Archives for: November 2011
Book Review: A Home For Christmas: The Sweetest Gift / A Christmas Angel – Christian fiction – 99 cents 0 comments

Don’t let the cover keep you from buying a great two-novella e-book, selling today for only 99 cents.
This weekend I quickly read through this well-written book. The romance novellas are perfect sweet reads for this holiday season. The Sweetest Gift by Mary Connealy is similar to The Gift of the Magi, yet has its own uniqueness. The sisters are interesting characters and I regretted that the story didn’t have time to develop their characters more. Perhaps they will appear in their own novella next season.
Robin Lee Hatcher’s A Christmas Angel brings a special Christmas to a nine-year-old girl and her father in rural Idaho. Superbly written, this story would appeal to teenagers, too.
 
The Sweetest Gift by Mary Connealy: Seattle, Washington 1899.
A spinster, librarian by day and concert pianist by night, marries a Nebraska rancher. Their worlds are so far apart that each is afraid to admit their marriage of convenience is turning into a love match.
When Christmas draws near Adelaide must decide if she can give up her hopes so her husband can have the stallion he needs for his ranch. And Graham may need to risk his perfect brood mare to show his love for his wife.
A Christmas Angel by Robin Lee Hatcher: Idaho 1892. Ten-year-old Annie Gerrard, stuck in a wheelchair since falling from the barn loft, hopes for a beautiful angel to go atop the Christmas tree, but God’s answer to her prayer is completely unexpected.
Annie’s widower father, Mick, never imagined his late wife’s in-laws would send Jennifer Whitmore to care for his daughter. Nor did he foresee the love she would bring into their home. Did he and Annie dare hope that Jennifer might choose to stay?
Both Christian historical Christmas romance novellas are included in this e-book for only 99 cents.
Click here to purchase A Home For Christmas: The Sweetest Gift / A Christmas Angel

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Housekeeping – Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and a Cheap Read 0 comments


We wish a happy and safe Thanksgiving to each of you today. We are grateful for each of you who visit our site and tell others about us. You motivate and inspire us! We will be enjoying the day with family and friends and have reduced our posting schedule this afternoon and evening.
 
I have been engrossed in The Hunger Games Trilogy ($17.85) and am thrilled to find it really is as good as promised. I’m in the middle of Book 2 – Catching Fire ($7.70) where a rebellion is building because the people are starving. By contrast, my biggest challenge in preparing the Thanksgiving meal was fighting off the hordes at the grocery store.
 
The last few months, I have been keeping a gratitude journal, inspired by Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts ($9.99). I’m up to 263 of everyday gifts that make me thankful. Some highlights:
#4 Morning coffee
#17 Social events where it is acceptable to wear flip flops
#46 A waitress who gives good advice on what to order
#90 and #123 Pain reliever
#119 A friend’s medical test coming back negative
#235 Books I want to live in
Have you read a book this year that has motivated you to an action? Leave a comment to tell us about it?
 
Special Offers Humor Book
If you have the Kindle with Special Offers, today is the last day to claim the offer of one humor book for $1.00.
 
After the Pumpkin Pie
Amazon’s Black Friday Store is open and the deals are plentiful. Discounts on hundreds of popular gift items like cameras, video games, movies, tools, watches, jewelry, clothing and more, are available now. Shop from home and no one will even know you had another piece of pie.
 
 
A Cheap Read for the next holiday – Wishin’ and Hopin’ – $1.99
It’s 1964 and ten-year-old Felix is sure of a few things: the birds and the bees are puzzling, television is magical, and this is one Christmas he’ll never forget. LBJ and Lady Bird are in the White House, Meet the Beatles is on everyone’s turntable, and Felix Funicello (distant cousin of the iconic Annette!) is doing his best to navigate fifth grade—easier said than done when scary movies still give you nightmares and you bear a striking resemblance to a certain adorable cartoon boy.
Back in his beloved fictional town of Three Rivers, Connecticut, with a new cast of endearing characters, Wally Lamb takes his readers straight into the halls of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School—where Mother Filomina’s word is law and goody-two-shoes Rosalie Twerski is sure to be minding everyone’s business. But grammar and arithmetic move to the back burner this holiday season with the sudden arrivals of substitute teacher Madame Frechette, straight from Québec, and feisty Russian student Zhenya Kabakova. While Felix learns the meaning of French kissing, cultural misunderstanding, and tableaux vivants, Wishin’ and Hopin’ barrels toward one outrageous Christmas.
From the Funicello family’s bus-station lunch counter to the elementary school playground (with an uproarious stop at the Pillsbury Bake-Off), Wishin’ and Hopin’ is a vivid slice of 1960s life, a wise and witty holiday tale that celebrates where we’ve been—and how far we’ve come. You can buy this book today for only $1.99.

Click here to purchase Wishin’ and Hopin’

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Book review: Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee – 99 cents 1 comment

Marriage of convenience is one of the most popular story plots by readers who want a happily-ever-after in their romances. Most novels using this plot are historical romances set in Regency England or the American West. Catherine Bybee has written a charming contemporary romance using the plot to perfection.
 
Wife by Wednesday is complete with the scorned other woman, plotting relatives, nosy lawyers, conflict between the newlyweds, misunderstandings and, of course, the happily-ever-after. The hero Blake is money and royalty and needs a wife. Samantha is debt-burdened and shunned by society because of her felonious father and is not looking for a husband. You just know that all the energy of being complete opposites will eventually lead to a team working together.
 
This romance probably won’t change your life, touch your soul, or make you cry. You will like the characters, appreciate the smooth flow of the story, and the slightly steamy romance. Do yourself a favor – put on a fresh pot of coffee or brew your favorite tea and treat yourself to a little romance this weekend – Wife by Wednesday , selling today for only 99 cents.
 

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Housekeeping – Android App of the Day; B&N price match; Amazon’s customer service and cheap reads 0 comments

Free Apps for Kindle Fire and Android Devices
Have you noticed the new feature on our website? Each day we intend to highlight the free Android App of the Day from the Amazon App Store. One app is offered free by Amazon each day for 24 hours, beginning at midnight Pacific time.
 
Barnes and Noble Price Match Posts
Barnes and Noble offers their customers something similar to the Kindle Daily Deal – a price reduction for 24 hours only. If the book is in the Kindle Store, Amazon usually price matches their offer. When the B&N book offer is matched at Amazon and the price is $5 or less, we will post the book on our site. The price in the Kindle Store is usually only good that one day.
 
The easiest way to always know the Kindle Daily Deal, the free app of the day and the Barnes and Noble price match is to subscribe to our site via e-mail. The subscription form is on the right sidebar. You will get the e-mail delivered every afternoon after 3:00 Central time. Your privacy is safe with us as we will never use your address for any reason other than the daily e-mail.
 
What if all is not well with your new Kindle?
Amazon has long been recognized for their excellent customer service. For many e-reader purchasers, the decision to purchase a Kindle was based on Amazon’s reputation for taking care of their customers. If you aren’t satisfied with your Fire or Touch, contact Kindle Customer Service and discuss your issue with the representative. You do not have to accept a product that might have manufacturing or software defects.
 
Amazon is also well-known for going above customer expectations. Amee sent a note telling us of her experience with Amazon:

My story about a broken kindle….
My husband accidentally sat on his beloved Kindle while at the beach one day. He was absolutely devastated. ALL his books gone in a second! Compounded to the loss was the fact that we live in Italy. We would have to wait forever until we could save up and purchase a replacement.
After moping around for a few hours, he finally decided to call Amazon’s customer service and find out if there was any way they would at least fix the thing. My was he pleasantly surprised!! Amazon not only gave him a new Kindle, but they shipped it free of charge all the way to Italy within 3 business days. They also gave us free shipping to return the broken Kindle.
We are now BIG promoters of the Kindle AND Amazon’s amazing customer service – even internationally!

Winners all around – Amee’s husband got a new Kindle and Amazon has earned Amee’s loyalty for life and she’s promoting Amazon around the world.
 
Cheap Reads
Below are three e-book bundles that were featured recently on the jr. edition of DailyCheapReads. Great fiction for cheap prices.
 
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent’s compelling Soul Screamers series keeps getting better—here, for the first time, the original stories are compiled into one special volume…. The bundle includes My Soul to Lose, My Soul to Take and My Soul to Save. You can pre-order the bundle today for $6.39 today. Delivery is November 22. The series is recommended for teens in grades 10 – 12.
 
 
 
 
From the swirling mists and icy depths beyond the edge of the world came the snow-walker Gudrun, to rule the Jarl’s people with fear and sorcery. But a small band of outlaws are prepared to risk their lives to defeat Gudrun and restore the land to its rightful leader. This trilogy follows them in their quest, from the first terrifying journey to meet the mysterious snow-walker’s son, to the final battle in the lands beyond the rainbow bridge. All three books are in one e-book file for $9.99 today.
 
 
 
When Soren, a young owlet, mysteriously falls from his nest one evening, he’s plucked up and taken to the sinister St. Aegolius Academy. Once there, he must use his wits and bravery to escape his captors. Soren and his new band of orphans fight their way through many dangers, hoping to find refuge with a group of brave owls thought only to be a legend—the Guardians of Ga’Hoole! And so begins a magical journey in this stunning collection of the first three books from the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series. For children and tweens in grades 4 – 8, you can purchase the first three books for only $9.89 today.

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Housekeeping – I write short stories for our 5,000th post 7 comments

Housekeeping/e-Ramble is the post where I (Paula) write about whatever I want as long as it is related to books, Kindle or reading. It’s been awhile – the last e-ramble was in January.
As I’ve stated before, I’ve fallen in love with the short story. This literary form has been reborn with e-readers and hurried readers. Fifteen minutes and a story has gone from cradle to grave. A tidy gift in a small package.
I came upon The World’s Shortest Stories Of Love And Death in the Kindle Store. It’s a bit over cheap at $5.23, but every story is only 55 words long and the idea of a 55-word story was fascinating. I purchased the story collection and quickly read through the pages.
The stories are about the general topics of love and death. Some were dark, others poignant, a few were funny, and some I didn’t understand, but that could be a reflection of my lack of life experiences. The story titled Late Charge by Jennifer Saylor is the most clever story. I still chuckle thinking about it.
The idea of a 55-word story so intrigued me that I grabbed a notebook and started penciling my thoughts. After numerous word counts, re-writes, and input from Tiger, here are my first four 55-word stories, one each in the adventure, suspense, contemporary fiction and true romance categories.
Man-to-Man
Young men. Face to face. Nearly nose to nose. Heavily drawn breath, but no retreats, no flinching. At the signal, they charge, each determined to be victorious. They struggle against each other, muscles bulging, teeth gritted. They stop, step back to do it all over again.
The referee’s whistle has blown. Second down and five.
 
Jim
Jim looked over his shoulder – again. He felt nervous, sweaty, pained in his stomach. Why had he behaved so recklessly? Someone would find out. His career could be over. He had to live with this for forever.
He looked over his shoulder, saw the Harley tattoo, smiled. “Let the congregation talk,” thought Reverend Jim.
 
In fairness, this story probably should have been labeled Christian fiction, but that would have given away the ending. I apologize for any offense.
 
Girl Crazy
“Twins.”
“You sure?”
“Yes, I’m a doctor.”
“Females?”
“Too early to tell. You hoping for two more girls?”
“Yeah. Emily and Anna are heading off to college in two and three years.”
“I understand,” the vet said as he pulled off his gloves and stepped out of the barn. “You will need the milk money.”
 
Newlyweds
“I do.”
“I will”
“Till death do us part.”
He held her hand, grinned at her. She smiled. Guests at the wedding, they had known poorer, now were comfortable. They had weathered sickness, enjoyed years of health.
“You may kiss your bride.”
He squeezed her hand. Newlyweds. They are still today, twenty some years later.
 
Preparing this post, I realized I had written nothing about the Kindle. Out came the notebook and the pencil. Here’s a Kindle story that I’m categorizing as chick lit:
Kindle + Me = Forever
I bought a Kindle, named it Jason. I love him. Free books? Cheap books? Games? More love for Jason.
Jason is always with me. I said to Mother, “Evenings and weekends, I’m with Jason.”
She misunderstood. She thinks I’m dating a nice young man. Mom’s happy. There’s no more nagging.
I love Jason even more.
 
Do you have a 55-word story just waiting to be written? Titles don’t count in the word count. I used Word as the official tally on my stories. Have fun and you are welcome to leave a comment with your story.

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Veterans Day – A personal post and a book review – Last Known Position 5 comments

Today is Veterans Day, a day to remember the men and women who have served in the military around the world. The two ladies who run this website are proud of their father, an American veteran. Please allow us to tell you about him.
 
Dad began his military service in February 1942. He was assigned to the Army Air Corps based in Kunming, China, as a mechanic on B-24 aircrafts. The China-Burma-India Theatre fought the Japanese who were attacking China. The only way to deliver supplies to the troops fighting in China and north of the Himalayan Mountains was to fly over the Hump, a perilous journey on any day. The planes that carried the supplies were the B-24 airplanes my dad serviced. He returned to the United States in October 1945.
 
Last week my father and 62 other WWII, Korean, and Vietnam veterans participated in an Honor Flight – a non-profit organization whose mission is to take every able veteran to Washington, DC, to see the national monuments which honor their service. Just a few weeks shy of his 92nd birthday, my father took his first commercial flight ever, spent a whirlwind day with comrades and volunteers touring the capital city, and returned to a 200-member motorcycle escort and a thousand well-wishers. The top picture is Dad at 22; the lower picture nearly 70 years later.
 
Only my father could get me to read military fiction. As Veterans Day was approaching, I began searching the Kindle Store for a book about where my dad had served. Last Known Position is just the book. Written by William L. Heath, the book was published in 1949. Mr. Heath received the Distinguished Flying Cross for service in the CBI Theatre and flying the Hump.
 
The book is short. The story is powerful. Four young men, the flight crew of a B-24, must deliver fuel to troops stationed north of the Hump. Each of them could be someone you know – a nephew, a neighbor, the young man working in a store you frequent, your son. They have been thrown into a war and, even though they don’t understand all the implications of the world struggle, they know their responsibilities and perform them well. Each has a method of escaping the present to cope with the stress of war.
 
The story requires detail of the plane and the flying process. This is all woven into the story and doesn’t read like a technical manual. The story is suspenseful and I whispered a prayer for these young men, hopeful all would end well yet fearful that it wouldn’t.
 
Dad read the book on his Kindle. He said it is factual and that he knew the places in the book. I strongly recommend this book this Veterans Day. You will meet four young men who fought to preserve freedom in the world and you will remember that freedom isn’t free. God bless every man and women who has served to protect the world.
 
Book description: The planes these men flew were called tankers – B-24’s with the guns and turrets removed and four large containers of gas in the bomb bays instead of bombs. They flew these planes with a minimum crew of pilot, copilot, radio operator, and engineer; and they went out on their missions unescorted and defenseless, crossing the dangerous mountain terrain day and night in all forms of weather, most of it bad.
 
It was not as bad a war as some men fought, but there were times when it was bad enough. And since the real adversary was the weather through which these men flew, their most gallant campaigns aloft were reduced to lonely, private struggles for survival. The book is available today for $2.99.

Click here to purchase Last Known Position

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Guest Book Review: Straight to Hell by Michelle Scott – 99 cents 0 comments

This guest book review is by Maria Schneider, author of Catch an Honest Thief ($2.99).
 
A cheap read and a good book to boot! Just finished reading Straight to Hell, the first book in The Lilith Straight Series by Michelle Scott. It’s a bit chic-lit, a bit paranormal, and a whole lot of heart. At 99 cents, it’s a “You can’t go wrong!” — only in the story, there are times when it’s all the heroine can do to get herself back on the straight and narrow. There’s temptations and bills to pay and kids to mother–and the devil trying like hell to hook her soul.
  
Straight to Hell is a story of redemption, hope and romance all rolled into one. It reminds me of Holly Lisle’s Sympathy for the Devil , which is an excellent read (and not a bad price at $2.99)
  
The humor and pacing in Straight to Hell only gets better as the book goes along–and more heart-rending the more you get to know the characters. The story takes on a little more seriousness towards the end as well.
  
The book comes across as light-hearted chic-lit, but it’s really dealing with more serious issues of…decisions and consequences. What would you do if your child was in danger? What would you REALLY do to save her?
  
But I didn’t even realize it until after I finished because the book is extremely well-written. It stays in a fast-paced mode and is funny in spots and throws in a touch of romance so you’re distracted from the seriousness.
 
My only gripe is that it’s one of those “to be continued.” Not enough was resolved for me by the end of the book, but that kind of fits the nature of the story. Soon as you solve one problem or beat one monster in life, another one appears. Maybe bigger. Maybe it’s just the monster that was there all along. It’s weird cleverness hiding behind light reading.
 
Recommended for chic-lit lovers looking for a story with heart, plot, romance and humor, but be warned that the plot is not fully resolved in book one.

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Housekeeping – Kindle Format 8, Black Friday Already, Cheap Reads 0 comments

More about Kindle’s next generation file platform
On October 24, I wrote about the new Kindle format known as KF8. The format is an exciting change that will allow authors and publishers to go well beyond the printed word to produce content for the Fire and Kindle Touch. Several people commented that they were very happy with their current Kindles and were very happy to just read.
 
A large portion of our population wants more than the written word; they want to be entertained. KF8 will allow authors to embed video, audio, and links to enhance the reading experience.
 
Amazon is second to none in developing marketing ideas. My first thought when I read about the new format was that with KF8 when you finish a book on the Fire or the Touch, you might be given an opportunity to one-click buy the next book in the series, other books by the same author, or books in the same genre. If the book has been made into a movie, you might be given the option to stream the movie to your Fire. You may also have the opportunity to write a review and submit it to the book’s webpage in the Kindle Store from your device.
 
If you don’t have a Fire or a Kindle Touch, you will still get the books you love without the bells and whistles that KF8 brings. Some books may be so heavily compromised to just have the text that they won’t be made available to be downloaded to the earlier Kindles. But if you enjoy just the written word and you don’t have the desire to be entertained, the traditional Kindle is still the most amazing device for you.
 
By the way, I felt odd typing “the written word” in this post. What’s a better word or phrase?
 
Already? Yes, already.
Amazon has announced the opening of the Countdown to Black Friday Store. The Black Friday Deals store will feature discounts on hundreds of popular gift items like cameras, video games, movies, tools, watches, jewelry, clothing and more, now through Black Friday. New items are featured each day.
Remember last year when there were a limited number of second generation Kindles for only $89 on Black Friday? This year they may offer the Kindle DX at a great price. Or there might be accessories such as covers for the older Kindles. I’ll let you know if I hear anything.
 
Cheap Reads – only $1.99
A trio of reads – mystery, historical fiction and a reference book – all only $1.99 each.

A Question of Blood: ($1.99) When a former soldier and recluse murders two 17-year-old students at a posh Edinburgh boarding school, Inspector John Rebus immediately suspects there is more to the case than meets the eye.
By Fire, By Water: ($1.99) Luis de Santángel, chancellor to the court, has had enough of the Spanish Inquisition. When the violence is close to home, Santángel takes retribution into his own hands. But his Jewish heritage makes him an easy target. He begins to reconnect with the Jewish faith his family left behind. Feeding his curiosity is his growing love for Judith Migdal, a clever and beautiful Jewish woman. One man offers him a chance he thought he’d lost…Christopher Columbus plans to discover a route to paradise and only Luis de Santángel can help him.
Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer: ($1.99) Writing Tools covers everything from the most basic (Tool 5: Watch those adverbs) to the more complex (Tool 34: Turn your notebook into a camera) and provides more than 200 examples from literature and journalism to illustrate the concepts. For students, aspiring novelists, and writers of memos, e-mails, PowerPoint presentations, and love letters, here are 50 indispensable, memorable, and usable tools.

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Book Review: Sex, Orgasm, and Coochies: A Gynecologist Answers Your Most Embarrassing Questions By Lissa Rankin, MD 0 comments

Oh, my! This isn’t your mother’s book discussing feminine health. This excerpt (about 225 pages) from What’s Up Down There? ($9.99) isn’t for everyone. If you want your medical education to be clinical, don’t buy this book.
 
The sub-title of the longer book is Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend. That pretty well describes this book. You probably wouldn’t ask these questions if you were sitting on an exam table and your white-coated doctor had just said, “Do you have any questions?” You just wouldn’t.
 
Dr. Rankin gets down to the business at hand, using street names for body parts and openly discussing intimate details of intimacy. Through all of this, she keeps the conversation light and engaging. This isn’t a biology lesson, but more like a roadmap of the female anatomy; how it functions alone and, um, with someone; and how to take care of things. Dr. Rankin tells of her personal experiences and sometimes the tone of the book is humorous.
 
Dr. Rankin doesn’t pass judgment in this book. Her goal is to educate women to keep them healthy – physically and mentally. A common theme throughout the chapters is that every woman should accept herself as she is and be happy in that.
 
I recommend this book for all women, especially young women. However, if you are easily offended by candid, no-holds-barred conversation of women’s health issues, take a pass on this book. Sex, Orgasm, and Coochies is selling today for only $1.99.
 
Two other books on the topic of women’s sexual health excerpted from larger publications are available for purchase for supercheap prices:
Fertility, Pregnancy, and Childbirth: ($1.99) Written by Dr. Lissa Rankin and excerpted from What’s Up Down There?, this is a life-changing little ebook that answers:
– How late is too late to get pregnant?
– Is it true that sex can stimulate labor? Is so, will having sex make me deliver early?
– Is natural childbirth really worth it? I mean, I’m sure it hurts like the dickens, so why would you do it? Is it really that much better for you and your baby?
And so much more! As outrageously funny as it is empowering, this book reveals how to love yourself and your body—and will have you recommending it to every woman you know.
  
Myths About Sex & Pregnancy: (99 cents) People have more access to medical information than ever before, and yet we still believe “facts” about our bodies and health that are just plain wrong.
– Men with big feet have bigger penises
– If you shave your hair, it will grow back faster, darker, and thicker
-The average person swallows eight spiders in a year
– You are more likely to have a boy if you have sex in the middle of your cycle
– Flying on a plane is dangerous to your unborn baby
With the perfect blend of authoritative research and a breezy, accessible tone, Myths about Sex and Pregnancy is full of enlightening, practical, and quirky facts that will debunk some of the most perennial misconceptions about out bodies. This book is excerpted from Don’t Swallow Your Gum! ($9.99)

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