Archives for: March 2011
Book Review: Sedona O’Hala Mystery Series 1 comment

You’ll enjoy reading this executive series of three cozy mysteries by Maria E. Schneider. Sedona O’Hala takes center stage as she negotiates the ins and outs of being undercover investigating cases for Steve Huntington, a high-level financial consultant. Sedona always seems to be in situations that call for her quick thinking wit and karate skills. Did I mention that she owns a gun and knows how to shoot it? I found Sedona a very capable woman but sometimes too overzealous for her own good.
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The first book in the series Executive Lunch introduces us to Sedona O’Hala who was happily employed at Strandfrost as a computer programmer until she was nearly killed by some muggers at work. That’s when she is approached by Steve Huntington to come work with him and the federal agents to go undercover to find out where charity funds are really going.

Sedona poses as an up-and-coming executive hoping the embezzlers will offer her a deal. Along with the promotion comes a fancy condo, a Mercedes SUV, a new wardrobe and being the only female executive in the company which in itself leads to problems. Sedona gets too close to the truth and Huntington and Turbo go missing. That’s when Sedona knows she is in over her head. She’s got to find someone–and fast, to help her rescue her friends.
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In Executive Retention Sedona has been hired by Huntington to work at another computer company to solve the mismanagement of service contracts and charges. The bottom line is that the customer account payments aren’t keeping up with hiring and expenses. It seems as if someone is pocketing the money for the work done. In her investigation Sedona runs into another cast of characters and zany situations, not to mention her family! Thanksgiving with Sedona’s family is hilarious.
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Executive Sick Days finds Sedona again undercover, this time in a hospital where she works as an aide – a volunteer aide no less. Steve Huntington has hired her again and Radar, the computer wizard, to find out who is making false charges to hospital bills. Sedona has to work with the usual assortment of doctors and nurses in trying to solve the case including Sally the head nurse. Steve’s brother Mark is helping with the investigation and there’s just something about Mark that makes Sedona’s blood sizzle.
Sedona’s pregnant sister-in-law also works at the hospital and adds a hilarious character to the story as she doesn’t want to tell her tyrant boss that she’s pregnant so she dresses in costume trying to hide her pregnancy. Good thing it’s the end of the year because she wears a Mrs. Claus outfit that looks completely hideous. You’ll chuckle at Sedona on the food tray, bed pan, travel aid, and x-ray tech route, not to mention her trip to the morgue.
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I appreciated this author’s ability to keep the main plot alive and moving but also to include humorous side stories in all three books. Sedona’s character develops as the series progresses; reading all three is a must! When the spring rains start falling, cozy up with your Kindle and these three mysteries. The author provided these three books to DailyCheapReads.
Executive Lunch is selling for $1.99; Executive Retention and Executive Sick Days are $2.99 each.
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Click here to purchase Executive Lunch
Click here to purchase Executive Retention
Click here to purchase Executive Sick Days

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Housekeeping – Brackets, Games, Comments and More 0 comments

My husband has a name
Throughout this website in all my conversations with you, I have refrained from using my husband’s name. He does have one. He’s Tiger. I’ve called him Tiger all of our married life and that’s been long before the young golfer rose to fame.
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Tiger loves to watch sports, but doesn’t follow Division I basketball. We didn’t let a lack of knowledge bother us as we each completed a basketball tournament bracket. This year Tiger has three of his final four still in the running; I have one. I might still be the winner as only one team is going home with the title. Wouldn’t that be an irony? Tiger gets 75% of the teams right; I get about 25% but pick the national champion? 🙂 How’s your NCAA bracket faring?
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March Madness Update for DailyCheapReads
You have voted and narrowed the field to the top three for all of the categories. Voting closed overnight for the mystery and suspense category – Alone by Lisa Gardner is in the Final Four.
Vote today for the top Non-Fiction/Fictionalized Non-Fiction on the right sidebar. On Sunday, the voting opens for Romance and Other Fiction voting opens on Wednesday next week. The Final Four will be in place for voting on Saturday, April 2. By a small miracle, that coincides with the NCAA Final Four start.
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Top three in Romance:
We Interrupt This Date by L. C. Evans – 71 votes
The Color of Heaven by Julianne MacLean – 59 votes
The Clayborne Brides–One Pink Rose, Bk 1 by Julie Garwood – 29 votes
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Top three in Other Fiction:
Four Years from Home by Larry Enright – 117 votes
Take the Monkeys and Run by Karen Cantwell – 87 votes
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella – 27 votes
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Playing Games
Just a reminder that the 12 games for the Kindle selling for only 99 cents each ends on March 27 (Sunday). These games will play on the Kindle 2, Kindle 3, and Kindle DX. Scrabble’s regular price is $4.99 and Solitaire regularly sells for $3.99.
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Comment, No Comment
In recent weeks, several of you have taken time to leave comments on posts. We appreciate that you have let others know how much you enjoyed a book or an author. We are always happy to have your input. Keep doing it!
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Sadly, not every comment that comes to our site is a helpful comment. Spammers advertising inappropriate products or websites also send comments. We subscribe to a spam-fighting service to keep the worst of these from the site. We also have chosen to approve every comment rather than to have auto-posting. If your comment doesn’t appear on the site soon after you submit it, please be patient.
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Prices are Down, Savings are Up
Previously featured Christian fiction author Angela Hunt’s novel Unspoken is selling today for $1.47. The novel explores the idea that animals might lead someone to God.
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Dead to Writes by Cathy Wiley is only 99 cents through the end of March. Cassandra Ellis is a soon-to-be published author who finds out that murder in real life is different than murder on the page.
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On the jr. edition site today we are featuring The Goose Girl , a magical retelling of the Grimms’s fairy tale of the princess who became a goose girl before she could become queen. This 400-page book is selling for only $1.99.

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Book Review: Jobless Recovery 6 comments

In Jobless Recovery, L.C. Evans creates a living picture of the recession.
As the title suggests, this novel has “ripped from the headlines” feel, yet it is infused with humor and personal touches.
Dave Griffin is a young computer programmer who drives an SUV and dates a pretty girl. Until Markham-Hook Conglomerate announces a restructuring that gives Dave’s job to a foreign programmer at a fraction of his salary and the world as he knows it falls apart.
Across town, Joe Tremain is in worse shape. He lost his government job because he suffered a head injury. Now, he’s also lost his health care and can’t afford medicine to treat his seizures. His daughter Lark works for a caterer to support them, while acting with a group of street performers is her true pleasure.
Dave is forced into further humiliation by having to train his replacement. He walks out of the job, losing unemployment benefits. He further upsets the Markham-Hook executives by going to Washington highlight the problems with a trade bill that cost American jobs. The senator’s response that Americans just need more education was priceless.
This novel presented a fresh look at the white-collar job losses of recent years. I, for one, could relate to much of this book and I’m sure others will be able to, as well. It took awhile for the different characters to come together, which was unfortunate, because that was the best part of the story as they started interacting. The author does a good job of creating a mood of despair, sometimes too good as the beginning seemed rather heavy. The ending, however, was filled with unexpected turns and an upbeat finish made this a good read.
At just $1.49, it’s the perfect price anyone in their own jobless recovery.
Click here to purchase Jobless Recovery

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Book Reviews: Two Historical Romances 0 comments

By coincidence, I recently read two books with similar settings: both were Christian fiction set in 1880s Colorado with a hero from Virginia who served in the Civil War. So why not review them together.
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From A Distance
This was the first book I’ve read by Tamara Alexander. It won’t be the last.
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This book is the first of the Timber Ridge Reflections series. Elizabeth Westwood, newspaper photographer and daughter of a U.S. Senator, travels to the small Colorado settlement to photograph the natural splendor, as well as check out prospective land developments. For a guide, she hires Daniel Ranslett. Daniel has been living a reclusive life in the Rocky Mountains as he tries to recover from the scars of the Civil War. He worries the Yankee photographer will bring attention that will upset the delicate beauty of the mountains he loves.
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Elizabeth convinces Daniel to accompany her and he agrees in part to make sure she doesn’t do anything to spoil the landscape. She ends up taking a photograph that could be a clue in a murder investigation. Despite their differences, Elizabeth and Daniel find that they can be civil to one another and can even be friends. The attraction between them suggests there could be more as they try to solve the murder.
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This book grabbed from page one and held me through til the end in a beautifully written story. The characters and romance developed realistically with enough of a mystery to keep me guessing. The book was also loaded with interesting details about early photography and Elizabeth treating her breathing ailments in the mountain air.
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This was a freebie on the Kindle some time back and is now available for $8.76.

Click here to purchase From A Distance
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A Woman Called Sage
Sage is strong woman determined to avenge the death of her husband and unborn son by tracking down outlaws.
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This intriguing premise of a female bounty hunter on the frontier makes for a story of both adventure and insight.
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Sage tracks down the leader of the McCaw gang to Rocky Falls and brings him in to Marshal Parker Timmons. The marshal doesn’t trust bounty hunters much, but Sage is certainly unique. The outlaw escapes and kidnaps two of Timmons young nephews. Sage, along with her trained hawk, is the only person who will be able to find them.
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Sage has spent the last several years bent on revenge and in Rocky Falls, learns some things about her husband that change her perspective on the past. She also comes to the point of fearing once her husband’s killers are found, she won’t have a reason to live. DiAnn Mills does an excellent job of developing this theme and showing the transformation in Sage.
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The characters in the town, including a judgmental preacher determined to take over as marshal, added a lot to the story. A point in the middle of this novel moved really slow and seemed to repeat itself, but overall, it was a good read.
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It’s now available for $9.99, but hopefully you picked it up when it was offered free in January.
Click here to purchase A Woman Called Sage

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Housekeeping – Happy St. Patrick’s Day 3 comments

March Madness Continues
The field is taking shape! Thanks for casting your votes in the Mystery and Suspense and Non-Fiction categories. The Romance voting ends today; Other Fiction begins tomorrow. Beginning Monday, you can vote to narrow the top three from each category down to just one to compete in the Final Four.
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Top three in Mystery and Suspense:
Alone by Lisa Gardner – 36 Votes
The Ritual Bath by Faye Kelleran – 33 Votes
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke – 27 Votes
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Top three in Non-Fiction:
Learn Me Good by John Pearson – 42 Votes
Knitting for Dummies by Pam Allen – 14 Votes
Too Close to the Sun by Curtis Roosevelt – 7 Votes
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The books posted on DailyCheapReads.com
In recent weeks we have received e-mail or comments from people who have very strong feelings about the books that we post.
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The only thing that DailyCheapReads controls in this environment is what makes a post. We cannot control prices. Amazon or the publishers/authors control the price of books. We cannot control what is offered free. The publishers determine when and what is offered free. We have chosen not to post free offerings of samples, limited chapters, or excerpts. We occasionally feature short stories, but for the most part it’s the book, the whole book, and nothing but the book.
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We do support self-published and backlist (out-of-print) authors who are digitizing their books and placing them in the Kindle Store. We do this because: 1) these books are great reads; 2) these authors have supported DailyCheapReads by promoting our site to their readers; and 3) these books are priced reasonably. These authors are also the most gracious folks who appreciate that DailyCheapReads connects readers to their books.
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We try to offer a wide variety of books when we find them at good prices, but in the end, we are a business. If a particular genre of book doesn’t sell well, we won’t feature that genre as often. On Sundays we post  Christian fiction, religious non-fiction, stories of redemption, and self-improvement because these books are popular with readers. That’s our business model and it has worked well for us.
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Get ’em Quick
Several books that we have featured previously are now at reduced prices:
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For a limited time you can get Beyond Nostalgia for only 99 cents. This book has 11 five-star reviews out of 12 reviews posted. One reviewer described the book as “Heart rending, from its opening and gritty portrayal of New York street life, to the unexpected twist and the end of the book.”
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Perhaps …. Perhaps by Australian novelist LA Dale is also available for a limited time for 99 cents. A well-reviewed romantic suspense, one reviewer wrote this: “Author LA Dale uses a light and deft hand with the humour, some tongue in cheek and very funny moments. Above all else she makes us care about her characters. No matter what your gender, you can’t help reading on.”
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If you enjoy family saga novels, did you see that Douglas Kennedy’s Pursuit of Happiness is only 99 cents? The book is an epic story – over 10,000 locations – and is described a a great, tragic love story; a tale of divided loyalties, decisive moral choices and the random workings of destiny. The setting of the book in the beginning is Manhattan, 1945.
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Weekend Ahead
On a personal note, we are having a bit of March Madness at our house this weekend with family events. I have massive varieties of digital connectivity, so I’ll keep an eye on the site.
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I’ll be spending a couple of days with my dear husband then we will go to large family gathering with much conversation, laughter, and home cooking. My husband will be lavished with attention. He deserves every hug, kiss, and word of encouragement expressed by those who love him dearly. I deserve beef with homemade noodles, gooseberry pie, and triple chocolate brownies.

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Book Review: The Big Love 1 comment

The Big Love is in the best tradition of chick lit. Alison Hopkins is stunned when her live-in boyfriend, surely preparing to propose, goes out to pick up mustard, then calls to announce he is in love with someone else.
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Alison tumbles through a number of reactions and tries to scrape her life together. She narrates the story in a chatty breathless style that feels a lot like a long telephone call. Like this:

I suppose if I had been exposed to Dorothy Parker at an impressionable age she would have been who I wanted to grow up to be, but we didn’t get Dorothy Parker in Arizona when I was growing up; we got Nora Ephron. Who I proceeded to want to grow up to be. I didn’t find out until years later – after I’d been exposed to Dorothy Parker myself and had begun to idly contemplate attempting to become her – that Nora Ephron had wanted to grow up to be Dorothy Parker, which made me quite pleased.

When Alison tells us her therapist thinks she’s a narcissist, it’s easy to believe.
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The heroine goes through all the angst of modern romance, with one very interesting twist – she was raised an evangelical Christian. Even though she rejects many of those conventions, some of those elements are still very meaningful and she tries to reconcile them with her choices and yet still find love.
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The Big Love is light and fun and easy to read, although the end was a little less than satisfying. The author raised some interesting questions about romance and faith, but this is no way a Christian book, with a few uses of choice language to emphasize that.
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The book was offered previously on DailyCheapReads; the price has since shot up to $9.99.

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Story Review: New Wife by Mark Trainer 1 comment

Mark Trainer’s New Wife was the winner in the Jeffrey Archer Presents Short Story Competition, sponsored by St. Martin’s Press.
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I bought this short story while preparing for our Spring 99 Cent Frenzy, thinking I might include it in the mix of offerings. Time disappeared without the file even being opened and New Wife didn’t get a post in those two days. Another reason the story was ignored was the title. I had not read the description, but with a title like New Wife . . . well, who wants to read another book about a second or third wife. I should have read the description.
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One morning Danny doesn’t recognize the woman who is his wife. She knows all about him, knows everything about their house, and does all the things his wife does. But she isn’t his wife; she’s a stranger. Everyone else recognizes her as Eve, his wife. Why can’t they see she’s not Eve?
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As I read of Danny’s deepening confusion, I felt such sadness for the man who couldn’t remember people, events and places. I even remembered times I was out of sorts and I ached for this man.
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The story follows Danny, Eve and their son Sean only for a couple of days. Sean has a problem with his classmates and Danny can remember with clarity a similar situation when he was a kid.  If he can remember that, why can’t he remember to pay the mortgage?
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This story is a statement for fathers and men standing by their families. It’s finding clarity and purpose in a very hazy world. It’s about being a parent and only getting one chance to defend what’s right and overcome the past. Surprisingly, the book gives insight into how some men think – with singularity of purpose. The reviews on Amazon are mixed – either they thought it was brilliant or they didn’t get it.
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Even though the story is not long (less than 30 minutes to read) , the 99 cent price was worth it. If you read New Wife, please leave a comment to tell me what you think of the story.
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Click here to purchase Jeffrey Archer Presents: New Wife

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Housekeeping – jr. edition and March Madness 1 comment

Housekeeping.
That’s the official name of this Thursday post where I will tell you about our upcoming events, chat about Kindle and books in general, and whatever whimsy flies through my head.
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First I must confess my ulterior motive for the name Housekeeping. In about another week my husband is going to comment on the amount of clutter that has slowly accumulated in our living quarters. He will say something subtle about the carpet needing a vacuum. He might even say something about the state of the kitchen. With all honesty, I will look him in the eye and say, “I do Housekeeping every Thursday.” I follow the letter of the law, if not the intent.
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jr. edition Reviewers
Sunday on our jr. edition we introduced our reviewers for books appropriate for pre-schoolers. Dee and her children Zack, 5, and Missy, 2, will be reading books suitable for their age and giving feedback on the content and value of the books. We are happy to have these young readers contributing to our site.
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They reviewed The Beginner’s Bible for Toddlers which is selling for only $2.99 today. If you have a pre-schooler in your life who might enjoy this book, you can gift the book to them. With the Kindle for PC, phone, or tablet apps, they can read the book again and again.
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March Madness
College basketball tournaments are happening this weekend all across the United States and the season known as March Madness is in full swing. DailyCheapReads is having our own version of March Madness with brackets of books for you to choose your favorites to narrow the list to the final four. The mystery and suspense books are open for voting through tomorrow (Friday). After these books, you will have three days each to vote for non-fiction, romance, and other fiction. The top three from all four categories will go through another round of voting to get to the final four.
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Spring 99 Cent Frenzy
Thanks for your participation in our Spring 99 Cent Frenzy. Many of you bought great cheap reads and our self-published authors were thrilled by your response. Mark Adair sent a note that “The Father’s Child reached the top 25 in 2 different Thriller subcategories! Might make my highest spot ever!” Several authors expressed their appreciation for the great Kindlers who patronize our site. Thank you for supporting these rising stars who are providing us an alternative to the agency model and higher prices!
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Here’s another cheap read we have featured previously, now selling for less than one dollar. Donna Fasano sent a note telling us that she has lowered the price on her romantic comedy, The Merry-Go-Round, to just 99 cents through the end of March. The book is well-reviewed and now is a chance to buy it cheap.
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That’s all for this week. If anyone asks, please tell them that the last you knew, I was doing the housekeeping. And, yes, I did buy this book during our Spring 99 Cent Frenzy. I had it sent to my wonderful husband’s Kindle.

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Book Review: One Hit Wonder 0 comments

Mickey DeFalco is a pathetic, yet somehow likable, one-hit wonder in this book by Charlie Carillo.
When he was 18 years old, Mickey wrote a hit song about his first love, Lynn. Now, 20 years later, he is broke and moving back home to live with his parents.
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The story intertwines Mickey’s present with his past as the two seem to repeatedly collide. He gets his old job back mowing lawns. He bickers with his parents as he comes to relate to them as adults and find out they really are interesting people. Most shocking of all is that Lynn, who ran away from home without so much as a goodbye, has also moved back to the neighborhood.
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Mickey has to cope with the embarrassment of people who are star struck when they recognize him and ask what he is doing now. He does manage to make the most of opportunities when women, who were teenagers when he was famous, throw themselves as him.
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The song wraps around the story nicely, appearing in the most unexpected places and giving the story a powerful connection. Anyone who has ever had to make peace with their teenage self will be able to relate.
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One Hit Wonder is a character-driven story with an edgy tone that reveals an unexpected sweetness. The plot was impossible to predict. I really enjoyed reading this book, despite some crass scenes.
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If you picked this up when it was free in November, you may want to move it up on your reading list. Otherwise, you can get it today for $7.99.
Click here to purchase One Hit Wonder

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Catching Up or Falling Behind – A Post about All Kinds of Things 2 comments

Three days ago, I had the idea that I needed to make post every Thursday – kind of a housekeeping post of what’s happening on DailyCheapReads; maybe some price cuts to pass along; what’s happening on the UK and jr. edition sites – those kinds of things.
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I tried to think of a catchy little name for this post. Nothing profound came to mind so the idea of “Catching Up” seemed as good as anything. Late last night, I realized that Thursday was imminent, no post had been written, and perhaps “Falling Behind” is more appropriate. If you have any ideas for a name, feel free to post a comment with your suggestion.
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Spring 99 Cent Frenzy!
With the help of some wonderful authors, we are having a Spring 99 Cent Frenzy! Beginning at one minute after midnight, TuesdayMonday, March 7, and going through one minute after midnight Wednesday, March 8Thursday, March 9, I will post a 99 cent book every two hours. That’s 25 different books for only 99 cents each! You can fill your Kindle just in time for spring break, March madness, or as a reason to delay spring cleaning until the fall. The prices for most of the books will remain at 99 cents for several days, so there’s no need to stay up all night to get the great deals. If you are a Facebook or Twitter fan, expect to see many entries from DailyCheapReads.
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Because I am impossible with dates and times, let’s try this again: The Spring 99 Cent Frenzy will begin one minute after midnight on Monday, March 7. So, in the night between Sunday and Monday, it will start. The last post will be one minute after midnight on Wednesday, March 9, or in the night between Tuesday and Wednesday. That will be from midnight one night through another midnight ending on the next midnight. Is it obvious that I’m talking aloud to myself to get this right? If this still isn’t right, let me know!
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Poll Results
You can read the books! Here are the numbers from our poll of books read through February 28:

How many books have you read so far in 2011?

1. 0-5 Books: 36 Votes
2. 6-10 Books: 71 Votes
3. 11-20 Books: 70 Votes
4. 21-25 Books: 35 Votes
5. 26 or More Books: 74 Votes

Read on!
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Pre-Orders and Price Breaks
For those of you who pre-ordered Poke the Box when we featured it, you paid $1.00. As soon as the book was available for immediate purchase, the price jumped to $4.99. This was a time when pre-ordering was the cheaper option. I plan to keep a closer eye on pre-order books so I can give you the opportunity to buy early.
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The Amazing Free-for-a-Flash Books
Wasn’t Tuesday wild with all those free books (here, here, and here)? One of those books was only free for a few hours and some of you may have been disappointed. Please, always confirm the price before you one-click.
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For free books, I prepare the post. I then preview the post and click on every icon to confirm it is free and then I send the post to the site. All I can confirm for you was that the book was free at the time of the post.
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In the UK Kindle Store today, there were 32 new free books this morning – almost all of them are now or have been free in the US Kindle Store. Within a couple of hours from that post, none of those books was free. That’s just confusing to the Kindlers and those of us who try to connect Kindlers to the books. When you consider the volume of data that is maintained on the Amazon websites, the level of integrity of the data is amazing. They do a great job and confusing things just happen.
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March Madness – DailyCheapReads Version
March Madness, when everyone in America becomes a college basketball fan, will soon start in arenas around the country. We are having our own version of March Madness at DailyCheapReads where you will select books from a bracket. The first poll will go up soon. Books from a category, such as romance or mystery or other fiction, will be on the poll for a few days. You will vote and narrow the field to the Final Four!
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Spring 99 Cent Frenzy! Starts Tuesday for 48 hours.Tell your friends and fellow Kindlers.

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