Archives for: January 2011
Book Review: Rhapsody in Red 0 comments

Rhapsody in Red is a classic cozy mystery, with all the required elements to make it click and a few quirks to make to sparkle.
*
Preston Barclay is a history professor at Overton University and still mourning the death of wife three years ago. She was a piano instructor and in his grief, Press, as he is known, constantly hears music hallucinations.
*
On an otherwise quiet afternoon on campus, Press and fellow professor Mara Thorne discover a body in the science building. They become prime suspects and with the police investigator carrying a grudge against Press, they don’t expect justice to come easily. Mara generates her own suspicions as a Wiccan on a nominally Christian campus.
*
Press and Mara team up to sneak into faculty offices, interview suspects and take a trip out to the deceased’s hometown. The mystery kept me fully engaged through the story. Thankfully, any hint of romance is kept very light.
*
Press’s personality as a history professor is well played, with a dry wit and bit of intellectual superiority that usually comes back to hit him in the head. I used my Kindle dictionary a few times and the ponderous, professor-like attention to detail bogged down the story in places.
*
The politics of small colleges was a lively backdrop. I especially enjoyed the sanctimonious dialog from the university president. Press’s soundtrack playing through the story added a unique dimension to a classic mystery with a very modern ending.
*
I never did figure out what the shoe had to do with the story. Maybe one of you can solve that mystery for me.
*
We featured Rhapsody in Red a few weeks ago when it was less than $2. Now the e-book is selling for $8.19.
*
Click here to purchase Rhapsody in Red

Read More..
Housekeeping/e-Ramble: A Surgeon for Both of Us 11 comments

A long, personal post:
Early next week my husband has an appointment with his surgeon. We anticipate this will be the visit when the surgeon tells us he doesn’t want to see us again; his work is complete. Sweet words we hope to hear.
 
I firmly believe God led us to this surgeon. He’s an outstanding physician in his area of practice. He literally saved my husband’s life. God’s grace and healing aren’t being discounted; this man was God’s instrument.
 
At our first appointment, even though it was anticipated, he dealt a devastating blow with his diagnosis. He was direct and to-the-point. He said words I didn’t want to hear. And I didn’t like him.
 
Perhaps he delivers similar messages to patients every week. In my wonderfully blessed world, I had never before received such life-altering news.
 
Home from that first appointment, I did what any Kindler would do. I searched the Kindle Store for books related to the subject, bought two and read one that night. Jones and Bartlett Learning publishes books for patients and families to understand medical issues. If you need to read about a medical concern, I recommend Jones and Bartlett’s books. They aren’t cheap reads, but are worth every penny.
 
After reading the first book, I realized that my husband’s illness wasn’t a death sentence. Thinking back over our visit with the surgeon, I remembered he had spoken only of the actions to be taken. He told us clearly we would do the first step, study the results, go to the second step if needed, study the results, right on down the list, and he ended with “until we have a cure.” I had lost those words in the cacophony of bad news.
 
Yes, the surgeon was direct. But he also spoke with confidence. Not arrogance, but confidence. I instinctively knew I could trust what he said. Perhaps I could even like him.
 
When he spoke with me following the surgeries, his comments were always about my husband. He didn’t draw attention to himself. Every question I asked was answered fully and with confidence. When I asked outright about the long-term prognosis, he didn’t hesitate to assure me that he anticipated a full and complete recovery. Before the second surgery, I asked about continued therapy. He confidently said he didn’t think there would be a necessity based on what he saw in the scans. I hugged his words to my heart and planned our future around them. I repeatedly told myself that by Valentine’s Day, this would be behind us.
 
And I prayed. From the first moment of the diagnosis I prayed that God would heal my husband, and if He didn’t heal him, that God would heal me. During my near-constant conversations with God throughout the next six weeks, I gently reminded God that healing my husband would be the easier of the two options, because healing me would be a long-term project. Mercifully, God answered the cries of my heart.
 
God sent us to an amazing surgeon with the perfect personality to allay my fears, replenish my hope, and keep my spirits upbeat. I believe the assurances God has promised that He will keep me in the palm of His hand in every situation. I also believe that God provided for me this surgeon who spoke with confidence.
 
Thank you for allowing me to share my personal journey these last few weeks. You can read about our journey in posts from November 30, December 4 and December 23. Your expressions of concern and prayers were healing balms for our battered souls.
 
Though this post is about our surgeon, my husband received excellent health care from compassionate professionals throughout his illness. Their combined work and care have brought him to good health today. I respect and appreciate their work and dedication.
 
In honor of the medical profession, I am re-posting Michael Palmer’s medical thriller, The First Patient, selling now for only $2.99. PRICE UPDATE: $9.99
 
I usually shy away from books with a fright factor. No more! I have been scared, and there hasn’t been a book written yet that will scare me as much as the monster we just defeated.
 
The First Patient: Gabe Singleton and Andrew Stoddard were once Naval Academy roommates. Today, Gabe is a country doctor and his friend Andrew has gone from war hero to governor to President of the United States.
One day, while the United States is embroiled in a bitter presidential election campaign, Marine One lands on Gabe’s Wyoming ranch, and President Stoddard announces that his personal physician has suddenly and mysteriously disappeared—and he desperately needs Gabe to take the man’s place.
Now ensconced in the White House medical office, Gabe comes to a disturbing realization: The President is not fit to run the country. Worse, Gabe uncovers evidence that his friend’s illness may not be due to natural causes. Who could have administered such a blow? And why? The President’s life is at stake, the safety of the world is in jeopardy, and it’s up to Gabe to find the answers while time is running out…
Available for only $2.99 today. PRICE UPDATE: $9.99

Read More..
Book Review: Being Light 0 comments

Helen Smith has written a very entertaining work that is also piercing in its insight in her book Being Light.
The satire about “Cool Britannia” opens with Roy Travers inflating a bouncy castle at a charity carnival. The castle gets caught in the breeze and takes flight. Roy continues to float until the castle loses air and lands on a bucolic farm. When a woman informs him he is Paradise, Roy concludes that he has died and gone to heaven.
He is, in fact, in the hideaway of a former circus performer who is concealing a stolen elephant. Meanwhile, Roy’s wife Sheila is convinced Roy has neither died nor run away with another woman and she is picking up signals from aliens about his location.
Being Light is populated by a large but manageable cast of characters whose relationship with one another is slowly revealed throughout the book. They include the Mrs. Ellington, the private investigator Sheila hired to help find Roy; a famous animal trainer; jaded journalist Jane Memory; Jeremy, a dedicated young activist who is trying to stop the traffic.
With a light touch, Smith exposes some sad truths of modern life. One character is obsessed with classifications and labels, vowing, “If I know as much as possible about everything then every choice I make will be informed.”
She also deftly weaves issues of animal rights and the role of men in modern society into the surreal mystery. One character notes that men aren’t necessary any more and will only be valued as long as they are exotically different from women.
The plot feels a bit disjointed at times and I was hoping for more of crescendo at the end. But for this genre which was not my usual fare, I found it quite enjoyable.
Click here to purchase Being Light

Read More..
Poll Results – Writing Reviews for Kindle Books 0 comments

In November and December you voted in our poll about writing book reviews of Kindle books on Amazon. Here are the results:

1. I want to write one, but I’m intimidated (52.4%, 153 Votes)
2. I plan to write one soon about a great book I found on DailyCheapReads.com (20.89%, 61 Votes)
3. I’m a pro — I review over half of the books I read (13.36%, 39 Votes)
4. Reviews? I don’t read them; I don’t write them (13.36%, 39 Votes)

*
Authors need reviews to survive; to keep the momentum of their book sales going. Readers need reviews to help them pick books they will enjoy. From the poll results, you want to offer your opinion on the books you read, but you aren’t sure where to start. Here are a few questions to answer that may help you get started:

  • Did you like the book? Do you read this genre often?
  • Who was your favorite character? Who didn’t you like? Were the characters believable?
  • Did you guess the who-dun-it, but enjoyed the story anyway?
  • Was the book too scary or just thrilling enough?
  • Did the book keep you interested the entire time or were there some slow parts?
  • Did you laugh out loud? If you did, definitely say so! Readers love to laugh.
  • Was it a sad book? Did it move you or inspire you to act?
  • Are you waiting on the next book by this author?

There is no one perfect way to write a review. You are welcome to write a short review, but try to make the review specific to the book. If you want to do a longer review, including deep analysis, consider adding other books that are similar to the one you are reviewing or an example of your favorite part. You don’t have to describe the exact scene, because of course, you don’t want to include “spoilers” and tell people who haven’t read the book what is coming!
*
If you read a book and see that it only has a few reviews, consider adding your thoughts. Readers really do want to know what you liked–and what you didn’t–about a book. Always be honest in your review. Remember, it is okay to love some things about a book and not even like other things. Authors and readers need your opinions.
*
If you write a review for a book in the Kindle Store, please always follow Amazon’s guidelines for reviews. (This link is for reviews of all products by Amazon, not just books.)
*
Closing thoughts: 
1. Keep your comments to the book. If the book is about a person in politics, do not use the review as a soapbox to voice your opinion. Other websites offer those opportunities.
2. Refrain from criticizing the author. 
*
If you have have written a review, please send us a link to the Amazon review – your first review, your best review or your favorite review. If you’re a new review writer and were inspired to write a review, send us the Amazon link. We would love to see it and we will share a few reviews on our site. Still too shy to write a review? Send us an example of a review that you read and that made you buy the book!
*
A special thank you to Maria E. Schneider for her assistance with this post.
*
Thursday we will be posting a feature about a book that has received low reviews because the readers may not have known the context of the book, a specific dialect in the United Kingdom that doesn’t follow English or American grammar rules.

Read More..
Your Top Four Reads 2010: Stacey 0 comments

UPDATE: Stacey is a high school librarian in north east Missouri and loves and uses her Kindle every day. Several of her students and friends got kindles for Christmas and she has recommended DailyCheapReads to everyone of them. (Editor’s note: We love you, Stacey!) Stacey checks the site every day, several times a day. Almost all of her good cheapies have come from here!
*
Stacey wrote about her top reads:
My top Kindle cheap reads of 2010 are hard to narrow down; I bought a lot and read a lot of freebies, but I’ll list some for you to post!
Hmm, I like series books. I just don’t like waiting for the next ones!
*

*
My Blood Approves First book in the series by Amanda Hocking – only 99 cents: It’s a series so it counts as one right?
*
Next three books in My Blood Approves Series:
Fate (My Blood Approves, #2) ($2.99)
Flutter (My Blood Approves, #3) ($2.99)
Wisdom (My Blood Approves, #4) ($2.99)
*
The Third Kiss by Heather Killough-Walden, which is not available now, but several of her others are. I just bought two more today! (DailyCheapReads selected Hell Bent by the same author to post.)
Hell Bent by Heather Killough-Walden ($2.99)
*
Not so cheap, but worth the reads are The Pace seriesby Shelena Shorts and The Unbidden Magic series by Marilee Brothers:
The Pace by Selena Shorts, first in The Pace series ($6.99)
*
Moonstone by Marilee Brothers, first in The Unbidden Magic Series ($8.59)

Read More..
Your Top Four Reads 2010: Renee 4 comments

Renee has had her Kindle since May 2009 and has found it to be an amazing way to expose herself to a whole new world of reading that she probably never would have discovered otherwise.
*
She’s a mom to 3 wonderful girls so she really values a great book! Renee is from Chicago and as that part of the country has only 2 seasons (winter and construction), the weather really dictates her reading time if the girls don’t. 🙂
*
When Renee learned that her list had been chosen for the site, she wrote: I am so excited that my choices will be posted! I truly love all 4 of those books and hope that other people have the opportunity to discover them. I’d love to share my top four list with anyone who is willing to listen. 🙂
*

*
Waiting for Spring by R.J. Keller ($2.99): I have read it 3 times and begged for -and received – a physical copy for Christmas.
*
No Good Deed by Mary McDonald ($2.99).
*
Not What She Seems by Victorine Lieske ($0.99)
*
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen ($5.00)

Read More..
Your Top Four Reads 2010: Sheryl 3 comments

Over the past three weeks, we have featured Top Four Reads 2010 from authors, reviewers, book publishing professionals, and the two ladies who bring you this website. You answered our call for your Top Four Reads 2010 and today and Friday we will be featuring your lists. Some will be cheap reads; others were cheap reads when purchased, and others are priced a little more. Two more lists will be featured in posts at 2:00pm and 8:00pm today.
*
Sheryl, a mother of two and an avid reader who is lucky enough to work in a library (even though she prefers to read Kindle books over paper books), lives in Chicagoland. She sent her list and comments about her picks to us and commented, “Wow. Narrowing this list down to 4 is going to be tough as I read a lot of great books this year (many of which are, or at least were, cheap reads).”
*

Truly, Madly by Heather Webber (currently $2.99, but the price is set by the publisher so who knows how long it will last.) This is the first book in a series featuring Lucy Valentine who has psychic abilities that run along of the lines of finding lost objects which she thinks won’t help much in her family’s matchmaking business but does have several other advantages.
*
This Pen for Hire by Laura Levine ($3.66) is the 1st book in her Jaine Austen series. Jaine is a freelance writer who suddenly finds herself an amateur sleuth. This is a light mystery with a LOT of humor.
*
Romantically Challenged by Beth Orsoff ($2.99) is a contemporary romantic comedy which follows Julie Burns, an entertainment attorney in L.A., on her journey to find the perfect man.
*
Frost Moon by Anthony Francis ($8.59, but was $.99 when I bought it) This is the first in his new Skindancer series and is an urban fantasy novel. Dakota Frost is a tattoo artist who can make the tattoos on her skin “dance” or come alive. She becomes involved with the police in helping them track down a serial killer who is killing people then removing their tattooed skin.

Read More..
2010 Top Four Reads: Karen Cantwell 4 comments

Karen Cantwell is a mother, wife, writer and movie lover who also enjoys the fine art of laughter — not unlike the feisty, Barbara Marr in her humorous mystery, Take the Monkeys and Run.
*
It was hard to limit myself to four, so I decided to go with my fave four that were strong in character, since that’s what I really love in a good book.
*
Sam McRae is a tough, headstrong female lawyer that gets in almost over her head in this action-oriented mystery that deals with murder, identity theft and mob activities. Wry, witty dialogue combined with a well-drawn plot kept me moving quickly through this page-turning suspense novel and I was pleasantly surprised by a ‘gotcha’ twist that I never saw coming. You can buy this book (and see if you can see the twist coming!) for only 99 cents today.
*
*
*

Executive Lunch by Maria Schneider, humorous mystery: I love it when a book can make me laugh out loud and keep me interested in where the story is going at the same time. That’s why Executive Lunch is high on my list of favorite reads for 2010. Sedona O’Hala is a reluctant player in a scheme to uncover some big time business theft. Add to that, her uncanny knack for being in the wrong place at the right time and a tendency toward klutziness, and what you have is a rollicking good time from Chapter One to the end. You can enjoy a good laugh, too, for only $1.99 when you buy this book today.
*
We Interrupt This Date by L.C. Evans, humorous romance/chick lit: Divorcee Susan Caraway has problems, and they all come in the form of family members who can’t seem to take care of themselves. And, well . . . that gets in the way when a certain man comes along. She’d like him to be more than friends, but does she have the time? I don’t even know where to start raving about We Interrupt This Date — fun characters, fun story, great writing, sweet romantic tension that keeps you rooting for a happy ending. This book has it all. And did I mention fun characters? You can purchase We Interrupt This Date for only 99 cents today.
*
Homesong by Misha Crews, romance/family saga: While romance is not on my list of favorite genres generally, this is one of my favorite reads in 2010, because of the depth of the story and the range of characters drawn by author Misha Crews. Kate Doyle and Reed Fitzgerald are young lovers from a small town, torn apart by events beyond their control and the lies of others. Told through a saga that spans generations, it is no wonder that this novel was a finalist for the Bronte Prize in Romantic Fiction. Today Homesong is selling for $4.99.

Read More..
2010 Top Four Reads: Scott Pack of the Friday Project 1 comment

Scott Pack is a publisher; he runs the Friday Project imprint of HarperCollins in the UK. He also blogs daily about the book world and other matters at Me And My Big Mouth. He has chosen a diverse collection for his 2010 Top Four.
*
The Mr Gum books are my family’s favourite bedtime stories – anarchic, surreal and very, very funny. Only the first in the series is currently available as an ebook but that is naturally the best place to start. For my money, Andy Stanton is the new Roald Dahl. You can purchase this book today for $4.32 and make it a family favourite, too.
*
*
*
*
*
*

The Housekeeper and the Professorby Yoko Ogawa: A charming Japanese tale of a young woman who starts work as a housekeeper for a genius mathematician who has no short term memory. Every morning when she turns up she has to introduce herself and their relationship starts all over again. Short, bittersweet and really rather special. Today this book is available for the Kindle for $9.99.

The Swansong of Wilbur McCrum by Bronia Kita: A rambling Western that tells the story of an unfortunate young man who ends up a wanted criminal and wanders from one curious adventure to another. Imagine Forrest Gump crossed with Bonanza. You can purchase this fun fiction today for $8.90.

Stairway to Hell by Charlie Williams: With one of the finest closing scenes I have ever read, this book takes some of the greatest rock legends of the past 50 years and plonks them right in the middle of an urban crime novel. Via reincarnation and souls possessed. Completely over the top and all the better for it. Today you can buy this book for the Kindle for $8.70.

Read More..
Book Review: Perfect Shelter 0 comments

We learned about Perfect Shelter through one of our DailyCheapReads users, who emailed us about our site, then mentioned that her daughter Deborah Pierson Dill had written a novel that she thought we would enjoy. Isn’t that just the cutest thing?
I read the description of Perfect Shelter and decided it was definitely worth a try.
Elaine Mallory’s house in Blithe Settlement, Texas, is destroyed in a tornado just four weeks after her husband drowned. Elaine snatches her purse out of the tree to find her car keys safely stored inside. “Thank you so much for sparing my keys!” she yells at the heavens. Elaine boards the bus to Dallas, turning her back on the memories and on God.
Five years later, she returns to visit her aging aunt. She renews old friendships, including with Justin Barnet. Justin had loved Elaine since childhood, but he has recently returned to town after a stint in prison.
Elaine must come to terms with the past that she walked away from, her anger at God and an unexpected attraction to Justin. An honest look at her conflicting emotions gave this book some intriguing facets. Justin was certainly an interesting guy and I would have liked to have read more from his perspective.
I wondered if the tragic back story would make this a heavy read, but the focus was certainly on fresh beginnings. Most of the book was a traditional romance, with the last portion more of a suspense. I think the book would have been stronger if both elements had been incorporated more throughout the story. The book is selling for $5.99 in the Kindle store.

And no, having your mother contact us is no guarantee we’ll read or review your book. But you never know!
Click here to purchase Perfect Shelter

Read More..
Next Page »