Archives for: May 2011
Book Review: Fillmore to the Rescue 1 comment

Thanks to Fran Baker who took the time to write this review. Fran recently made available for the Kindle a Regency romance that she had written but never published, Miss Francie’s Folly, available for $2.99 today.

Review: If you like P.G. Wodehouse, you’ll really enjoy Fillmore to the Rescue, the first book in the The Fillmore Chronicles by L.T. Fawkes. The author of The Workingman Mysteries, Fawkes does a 180 by bringing the British mistress/servant relationship into the modern American age with a subtle, sometimes laugh-out-loud humor.

Melinda (Mellie for short) Strop is a poor little rich girl who wants to get as far away from her family as possible. Unfortunately, she has a knack for getting herself into trouble. Fillmore is the tall, dark, exotic-looking man who channels Wodehouse’s Jeeves perfectly as her personal assistant. He can not only get her out of whatever bind she’s gotten herself into, but he can do it while staving off one of Mellie’s busybody aunts, hiring the cleaning crew and chaffeur, and whipping up the perfect breakfast crepe.

There are currently three Kindle eBooks in The Fillmore Chronicles, but I’d suggest starting with the first, Fillmore to the Rescue, so you don’t miss a single, sly word of this delightful new series. Click here to purchase Fillmore to the Rescue; available today for $2.99.

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Housekeeping: Successful Authors, Post Times and Cheap Reads 1 comment

Electronic Book Publishing Companies
People love a success story. We cheer when someone does well; wish that all who are working toward noble goals achieve their dreams; and long for the same for ourselves and family.
Electronic books have given the opportunity for success to many authors who might not otherwise catch the eye of traditional publishers. An exciting success story has been the rise of Amanda Hocking, a 26-year-old indie author who has earned over $1 million.
She caught the eye of the traditional publisher and has signed a four-book deal with a traditional publisher. Many of you purchased Hocking’s books and helped her to success and recognition.
One of our readers recently sent a note about another indie author who became well-known through the e-book experience. Here are excerpts from her note:

One of the first books I starting reading and fell in love with was from an indie. I am one of those people who can look past some spelling, format, grammar issues to focus on a good story and loved the idea of getting cheaper prices and finding gems in the rough so to speak. This book I started reading was book one of a planned five-book series. Book one and book two were out with a third book out soon. . . I talked several people into buying it and using Kindle for PC if they didn’t have a Kindle just to get people to try [the author] out.

This author became quite famous and approached publishers to negotiate the sale of the remaining books in the series. To make a long story short, our reader still doesn’t have book three on her Kindle because the author sold her book to Sterling Publishing, a wholly-owned publishing company of Barnes and Noble. At this time B&N is not producing a Kindle version. Our reader has the option of buying the book in hardcover or buying the book for a nook (which she doesn’t own) or a nook application. The original two books in the series have been pulled from the Kindle Store, too.
Are we happy to see this author succeed? At best, we have mixed emotions. I am happy that the consumers have chosen the authors who will rise to the top. Our reader feels betrayed in that some of the very people who helped this woman succeed now must buy her books in a different format or through a different company to continue reading the series. We are probably all saddened that the e-book publishing companies are not making books available to all e-readers.

Amazon has several publishing companies – AmazonEncore, Amazon Crossing, and the recently announced Montlake for romance titles. I checked a few random titles from these publishing companies and the books were not available for the Nook.

Yes, we love a success story. We also want to have access to the books we want in the format we prefer. Print books, no matter who published them, were available to all to consume without expense beyond the book. Times are changing . . . . and these are the growing pains of emerging technologies and content. Hold on for the ride!
Speaking of Times Changing
Did you notice that we have re-arranged the posting schedule? One more post was added to our daily schedule for a total of at least eight posts every day of great cheap reads. You just aren’t going to find anything like us anywhere else on the web. Our post times are all Central US time (Chicago) with the first one at 6:00am and new post every two hours through 8:00pm. We’ll post free books that meet our standards as we learn about them.
A Note for the Weekend
The United States will celebrate Memorial Day this weekend – the unofficial start of summer. Our nation has been battered by natural disasters, seemingly one after another. We are praying for the many people across our nation who have lost family, friends, homes, possessions, health and security. May your strength and hope be restored.
Books by the Millionaire Author
Amanda Hocking still has many of her books available for 99 cents for the first book in the series and $2.99 for the next books in the series. Below are some of her most popular books, all great, cheap reads. The Trylle Trilogy is a young adult paranormal romance with mild language and mild sexual situations recommended for ages thirteen and up.

Switched (Trylle Trilogy, Book 1): (99 cents) When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn’t until eleven years later that Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed – a world both beautiful and frightening, and Wendy’s not sure she wants to be a part of it.
Torn (Trylle Trilogy, Book 2): ($2.99) Wendy thought she finally understood who she was and what she wanted, but everything changes when the rival Vittra come after her. She’s caught between two worlds, torn between love and duty, and she must decide what life she is going to lead.
Ascend (Trylle Trilogy, #3) : ($2.99) With a war looming on the horizon, Wendy’s fate seems sealed. But everything she sacrificed might be in vain if she can’t save the ones she loves. Her whole life has been leading up to this, and it’s all coming to an end.

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Book Review: You Don’t Say!: Over 1,000 Hilarious Sports Quotes and Quips 0 comments

Jocks say some of the darndest things. Some don’t even know how funny they are. Comedians, sportscasters, and news journalists, however, are clever wordsmiths. You Don’t Say by Hartley Miller is chock full of verbal gems from the jocks and the clever quips of the media.

You don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy the puns, the malaprops, the chapter of Anna Kournikova comments, and the Yogi-isms from beloved baseball player Yogi Berra. Anyone who loves language and can chuckle at the mangled expressions and turns of phrases will enjoy the fun.

This book is a quick read to have on your Kindle or Kindle app for when you have just a few minutes or want to take a break from a longer book.

My husband rated the book with five footballs, five basketballs, five baseballs, five golf balls, and a 9.9 rating on form, style, and execution.

A couple of quotes I enjoyed:
* Guess the Bears figure that it ought to cost a lot of money to get to the place the Bears themselves can’t get to. — Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune, after the Chicago Bears raised ticket prices for its end-zone seats.
* I can’t die. It would wreck my image. — Fitness guru Jack LaLanne, eighty-three, in an interview on HBO’s Real Sports

You Don’t Say is selling today for only $1.57 A fun read at a supecheap price.

Click here to purchase You Don’t Say!: Over 1,000 Hilarious Sports Quotes and Quips

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Book Review: Courting Miss Amsel 0 comments

A young teacher arrives at a one-room school house on the prairie … You know exactly how this story will go. But then it’s full of fun little twists and you enjoy every single page of it.
Edythe Amsel, for one thing, isn’t the typical young little miss. She is 28 years old and is proud to begin a teaching career after raising her younger siblings following the death of their mother. Joel Townsend is raising his nephews after their parents were killed in an accident. As they get to know each other, Joel and Edythe find their similar experiences draw them close, but also make it more difficult to start a future together. Edythe has already raised one family and isn’t eager to take on another.

Joel finds the school teacher lovely and kind, though her ideas about education and women’s suffrage don’t make her a good fit in Walnut Hill, Nebraska.
Edythe stands up for her beliefs, setting some townspeople against her. Joel stands up for the teacher, but in his heart he knows he must find a woman who will be a good mother to his boys. His reluctant, awkward approach to romance adds a touch of humor.
Courting Miss Amsel is a romance, as well as a beautifully written book with well-developed characters. The big-hearted storekeeper reminded me of Mr. Olson from Little House on the Prairie. Author Kim Vogel Sawyer was a teacher before starting her writing career and she lends her expertise to this story to make Edythe’s instruction in the classroom very interesting. Johnny and Robert, Joel’s nephews, were endearing by being real children, not contrived props to the story.
You think you know how this story will go… and that only makes it all that much more enjoyable. I read this book as part of the review program for Bethany House publishers in exchange for writing an unbiased review.
It is available for $9.68 on Kindle. Click here to purchase Courting Miss Amsel

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Housekeeping – Telling Stories, Shorts Results, Charitable Giving and a Cheap Read 0 comments

Are you a storyteller when it comes to books?
Early in 2009 the BBC conducted an on-line survey asking their site visitors questions about what they read and what they claimed to have read. Two-thirds of the respondents on the survey confessed to lying about having read a book in an effort to impress someone. The classics, led by George Orwell’s 1984 and Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, were the most
popular chosen from a list of ten books to have been falsely claimed as read.
You can read the full article about the survey here.
When it comes to pleasure reading, I don’t ever recall outright lying about having read a book. More than once I have unsuccessfully tried to bluff my way through remembering the content of a book. A few times I’ve claimed not reading a particularly poorly written book.
Not counting school assignments, have you ever tried to impress someone by lying about what you have read? I’ve put a poll on the right side bar for you to vote on the most appropriate statement that describes you. We have no mechanism to track how a particular person responds so all confessions are secret.
Taking it in the Shorts
Exactly half of you who voted told us you prefer books over short stories. If you are going to read short stories, anthologies are preferred.
To me, a short story seems harder to write. The time to establish the plot; develop characters; and come to resolution has to be much more compact. I’ve read books that would have been better as short stories. I’ve also read short stories that left me wondering, “But what about this? And this? What happened next?” I’ve spent hours daydreaming about how the unanswered questions would play out. Perhaps that is the intent of a well-written short story.
With these survey results in mind, we will continue occasionally telling you about short stories, collections, and novellas available in the Kindle Store.
The picture above doesn’t relate to the subject, but it is finally spring where we live. We have the simple pleasure to sit in our backyard by the dogwood tree while reading from our Kindles.

1. I do not care for short stories at all. Give me a book. (50.0%, 238 Votes)
2. I like short stories; I prefer collections or anthologies to get a better value. (22.48%, 107 Votes)
3. I am kind of on the fence on this one. I can take them or leave them. (10.78%, 51 Votes)
4. I like short stories and will buy them for 99 cents – what a deal! (9.45%, 45 Votes)
5. I like short stories, but 99 cents for one story? It had better be an author I already love. (6.77%, 32 Votes)
6. Other – tell us in the comments what you do and do not like about shorts. (0.63%, 3 Votes)
Total Votes: 476

Charitable contributions and book sales
Periodically we receive requests from authors to feature their book during a certain time as the author will be donating sales proceeds to a charity or current relief effort. DailyCheapReads strongly supports charitable giving and as individuals give generously to organizations we support.
We do not have reason to doubt the sincerity of the authors and their intentions of contributing funds to their chosen charity. We also do not have the means to verify that the proceeds have been given as stated. Therefore DailyCheapReads will not include on its posts any statements regarding the author’s intentions with the proceeds from a book sale.

Board games and cheap read
Gary’s Adventures in Chess Country: Did you know that chess can also improve your child’s ability to learn? Studies have shown that by focusing on basic chess concepts, children as young as four can improve their reasoning and develop their problem-solving abilities.
Gary’s Adventures in Chess Country is designed to help children delve into the world of chess through an engaging adventure story. Spirited away by a mysterious young girl on a magic tricycle, Gary is taken to Chess Country, where he learns the rules of chess and the fundamentals of chess tactics. By following Gary on his adventures – and by solving engaging puzzles alongside him – your child will have a unique opportunity to improve focus, memory, and critical thinking skills, all while having fun. Learn while having fun for only 89 cents today.
Chess – A Classic Game for Kindle: The classic game of Chess is now available on your Kindle. In Chess you go head-to-head in a bid to capture your opponent’s King. Play against Kindle or challenge a friend with Pass ‘N Play mode. Choose between 10 levels of difficulty and choose whether you want to play with an optional time limit to increase the challenge. You can also take back a move if you have made a mistake, as well as save your game at any time.
Enjoy this classic game today on your Kindle 2, Kindle 3, and Kindle DX for only $2.99.

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Housekeeping – Savvy Shopping; 99 Cent Mother’s Day Sale; Cheap Reads and More 0 comments

99 Cent Book on Every Post – Starts Sunday, Ends Tuesday or so
Our 99 cent Spring Frenzy was so popular that we are repeating the event so you can fill your Kindle for summer vacation, reading on the beach, or just relaxing in the backyard. Any mother who received a Kindle for Mother’s Day will have the opportunity to find some great cheap reads. The books featured will include previously-published books that the authors have made available on Kindle (known as backlist books) and fresh books from fresh voices in publishing.
The event will start at 10:00 pm Central (Chicago time) Sunday and a new book will post every two hours through at least Tuesday night, perhaps longer. The authors have agreed to keep the books at 99 cents for several days so you won’t have to be awake overnight to get the great cheap reads.
Savvy Shopping
My husband Tiger is every grocer’s dream customer. On the rare occasions he is actually in a grocery store, he’s there to buy; not shop. He grabs what is on the center shelf and heads to the checkout. When I go to the market, I meticulously compare prices and believe the extra time is rewarded at the checkout.
You need to be a shopper in the Kindle Store as well, not just a buyer. Savvy shoppers will find that the same book may be available in multiple forms, titles can be the same for different-sized books by the same author, and looks can be misleading. Here are a few examples of where being a savvy shopper will save you money.
Though the cover on the left below indicates it is a short story and the number of pages and the file size on the web page indicate that this is not a full-length book, the product description is for the story collection, shown on the right. Both of the titles are priced at $1.99. Pricing short stories and complete collections the same could be a pricing error by the publisher.

For the money I recommend Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing : With this first book of fiction, a gifted young writer brings together eight superbly crafted stories that peer deeply into the human heart, exploring lives derailed by the loss of a vital connection to the land and to the natural world of which they are a part. The book cover on the right is the link to the collection for $1.99.
Perhaps in an attempt to maximize profit and minimize costs, publishers are re-packaging books with different titles and covers. I have found this primarily in women’s fiction and romances. Featured on our site previously, Suzanne Brockman has written a series of romances that feature Navy SEAL heroes. The first book cover below is a re-packaging of two of those books: Frisco’s Kid and Everyday, Average Jones. The two-book set is selling for $5.24. The second book cover below is a bundle of the first four books in the series (includes Frisco’s Kid and Everyday, Average Jones) and sells for $5.04 – four books for less money than the two in the re-packaged version.

For the money I recommend Tall, Dark, and Dangerous Part 1: Tall, Dark and Dangerous…they’re who you call to get out of a tight spot…or into one. Four sexy Navy SEALS find heartstopping adventure and blistering romance in these captivating stories by New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann. Bundle includes Prince Joe, Forever Blue, Frisco’s Kid and Everyday, Average Jones. All four books in one e-file for $5.04.
Mary Balogh has two e-book offerings available for pre-order. The first is a two-book set of More Than a Mistress and No Man’s Mistress. The second offering is just one book from the two-book set. The price for the two-book set is $7.99; the price for the single book is $7.99.

For the money I recommend More than a Mistress/No Man’s Mistress : From New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh come two classic tales of Regency-era romance, where scandalous liaisons kindle passions too powerful to conceal. Pre-order today for $7.99; delivery is scheduled for May 24.
And did you notice this? We posted this pre-order book on April 20 at $1.99. That’s still the price in the Kindle Store today. If you look at the cover, the banner across the front reads: FREE EDITION WITH BONUS MATERIAL. If the book is offered for free, I’ll post it. If you have pre-ordered, you would need to cancel the pre-order and then one-click buy the free copy at that time.
Have you found any similar book offerings in the Kindle Store where being a savvy shopper has saved you money? Or have you made a purchase and then found the same book cheaper in another format; not just a decreased price? Add a comment to this post so we can all learn from your experience.
Indie Authors from the United Kingdom
Each day in May, our United Kingdom DailyCheapReads will spotlight an independent author from the United Kingdom. A book by the author is also posted on this site the same day. Please take time to look at the gritty, cutting-edge books; the romantic comedies; the suspenseful mysteries; and young adult and children’s fiction. You may discover a new favorite author.
Language Tutors Sale Ends May 11
The half-price sale on 24/7 Language Tutors ends May 11. Learn Spanish, German, French and Italian for only $1.99 for either vocabulary or basic phrases in each language.

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