Archives for: June 2011
Book Review: The Last Romantics by Ruth Harris – Only 99 cents 0 comments

Fran Baker, an author of Regency romance Miss Francie’s Folly ($2.99), dropped us a note with a review of Ruth Harris’ The Last Romantics. Fran told us she learned of this very talented author through DailyCheapReads. We’re always happy to make introductions.
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Where to start? At the end – the end of World War I, that is. That’s when Kim Hendricks, American hero and legendary war reporter, meets Nicole Redon, a gifted fashion designer determined to create clothing women will love to wear, in a celebration-crazed Paris. They spend several weeks together exploring the City of Lights and each other before Kim must return to America. This is where Kim’s courage escapes him. He doesn’t tell Nicole he’s engaged to be married; he simply promises he’ll return.

Kim does return a few years later, and against her better judgment, Nicole takes him back. By now he’s a best-selling novelist and she’s the toast of the fashion world thanks to the simple elegance of her designs. Kim is also married. Nicole has never married, though she’s come close, and she easily falls into the role of his mistress. From Paris to New York to Africa to the French Riviera, through the Roaring Twenties, the stock market crash and the Dirty Thirties, they pursue a romance that sets the world abuzz. The book ends at the beginning of World War II in Europe, when Kim’s courage returns in full force. He goes back to his reporting and pursues the Nazis with a vengeance, while Nicole lives in abject fear for his safety.

Harris skillfully weaves fact with fiction in the creation of this tale of love, loss, success, failure, war and peace. If you’re looking to bury yourself in a big old historical novel full of larger-than-life characters, this is the one. Today you can buy this wonderful book for only 99 cents.

Click here to purchase The Last Romantics

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Housekeeping – Why Amazon, a poll, and great cheap reads 5 comments

Buying e-books from Amazon and only Amazon
The rising popularity of e-books has led to an increasing number of sites to purchase your books. Some authors sell directly; some authors have formed cooperatives to market their books; some websites serve as large marketplaces and offer many indie produced books to the readers. Where should you go to buy your books?
As my dad often said when asked a question, “It all depends.” I have chosen to buy my e-books from Amazon and only Amazon and here’s why:

  1. The archive. I can keep active on my Kindle only what I’m reading. Everything else goes to the archive and out of my way until pulled back via Whispernet.
  2. The archive. If purchased from other sites, once a book is removed from your Kindle you have to reload from a computer or other storage device or perhaps the original website. There are websites and software you can use for compiling and storing your e-books, but I don’t need one more thing to manage.
  3. The archive. If I add a Kindle to my account, the user has instant access to every book I have purchased.
  4. Book updates. If an author/publisher updates a book (usually formatting, grammar, and spelling errors) Amazon will notify customers who previously purchased the book to let them know an updated version is available. The update is always at the customer’s option.
  5. Customer service. Amazon’s customer service is second to none. For a company with the volume of sales and customer service calls they have to receive, the complaints are minimal.

That’s the beginning of my list. Perhaps you have other reasons or a tale to tell about buying books from some other source. Leave us a comment on this post.
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Speaking of customer service. . .
A new Worst Case Scenario poll is on the right sidebar. If you have a true experience you want to share with us about how a Kindle was broken or about how a “friend” broke their Kindle, leave a comment to tell us about it.
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Cheap Reads – only 99 cents each
Only 99 cents each for the books below that have been featured on DailyCheapReads previously. The categories left to right: Christian fiction, historical fiction, and contemporary romance.

The Runaway Pastor’s Wife: What could possibly drive a pastor’s wife to run away from home? After years of frustration from life in a church fishbowl, Annie McGregor walks away from it all and boards a plane for Colorado.
Freedom’s Sword: In 1296, newly knighted by the King of the Scots, Andrew de Moray fights to defend his country against the forces of the ruthless invader, King Edward Longshanks of England. After a bloody defeat in battle, he is dragged in chains to an English dungeon.
Romeo, Romeo: Shades of “Adam’s Rib” … Maggie Kelly Romeo and Gian Romeo live, love and laugh as they play opposing roles in Kansas City’s courtrooms. But a vacancy on the bench proves disastrous when both are asked to apply …

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Happy Father’s Day! The Pinkerton Files – Three books at $1.99 each 3 comments

Today is Dad’s Day in the United States when we pause to express our appreciation and love for our fathers and to remember the influence they have had on our lives.
Two weeks ago we gave our 91-year-old father a Kindle. I had hesitated because Dad has worked the land as a farmer for over 70 years and hasn’t had much exposure to technology. I took him through the simple steps of operation and explained that I had put 270 books on it for him. He adjusted the font size bigger and read a few pages by a favorite author. Then he headed back out to the farm because he had work to do.
Within the first week he had read six books. He is proof that the Kindle is a good gift for any age even with little or no technology experience if they really want to read.  When I told him about the books I had loaded, he asked if I had any Westerns on it because he “likes those shoot ’em up stories with horses.”
The three books below aren’t true Westerns such as Dusty Richards or William Johnstone or Louis L’Amour would write, but there’s sure to be some shoot ’em up with horses. Each book is selling for only $1.99 and I’ve already purchased them and had them sent to Dad’s Kindle. Now I will have to teach him how to turn on the wireless.
Happy Fathers Day, Dad! Read on!
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The Pinkerton Files is based on the new audio series starring Michael Hogan. It sets the real cases of America’ s first private detective in a world of radical inventions driving a bitterly divided nation toward civil war.
Agency founder Allan Pinkerton senses a conspiracy mounting against him, his sons and his operatives. Every step they take toward solving three seemingly disconnected cases draws them further into a conflict that will be their downfall. If Allan allows them to become embroiled in the war, they will never find their way out.

Lincoln and the Golden Circle launches as a simple assignment to protect a rail line from sabotage but explodes when one of Allan’ s agents is murdered, his son is arrested and his protege is wickedly assaulted. With police descending on his headquarters, Allan must choose whether to commit his detectives to a death defying sprint in a final attempt to save the President’ s life.
Bucholz and the Blockade sees Allan save his son from prison by putting him charge of a murder investigation but this hurried decision evolves into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse as his detectives pursue rogue soldiers into battle and accused killers behind bars. Amid a catastrophe that leaves hundreds dead and agents marooned undercover, Allan loses touch with his son as he chases the most dangerous suspect of all.
A Burglar’s Fate opens with a bank robbery in a frontier town, a tiny case Allan would normally not take on except that his Agency is falling to pieces. One of his agents has to be rescued from a botched undercover assignment while another disappears into the political intrigue of the capital. His son risks being arrested again to follow clues only he can understand. As the case unravels, Allan faces pressure from the White House to do the one thing he has resisted all along: join the war effort.

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Housekeeping: The In-Box, Worst Case Scenario, Beach Reads and Cheap Reads 1 comment

Out of the In-Box
We love e-mail from our site users. Your words of appreciation and support are welcome anytime. We also appreciate e-mail from authors who want their books to be featured on DCR. Our e-mail multiplies in the night; perhaps we need e-mail birth control – the E-Pill.
Occasionally we get an e-mail and my initial response is not one that’s appropriate to reply. Today I’m featuring a few of those e-mails and the response that was not sent.
Cindy wrote to us: I have been having trouble all day. . . I can get to where it shows and tells about the book but when I attempt to “Buy Now” it spins and spins and then I get the blank page with “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage”.
My first reaction: I have never in all my life had trouble with the “Buy Now” button. It works all too well.
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Kristin wrote: I usually don’t write fan letters….but I’m compelled to in this case- I’ve have been following Dailycheapreads since my dear hubby bought my Kindle DX for me back in September ’10. Since then I’ve downloaded over 450(!) books to my Kindle with the help of your hard work here at this site. I have to say I am seriously (it goes to bed, and to work with me) addicted to my Kindle.
My first reaction: Bet that dear hubby doesn’t get between Kristin and her Kindle. She is one serious addict.
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Kate wrote: I love your site !! I just get so frustrated when I go to Amazon to look at a book and it is not available to customers here in Australia!!!
My first reaction: Want to move to the US? Or maybe just switch places for six months? My husband would have the bags packed in 30 minutes.
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New Worst Case Scenario
Talk about irony. Remember last week’s poll about rolling blackouts and not having power? Well, late Sunday evening our site went down briefly. The reason: due to excessive demand on the power grid, there was a power outage in the area of the country where our site server is located.
Check out the poll on the right sidebar where we have a new worst case scenario for Kindle addicts. If this week’s worst case scenario comes true, this is the last poll. Ever.
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A Beach Read Recommendation
We asked you for Beach Reads that you wanted to share and several of you sent in suggestions. If you have found a great read this summer, let us know about it. The price doesn’t have to be below $5, either.
Donna recommends: A book I was surprised to really like was Rebecca East’s A. D. 62: Pompeii. The premise, a woman sent back in time without any sensible safeguards, was wildly improbable, but suspend disbelief about that and it’s a good read. At one point I bogged down a bit in a description, but summers are for skimming. Today you can buy this tender love story that brings together intelligent and sensitive people from different worlds and it brings the vanished city of Pompeii back to life through vivid and accurate historical details for only $1.99 today.
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Cheap Reads
Monday, June 20, is going to be a special day here on DailyCheapReads and we want you to be sure and stop by to visit. That’s all I’m going to tell you.

Wordoku Unbound #1 is available now for 99 cents. The webpage for the game states that the price is valid through June 27. But on a promotional blurb on the Kindle Store home page states: Discounted for a limited time, sale ends June 19. If you want the game just buy it today and be done with it.
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Three books we have featured previously are now selling for only 99 cents – a couple of historical romances and a romantic comedy:

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Book Review: Huckleberry Finished 0 comments

Climb on board the Southern Bell for a cozy little mystery in Huckleberry Finished.
As a literature buff and native Missourian, I was drawn to this book set in Mark Twain’s hometown of Hannibal, Mo. Accomplished mystery writer Livia Washburn deftly weaves in Twain quotations and trivia to give the story a unique feel.
In this second book featuring travel agent Delilah Dickinson, a tour group is paddling up the Mississippi River on a casino riverboat to tour Hannibal. One of the passengers, Ben Webster, accuses the casino of running a rigged operation and Delilah is told to make sure he disembarks in Hannibal. But Webster turns up dead in the engine room and suddenly things aren’t as bucolic as the old-time riverboat suggested.

Delilah’s experience at the Gone With the Wind tour in Frankly My Dear, I’m Dead makes her eager to clear things up. She gets help from a Mark Twain impersonator, who may be hiding a little something between his bushy mustache. In fact, a lot of secrets are being uncovered aboard the Southern Belle, including a grizzly event that happened exactly one year ago.

A classic mystery with a detailed setting, a tough lady detective in a small-town police department and a wide cast of characters make this is an enjoyable summer read. The price of $4.47 makes it even more appealing.

Click here to purchase Huckleberry Finished

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Housekeeping – Worst Case Scenario, Manage Your Kindle and Cheap Reads 2 comments

What’s the Worst that Could Happen?
Summer is such a fun time and the book bargains coming from the Kindle Store are making the month of June especially fun. I’ve been scrambling to get the posts together and out so you can take advantage of the sales prices as I don’t know how long the prices will hold. If you have spent the family vacation fund on books, you can always suggest staying at home for two weeks and reading your great purchases.
Your children might consider that a worst case scenario.
Several Worst Case Scenario books are offered in the Sunshine Deals. As avid Kindle readers, we’ve imagined some worst case scenarios and put together some polls for the summer that will cause you to shudder. Take a look at the first poll on the right sidebar.
Here are several Worst Case Scenario books available at supercheap prices. The first four are $1.99 each; the last two for children are 99 cents each.

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Under Better Management
Amazon has updated and expanded the “Manage Your Kindle” page on their website. Your Kindle library loads first on the screen. If it contains many items (like mine) it may take a while to load. You can now select from the left sidebar all your content or by type, such as book, blog, or active content.
The “Pending Deliveries” category is particularly useful if you have more than one device. You now see what is pending and to what device is scheduled to receive the download. Pre-orders are included in this area and can be cancelled and viewed with just the click of the mouse.
The serial number of your Kindle is provided under “Manage Your Devices” along with a picture of your Kindle device. While that is new, the payment settings section is the same.
If you subscribe to a blog, newspaper or magazine, you can now send the past issues to another device. Before this you were limited to one device for any subscription and had to buy multiple subscriptions to read a blog or magazine on your Kindle and phone application. The improvement is fulfilling Amazon’s pledge that you can buy it once and read it anywhere.
Kindle Support and the Getting Started Guide are also on the page. Overall, it’s a great improvement in allowing the users to have better access to information and give them self-service. We all need a better management tool as books in the Kindle Store have now passed the 1 million mark.

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Cheap Reads on the jr. edition
If you enjoyed all the great books we featured yesterday for only $1.99 and $2.99 each, you will want to go to our jr. edition today. At noon and 4:00pm today we will have two posts featuring $1.99 and $2.99 books for children, tweens and teens. If you enjoy young adult fantasy and fiction, you might find more great books for your summer reading.

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Book Review: Must’ve Done Something Good 0 comments

I’m trying to think of a word besides sweet. Charming? Touching? Uplifting?
Sweet, it turns out, is the best word I can find for Must’ve Done Something Good by Cheryl Cory that combines a coming-of-age story with romance, The Sound of Music and Pride and Prejudice.
A scary plane ride convinces 25-year-old Sylvie O’Rourke to quit her boring job as a newspaper reporter and do something “good” with her life, which leads to becoming an English teacher at St. Matthew’s, a financially strapped Catholic high school. The book title is taken from a song in the Sound of Music, the favorite movie of Sylvie and her two sisters.
Sylvie’s trials as a first-year teacher are entertaining with her witty narration. She becomes friends with Ben, another young teacher, but doesn’t understand why she is snubbed by the attractive fellow English teacher Evan Danes. Trying to figure out who she can trust in the school environment leaves her very confused. Discussions with her students sometimes energize her, while grading papers is deflating.
The relationships that develop between Sylvie and her students as they all try to understand themselves is truly wonderful. Sylvie’s realistic appraisal of herself and her teaching skills are both funny and uplifting.
At times, the interaction between the teachers seemed more suited for young teens than for adults and I had trouble seeing character development in anyone beside Sylvie and a few students. There were also a few times when the story hinted at other developments, but didn’t follow through. There were several times, though, that the story really pulled through with some sweet surprises than made it very worthwhile.
Must’ve Done Something Good is a good read for adults and I would highly recommend it for young adults, who would gain a lot of insight into their teachers. Today the book is selling for only $2.99.

Click here to purchase Must’ve Done Something Good

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Book Review: Making Waves – a wonderful summer read 1 comment

Making Waves was a very rewarding read, perfect for a summer and, even better was recently offered free!

Debut author Lorna Steistad chooses an unusual setting, the hey days of Lake Manawa near Council Bluffs, Iowa. This was instantly intriguing since I am familiar with the area. The vivid description recreates the carefree scene of yesteryear in a charming way.

Marguerite Westing is a vivacious young socialite frustrated with her mother’s attempts to marry her off to a respectable but incredibly boring suitor Roger. Marguerite’s father announces the family will be camping at Lake Manawa for the summer and she is thrilled at the chance to have a fun “summer of freedom” and escape Roger.

Marguerite is so endearing, you can’t help but love her. She makes several “errors of judgment” but her heart is sincere. She cons her younger brother into believing he wants to take sailing lessons, as an excuse for her to accompany him since women aren’t allowed on sailboats. Instructor Trip Andrews is everything Roger is not — fun, caring and about to steal Marguerite’s heart.

When Trip finds out about Marguerite’s lying, he wants nothing more to do with her.  Marguerite sets about with her usual determination to win him back, but her world is racked when she catches her father in a dangerous deception. She must look deep into her own heart to find the truth.

Making Waves is filled with light, uplifting humor while also drawing attention to a serious social issue affecting Council Bluffs to this day. The story took several surprising twists that made me raise to the end.

I hope you got it when it was free because today the price is $9.68. If you haven’t started the book yet, I recommend you take an afternoon and go sailing with Marguerite.
Click here to purchase Making Waves

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Housekeeping – Beach Reads, E-Book Trends, and Cheap jr. Reads 1 comment

Who's ready for summer?!

In the Good Ole Summertime
June has arrived on the calendar and most of the United States is enjoying the weather and activities that come with the season such as water sports, outdoor dining, vacations, and beach reads – those delicious guilty pleasures that readers enjoy while on vacation or taking a vacation from the routine. Some consider a beach read a book that is light-hearted, fun, an easy read without a deeper meaning. Others consider a beach read a book outside their normal fare – a new genre or a new author. Have you read a book you would call a beach read that was a great read? One that surprised you as you read it? Drop us a note via the Your Two Cents Worth tab and tell us about your book. It doesn’t have to be a cheap read. We’ll share some of the favorites on the site over the summer months. Just yesterday Katie sent a note about A Dead Red Cadillac: This book was a LOT better than I expected it to be–it was a fast light read.
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Amazon’s Sunshine Deals

Yesterday Amazon introduced its Sunshine Deals – over 600 books selling for 99 cents, $1.99, and $2.99. The books are history, mysteries, romances, Christian fiction, cookbooks, health and diet books, and much more. The sale ends at 23:59 (PDT) Wednesday, June 15, 2011. All of the books in the Sunshine Deal are books from publishers who do not participate in the agency model. I’ll be sifting through the many books and preparing posts that categorize the books by genre.
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If video killed the radio star… does Kindle mean the death of print books?
In an article in The American, John Steele Gordon gives some interesting insight. He says the transformation taking place now is the biggest thing to hit publishing since Gutenberg. He also points out that reports of radio’s death were a bit premature. It’s changed, certainly, since the days of fireside chats with FDR, but radio persists. Speaking of fire, why is it that many new homes have fireplaces built in them? Didn’t central furnaces make them obsolete? Read here for some great observation on the e-book trends and modern life.
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Great cheap reads from the jr. edition of DailyCheapReads
Here are some of the great cheap reads we have featured recently on the jr. edition of DailyCheapReads selling for 99 cents, $1.99, and $2.99:

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