Category: Housekeeping
Lite Housekeeping: Follow up to Texture Premium – Get a free 7″ Kindle Fire tablet 0 comments

broom.panFollow up on Texture Premium
Last Thursday the Housekeeping post discussed Texture Premium – a subscription service that gives you access to more than 175 magazines for only $14.99 month.
Texture is offering an even better deal: For a limited time, if you buy a 6-month subscription for $89.95, you will receive a promotional code for a free 7″ Fire tablet.
From the webpage:

Limited-time only – Free Fire 7” Tablet with Special Offers (8 GB) ($49.99 value) with a qualifying purchase of 6-month subscription.
The Free Fire Tablet offer is not available with purchase of a monthly subscription. A promotional code applicable towards a Fire 7” tablet (8 GB) with Special Offers will be emailed directly from Texture approximately 8 days after a qualifying purchase of a 6-month subscription to Texture Premium.
While supplies last. Restrictions apply, see full terms and conditions here.

 
When you get to the webpage for Texture Premium, click on the “WITH FREE FIRE TABLET” button as shown below to access the deal.

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Housekeeping: Free Prime for Students; Texture Subscription and Cheap Reads 2 comments

broom.pan
Students – Get 6-months of Prime FREE courtesy of Sprint
Students with a valid .edu email address are eligible for six free months of Amazon Student Prime.
This free membership gives students free 2-Day shipping on millions of items, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video, free Kindle books to borrow, free unlimited photo storage and exclusive offers and discounts.
Also, if a Prime member refers a friend to become a Prime member, each one gets a $5 credit.
When signing up, students must provide the valid .edu email address and specify their college, year and major.
After the free 6 months, students will automatically continue receiving Amazon Prime benefits at 50% off – a cost of only $49 a year – for up to four years with automatic renewal. The student may cancel at any time.
NOTE: Prime music is available after the upgrade to membership at 50% off.

 
Texture Subscription – 175+ Magazines
If you are an avid magazine reader, a subscription to Texture Premium may be the best-priced option for you to receive digital-formatted titles. For $14.99 a month, you will have access to more than 175 mags on up to five devices. There’s no long term commitment and you can sign up for a free 30-day trial.
Top titles include: Architectural Digest, Better Homes & Garden, Bloomberg Businessweek, Bon Appetit, Consumer Reports, ESPN The Magazine, Forbes, GQ, HGTV Magazine, National Geographic, The Oprah Magazine, People, Popular Science, Reader’s Digest, Real Simple, Rolling Stone, Shape, Sports Illustrated, Sunset, The Atlantic, Time, Travel + Leisure, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Wired, and more.
Texture is your all-access pass to the world’s best magazines. Enjoy all the top titles across every category on your phone and tablet.
For one low monthly price, you’ll get:
• Unlimited access to the best magazines
• To share your account on up to 5 devices
• Entire issues plus digital extras
• Stories when they hit newsstands and often earlier
• An easy-to-search archive of back issues
• Stories and collections curated daily for you
• Downloads for offline reading
• A modern magazine experience like no other
Click here to purchase Texture Premium Subscription
 
Cheap Reads – Dog Days of August!
The dog days of August are in full swing and publishers have reduced the price of books featuring the popular four-footed friends. Buy these three novels for only $1.99 each.
 
Stepdog ($1.99) Can Rory rescue Cody (a dog) and convince Sara that they belong together—with Cody—as a family? First they’ll need to survive a madcap adventure that takes them through the heart of America.
Sit! Stay! Speak! ($1.99 Audiobook $3.99) Addie Andrews is living a life interrupted. Tragedy sent her fleeing from Chicago to the shelter of an unexpected inheritance—her beloved aunt’s somewhat dilapidated home in Eunice, Arkansas, population very tiny. Most surprising of all, she’s got a dog. But not any dog, but a bedraggled puppy she discovered abandoned, lost, and in desperate need of love. Kind of like Addie herself.
Dog Crazy ($1.99) As a pet bereavement counselor, Maggie Brennan uses a combination of empathy, insight, and humor to help patients cope with the anguish of losing their beloved four-legged friends. Though she has a gift for guiding others through difficult situations, Maggie has major troubles of her own that threaten the success of her counseling practice and her volunteer work with a dog rescue organization.

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Lite Housekeeping: Greenbaglady – Enter to win a free cloth bag 4 comments

Talk about perfect timing. Earlier this summer a friend introduced me to the greenbaglady, Teresa. She tells her story and purpose on her blog:

Green Bag Lady is an eco-friendly art project started by artist Teresa VanHatten-Granath in 2008. Teresa and her international teams of volunteer “Bagettes” make bags out of donated fabric and give them away for FREE in exchange for the promise to refuse paper + plastic when shopping….Join us! Let’s change the world…one bag at a time.

 
In June I entered her giveaway hoping for one of the patriotic bags. I won and received a colorful bag perfect for groceries, tennis shoes, just about anything. Just a week later, I needed 10 bags for an event that my husband was promoting. Off went the email requesting help and within a week the box of bags arrived. Teresa and her team became my heroes.
Today through Monday you can go to greenbaglady.blogspot.com and enter to win one of 17 whimsical back-to-school themed bags. Enter your email address in the comments (Follow her instructions to disguise your email so it doesn’t get picked up by spam bots). She selects winners and sends out free bags. And if you don’t win this time, she has a give-away every month.
Remember, you have to enter in the comments on greenbaglady.blogspot.com for a chance to win. She has clear instructions for you to follow.
Baglady bts freeb
Register to win a free bag, reject paper or plastic when you go shopping and support Teresa in her efforts.

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Housekeeping: Reality and a few changes; Same and Different, Free short listen and Cheap read 10 comments

broom.panReality and a few changes
Seven summers. This is our seventh summer of bringing great reads at great prices to you. Way back in the beginning, we were rookie bloggers and the Kindle 2 was the hottest e-reader ever. The novelty of the device and having an unlimited number of books at the touch of a button fueled buying sprees.
The newness and novelty have passed. Most of us have calculated that we will have to live into our 100s to read our archive inventory. We now hover over that one-click buy button a bit longer before buying.
That’s the natural maturation of any emerging technology – boom, then a decline to a level point. Daily Cheap Reads has run the cycle. After a time of boom, our sales have declined and have leveled to a much lower amount than our glory days. Amazon has made changes to the commission structure and their aggressive direct marketing to Kindle book buyers have also contributed to the decline.
dailycr[1]Because of the declining revenue, we decided to make a changes to reclaim a few hours of our time each week. For now the changes will be small, such as no bold type or italics in posts starting tomorrow. (I might forget since I’ve been doing it for a very long time. Patience please.)
Another change is that Housekeeping posts during the month of August will be on the first and third Thursdays.That may become the regular schedule.
We appreciate each person who comes by to visit and purchase through our blog. We rely wholly on Amazon commissions as we do not to sell advertising space, giving you an uncluttered browsing experience.
Thanks for your continued support of our site!
 
The Same Book, Different Covers

The Kindle version of Brave the Heat is currently available free. If you download it, you can purchase the companion audiobook for $3.49.
Audible.com (right above) has a very different cover than Kindle. You have to wonder which one is the more accurate portrayal. The audiobook gives the idea of a small town, sweet romance. The one of the left is edgier and gives the impression of a spicy romance.
 
Free Short Listen
Audible.com is offereing a free novella, Every Beat of My Heart by Bella Andre. You do not need to be a member of Audible to download.
Description: What do you get when two Sullivans pick the same wedding date? Two super-sexy grooms. Two beautiful brides. Two very unconventional (four-legged and furry) ring bearers.
And Sullivans from around the word coming together to celebrate vows of forever with auto mogul Zach Sullivan and dog trainer Heather Linsey – and pro baseball star Ryan Sullivan and sculptor Vicki Bennett.
This is the double wedding millions of Sullivan fans have been waiting for….
The offer ends August 8.
 
Cheap Delectable Mystery
A runaway international bestseller and winner of Spain’s top literary prize, Little Indiscretions is part ingeniously entertaining whodunit and part sparkling social satire. Buy it today for only 99 cents.
Little Indiscretions (99 cents) Business is slow for Nestor Chaffino, pastry chef to the rich and famous, until he’s invited to cater a party in a villa on the Costa del Sol. When Nestor is found frozen to death in a walk-in freezer with a notebook in his hand, the party guests gathered that evening are the natural suspects. But who could have it in for a harmless cook?
The answer, it turns out, is just about everyone who happens to be staying in the house. Nestor, while quietly stirring his sauces and whisking his egg whites, had decided to publish a compendium of gastronomic secrets that revealed, along with the culinary tricks of his trade, more than a few damning details of the hosts’ and houseguests’ private lives. To what lengths would they go to ensure that Nestor maintained a more permanent sense of discretion?

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Housekeeping: A TBL list; Handmade and Cheap Reads 8 comments

broom.panDo you have a TBL list?
Audiobooks have become the new darling of the publishing world. They are now the fastest-growing format in the book business today. In 2015, sales were up 21% over the previous year.
The money that publishers are making increased too. Downloaded audiobook revenue in the U.S. grew 38% last year from 2014.
Sales in 2016 are continuing the trend of rising sales and revenue. Audiobook producers are answering the demand by using more celebrity narrators, full-cast productions and early releases of audio versions.
Confession from Paula: I’m an audiobook addict. I listen while preparing posts for this site, while preparing meals, while doing light tasks at my desk job, while in the car, while exercising and any other time possible. In the seven months of this year I have listened to 138 recordings – 130 were full-length books. I also have a lengthy TBL (to-be-listened) list.
Read more about the growing popularity of audiobooks in this article in the Wall Street Journal.
 
Handmade by Amazon
Amazon has its own Etsy-type marketplace – Handmade.
The site is chockful of practical and eclectic items for yourself or gift-giving. You can limit your browsing by a particular category. I like that I can filter by the resident state of the artist.
You can buy handmade Kindle covers or clever tablet stands.
I probably have at least 427 cookbooks in my Kindle library. Having this tablet stand would make things easier in the kitchen. Perhaps you will find the perfect something for your home.
 
Cheap Reads – Historical mysteries
Buy these two historical mysteries for only 99 cents each today.
Egypt (99 cents) The future of Egypt lies in the hands of the Medjay’s chief detective Rahotep. Rahotep on a high-stakes adventure across enemy empires and rogue states on a top-secret mission to secure the fate of the dynasty.
Tainted Innocence (99 cents) England, 1524. In Cambridge, the College of the Young Princes brings together all manner of people—with all manner of secrets. Among them is Bryony, an illiterate laundress and a stranger to the town, who lives in constant fear that her unusual upbringing and lack of friends will leave her vulnerable to accusations of witchcraft.
When Matthew Hobson, a scholar at the college, is found murdered and wrapped in linen that Bryony lost, she immediately becomes a suspect. But she is not the only one.

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Housekeeping: Born Reader, Free Audiobook, Graphic Novels for only 49 cents each and Cheap Reads 8 comments

broom.panBorn Reader
Were you born to be a reader? Or did you develop the habit?
Bustle.com posted an article citing 14 signs you were born to be a reader. Not all of them were applicable to me, but a dozen were. I’ll consider that to be an affirmative that it was pre-determined that I would be a life-long reader.
One of the signs is “your family reads a lot.” Definitely true with us. We grew up reading and just kept right on through college and adulthood. Our sister who lives in New Mexico took a sabbatical from her job and spent five months last year caring for a relative. In that time, she read 180 books and novellas – that’s more than one a day.
The list includes research findings that reading reduces stress and links to this article in the United Kingdom’s Telegraph. “Even six minutes (of reading) can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds” studies have shown. That’s nothing short of amazing. Next time you feel stressed, grab your Kindle and take a 10-15 minute reading break.
 
Free Audiobook
Download the free Kindle version of The Three Musketeers and download the audiobook free, too.
Book Description: When d’Artagnan goes to Paris to become a Musketeer, he embarks on a swashbuckling adventure with the legendary Porthos, Athos, and Aramis. If they wish to trump the nefarious Cardinal Richelieu, it’s got to be “all for one, one for all.”
 
 
 
Justice League Graphic Novels
If you love superheros, now is the time to fill your Kindle or Fire with Justice League Graphic Novels. Nearly 100 graphic novels featuring the Justice League are selling for only 49 cents each. Some of the books are around 24 pages in length, while others are more than 200 pages. You might want to buy Justice League of America (2006-2011) #1, a 224-page over-sized first issue written by Brad Meltzer. It’s only 49 cents today!
You can also buy Injustice Graphic Novels for 49 cents each. There are 80 of these selling supercheap.
If you are really into comicx, browse these 1,872 graphic novels which are selling for only 49 cents each.
 
Cheap Reads
Read a suspense novel this weekend when you buy these two for only 99 cents each.
 
Never Tell a Lie (99 cents) It all started with the yard sale. Ivy was eight months and one week pregnant when she insisted that she and her husband, David, clean out the junk from the old Victorian house they’d bought three years before.
It turned out that the customer asking about the lime-green glass swan dish—the woman who looks just about as pregnant as Ivy—was Melinda White, a former high school classmate of David and Ivy’s. When Melinda was a child she used to play in their new house, she explained. Would it be all right if she took a look around? David took Melinda inside. And she never came out.
212 (99 cents Audiobook $3.99) When a student is murdered following a series of threatening messages posted on a college gossip site, NYPD detectives Ellie Hatcher and J. J. Rogan are assigned the case. As they dig deeper, however, they discover the victim was only one of many-and the killer isn’t finished.

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Housekeeping: Prime Day 2017 Analysis, Amazon Reports on Prime Day and Cheap Reads 8 comments

broom.panPrime Day 2017 Analysis
Prime Day 2016 was done right. Amazon heard the harsh criticism from last year and spent a year planning and implementing Tuesday’s event to quiet the detractors.
I think that in 2015 someone at Amazon had the Prime Day idea in mid-May and the company worked hard to get it together in a too-short time frame. Sadly, they patterned the day after the classic “lightning deal” without enough inventory or time during the deal for customers to complete the purchase.
In 2015, Amazon seriously underestimated the Prime buyer. We didn’t want cheap stuff at small discounts. Prime Day should be items we want at reduced prices. Don’t think: clear out crap from the warehouses. Think instead: reward us for investing $99 in Amazon.
 
Prime Day 2016 did these things right:
PD Options Crop1) The inventory of popular items was sufficient for the demand. No more embarrassment of having only one Kate Spade purse to sell (see this Housekeeping post from 2015).
2) The prices on Amazon devices were priced right. Selling the $49.99 Kindle Fire for $33.33 was well worth picking up a spare to have on hand for gift-giving or just because. The Echo and Fire TV deals were attractive, too. TVs were hot sellers for those in the market.
3) Customers didn’t have to wade through endless cellphone covers to find the worthwhile items. A buyer could narrow their search to specific broad categories; select products by average review and determine the price range desired.
4) Discounts were available across broad categories, such as up to 50% off luxury beauty cosmetics. Granted, the audience for this discount may be limited, but the buyer could quickly browse what was in the deal and move on.
I don’t particularly need or want for anything and bought four items this prime day. I purchased two $33.33 Kindle Fires for a friend who doesn’t Prime. Jigsaw puzzles are a weakness and I stumbled on a 15-minute deal that was 40% off.
 
The fourth item ordered wasn’t a smooth transaction. I received an e-mail advertising a price break on an Alexa Tap sling if I ordered through my Echo. I could use one because I ordered a Tap when it was greatly reduced in the Countdown to Prime Day sales. Buying through Alexa is easy and in 30 seconds it was a done deal. Alexa did tell me the total was the full price, but I assumed the discount would be applied later. When the email invoice arrived, no discount. OOPS!
I contacted Customer Care and the helpful lady there said that others had called with a similar issue. She quickly issued a $10 credit to make the price right. This year, ordering from Alexa is not quite ready for Prime Day. By the time Prime Day 2017 rolls around, Alexa ordering will probably give customers options for payment (gift card balance or debit/credit card); ship-to address and if the purchase is a gift.
Ever optimistic, here’s hoping the Oasis is discounted for Prime Day 2017.
What did you think of Prime Day? Thumbs up or thumbs down? Were you so burned last year that you didn’t even bother? Give us your impressions – including the good and the bad.
 
What Amazon said about Prime Day – From the Press Release

The second annual Prime Day was the biggest day ever for Amazon. Amazon today announced customer orders surpassed Prime Day 2015 by more than 60% worldwide and more than 50% in the U.S. It was also the biggest day ever for Amazon devices globally and record Prime Day for each Amazon device category including Fire TV, Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers and Alexa-enabled devices. Prime Day was a great savings day too – members globally saved more than double on deals over Prime Day 2015.

Prime Day 2016 highlights globally:
Sold over 2.5x more Amazon Fire TV devices compared to Prime Day last year – Fire TV Stick was the best-selling Amazon device.
More than two million toys and more than one million pairs of shoes were purchased by customers on Prime Day 2016.
More than 90,000 TVs were purchased on Prime Day 2016.
Hundreds of thousands of Kindle e-readers sold on Prime Day.
Prime member orders on the Amazon app surpassed Prime Day 2015 mobile app orders by more than 2x.
More than a million customers used the Amazon app for the first time on Prime Day to shop and to watch-a-deal.
The Prime Photos sweepstakes had two million submissions worldwide during the lead-up to Prime Day, the winner will be randomly selected on or about July 14.

Prime Day 2016 highlights from the U.S.:
Amazon devices were up over 3x compared to Prime Day last year.
Biggest day ever for Amazon Echo – up over 2.5x compared to previous record day.
The most popular Amazon Dash Button brands purchased on Prime Day were Cascade, Charmin and Tide.
Members purchased over 215,000 Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cookers.
Members purchased over 200,000 headphones.
Members purchased over 24,000 Double Hammocks by Vivere.
Members purchased over 23,000 iRobot Roomba 614 Vacuum Cleaning Robots.
Members purchased over 14,000 Lenovo laptops.
Members purchased on average one Alexa-exclusive deal per second during Prime Day using their voice.

 
Cheap Reads
Buy these two books in the Christchurch Noir Crime Series for only $1.99 each today.
The Cleaner ($1.99 Audiobook $3.99) Joe is in control of everything in his simple life—both his day job as a janitor for the police department and his “night work.” He isn’t bothered by the daily news reports of the Christchurch Carver, who, they say, has murdered seven women. Joe knows, though, that the Carver killed only six. He already knows he can outwit the police.
Five Minutes Alone ($1.99 Audiobook $3.99) Carl Schroder and Theodore Tate, labeled “The Coma Cops” by the media, are finally getting their lives back into shape. For Schroder, things are neither good nor bad. The bullet lodged in his head from a shooting six months ago hasn’t killed him, but—almost as deadly—it’s switched off his emotions.
When the body of a convicted rapist is found, obliterated by an oncoming train, Tate works the case, trying to determine if this is murder or suicide. The following night, two more rapists go missing. It’s hard to investigate when everyone on the police force seems to be rooting for the killer.

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Housekeeping: Prime Day 2016 Cometh; Hold the Page! and A Cheap Read 6 comments

broom.panPrime Day Cometh!
Clear the calendar, call in sick, set the alarm and drink caffeinated beverages. You don’t want to miss a minute of the great deals on Prime Day 2016, Tuesday, July 12.
Then again, if it is like last year’s Prime Day, there may not be much to generate excitement.
Amazon is doing a better job of setting expectations this year by issuing this notice:
Prime Day Spotlight Deals feature top brands and popular items with deep discounts that last until we run out of stock. These are the best deals you’ll find on Prime Day.
A Lightning Deal is a promotion that lasts for a short time, usually just a few hours. When a Lightning Deal is available, you’ll see this on the product page:
• A status bar indicator showing the percentage of items held by others.
• A timer showing how long you have to add the deal to your Cart.
You can set a reminder for an upcoming Lightning Deal by adding a push notification in your smartphone’s Amazon App
If all items are held by others (the status bar indicator shows “100% claimed”), you can sign up for the waiting list by clicking the Join Waitlist button, if there is an open slot available in the waitlist. You’ll be notified on your Smartphone when you can claim an item if it becomes available.
Prime Savings and Deals are promotions that run all day or within Prime Day. When you browse the Prime Day Deals page for Prime Member promotions, click the See Details button to view the discount amount. When you add an item to your cart and check out, the discount is applied in the checkout page.
 
Whatever Prime Day is this year, we’ll be here and will let you know if we find any great deals. We will analyze the event on the next Housekeeping, too.
 
Stop moving the page!
I was ready to rant and rave about the practice Amazon had implemented this week when every webpage in the Kindle Store shifted upward before the loading was complete. Did any of you experience the herky-jerky movement? The page would load as normal then shift upward to hide the search and advertising ribbons at the top. As I write this, the page is shifting upward to hide the advertising ribbon, but still showing the navigational ribbon.
The irritating thing is the jerky movement – the page loads, the page jumps and my eyes have to adjust. Annoying, that’s what it is.
I’m not sure what Amazon is trying to accomplish, moving the page up does not provide any additional valuable information for me.
Do any of you have ideas why it happens? Is this something that helps folks on mobile devices or tablets?
 
This is the webpage I have seen for forever:

 
The view that I was getting as I type this (no advertising ribbon at the top):

 
The view that I was getting earlier this week (no advertising or search ribbon at the top):

 
A Cheap Read for Grammar Police
This fun book is one mis-statement, typo, or grammar disaster after another. You will laugh, groan and proofread your next email at least twice after reading what others have done. Check out the list of actual book titles in the description below. Buy this today for only 99 cents.
Stupidest Things Ever Said (Just 99 cents) Not just stupidity, but obsessive stupidity! Not just random stupidity, but organized stupidity! Here, from the celebrated collectors of the stupidest things ever said, it’s the créme de la créme of stupidities, made even funnier and more compelling in an irresistible top 10 list format. Like this one:
The Top 10 Stupidest Actual Book Titles:
1. A Toddler’s Guide to the Rubber Industry
2. Constipation and our Civilization
3. Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers 4. The Secret of Sphincters
5. A Pictorial Book of Tongue Coating
6. Life and Laughter ’midst the Cannibals
7. Be Bold With Bananas
8. Hand-Grenade Throwing as a College Sport
9. Collect Fungi on Stamps
10. A Study of Hospital Waiting Lists in Cardiff, 1953–1954
Plus lost-in-translation moments. Doubles entendrés. Political speeches, foreign menus, traffic signs. Celebrities on literature, on homelessness, on revealing too much about themselves. Mangled clichés and bizarre analogies, the wit of the witless and comedy of the clueless—never before have so many said something so dumb, now in one book.

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Housekeeping: Page Flip, Echo Alexa Upgrades & Cheap Reads 2 comments

broom.panPage Flip
On Tuesday Amazon announced an upgrade coming to Kindles, Fire tablets and the Kindle App – Page Flip. The feature was described in the press release:

Page Flip, a reimagined Kindle navigation experience that makes it easy to explore books while always saving your place. With Page Flip, readers can easily flip back and forth between pages to reference different parts of the book while they read. Page Flip will be delivered as part of a free, over-the-air update starting today to Kindle E-readers, Fire tablets, and the free Kindle app for iOS and Android.
Explore your book
Zoom out to get a bird’s eye view of the book and quickly find what you’re looking for. At a glance, easily recognize specific pages as you jump around. Pictures, charts, your highlights, and the layout of each page are easy to see with Page Flip’s pixel-accurate thumbnails that automatically adjust as you change your font and margin settings.
Save your place
Page Flip automatically saves the page you’re reading in a book, pinning it to the side of your screen for easy navigation. Flip back and forth in a book with confidence, knowing you can instantly jump back to reading with a simple tap of your pinned page.

When I receive the update I will test the feature and post about my experience. If any of you receive the update and give Page Flip a try, please let us know your impressions whether it is useful, easy to use, or just another gimmick.
 
Finally – Amazon Echo Alexa skills easy to add
On Tuesday Amazon announced a much-needed improvement to the Echo Alexa device ($179.99). From the press release:

As the selection of skills continues to grow, Amazon is introducing new, simple ways to discover and enable Alexa skills. The skills section of the Alexa app is now completely redesigned. Starting today, customers can browse Alexa skills by categories such as “Smart Home” and “Lifestyle” in the Alexa app, apply additional search filters, and access their previously enabled skills via the “Your Skills” section.
Also available today, Alexa customers can use their voice to enable skills: simply say “Alexa, enable NBC News” or “Alexa, enable 7 minute workout” and access them instantly.

For anyone who owns an Echo, adding skills through the Alexa app has always been cumbersome. I’m thrilled with this upgrade.
 
Cheap Reads for the Independence Day Holiday Weekend
America’s Women ($1.99) America’s Women tells the story of more than four centuries of history. It features a stunning array of personalities, from the women peering worriedly over the side of the Mayflower to feminists having a grand old time protesting beauty pageants and bridal fairs. Courageous, silly, funny, and heartbreaking, these women shaped the nation and our vision of what it means to be female in America.
How the States Got Their Shapes ($1.99 Audiobook $3.99) How the States Got Their Shapes is the first book to tackle why our state lines are where they are. Here are the stories behind the stories, right down to the tiny northward jog at the eastern end of Tennessee and the teeny-tiny (and little known) parts of Delaware that are not attached to Delaware but to New Jersey.
Give Me Liberty ($1.99) For thirteen–year–old Nathaniel, an indentured servant in colonial Virginia, life is hard. Though things improve with the help of a kind master named Basil–who shares music, books, and philosophies on equality–around him the climate is heating up.
It’s 1775 and colonists are enraged by England’s taxation. Patrick Henry’s words “give me liberty, or give me death” become the sounding call and the American Revolution is about to errupt. Nathaniel and Basil must make a choice about joining the fight and face a larger conundrum about the true meaning of liberty.

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Housekeeping: Prime Day 2016; Throwback Thursday and Cheap Reads 6 comments

broom.panPrime Day 2016
Amazon has announced Prime Day 2016 is Tuesday, July 12. Mark your calendars so you don’t miss a minute of the deals. Or take a deep breath, remember last year’s Prime Day and keep your wits about you. I’ll be reading up on this year’s event and post more information on next week’s Housekeeping.
Amazon is promising Lightning Deals and all-day deals for a total of over 100,000 Deals.

 
Throwback Thursday: I write the stories for our 5,000th post
I’m on the road today and will have limited time to moderate comments. Below is a throwback post from November 2011. I’ll be posting another Housekeeping post tomorrow – Friday, July 1.
Hope you enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!
 
As I’ve stated before, I’ve fallen in love with the short story. This literary form has been reborn with e-readers and hurried readers. Fifteen minutes and a story has gone from cradle to grave. A tidy gift in a small package.
I came upon The World’s Shortest Stories Of Love And Death in the Kindle Store. It’s not cheap at $8.99, but every story is only 55 words long and the idea of a 55-word story was fascinating. I purchased the story collection and quickly read through the pages.
The stories are about the general topics of love and death. Some were dark, others poignant, a few were funny, and some I didn’t understand, but that could be a reflection of my lack of life experiences. The story titled Late Charge by Jennifer Saylor is the most clever story. I still chuckle thinking about it.
The idea of a 55-word story so intrigued me that I grabbed a notebook and started penciling my thoughts. After numerous word counts, re-writes, and input from Tiger, here are my first four 55-word stories, one each in the adventure, suspense, contemporary fiction and true romance categories.
Man-to-Man
Young men. Face to face. Nearly nose to nose. Heavily drawn breath, but no retreats, no flinching. At the signal, they charge, each determined to be victorious. They struggle against each other, muscles bulging, teeth gritted. They stop, step back to do it all over again.
The referee’s whistle has blown. Second down and five.
 
Jim
Jim looked over his shoulder – again. He felt nervous, sweaty, pained in his stomach. Why had he behaved so recklessly? Someone would find out. His career could be over. He had to live with this for forever.
He looked over his shoulder, saw the Harley tattoo, smiled. “Let the congregation talk,” thought Reverend Jim.
 
In fairness, this story probably should have been labeled Christian fiction, but that would have given away the ending. I apologize for any offense.
 
Girl Crazy
“Twins.”
“You sure?”
“Yes, I’m a doctor.”
“Females?”
“Too early to tell. You hoping for two more girls?”
“Yeah. Emily and Anna are heading off to college in two and three years.”
“I understand,” the vet said as he pulled off his gloves and stepped out of the barn. “You will need the milk money.”
 
Newlyweds
“I do.”
“I will”
“Till death do us part.”
He held her hand, grinned at her. She smiled. Guests at the wedding, they had known poorer, now were comfortable. They had weathered sickness, enjoyed years of health.
“You may kiss your bride.”
He squeezed her hand. Newlyweds. They are still today, twenty some years later.
 
Preparing this post, I realized I had written nothing about the Kindle. Out came the notebook and the pencil. Here’s a Kindle story that I’m categorizing as chick lit:
Kindle + Me = Forever
I bought a Kindle, named it Jason. I love him. Free books? Cheap books? Games? More love for Jason.
Jason is always with me. I said to Mother, “Evenings and weekends, I’m with Jason.”
She misunderstood. She thinks I’m dating a nice young man. Mom’s happy. There’s no more nagging.
I love Jason even more.
 
Cheap Reads – Historical mysetries for just 99 cents each
Two John Shakespeare historical thrillers are selling supercheap today. He is The Elizabethan Bond.
The Heretics (99 cents) An exorcism … a siege … a stealthy killer … What else could go wrong?
John Shakespeare—intrepid private detective and brother to a rising young playwright in Elizabethan London—is approached by a condemned Jesuit priest with an unusual proposition: the Father is haunted by the memory of Thomasyn Jade, a teenage girl subjected to brutal exorcism rites a decade past. He wants Shakespeare to track her down and offer reparations for her treatment.
Traitor (99 cents) Under the threat of a second Spanish Armada, John Shakespeare is sent to Lancashire to guard over England’s secret weapon and its inventor, the maverick magician Dr. Dee.
But nothing is so simple when the country is a hotbed of secret loyalties and civil unrest. During his mission, Shakespeare stumbles upon Catholic priests in hiding, a mysterious Bohemian seductress, and—of course—murder.

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