Archives for: August 2010
Housekeeping/e-Ramble – What I’ve learned about independent authors 6 comments

We are preparing for our month-long event beginning Wednesday, September 1. Each day in September, the spotlight will shine on an independent author and their books, as well as provide links to their websites, blogs, and Amazon author pages. This daily post, above and beyond our normal 5-a-day posts, will appear each day at 8:00am Central (Chicago) time.

I must give a huge shout out to Maria Schneider, independent author extraordinaire. Way back when the kindlecheapreads dailycheapreads website was just a newborn, Maria sent a comment introducing herself and telling us about her books available through Kindle. In the following weeks, we received comments from other independent authors.  Those e-mails prompted the idea of a month-long indie spotlight.

Not knowing where to start, I turned to Maria, asking if she knew other indies who might work with us to feature their books during the event. Maria immediately responded, set about to help us, and has been invaluable in her support. Maria has gone from the faceless author who sent a note on the very first day to a friend.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post, what I learned about indie authors. Simply put: the authors that I have worked with through this event have been down-to-earth men and women, happy to participate, eager to provide what I requested, encouraging, and just plain friendly.

Chatter on the discussion boards and the news has made us aware of big-name authors and their dislike and disdain for electronic readers. The agency model that the majority of large publishing houses has adopted to price e-books has maddened many customers and saddened those who just don’t have the budget to pay the prices.

Indie authors are the antidote. They are fresh voices, not confined by someone’s idea of what the public wants to read. Their works are reasonably priced making them available to anyone who has a computer (Kindle for PC). These folks  might live in your neighborhood; work at a business you frequent; or be the parent of one of your child’s classmates. Indies are writing books, making those books available through new avenues, and loving life.

Let’s support their efforts and buy an indie book or two to read in September. Maria will be one of our featured authors in September, but you might want to check out Catch an Honest Thief by Maria. Priced at $2.99, it’s a fun read for the coming Labor Day holiday weekend in the United States.

An Indiana Jones-style caper across the desert of New Mexico; high-tech gadgets, a mystery and a romance. Alexia is trying to protect the crystals that power the city of Haven. Going undercover and stealing the crystals seemed like a great idea–until a real thief showed up.

Bait and switch is suddenly cat and mouse–but who is the real thief? And why is the new security chief spending so much time looking into her background? Confessing her secret plans to protect the crystals might help the security chief narrow in on the real culprit, but it would cost Alexia her job, her freedom, and her status. Of course, if she keeps standing in the way of the real thief, it will cost her a whole lot more.
Click here to purchase Catch an Honest Thief

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Book Review: My Name is Russell Fink 0 comments

My Name is Russell Fink is a sort of coming-of-age story, in a Gen-X slacker way. But it also has humor, romance and a hint of a mystery.
Russell Fink is a dysfunctional but likable character. The story unfolds in a natural unhurried way, which makes you feel like you’re reading in real time. Each of the many characters adds a complexity to Russell’s life. A favorite was Russel’s self-centered, beauty-queen fiancee who insisted that Russell was not going to break up with her, she would break up with him. There was also his imprisoned grandfather, with whom Russell Fink shares his name; his disgraced, former evangelist father; borderline alcoholic mother; gambling brother; deceased twin sister whom Russell is convinced he gave cancer; a basset hound turned drinking buddy; chronically cold inventor roommate; a boss who is considering bucking a 60-year tradition and firing Russell; a doctor who compassionately tolerates Russell’s weekly health crisis; and an old college friend who sews her own clothes out flags.

Click here to purchase My Name is Russell Fink

Michael Snyder captures ordinary moments that turn funny and tragic all at the same time, weaving in a subtle message about faith. The story did have a first-novel “everything but the kitchen sink” feel to it. At times I wondered if the author was figuring out the story as we went along. For instance, it never made sense that Russell’s beautiful fiancee was dating him. At the beginning, Russell’s character was emphasis on dysfunctional, certainly not likable.
But story continued to take unexpected turns and looked at life is such fresh perspectives that I was eager to return to it and found it an enjoyable read.

I downloaded this book when it was free on Kindle. It is selling now for $5.99.

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Housekeeping/e-Ramble: Is this the coming trend in e-publishing? 4 comments

While searching for the best cheap buys to post on the site, I came across this offering from Kensington Books for well-known author Fern Michaels. I am not recommending you buy this Sneak Peek, but I wanted to draw your attention to this type of publication.

For $3.19, the description states that you will get a special bonus piece from the author relevant to a publication soon to be released – Exclusive, the next book in the Godmothers Series.

Included in this Sneak Peek is a collection of excerpts from two books which have been out of print, but are now available for the Kindle.

Why would a savvy Kindle buyer purchase an e-book of excerpts when we can download samples for free?

The description states it is “the perfect opportunity to find out why everyone always raves about Fern.” We’ll pass, thank you. Free samples from Amazon meet our need for determining if an author is worthy of raves.

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Book Review: Fireworks 0 comments

I decided to read Fireworks by Elizabeth White for a fun summer read. I was not at all disappointed, and even pleasantly surprised at the uplifting story in this romance novel.

Former ATF agent Susannah Tait arrives in Mobile, Alabama, with an assignment as an insurance investigator to prove that pyrotechnic artist Quinn Baldwin was responsible for a million-dollar fireworks explosion.

Click here to purchase Fireworks

Susannah starts out in fine fashion, but is a bit disarmed by the Southern hospitality of her landlady, as well as the unexpected kindness of the object of her investigation. Quinn is a true Southern hero, with a shyness, thrill for the danger of fireworks and a grin you can feel right through the pages. It is quite fun to discover with Susannah some of the pecularities of life in Mobile, as Miss Elva Kay assures her, some ladies have a special dish just for potato salad.

Even though Quinn is attracted to Susannah, he takes a firm stand that he will not act on it because she is not a believer. What ensues is a hilarious and completely believeable plan by Quinn’s friends to share the gospel with Susannah. Her conversion testimony is one of the best I’ve ever read in Christian fiction.

But there is still the matter of her investigation and her deception to Quinn and all of his friends, which makes for several entertaining plot twists.

This novel by Elizabeth White, sprinkled with just enough phrases with fireworks double meaning to keep you on your toes, was a bang-up good read. I downloaded this book to my Kindle when it was offered free earlier this year. It is now selling for $5.99.

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Housekeeping/E-Ramble: The Message by Eugene Peterson 0 comments

E-Rambles are an opportunity to blog about something of interest or importance to me, as long as it in some way relates to Kindle and e-books.

For years my husband and I have led a small group Bible study in our church. One of the most helpful books that has been written recently has been The Message by Eugene Peterson – God’s Word written in contemporary language. This is not a translation per se and Dr. Peterson’s work has been criticized for not holding true to the original definition.

In response, Dr. Peterson’s book is not my first resource for Bible study; it is a supplemental resource. When I struggle to find a way to make God’s Word relevant, I can read Dr. Peterson’s words and have an inspiration for making the thought applicable.

Here’s an example of a scripture from the King James Version of the Bible and then from The Message:

Matthew 5:3-5 (commonly known as part of the Beatitudes)
3 Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4″You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5″You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.”

The Message is now available for the Kindle. NavPress, Dr. Peterson’s publisher, has also made just portions of The Message available for purchase. Two of the publications exceed our $5 price point, but then I realized that with the entire Bible, you are getting 66 books, so you are getting a bargain!

The Message: The Gospel of John in Contemporary Language only $1.19.

The Message: The Book of Proverbs only $1.59.

The Message New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs only $6.39.

Read. Think. Pray. Live. The Bible isn’t like any other book you’ll ever read. Yes, it has all the elements of a great narrative–heroes and villains, epic battles, romance, betrayal–but more than that, it is the story of an eternal Savior and a Father who loved us before we even loved him back. In the same way, The Message Remix isn’t like any other student Bible you’ve seen. It’s purely, simply God’s Word–in its most easily understood format ever.
The Message Remix 2.0: The Bible In contemporary Language only $9.99.

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