Category: Housekeeping
Housekeeping: Super Bowl Ad; Kindle E-Reader Updates and Cheap Reads 14 comments

broom.panAmazon’s first-ever Super Bowl ads
This Sunday while you are watching the big game and enjoying your favorite game-day snacks, you might see the first-ever Super Bowl ads purchased by Amazon. The commercials star Alec Baldwin and Dan Marino and showcase the Amazon Echo ($179.99) and its voice Alexa.
For the money that Amazon probably paid for the production and airing of the ads, I am just not that impressed. The Echo is so much more than is demonstrated in the first 30-second spot. A former jock and a Hollywood star aren’t enough to prompt me to buy it. There’s the flaunting of wealth when Baldwin has Marino start making a list of what he needs including an architect and a five-star chef. Decide for yourself – click here to watch three ads. Scroll down to see the three in order.
THIS JUST IN: In a news release from Amazon this morning: “Alexa, Play Spotify”: Spotify Now Available on Amazon Echo
BTW: I asked Alexa who will win the Super Bowl. Her response:

I was really hoping it would be my hometown Seahawks, but now it looks like it will be the Panthers.

 
Kindle E-Readers Getting Updates
If you have a Kindle (6″-2014), Kindle Paperwhite (2013 and 2015), and/or Kindle Voyage (2014), Amazon is pushing an update to your device in the next few weeks. The free, over-the-air software update includes:
• Personalized Home Screen: Your new Home screen brings forward your most recent reads, samples you’ve downloaded, items on your Amazon Wish List, relevant book recommendations, and more.
• Easily Access Popular Settings: Readers’ most-used settings—like airplane mode and device sync—can now be found in the same place with just one tap on your toolbar.
• Get Book Recommendations: Not sure what to read next? On your Kindle e-reader, identify your favorite genres and a few books you’ve already enjoyed—you’ll see a list of recommended titles to help you discover a book you’ll love.
• Sharing Made Easy: Share your favorite book or quote with friends and family via Facebook and Twitter. They’ll be able to read a sample of the book for free, instantly—even if they’ve never used a Kindle before. No download, sign up, or sign in required.
 
My thoughts: Three out of four of these upgrades are marketing tools that Amazon is either forcing on you or providing an opportunity for you to be the marketer. The personalized home screen with your wish list is to urge you to buy. Ditto for the book recommendations. The Sharing Made Easy feature is for you to promote Amazon’s books to your friends.
Even though you own the device, you don’t control the device.
Larry, a DCR regular, has commented several times that Amazon should give away the Kindle device. If they continue to manipulate what you see on your home screen and do not provide an opt-out feature, I agree with Larry. When my devices are upgraded, I’ll let you know if I find a way to suppress the recommendations or wish-list feature.
To find out which e-reader(s) you have, visit www.amazon.com/mycd and log into your Amazon account. You can view your e-reader(s) by selecting the “My Devices” tab.
Read more about the upgrades here.
 
Cheap Reads
Enjoy these three books that are selling for only $1.99 each.
Sit! Stay! Speak!: A Novel ($1.99) Addie Andrews is living a life interrupted. Tragedy sent her fleeing from Chicago to an unexpected inheritance—her beloved aunt’s somewhat dilapidated home in Eunice, Arkansas, population very tiny. She reconnects with some of her most cherished childhood memories. and gets a dog – bedraggled puppy she discovered abandoned, lost, and in desperate need of love. Kind of like Addie herself.
Skinwalker ($1.99 Audiobook $3.99) Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind-a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she’s been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps…
The Orchardist ($1.99) At the turn of the 20th century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a reclusive orchardist, William Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots as if they were loved ones. One day, two teenage girls appear and steal his fruit from the market. Feral, scared, and very pregnant, the girls take up on Talmadge’s land and indulge in his deep reservoir of compassion. Just as the girls begin to trust him, men arrive in the orchard with guns, and the shattering tragedy that follows will set Talmadge on an irrevocable course not only to save and protect but also to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past.
 
Cheap Romances for Valentines Day
Montlake Romance, an Amazon imprint, has priced 99 romances for only 99 cents each. Try a new author or build your library of your favorite author during this sale. Audiobooks are also selling at reduced prices. Click here to purchase 99 romances for 99 cents each.
Here are three popular books in the sale:
 

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Housekeeping: What to read, Organizing Goodreads, Throwback Thursday and Cheap Reads 2 comments

broom.panWhat to read?
Do you set an annual reading goal on Goodreads? Last year was the first year since I (Susan) started keeping track in 2011 that I didn’t meet my goal. I read 54 books, eleven shy of the goal of 65. Considering everything that transpired in 2015, I’m amazed I got that close.
Paula routinely racks up about three times that amount.
In 2016, I’m not thinking bigger. I’m thinking smaller. My goal is to read 20 great books. They will likely be interspersed with some pretty good and mediocre ones, but my focus is on reading great stories.
So, what is a great book that you recommend?
 
Organizing Goodreads
Charlene, one of our regular readers, sent us a question about how to organize books on Goodreads.
Goodreads comes with three basic shelves: Read, Currently Reading and To Read. I also noticed it has a Favorites shelf, but I haven’t used it yet.
goodreads_logo_140You can add any number of shelves you want. I made one called “Started Didn’t Finish.” That probably doesn’t need any more explanation. I also have a few “tbr” shelves of to-be-read titles divided by genre.
A little searching yielded some ideas for organizing books on Goodreads, including suggestions by Sunlit Pages and The Book Addicts Guide.
So Obsessed With recommends turning off your newsfeed before sorting your books, so your Goodreads friendds aren’t bombarded with every detail of your reading habits.
Read these articles, spend an hour or two selecting shelves and start the process. If you have many books (and who doesn’t?) pace yourself. Maybe one of your 2016 goals is to get your books in good order.
 
Throwback Thursday – Celebrating our First Anniversary
DCR Birthday 010DCR Birthday 011DCR Birthday 018
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
To mark our first anniversary on June 20, 2011, Susan had a sheet cake prepared with the DCR logo. Way back then we scheduled posts every two hours from morning to evening. As the day progressed, we shared the tale of the cake. What great fun putting that day together!
The quotes below were our comments that accompanied the three pictures here:

We asked the baker to refrain from overdoing the decoration and did that baker ever follow our request. White space and beyond. We will be cutting into this deliciousness later in the day when all the staff arrives. It’s still a bit early for some of them to be up and about.
–First post of the day.

What happened? We scheduled the cake cutting ceremony for 10:00am. Apparently some of the staff couldn’t wait that long.
I’ve got a fresh pot of coffee made and I’m going to enjoy a mid-morning break with a bite of this yummy confection. All of you are invited to stop by the conference room on the second floor of the DailyCheapReads world headquarters and enjoy cake with us.
–The 10:00am post

Oh, my. Cake carnage is not a pretty site. Many of you must have dropped in to enjoy the cake.
I’m feeling a bit drained from the busy day so I’ll just eat that last piece for a pick-me-up.
What a great day for DailyCheapReads and we are glad you stopped by to celebrate with us.
–Late afternoon post

The rest of the story
The world headquarters is Paula’s house and our staff is just the two of us. Paula’s husband Tiger did help us by enjoying a piece of the cake. Large portions were put in the freezer for another day.
Many of you left sweet comments and filled our hearts with gladness. I’m having a hankering for cake so we may have to schedule a photo shoot again soon.
 
Cheap Reads
Love is in the air! February is just around the corner and publishers will be slashing the prices on romances. Buy these bundles today for only 99 cents each.
Carly Phillips’s Simply Series Bundle (99 cents) Own the complete collection of Carly Phillips’s “Simply” series in one convenient download!
Bundle includes: Simply Sinful, Simply Scandalous, Simply Sensual, Body Heat, and Simply Sexy.
The Masters of Time Books 1-3 (99 cents) Three Highland warriors have been sent through time to save three special women from the forces of darkness. Discover the dark sensuality, action, and passion of Brenda Joyce’s paranormal romances with the first three books in the Master of Time series: Dark Seduction, Dark Rival and Dark Embrace.
Romney Marsh Trilogy (99 cents) In Kasey Michaels’s compelling Regency trilogy, former privateer Ainsley Becket and his adopted brood of rescued orphans retreat to Romney Marsh when they are targeted by a madman set on revenge. Bundle includes: A Gentleman By Any Other Name, The Dangerous Debutante and Beware of Virtuous Women.

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Housekeeping: The Wizard Audiobook; Guest Top 4 for 2015 and Cheap Read 0 comments

broom.panThe Wonderful Wizard Audiobook
I just listened to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on audiobook by narrator Anne Hathaway.
What an amazing presentation! Adults and children alike will fall in love all over again with this classic story.
Ms. Hathaway’s voices are engaging and hold a listener’s attention. Just under four hours in length when played at normal speed, this book goes quickly whether you are traveling, working out or relaxing.
If you buy this Kindle version of the classic for only 99 cents, you can purchase the audiobook version for an additional 99 cents. If you do not own a Kindle Fire, download the Audible app to other devices.
One of my favorite lines in the story comes from the Lion:

It is useless to fight people with shooting heads, no one can withstand them.

 
Top 4 in 2015 by Maria Schneider
The Darker Carnival ($3.44) by Frank Tuttle: This is the latest in the Markhat series. Great stuff, as always. Tuttle knows how to keep his fans happy–a great cast of characters, a mystery, lots of action and a world of fun. The problem is that you don’t really want it to end. I know I wanted a few more details on just how the magic worked in that last battle! These books are easily worth the price because all the Markhat books are under five dollars. I highly recommend the entire series. The first in the series is Dead Man’s Rain ($2.66).
 
 
Ellie Jordan: Ghost Trapper (Free Audiobook $2.99) by JL Bryan: This first book is a fairly linear story with a good ending that fits nicely. It took me a chapter to warm up to the characters, but it turned out they were a hoot and the mystery was well-done. The ghost aspects hit just the right mix of spooky atmosphere without diving off into “horror.” The best part is that book two is even better than book one and by book three there’s a possible romance in the air.
Good to Go ($0.99) by Marg McAlister: The author did a great job of not padding the story. She just told a good story and kept all the boring details off the page. This one is definitely a cozy. It’s sweet and cute. There’s just enough here to make for good easy reading and enough character development to keep you interested.
Disorganized Crime ($0.99) by Alex A. King was a romping fun read. It started a bit slow, but once the character got going, she was loyal, fun and determined. I laughed and giggled quite a few times. This is an oddball mystery, one where a small part of the main plot isn’t resolved. That normally drives me crazy, but in this case it fits and is as good as any a plot to serve as the over-arching plot across books.
And because I cannot stop at just four books, here’s another novel you will want to read.
No Game for a Dame (Free) by M. Ruth Meyers was an excellent read. I don’t generally like to read historical novels, but this was not only a nice stroll into some light cultural nostalgia, it was a good mystery too.
It’s almost always the characters that make the read for me and Maggie is no light-weight. Oh, I thought the stereotypical addition of her keeping gin in her desk drawer and mixing a gin and tonic now and then could have been left out–an obvious nod to the hard-boiled genre. Maggie is a smart gal, fairly tough and very determined. I liked the setting–the newsboy, the night watchmen, the things she ate were all nicely placed and seemed natural. I liked that there was an attraction between her and another character, but it didn’t supplant the mystery, and in fact, Maggie does her best to ignore it.
 
Maria Schneider is the author of three series. The Sedona O’Hala mystery series now has fourth book, Executive Dirt. She also writes the Moon Shadow Urban Fantasy series. You can find Maria at her blog, BearMountainBooks.com
 
Cheap Read for all Star Trek fans
The Autobiography of James T. Kirk (99 cents) The Autobiography of James T. Kirk chronicles the greatest Starfleet captain’s life (2233–2371), in his own words. From his birth on the U.S.S. Kelvin, his youth spent on Tarsus IV, his time in the Starfleet Academy, his meteoric raise through the ranks of Starfleet, and his illustrious career at the helm of the Enterprise, this in-world memoir uncovers Captain Kirk in a way Star Trek fans have never seen. Kirk’s singular voice rings throughout the text, giving insight into his convictions, his bravery, and his commitment to the life—in all forms—throughout this Galaxy and beyond. Excerpts from his personal correspondence, captain’s logs, and more give Kirk’s personal narrative further depth.

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Housekeeping: Read this; Throwback screensavers and Cheap Reads 10 comments

broom.panWould you read this book?
I wrote several months ago about a book blurb that was simply awful. Not deterred by my comments, the author continues to crank out the same quality literature.
Oh, the prose in these opening sentences:

Job jumped down from the rooftop, anxiously looking around for his friend Paul. He was supposed to meet him there to help him with the more difficult aspect of the repairs, but Paul was probably off gallivanting with some woman.

Paul, Paul, Paul. Job doesn’t know where you are, but he knows where you aren’t:

Job removed his cowboy hat and wiped the sweat from his brow, sighing at the open prairie, where the only living thing he could see wasn’t his friend Paul, but rather a herd of wild buffalo grazing peacefully in the sun.

Think about that phrase: the only living thing he could see wasn’t his friend Paul. You have to admit, emotions are evoked by just those few words.
I’m concerned about Job as he may be suffering from, um, indigestion.

Well that was just about the most obnoxious thing. Had he gone over to Paul’s home earlier that morning instead of fixing himself some nice beans and eggs, he would have had the help he needed.

If this small sample has piqued your interest, you will have to find the book in the Kindle Store on your own. I do not recommend it, but then again I’ve only read two paragraphs. Who am I to judge?
Someone needs to call the Grammar Police. We have a repeat offender.
 
Throwback Thursday
Remember these screensavers from the Kindle 2? Some early Kindlers considered them creepy. I didn’t like them and was always eager to slide the power button to remove them.
Kindle SS2
 
Top 4 Reads Coming Soon
Starting next week and periodically through the month, watch for the Top 4 Reads of 2015 from guest reviewers, Susan and Paula.
 
Cheap Reads
Lyrical Press, an imprint of Kensington, has reduced the price on several dozen romances to only 99 cents each. Historical, contemporary, romantic suspense, and more are included in the sale. Some are novella length while others are full novels. Click here browse the complete selection.
Three receiving high reader reviews are:
 

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Housekeeping: Paula’s Christmas Wish List; Christmas Bargain and Happy Book Flood 2 comments

broom.panWhat Paula Wants for Christmas from Amazon
Last year and the year before I asked for this, but Amazon hasn’t responded. I want to be able to either use an Amazon gift card or be able to purchase a gift card to use for Audible.com purchases.
Having 99 cents, $1.99 and similar small purchases on my debit card raises fraud concerns at my bank. I steadfastly refuse to purchase additional books to mitigate the fraud detector because I harbor a suspicion that Amazon and Audible want me to spend more.
 
My Best Christmas Bargain
I’ve listened to Jeffrey Stepakoff’s Fireworks Over Toccoa ($7.99 Kindle) and loved his portrayal of World War II-era Southern United States. Mr. Stepakoff’s novel The Orchard ($7.99 Kindle) has been on my wish list, but the publisher hasn’t cooperated by lowering the price.
While browsing through the Deals in Books at Amazon, I found The Orchard in hardcover for $1.96 (now $2.02). Into my cart it went.
Checking out, I was given the option of taking the standard delivery and getting a $1 credit for Kindle books. Score! A book I wanted for less than a dollar. It pays to be a Prime member.
In additional to free delivery, this month I’ve enjoyed several Christmas music playlists from Prime music, listening through my Echo. If you aren’t a Prime member, you might want to try it free for 30 days and then buy a year’s subscription for yourself.
 
 
Iceland Book Tree
 
Cheap Reads
This is the Christmas holiday and we should enjoy the time with family and friends to the fullest. These books are for buying today and reading in January. Purchase them for only 99 cents each.

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Housekeeping: Susan’s Christmas Wish; Cut-off dates and Cheap Reads 8 comments

broom.panSusan’s Christmas Wish
All I want for Christmas is….
One good, user-friendly system to organize my Kindle books.
I want this system to be like a bookcase – simple and efficient. When I put a book on a “shelf,” it can be placed in a certain spot and it won’t appear on other shelves. That’s how I’ve organized my print books for years and digital books need to behave the same way.
I want it to be connected to my Amazon account, not a separate program.
I want the review rating to appear with the book. Recently, I picked out a book that had a promising cover but turned out to be a dud. When I went to rate it on Goodreads, I saw it had a three-star rating. If I had known that while wandering through the maze of digital books on my Kindle Paperwhite, I could have avoided the disappointment. The option to add a tag, such as, “Paula recommends this” would also be nice.
Bookcase AppI want to be able to access the bookcase from any devise connected to my Kindle account. And I want to have one bookcase for my all my books, not a separate “collections” system for each device like the mess I somehow created between my Paperwhite, Fire, Kindle for PC and Goodreads account.
Here’s how my dream system works: I visit Daily Cheap Reads from my computer and purchase a book. When Amazon asks if I want to start reading now, it also asks if I want to put it on a shelf. Then it takes me to my bookcase. This screen is a not a jumble of every book I’ve purchased in the last five years. It looks like a bookshelf with categories that I created like Mysteries, Historicals To Be Read, Loved These or Don’t Waste Your Time.
When I click on the Mysteries section, the books come up. In the first spot is the book I bought three months ago that I want to read but had completely slipped my mind. I stick the new book into the No. 2 spot.
Later that night, when I finish reading a book on my Paperwhite, Goodreads asks how many stars I would give it. I also have the option to move it to a new shelf. Time for a new book. A mystery? How about a contemporary romance. I click on the shelf, pass over a few with poor ratings and select one to read.
There are several systems to organize Kindle books, and I’ve tried most for a week or two. The key is to be able to simply add new books to the collection, otherwise any system quickly deteriorates. I wonder if Amazon doesn’t mind the mess because it makes me forget how many books I own, so I’ll buy more.
Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads makes this the perfect place to create a user friendly bookshelf system.
Am I asking for too much this Christmas?
 
Holiday Ordering Cutoff Dates for Prime Members
Amazon has announced the following important dates for Prime members:
Tuesday, December 22 – Last day for free 2-day shipping
Wednesday, December 23 – Last day for 1-day shipping and you pay
Thursday, December 24 – FREE Same-Day Delivery in 16-cities and FREE Two-Hour Delivery with Prime Now in select cities. See more information here.
Friday, December 25 – E-mail a gift card or give the gift of Prime.
The calendar above applies only to the contiguous U.S. states.
 
Cheap Reads from British authors

HarperCollins has cut the price on a dozen classic British mysteries by the queen of the genre, Agatha Christie, to only $1.99 each. Take this chance to add to your Kindle library.
 
Baking with Mary Berry: Cakes, Cookies, Pies and Pastries from the British Queen of Baking ($1.99) A sweet and savory collection of more than 100 foolproof recipes from the reigning “Queen of Baking” Mary Berry, who has made her way into American homes through ABC’s primetime series, The Great Holiday Baking Show, and the PBS series, The Great British Baking Show.
Baking with Mary Berry draws on Mary’s more than 60 years in the kitchen, with tips and step-by-step instructions for bakers just starting out and full-color photographs of finished dishes throughout.
 
Every Time a Bell Rings (99 cents) Inspired by the timeless tale of beloved Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, Carmel Harrington’s next book tells the story of Belle, a young woman and foster carer from Dublin who faces the hardest decision of her life this Christmas on The Ha’Penny Bridge.
Dishonour (99 cents) Family care lawyer Lilly Valentine’s life is demanding enough. But when she is begged for help by Anwar Khan after his teenage sister commits suicide, she finds herself dragged into a community terrified by a self-styled vigilante group vowing to protect it’s women – by any means necessary…
The Affair (99 cents) A passionate, tender and captivating story of glamour, infidelity and love, behind the scenes of the most iconic Hollywood movie ever made
Rome 1961. As the camera rolls on the film set of Cleopatra, the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton love affair is about to capture the world’s attention. When Diana Bailey arrives on set to begin work as a historical advisor, tensions are running high.

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Housekeeping: 2000 days of Daily Cheap Reads and Two throwback columns 33 comments

broom.pan2000 Days!
Today marks the 2,000th consecutive day we have blogged great cheap reads for the Kindle. Our debut was on June 20, 2010.
Many of you have been with us from the beginning when we were green and uncertain. Thank you for sticking with us while we found our way and learned through trial and error.
From Day 1 our goal was to enhance the Kindle experience by telling you of the great deals so you could spend your time reading, not surfing on Amazon.
You have been with us through my husband Tiger’s illness, our father’s 95th birthday, the unexpected passing of our brother and many other life events we haven’t shared. You have encouraged us when we needed it.
We considered giving 2,000 reasons why we love our site visitors. But who wants to read through a list that long? Instead we created our ABCs of the last 5 1/2 years:
Early KindleA: Audiobooks – another way to work through my to-be-read list.
B: Books – thousands of books, totally portable that never need dusting.
C: Customer service – Amazon’s is second to none.
D: Dictionary – right at the touch of a finger; it’s enough to spoil a reader
E: Echo – an amazing device that I’m just learning to use.
F: Fire – a great little tablet selling for as little as $49.99.
G: Greatest – the readers who stop by Daily Cheap Reads and purchase their Kindle books through us.
H: Highlighting – a feature I never thought I would use but turn to frequently.
I: Inventory – I really need to inventory my Kindle devices and reading apps.
J: Just – one more chapter. I promise.
K: Kindle – the e-reader that has evolved and improved exponentially in six short years.
L: Loan – your Kindle books to other Kindle owners
M: Martian, The ($8.99) – one of my favorite books from 2015 reading.
N: Nacho Libre – the first movie I watched on my Kindle Fire.
O: Original Kindle – Remember your first Kindle? Do you still have it? Do you use it? Or do you keep it for sentimental reasons like I have?
P: PaperWhite: My #1 reading device until the Voyage was released.
Q Manifesto by Alan Schleimer ($2.99 Audiobook $1.99) – one of the first books I listened to on my Kindle Fire.
R: Runner, Word – a speed reading tool on the latest Kindle Fire tablet that is going to help me work through my Kindle library.
S: Switch – remember that 5-way switch and the bubble keyboard on the Kindle 2? Sure seems primitive now.
T: Touch – the Kindle that was a not-great-device that bridged the gap between the five-way switch and a reliable touchscreen reader.
U: Underground – actually free apps available to Prime members.
V: Voyage – my #1 favorite reading device – until a newer model debuts.
W: WhisperSync or Wi-fi – we have a choice!
X: X-Ray – explore the “Bones of the Book”.
Y: Years – more than five – the number of years that Daily Cheap Reads has been posting great books at great prices.
Z: Zzzzs… Sleep I’m missing by staying up reading.
 
Housekeeping Throwback to February 2012 – The story of how Daily Cheap Reads began
Three years ago this month my Kindle was delivered to our door. I had learned of the innovative e-book reader from a co-worker whose brother had a beta version at Sprint, the wireless provider for the first two generations of Kindle.
I’m a risk-averse, prudent person, usually the last to adapt to technology. Yet I was drawn to this device. As the cost was $359 plus a cover and a reading light, I discussed the purchase with my husband Tiger. He encouraged me to place the pre-order. No doubt he was thinking of the ever-growing inventory of books taking over the guest room.
When the Kindle arrived I quickly learned the basics and purchased a couple of books. I bookmarked the Kindle Store on my laptop. The label on the bookmark stated there are over 230,000 books. Today a bookmark label indicates more than one million books.
In the early months I alternated between reading a Kindle book and a paperback, probably out of guilt over those unread books I already owned. I’ve gotten over that guilt.
IMAGE_029Then tragedy struck. My Kindle didn’t break. I did.
I shattered my wrist into pieces so small they could not be pinned. From fingertips to shoulder, my arm was immobilized to allow the bones to begin knitting together. My Kindle became my new best friend. For six weeks I sat on the loveseat, hugged my battered wing close and read book after book with a click of the button with my good hand. (Picture at left is 8 weeks after break.)
In my painkiller-induced haze, I paid $9.99 for a book that was downright awful. I vowed I would never spend $9.99 again for a bad book. That was the seed that became DailyCheapReads.
 
Housekeeping Throwback to June 21, 2012 – What I love/not so much about Kindles
What I love about my Kindle: Using the dictionary to instantly look up words I don’t know, instead of making a mental note that I should look that word up, but never doing so. Kindle makes me smarter!
Not so much: It’s really hard to skip ahead to see how a book ends, just to make sure the hero saves the day and the guy gets the girl.
 
Love: Nobody knows what book I’m reading.
Not so much: I can’t see the book cover and sometimes I forget what book I’m reading.
 
Love: Free books!
Not so much: I have 500 free books in my archive. I can’t stack them in a pile by the bedside in the order I want to read them.
 
Love: I can make the font size bigger. Not that I need to, of course, but every once in awhile, before bed after I take my contacts out, I may occasionally make the font size bigger. This is no indication that I’m getting older or my eyesight is getting weaker. It just means I want to use all the features on my Kindle. Because I can.
Not so much: I can’t read while taking a relaxing bath for fear of both steam and dropping it in the water.
 
Love: Highlighting certain passages that I like or want to use in a book review.
Not so much: That moment of panic when I can’t find my Kindle and thinking I didn’t lose a 25 cent paperback I bought at a garage sale, I lost every book I’ve ever purchased in the last two years.
 
Love: Not having to hunt up a book mark and ending up sticking a flier from the carpet store in the book to mark my place.
Not so much: When reading in public, everybody wants to look at it and play with it. Do you mind, I’m reading here?
 
Love: “Borrowing” a book without having to wonder where the library book has been as I cradle it against my body reading in the recliner.
Not so much: Not being able to skim back through the book to re-check facts. I know this is possible, but it’s not easy.
 
Love: Tweeting lines of books that I really like and impressing the Twittersphere with my scope of reading.
Not so much: Talking about how much I enjoy my Kindle, then having to listen to someone rant for 20 minutes about how much they love the feel of books and they can’t understand why anyone would give them up.
 
Read any great books lately?
If Daily Cheap Reads has introduced you to a new author, shown you a deal on a book you had been waiting to buy or encouraged your reading habit, please leave us a note. Your support by visiting and purchasing your Kindle books and other products from Amazon through our site has allowed us to remain focused on the Kindle and keep our site ad-free. Thank you for being amazing friends!

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Housekeeping: Future of publishing and Cheap Reads 0 comments

broom.panFuture of Publishing
Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch penned an editorial in the Wall Street Journal on December 1 of his view of the future of the publishing industry.
Pietsch believes that the industry will continue pretty much as it has for centuries. Even the explosion of self-publishing has not altered how traditional publishers conduct their business.
He predicts that “New forms will emerge for mobile devices, as millions abandon e-readers with phones already in their pockets.”
Read the article here.
 
Young adult fiction
You can’t beat free! Download this short read from Piatkus, an imprint of Little, Brown & Co.
Oscar Oliver’s Christmas (Free) Heart wrenching and heart warming, this is a beautifully told short story that sees the festive season in a different light. Suitable for ages 8-12.
 
 
 
 
The Cyber Monday Kindle Book Sale includes many books for children and teens at great prices. These three books are only 99 cents each.
 

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Housekeeping: Eight Days of Holiday Deals, Holiday Deals Kindle Sale and Cheap Reads 0 comments

broom.panEight Days of Holiday Deals
From the press release:

Amazon.com announced holiday deals start on Friday, November 20, with new deals added as often as every five minutes for eight straight days at www.amazon.com/blackfriday.
Customers will have access to 10 coveted Deals of the Day starting at midnight on Thanksgiving, and up to 10 more on BlackFriday. Customers can also shop limited-time Lightning Deals on thousands of sought-after products per day throughout the eight days of deals. Plus, Prime members will get 30-minutes early access to the majority of these Lightning Deals.
 
This year, Amazon will introduce more than 150 hand-picked Lightning Deals on everything from electronics to kitchen gadgets only through the Amazon Mobile Shopping App available on Android, iOS, and Fire OS. These deals can be found on the “App Only Deals” tab and will be released daily from 3 PM PT to 11 PM PT starting Thanksgiving through Wednesday, December 9. In addition, Prime members in 20 metro areas can use the dedicated Prime Now mobile app to enjoy free two-hour delivery on select Deals of the Day throughout the holiday season.

 
Following are examples of some of the top deals that will be available at various times between November 20 and Black Friday at www.amazon.com/blackfriday:
Kindle Paperwhite, $99.99
Fire, $34.99
Fire Kids Edition, $84.99
$25 off Amazon Fire TV
$15 off Amazon Fire TV Stick and Amazon Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote
$30 off Kindle and Kindle for Kids Bundle
 
Instead of joining the millions who will brave the crowds shopping on Black Friday, we will be watching for the deals on Kindle readers, tablets and books. We’ll post them on the blog. Let;s hope the supply for the popular items is more than Prime Day. I’m hoping to score a deal on the an Echo ($179.99).
 
Holiday Deals Sale Ends Soon
The Kindle Holiday Deals end Monday, November 30. Over all, this sale isn’t different than the Big Deal Sales that Amazon has promoted the last couple of years. With more than a thousand books in the sale, there are a few good reads at good prices. Hope you have found a few for your library.
 
Cheap Reads
Publishers are lowering the prices on many Christmas titles and now is the time to buy your favorite author’s holiday books. These romances are $2.99 each.
 

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Housekeeping: Free Prime Offer; Daily Deal Changes, Countdown to Black Friday & Cheap Christmas Reads 0 comments

broom.panFree Prime Offer
New and existing customers who upgrade or add a new line with Sprint on qualifying Samsung devices, receive a full year of Amazon Prime, a $99 value. Already a Prime member? You will be given a one-year extension.
Sprint fanQualified Samsung smartphones include Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ and Samsung Note5. Customers can get their new Samsung smartphone through Sprint Lease, Sprint Easy Pay, sign a two-year contract or pay full retail price.
The offer is available until Nov. 30, 2015 at Sprint stores, Sprint at RadioShack, or by phone at 1-800-Sprint1. Read more about the deal and the phones here.
 
Changes to the Daily Deal
In previous Housekeeping columns I have expressed my dissatisfaction with the quality of the books offered in the Daily Deal. Even with the less-than-stellar quality of books, Amazon did take the time to present the Deals attractively with the featured book and deals in romance, non-fiction, sci-fi/fantasy and young adult. Each book included a snippet from a customer review.
Several weeks ago that nice presentation was dumped and the books were listed in a row with no classification, no review – just the book covers. Then more changes came.
This past week young adult and non-fiction titles haven’t been included most days. I’ve taken time to find a young adult book each day for the post.
This may be a foreshadowing of the end of the Daily Deal. Amazon is definitely putting less effort into the selections.
 
Countdown to Black Friday
Amazon has begun their holiday promotions. Check out the deals before Black Friday!

 
Cheap Christmas Reads
Publishers are reducing the prices on Christmas and holiday books. We will be featuring many of these titles in the coming weeks.
 
All I Want For Christmas is Fudge ($1.99) This Christmas, event planner Jenn Christensen has come back to the winter wonderland of Mackinac Island, Michigan, to rekindle her love for CSI tech Shane Carpenter and indulge in her BFF Allie McMurphy’s fabulous fudge. But there’s one event she didn’t plan—chasing down a killer.
Cowboy Boots for Christmas ($1.99) After two tours in Afghanistan, retired Army sniper Finn O’Donnell believes his new ranch outside the sleepy little town of Burnt Boot, Texas, is the perfect place for an undisturbed holiday season. But before he can settle in, an old friend shows up looking for protection and a place where nobody knows her name.
The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby ($1.99) After a year in Kuwait, Lucas Allen can’t wait to get back to his ranch for Christmas and meet his gorgeous Internet pal in person. When he pulls in, there’s Natalie Clark right in his front yard with a pink pistol in her hand and a dead coyote at her feet.
Lucas is unfazed. But wait…is that a baby in her arms?

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