two factors: I hooked up cable TV after a 10-year hiatus. And the Kansas City Royals made a thrilling post-season all the way to Game 7 of the World Series.
Last week, I realized I had six weeks to read 12 books. Doable, but not easy. I charted out a plan to finish two books a week for the rest of the year. This means my Township may be neglected. This is where reading on the Kindle has a disadvantage. It’s not so easy to look at the shelf and pick out the skinniest books to tackle. A little more research is required to plow through to the goal. I’m stacking up a few sweet Christmas stories and adding some by favorite authors.
Any other tips to get through to the goal? How is your progress going with your reading goal?
Prime Christmas Music
It’s beginning to SOUND a lot like Christmas thanks to a new feature introduced in Amazon Music. Amazon invites site visitors to “listen while you shop.” Click the music note icon at the top of the page to hear the selected playlist. It’s even more fun if you’re a Prime members, which offers free access to playlists loaded with Christmas music.
Lots to like about these playlists: You can put them in your Amazon Music Player to listen on just any device. I’ve already had them on my Kindle Fire and the television. Mix and match options allow you to throw out particular songs you don’t like (Nutcracker Suite, anyone?). Plus, you can upload music from your computer to get true Christmas harmony. Amazon has put together a wonderful blend of classics and contemporary hits. Playlists like “Holiday Movie Favorites,” “Christmas Morning” and “Christmas Road Rage” (don’t worry, it’s a soothing blend of instrumentals) add some great tunes.
Black Friday Deals
Amazon and publishers have dropped hints that Black Friday Deals will be forthcoming. We’ll be here checking for the best deals and posting them on Daily Cheap Reads. Check the site throughout the day to see the updates we post.
These three cheap shorter reads (only 99 cents each) are a great way to start your holiday reading.
Bruno and the Carol Singers (99 cents) St. Denis is experiencing its coldest winter in years and Bruno is occupied with his Christmastime duties. From organizing carolers to playing Father Christmas for the local schoolchildren, Bruno has his hands full . . . at least until some funds raised for charity go missing.
Can’t Wait (99 cents) Though she is the woman of his dreams, Caleb Bowden knows his best friend’s sister, Summer Turner, is off-limits. Summer shares a connection with Caleb she’s never felt with anyone else. Summer will have to take matters into her own hands if she wants her cowboy for Christmas.
Merry Christmas from . . . (99 cents) Karen Robert has spent the last several years tracking down the wonderful and wacky Christmas cards represented in this book—the best out of tens of thousands she has reviewed.
Exciting Kindle Updates
Last week Amazon announced a software update for some Kindle e-readers that includes exclusive features such as Word Wise and Family Library.
• Word Wise–For readers learning English and children learning to read, Word Wise makes it easier to understand more challenging books more quickly. Short and simple definitions automatically appear above difficult words, so you can keep reading without having to stop and look up a word. To see the various meanings the same word can have in different contexts, just tap on the word to quickly bring up a card with definitions, synonyms, and more. You can adjust the number of definitions you see with a slider, dialing them up or down as you learn and grow your vocabulary. Word Wise is already available on thousands of titles, including these young adult novels: The Hunger Games and Wonder. See a screenshot here.
The snippet on the left shows where you can look for books with the Word Wise feature. See the designation on the last line of the graphic?
• Family Library–For the first time, you can access not only your own Kindle books, but also books from the Amazon account of a spouse or partner. See a screenshot here.
• Expanded X-Ray for Books–X-Ray now makes it easier to explore as you read–quickly flip through all the images in a book, and use the new timeline view to easily browse the most notable passages. See a screenshot here.
• Deeper Goodreads Integration–Goodreads on Kindle now allows you to easily share your reading progress updates, add books from your Kindle library to your Goodreads shelves, and see your friends’ updates, ratings and reviews when looking at a book on Goodreads. See a screenshot here.
• Enhanced Search–Makes it even easier to find what you are looking for by combining and previewing results from your Library, Goodreads and the Kindle Store on the same page. See a screenshot here.
• About This Book–See information about the book as you start to read, including its place in a series and author information, plus mark it as “Currently Reading” on Goodreads. See a screenshot here.
The free, over-the-air software update will be delivered automatically in the coming weeks to the newly announced $79 Kindle and Kindle Voyage, as well as the most recent version of Kindle Paperwhite. If you want the update now, visit this page to download the it.
Black Friday Countdown Deals begin tomorrow
Black Friday deals will start even earlier this year at Amazon, beginning on Friday, November 21, and adding new deals as often as every ten minutes for eight straight days. Plus, Amazon will introduce three coveted Deals of the Day starting on Thanksgiving at midnight, as well as three more on BlackFriday – this is in addition to thousands of limited-time Lightning Deals. You can catch all the deals at Black Friday. You might want to bookmark the webpage.
The Big Deal Sale ends Sunday, November 23. More than 400 books are included in the sale. Three popular books are:
Silk Road ($1.99) The Holy Land, 1260. Josseran Sarrazini is chosen to escort the Pope’s emissary on an embassy to the all conquering Mongol horde in an effort to save all Christendom form destruction. But although he serves as a Templar warrior, Josseran is not all that he appears to be – and he despises the Pope’s man on sight.
Critical Dawn ($1.99) Critical Dawn is an apocalyptic ride to the very edge of human existence. Factions will battle for control of the Earth—if they can avoid the threat of extinction.
See Her Die ($1.99) Elizabeth Young is FBI agent Collin MacBride’s prime suspect in the murder of a prominent Manhattan psychiatrist—the one and only lead in an ongoing investigation. But when female patients of the late doctor start being murdered one by one, Elizabeth understands that she is on that same murder list and MacBride is the only man who can save her…
Amazon’s Best Books of 2014
Amazon.com recently announced its selections for the Best Books of 2014.
Each year Amazon’s editors choose the Top 100 Books of the Year and Top 20 lists in more than two dozen categories. To see all the Best Books of 2014 visit here.
Here’s a look at the Top 10 editors’ picks for the year (all books are priced $5.99 or more):
1. Everything I Never Told You ($10.99) by Celeste Ng: Quiet and beautiful, this novel about an unknowable teenage girl in a mixed-race family in the 1970s Midwest will make you cry.
2. All the Light We Cannot See ($6.99) by Anthony Doerr: A beautiful, atmospheric story about two young people, one French, one German, growing up on the eve of World War II.
3. In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette ($10.99) by Hampton Sides: The ultimate adventure story, but with a touch of romance and intrigue. A historical The Perfect Storm.
4. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League ($10.99) by Jeff Hobbs: At once extremely personal and culturally wise, this reported memoir will change the way you think about race, class and the meaning of friendship.
5. Redeployment ($10.99) by Phil Klay: Strong, brilliant stories about survival of something almost as dangerous as war itself–its aftermath.
6. Revival ($12.74) by Stephen King: The best kind of King book: a little horror, but mostly pitch-perfect details about youth and faith and family.
7. Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art ($9.99) by Carl Hoffman: The Rockefeller clan might not have wanted to believe it, but author Hoffman is convincing about what led to the scion’s death. It’s not pretty…but it IS fascinating.
8. The Book of Unknown Americans ($10.99) by Cristina Henríquez: Told in the many voices of the Latin American tenants of one apartment complex in Delaware, this novel illuminates several different kinds of immigrant experience.
9. Big Little Lies ($10.99) by Liane Moriarty: Moriarty dazzles with another novel about “ordinary” Australian families and the secrets they keep.
10. Station Eleven ($5.99) by Emily St. John Mandel: Set in the not-so-distant future, this apocalyptic novel is surprisingly hopeful in its depiction of a culture that both mocks and mourns its disappeared past.
Big Deal Sale Most Popular
Another Big Deal Sale is underway and runs through November 23. The three books below are the most popular books in the sale as of Wednesday evening. Pay $1.99 each for these sci-fi novels.
Amazon and Simon & Schuster reach agreement
Last month Amazon and Simon & Schuster reached an agreement on print and digital book pricing that S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy called “a return to a version of agency pricing.”
Reidy sent a letter to authors and agents that said the deal gives S&S control over the price of its books “with some limited exceptions.” She also stated that S&S has the “flexibility to deliver great prices for readers.”
This means is that Amazon cannot discount books without permission from S&S. The agreement should not be a return to high-priced books as Amazon stated that the agreement provides financial incentives for S&S to “deliver lower prices for readers.”
Let’s hope that S&S does price popular authors and books at reasonable prices and offers great deals for readers to try an author or a series. A deep discount on a book with five total reviews, three of which are 3 stars or below is not what readers want.
In an earnings announcement this week, S&S’s total sales are down 11% in the third quarter (July – September 2014) compared to the same period in 2013. Digital sales were flat. This news might motivate S&S to move prices downward.
S&S imprints include: S&S, Atria, Free Press, Scribner, Gallery, Pocket, Touchstone, Howard and nine imprints for children.
The three novels below are all from S&S imprints and are selling for $1.99 each.
Small Dog, Big Life: Memoirs of a Furry Genius ($1.99) Genevieve, a brilliant seven-pound papillon who dares to break the canine code of silence, invites you into the inner sanctum of dogdom in this hilarious exposé about what dogs really think of their people. In her bitingly funny memoir, Genevieve reveals canine secrets never before shared with humans while also passing on her devious tricks-of-the-trade to her legions of furry pupils.
Good Harbor ($1.99) Fifty-nine-year-old Kathleen Levine, a longtime resident of the seaside town of Gloucester, on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, is graceful, maternal, and steady, a devoted children’s librarian, a convert to Judaism, the mother of two grown sons. But when she is diagnosed with breast cancer, her life is thrown into turmoil.
The Master Quilter: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel ($1.99) The Master Quilter opens with the sound of wedding bells ringing in the ears of the Elm Creek Quilters. Their own Sylvia Compson planned her holiday wedding to sweetheart Andrew in complete secrecy. Eager to honor the newlyweds, the Elm Creek Quilters hasten to stitch a bridal quilt for their favorite Master Quilter. As the quilt blocks accumulate, the Elm Creek Quilters celebrate the joy of new beginnings and the ongoing success of their business — until forces conspire to threaten their happiness and prosperity.
Voyage has arrived
UPS delivered my Voyage on Tuesday, a full month ahead of the original date. I eagerly opened the box, turned it on, chose my language preference, connected the wi-fi and registered the device. Oops! The registration errored. Probably just a typo. I entered the information again. Internal error? Must be so excited I’m fat-fingering something. Tried again. Internal error again?
Two more tries and I’m convinced there is a problem I cannot fix. The first helpful care rep at Amazon realized that she couldn’t register the device and sent me on to Kindle technical support. Richard patiently worked with me to gather all the information necessary for him to register the device. Hallelujah! A bit of trouble that worked out fine.
My first impressions: Amazing clarity! The type is so crisp and easier on the eyes. The size and weight is right. The feel is comfortable.
The negatives: The power button is a push-style on the back in the upper right. My Voyage has gone to sleep twice when I have inadvertently pushed the button while gripping the device. (I don’t use a cover.) I’m disappointed with the push-button to page advance. It takes a rather strong touch to turn the page. Maybe my device is built backwards – the sensitive button has been put on the back in error.
Update: Chris commented that the settings for the page-turning buttons can be adjusted. That negative is now a positive. . .
Another negative: When I started the Voyage later in that first evening, the device was no longer registered. I was able to complete the process on the device, but it was an aggravation. Hope I have time to learn more about the Voyage this weekend.
Ben Bradlee, Long-Time Washington Post Executive Editor, Dies
Ben Bradlee, the executive editor of The Washington Post from 1968 – 1991, passed away October 21 at the age of 93.
Bradlee became widely known during the presidency of Richard Nixon, when he challenged the federal government over the right to publish the Pentagon Papers and oversaw the publication of Bob Woodward’s and Carl Bernstein’s stories documenting the Watergate scandal.
As a reporter in the 1950s, Bradlee became close friends with then-senator John F. Kennedy, who had graduated from Harvard two years before Bradlee, and lived nearby. Bradlee’s wife at the time, Jean Saltonstall, was related to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.
In 1960 Bradlee toured with both Kennedy and Richard Nixon in their presidential campaigns. He later wrote a book, Conversations with Kennedy ($1.99), recounting their relationship during those years. From parties at the White House to weekends at Palm Beach to JFK’s enduring influence on Bradlee’s own life, this is an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the man behind a myth, written by a giant of American journalism.
The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO.
Cheap Reads – WitchLight Trilogy – $1.99 each
Written by by Deborah Geary , Witchlight Trilogy is light contemporary fantasy with a good dose of humor, a little romance, and characters you won’t want to leave.
Oh my gosh, just got my Voyage (the UPS man was early today -thank you UPS!!) and though I’ve barely gotten it set up – I already love it. It is much smaller and lighter than my Paperwhite, but feels ‘right’ – I’m loving not having to remove my hand from the book to turn the page and the overall screen experience is so great – so much easier on the eyes. I’m anxious to see how long the battery really does last with a voracious reader, but so far, it’s fabulous!!
I really think they’ve created THE reader. I think this is going to enhance my reading experience. Time will tell, but right now, I’m over the moon.
Diane’s excitement and enthusiasm speaks louder than the best advertisement Amazon produces. Diane ordered her Voyage “the minute it came out” and admitted that she checked the order status every day.
I’ll admit to being envious that Diane already has a Voyage in her hands. I ordered on the second day and was given a delivery date of November 28. Following Diane’s habit, I checked the order status. The estimated delivery date is now October 31. I’m over the moon!
Bookstore dream or nightmare?
David Willis from Dallas, Texas, was accidentally locked inside a Waterstones (book)store in Trafalgar Square, London, earlier this month. The closing staff didn’t realize David was upstairs when they turned out the lights and locked the door.
David tweeted his predicament. Soon more than 9,000 tweets were spreading the word through the hashtag #freethewatersones1. The police and someone with a key arrived after two hours to open the door. Read the tweets and more here.
Halloween with all things supernatural and gruesome will be here soon. Publishers have been featuring sales on books with vampires, ghosts, goblins and many chilling, scary creatures.
These three books are selling for $1.99 each:
The Ghost Bride ($1.99) Part 19th century novel, part magical journey to the Chinese world of the dead, Yangsze Choo’s debut novel The Ghost Bride is a startlingly original historical fantasy infused with Chinese folklore, romantic intrigue, and unexpected supernatural twists.
A Kiss of Blood ($1.99) One of the few humans who managed to escape the deadly twilight world of Vamp City, Quinn Lennox vows never to return. But the vampires want her back, for only she has the power to renew the magic of their crumbling world and free the vampires trapped within.
Bird Box ($1.99) Bird Box is a propulsive, edge-of-your-seat horror thriller, set in an apocalyptic near-future world. Something is out there . . .Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.
The blurb makes it or breaks it
I doubt that I will ever read a mystery written by Carol Higgins Clark. She can blame it on the blurb. Here is a partial synopsis from Gypped.
While Jack attends a business dinner, Regan goes to Zelda’s by herself, unaware that she is being followed. Regan is more than surprised at the run-down condition of the house and grounds. People should be paid to stay here, she thinks. Zelda introduces Regan to a colorful cast of characters, including her old neighbors, friends from her yoga class, a filmmaker, Zelda’s financial adviser, her bookkeeper, and her personal assistant. It’s all good fun. As the guests are leaving, Zelda asks Regan to stay for a cup of tea. They’ve barely sat down to chat when Zelda falls ill. A worried Regan doesn’t want to leave Zelda alone and decides to spend the night at the isolated, aging estate. It’s not long before Zelda asks Regan to investigate people in her life, starting with her father’s new wife, Bobby Jo. The couple said “I do” in the back of a cab at a drive-through chapel in Las Vegas after only three months of togetherness.
Good grief! That is quite a cast of characters to follow. With a synopsis this tedious, this tortured, I just will not even try the author.
A good blurb will:
• provide setting and context
• introduce the characters
• set up the conflict
• compel us to read the book
The blurb below from the popular novel Labor Day ($8.89) is an example of a well-written teaser:
As the end of summer approaches and a long, hot Labor Day weekend looms, the life of lonely thirteen-year-old Henry Wheeler is irrevocably changed when he and his emotionally fragile mother show kindness to a stranger with a terrible secret.
Have you ever passed on a popular book because of the description? How much do you want to read in the blurb? Have you ever read the first portion of a book and then re-read the blurb to see if you were reading the right book?
What customers are saying
I recently noticed this on the books Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought section of a book’s webpage.
I often read the reviews of many books and may have been why this appeared on my screen.
I feel it’s pushy. Who is this Grand Poobah? Why would Amazon quote his/her review?
Would you buy a book based on these mini-reviews?
Cheap Reads – 200 Kindle Books for $1.99 Each
Now through November 14 you can purchase 200 Kindle books published by Amazon for just $1.99 each.
These three novels are included in the sale:
Why I like Paperwhite but still want a Voyage
For awhile, I (Susan) used the Kindle Fire as my primary reading device. The Fire is perfect for surfing the web, checking email and playing games. I also enjoyed reading on it. The highlighting feature in different colors and the variety of settings for the background (the off-white background makes for perfect reading) are useful features for reading.
Then I bought a Paperwhite last fall. And reading was back! The Paperwhite is really designed for one purpose – reading – and it does it well. It’s easy to hold and easy to see. Plus, I don’t get distracted by Facebook or games as can happen when I’m on the Fire. It’s great that I can turn on a reading lamp, but don’t have to if I don’t want.
With all of its good qualities, there are two minor things about the Paperwhite that bug me.
1. To turn a page, you must swipe your finger across the screen.
Maybe not a big deal, but it requires two hands to read. The original Kindle (remember back that far?) had this wonderful button on the side of the device where a gentle push of your thumb turned the page. The button made it easy to hold the Kindle in one hand and keep the other propped under your head or tucked beneath the covers on a cold night.
2. The type size is impossible to get just right.
The Paperwhite has 8 font sizes from which to choose. The first three are suitable only for fine print on legal contracts. Seriously – why even bother with so many tiny fonts? Those on the larger end of the scale are perfect for people who have vision impairment or just prefer a larger size. But that leaves me – and probably the majority of readers – somewhere between too small and too big. It’s like jumping from 8 point type to 14 point, when a 10 or 12 point would be best.
That’s why I was excited to see that the new Kindle Voyage has a “retro” feature – you can turn page without lifting a finger. According to the product description: Simply apply pressure on the bezel to turn the page, and PagePress will provide a silent haptic response for consistent and immediate feedback. Finally, Kindle is back to where it began with page turning! Plus, it still has the touch screen option.
I haven’t seen a Voyage yet, but I hope on this device created specifically for reading, the type size has more options. The automatic light sensor also looks like a promising feature.
I have not jumped off into the Voyage yet, thinking I may let the early adopters work out a few bugs before I bite.
Free app review – Township
There are a handful of games I (Susan) enjoy playing on the Kindle Fire.
A new one I discovered is Township (free). It’s like similar farming games. You get a small town and plant crops, then feed animals, harvest and make products in factories.
Township is nice in that I can play as much as I want without feeling obligated to log in every day. It doesn’t require having a bunch of friends who also play (or letting everyone on Facebook know how much time I waste feeding imaginary sheep). It’s not cluttered with a bunch of ads, although sometimes I can earn extra “Township bucks” by watching a one-minute ad.
What makes this app really enjoyable is the exquisite detail. In my little town, residents walk the streets and if you click on them they do actions. A cop will munch on a doughnut or a skateboarder perform a flip. I even observed a biker and scooter rider crash and the ambulance showed up on the scene. When I pan over the ocean, there is the sound of waves.
It’s still free on Kindle if you’d like to start your own township!
Cheap Reads – Legends of Muirwood Trilogy – Fantasies for $1.99 each
The Wretched of Muirwood ($1.99 Audiobook $1.99) In the ancient and mystical land of Muirwood, Lia has known only a life of servitude. Labeled a “wretched,” an outcast unwanted and unworthy of respect, Lia is forbidden to realize her dream to read or write. But when an injured squire named Colvin is abandoned at the kitchen’s doorstep, an opportunity arises.
The Blight of Muirwood ($1.99 Audiobook $1.99) Lia finds herself filled with inner turmoil after the great battle of Winterrowd that led to the death of the wicked king and her closest ally. Lia is called to be an official protector of Muirwood Abbey and is charged to employ her magic to defend Ellowyn Demont, the lost heir of the fallen kingdom of Pry-Ree.
The Scourge of Muirwood ($1.99 Audiobook $1.99) When a deadly plague is unleashed in the land of Muirwood, the fate of the world is placed in the hands of a young woman named Lia. The revelation will force Lia to choose between the lives of her closest friends and her deepest desires…