Category: Housekeeping
Housekeeping: Dr. Seuss book found and Cheap Reads 0 comments

broom.panFound: A new Dr. Seuss book
Random House Children’s Books has announced that they will release What Pet Should I Get? ($13.22 hardcover) on July 28. The full text and illustrations were rediscovered in the office space of the late Ted Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, by by Geisel’s widow, Audrey Geisel, and his longtime secretary and friend, Claudia Prescott, in fall 2013.
The book features the siblings from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish ($3.99 Kindle version) as they attempt to choose a pet.
“We believe that he wrote and illustrated What Pet Should I Get? somewhere between 1958 and 1962,” said Cathy Goldsmith, v-p and associate publisher at Random House Books for Young Readers.
The book is only available in hardcover editions on July 28.
 
Cheap Reads – Reading Circle Picks
Random House Reader’s Circle is dedicated to publishing the very best for book groups—thought-provoking books selected because they have a compelling narrative guaranteed to spark a lively discussion.
Each book includes a discussion guide in the back—with author interviews, discussion questions, and author biographies—providing unique opportunities for readers to expand their knowledge of the author and their writing. The three books below are selling for $1.99 or $2.99 each.
The Three Miss Margarets ($1.99) Miss Peggy, Dr. Maggie, and Miss Li’l Bit, friends and confidantes for nearly a lifetime, find it funny and bewildering that they have become icons in Charles Valley, Georgia. Little does the rest of the town know that beneath the irreproachable façades of its three doyennes lies an explosive decades-old secret that is about to be revealed.
Thirty-odd years ago the three Miss Margarets did something extraordinary, clandestine, and very illegal.
The Speed of Light ($1.99) For most of their lives, Julian Perel and his sister, Paula, lived in a house cast in silence, witnesses to a father struggling with a devastating secret too painful to share. Though their father took his demons to the grave, his past refuses to rest. As adults, brother and sister struggle to find their voices.
Every family has a story. Every story, eventually, must be told.
The Wives of Henry Oades ($2.99) When Henry Oades accepts an accountancy post in New Zealand, his wife, Margaret, and their children follow him to exotic Wellington. But while Henry is an adventurer, Margaret is not. Their new home is rougher and more rustic than they expected—and a single night of tragedy shatters the family when the native Maori stage an uprising, kidnapping Margaret and her children.
Exploring the intricacies of marriage, the construction of family, the changing world of the late 1800s, and the strength of two remarkable women, Johanna Moran turns this unusual family’s story into an unforgettable page-turning drama.

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Housekeeping: Expiring credit, Daily Deals in December and Cheap Reads 2 comments

broom.panCredit expires soon
If you received credit on your Amazon account for the antitrust settlement, you must use it by March 31, 2015. My larger-than-expected credit was spent within a couple of weeks of the notice last March.
Click on this page to get an instant accounting of your credit. If you have a balance, don’t let it slip away.
 
Daily Deals in December
Let’s talk about the daily deals offered in early December. Drawing from the 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime and Best Books of 2014 lists created by Amazon editors, the Twelve Days of Christmas promotion featured one selection from each list each day.
While offering a wide variety of fiction genre and non-fiction, the selections were not that amazing to me. Most of the books had been featured in previous sales at Amazon. The selection could also have been interpreted to have a political and/or social agenda. The Best of 2014 Collection included several books with an average 3-star reader rating.
Print book daily deals weren’t even deals. Several books were only a couple dollars less than the regular price.
To Amazon’s credit, the after Christmas Daily Deals were much better with multiple books by popular authors. Next Christmas I want great deals before and after the holiday. With millions of books, surely Amazon can find great reads at great prices.
 
A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird
Last week we wrote about Go Set a Watchman ($12.99 pre-order; delivery July 14), a sequel of sorts to To Kill a Mockingbird ($3.99).
You can purchase Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird for only 99 cents today. Mary McDonagh Murphy has written a lively appreciation that examines how the novel has left its mark on a broad range of novelists, historians, journalists, and artists. In compelling interviews, Anna Quindlen, Tom Brokaw, Oprah Winfrey, James Patterson, James McBride, and others reflect on when they first read the novel, what it meant to them, and how it has affected their lives and careers.
 
Cheap Reads
Buy four Hamish MacBeth mysteries by M. C. Beaton for only $1.99 each.
This series of novels is set in the Scottish Highlands, in the fictional village of Lochdubh, in the real county of Sutherland. Although Lochdubh and the neighbouring town of Strathbane are fictional places, the series refers to real Scottish towns such as Dornoch, Dingwall and Inverness. Hamish Macbeth is a fictional police officer who serves as his villages constable. Enjoy this cozies for a great price today. We posted Death of a Policeman ($1.99) earlier this week.

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Housekeeping: Too good to be true, Harper Lee’s first novel and Cheap reads 0 comments

broom.panToo good to be true
Monday on a fluke I clicked on the Buy a Kindle link on a Kindle book webpage. Amazon’s newest e-reader, the Voyage, was priced at $59 – $140 less than normal. Quick as a wink, I one-clicked to buy the maximum of two. The order sailed through and a confirming e-mail arrived.
I then put the great deal on the DCR blog. Within a few minutes of the post going live, I received a note that the price was back to $199. Then yesterday I received this e-mail from Amazon:

We’re contacting you about order #XXXX. We recently learned that an error caused the following item(s) to be displayed at an incorrect price: Amazon Kindle Voyage with Special Offers, Wi-Fi.

In this case, we’re unable to offer this item for the incorrectly posted price. Therefore, we’ve cancelled your order for this item. We’re sorry about this. At any given time, despite our best efforts, a small number of the millions of items on our site may be mispriced.

To make up for any inconvenience, we’re adding a $20 Amazon.com promotional certificate to your account.

As a friend noted, I one-clicked an order and made $20. That’s a good return on my time, but I would have much rather that all of us could have purchased the Voyage at that great price.
 
Harper Lee to publish another novel
Harper Lee, age 88, has announced that she wrote a sequel of sorts to follow her American literary masterpiece To Kill a Mockingbird ($3.99). The irony is that she wrote this novel first.
Go Set a Watchman ($12.99 pre-order; delivery July 14) takes place 20 years later than To Kill a Mockingbird and is set in the same fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama. Scout, the heroine of To Kill a Mockingbird, returns to care for her ailing father.
Friends of Ms. Harper have expressed concern that her health has declined and that she may not be of sound mind. Read more about this controversy here.
I plan to read To Kill a Mockingbird, this summer before Go Set a Watchman is available. If the price of a pre-order decreases before release, Amazon will honor the lower price on all orders.
 
Cheap Reads
Valentine’s Day is Saturday. Buy these romances for 99 cents each.

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Housekeeping: Bestseller with the movie, More 2014 reads and Cheap reads 0 comments

broom.panBestselling book when the movie debuts
During the week when the movie American Sniper ($17.99/$24.99 pre-order DVD/Blu-ray) debuted in theaters, the book sales skyrocketed – selling nearly five times more copies than the next most-popular book. HarperCollins released an enhanced version of Chris Kyle’s story ($5.86) that was the top-seller in Apple’s iBooks store. Amazon lists the text version ($5.86) as 8th on its bestsellers list this morning.
 
More 2014 reads
Two weeks ago I listed my top four books of 2014. Limiting the list to so few was challenging. Today I’m sharing more great reads. All books were purchased; none were provided to me free.
 

A Dog Named Christmas ($7.99) Greg Kincaid has written another charming tale for anyone who loves pets. More upbeat than Christmas with Tucker ($7.99), this novel is a family holiday read. I enjoyed the excellent audiobook version.
The Rosie Project ($9.99) Graeme Simsion’s love story for geeks is laugh-out-loud funny and refreshingly different. I’ve already purchased the sequel The Rosie Effect ($9.99).
Thunder Point Series by Robyn Carr ($1.99 to $7.19) I read the first three romances and am looking forward to reading books 4 -6 this spring. I just pre-ordered books 7 and 8: One Wish ($5.99-delivery February 24) and A New Hope ($7.19-delivery June 30).
 

The Q Manifesto ($2.99) Alan Schleimer’s debut suspense novel is a complex tale of an attempt to disprove the Christian faith. A large cast of characters requires the reader to stay engaged.
Maisie Dobbs ($8.61) In 2014 I read a dozen or more books centered around the two World Wars. Jacqueline Winspear’s historical mystery introduces Maisie Dobbs, a private investigator in 1929 London who must investigate a home for war veterans.
Curve Ball (99 cents) Angelica Kate has penned a charming inspirational romance that features a harried professional mother and the last bachelor in a family of five men.
 
Romance and Cheap Reads
February is a month for all things romantic, including great prices on romance novels. The publishers have slashed prices. The romances below are selling for only 99 cents each.
 
The Wicked Ways of Alexander Kidd (99 cents) As the sheltered niece of a Highland chief, Caitrina Grant longs for adventure beyond the lush hills of Scotland. So when a pirate ship glides into the loch, Trina sneaks aboard. But she is unprepared for the consequences. . .
Love and Other Scandals (99 cents) Joan Bennett is a breath away from being a spinster. She’s had four seasons without a suitor. After reading a shockingly sensuous book, Fifty Ways to Sin, Joan decides perhaps it’s time to stop being proper.
Forgotten Sins (99 cents) From the moment Josie laid eyes on sexy, mysterious Shane Dean, she was in love. Their desire ignited a passionate affair, and within weeks, Shane had slipped a ring on her finger. It seemed her every fantasy was coming true . . . until her new husband disappeared without a trace.

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Housekeeping: National Puzzle Day and Cheap Reads 0 comments

broom.panNational Puzzle Day
Today is National Puzzle Day! One of many unofficial holidays, it is always celebrated on January 29th. Crossword puzzles are the most common however, Sudoku is the most recent puzzle rage.
The good news is that there are puzzles that fit into the needs of every person and every skill level, for the young and the not so young.
Recent studies show that solving puzzles and practicing a second language every day can reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, improve cognitive function, and ward off memory loss.
Below are free puzzle apps for the Kindle Fire and Android devices that have high reader reviews. Some are rather simple, but are designed for fun. Some of the graphics are not descriptive of the app, click on each one to learn more
 

 
Puzzles for E-Readers
Haven’t purchased a Kindle Fire yet? Here are a few puzzle books and puzzles that can be purchased and downloaded to e-readers. The webpage will tell you what devices are available to accept the download.
 
KenKen Vol. 2 : 20 All-Level Puzzles (99 cents) KenKen is a numeric logic puzzle that makes you smarter. Presented by New York Times puzzle editor and NPR puzzlemaster, Will Shortz, KenKen is the successful follow-up to Sudoku. Available for early e-readers only: Kindle 2, DX, Touch and others.
Sudoku Works (99 cents) Sudoku Works can create puzzles in four grid sizes (4×4, 6×6, 8×8 and 9×9) with five difficulty levels, so it can make puzzles for everyone from beginner to expert. And with over 50 million possible puzzles, it’s unlikely you’ll ever run out of puzzles to play. Available for PaperWhite and early e-readers only such as: Kindle 2, DX, Touch and others.
Word Search (99 cents) Locate and mark off words in the grid using the 5 way controller or the touch screen. Available for PaperWhite and early e-readers only such as: Kindle 2, DX, Touch and others.
 
More puzzle fun!
These books can be downloaded to any Kindle device for hours of entertainment:
100 Puzzle Quizzes (99 cents) In this puzzle collection you will find 100 pictorial, hand-crafted puzzle quizzes in different themes: logic, visual, spatial, counting, geometry, matchstick, coins, searching, and much more.
Brain Teasers For Dummies®, Mini Edition (99 cents) Flex your memory muscle with a variety of puzzles in varying degrees of difficulty.
 
Cheap Reads – Conundrums in fiction
What better puzzle to solve than a good mystery! These cozy mysteries are only 99 cents each today.
 
Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction (99 cents) When Tess Tremaine starts a new life in the colorful town of Goose Pimple Junction, curiosity leads her to look into a seventy-five-year-old murder. Suddenly she’s learning the foreign language of southern speak, resisting her attraction to local celebrity Jackson Wright, and dealing with more mayhem than she can handle.
Murder on the Hill (99 cents) Look out London, there’s a new investigator in town! Harley Hill is a twenty-five year old woman in need of a new identity. Until now she’s been know as many things: Baker, Crazy Cat Lady, Thief, Bandit, The girl dressed like a ninja…
The Wedding Caper (99 cents) Join Annie Peterson, mother of the bride, as she solve crimes on her way to the wedding. A $25,000 night deposit mysteriously disappears from the Clark County Savings and Loan, and Annie Peterson takes on the role of amateur sleuth to solve the mystery. Inspirational fiction.
 
Looking for more puzzles?
NatPuzzleDayIf you are looking for more ways to exercise your brain, follow this link for many more puzzles offered by Amazon. Jigsaw puzzles, brain teasers, 3-D puzzles and many more.
If you prefer print books for your puzzles, check out all that Amazon offers.
Just do a puzzle or two today!

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Housekeeping: Paula’s Top Four Reads from 2014 and a Biography 2 comments

broom.panPaula’s Top Four Reads in 2014
I enjoyed many more books than the four featured here and will post additional top four lists in the weeks ahead. The books in this post were purchased when prices were below $5 each.
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand ($4.99). Every American should read this thoroughly researched, very well-written biography of Louis Zamperini – a young soldier who survived more than 40 days at sea only to be captured by the Japanese as a prisoner of war and forced to endure extraordinarily harsh treatment.
Unbroken is an absolutely stunning story of a true American hero, complete with his imperfections and weaknesses. The narrative is smooth and engaging.
Even if the movie is the best you have ever seen, I do not believe it can be as moving as the book.
The Book Thief by Markas Zusak ($7.99). Billed as a young adult novel, this popular WWII story has many more layers than most teen readers will appreciate. The honest portrayal of war-torn Germany and the innocent families torn apart by the war is vivid and touching. The young protagonist amplifies the heartbreak.
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson ($8.89). I laughed and laughed and laughed more. Aaron Karlsson’s life story is far-fetched, but a fun read none-the-less. Think of this novel as Monty Python’s History of the Twentieth Century starring an ordinary Swede.
Compromising Positions ($3.99) Yes, it’s a romance, but perhaps not what you are thinking. Mary Whitney’s novel in two voices stars freshmen members of the United States House of Representatives. The guy is a conservative elected to Congress on his Republican family history; the gal is a spitfire Democrat. This well-written novel has tension, humor and a hard-fought happily-ever-after.
 
Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In by Louis Zamperini and David Rensin
If you have read Unbroken or seen the movie, you will want to read this biography of Louis Zamperini, too.
Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In ($3.99) Champion. Survivor. Hero. Legend.
Completed just two days before Louis Zamperini’s death at age 97, Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In shares a lifetime of wisdom, insight, and humor from one of America’s most inspiring lives. Zamperini’s story has touched millions through Laura Hillenbrand’s biography Unbroken, a major motion picture directed by Angelina Jolie. Now, in his own words, Louis Zamperini reveals, with warmth and great charm, the essential values and lessons that sustained him throughout his remarkable journey.
Cowritten with longtime collaborator David Rensin, Louis Zamperini’s Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In is an extraordinary last testament that captures the wisdom of a life lived to the fullest.

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Housekeeping: Reading goals, Use your credit and Cheap Reads 0 comments

broom.panReaching my reading goal
Last year (2014) was a banner reading year for me (Paula). In January I set the bar at 150 books. On December 31, the numbers were tallied:
• 153 Books – each with more than 200 pages
• 90 Novellas – 80 – 200 pages each
• 77 Short stories – less than 80 pages
 
How I met the goal:
• Just stop it! If a book wasn’t holding my attention, entertaining or well-written, I stopped reading. I now refuse to slog through a book just to finish it.
• Audiobooks! Nearly half of the books I read were the audiobook version. Using the Fire and setting the speed on 3X means that a 12-hour book is completed in 6 hours. I took the device with me everywhere – a trip to the store meant 40 minutes completed in a book.
• Sleep! Who needs it? When I cannot sleep, I read. When a book is that good, I cannot sleep.
Next week we will post our top reads of 2014.
 
Use It or Lose It
Remember that credit you received from the settlement with major publishers for anti-trust violations? It is a faint memory for me as I quickly spent mine on wish-list selections.
However, if you haven’t cashed in all of your credit, you must redeem it by March 31 or it is gone. No idea where it goes, but please don’t let it slip away.
 
Cheap Reads
These two Agatha Christie mysteries were priced at $1.99 each at the time of the post. However, the prices are moving upward quickly. Hope you get them at this great price.

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Housekeeping: Reading goals, Meeting goals and Cheap reads 4 comments

broom.panReading Challenge
Personally, reading is usually more of a pleasure than a challenge, but it seems there are some people who only enjoy something if they can make it work. And some of these people have created a reading challenge for 2015.
This list challenges readers to tackle 50 different types of books this year.
Some of the challenges are a little strange – such as “a book with antonyms in the title.” Other suggestions are a fun way to add a little variety to your reading diet – a book written by someone under 30, a book of short stories.
Here are some other challenges and some cheap reads to help you meet them:
Book originally written in a foreign language: Don Quixote - $1.99
A book more than 100 years old – Sense and Sensibility99 cents
A popular author’s first book – John Grisham’s A Time to Kill$2.99

 
 
And Goal!
Speaking of meeting a challenge, I (Susan) achieved my Goodreads goal for 2014 by finishing 65 books. Technicallly, I was an overachiever because I read 66. I also counted a collection of three novellas as three separate books. Is that legal? I’m never quite sure how to do that.
One of the books I really enjoyed while in the crunch was My Heart Remembers, selling now for $3.99.
Description: Orphaned in a tenement fire, three Irish-immigrant children are sent to Missouri to be adopted. Despite eight-year-old Maelle’s desperate attempts to keep her siblings together, each child is taken by a different family. Yet Maelle vows that she will never stop searching for her brother and sister…and that they will be together one day in the future.
Seventeen years later, Maelle is still searching. But the years have washed away her hope… and her memories. What are Mattie and Molly doing now? Where has life taken them? Will she ever see her brother and sister again? Inspirational fiction.
 
Cheap Reads – Contemporary women’s fiction for only 99 cents each
NOTE: HarperCollins lowered prices yesterday and raised most back overnight. These prices may not hold for long.
Bed Rest (99 cents) The story of a busy career woman who finds her pregnancy a breeze — until she’s ordered off her feet for complete and total bed rest.
This Is How It Happened (99 cents) He lied, he cheated. He destroyed her life. How difficult could killing him be?
Alphabet Weekends (99 cents) Natalie and Tom have been best friends forever, but Tom wants them to be much more.

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Housekeeping: The Case of the Missing Paperwhite; Last Order Dates and Cheap Read 8 comments

broom.panThe 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.
Where is itFor 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:
US Christmas Deadlines 2
 
Cheap Reads
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!**

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Housekeeping: Building a Holiday Reading List and Cheap Holiday Reads 11 comments

broom.panBuilding 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.

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