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On e-Reader Tech News we track down the latest e-Reader news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great e-reader tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest devices and accessories.

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January 2012
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Daily Deals: Ed McBain’s “87th Precinct” Series and Word Ball

Ed McBain's "87th Precinct" SeriesToday Amazon offer great deal: 35 Kindle Books from Ed McBain’s “87th Precinct” series just $0.99 each.

Master crime novelist Ed McBain’s “87th Precinct” is one of the longest-running crime series ever published and helped McBain earn the Mystery Writers of America’s “Grand Master Award” for lifetime achievement.

I think Evan Hunter, known by that name or as Ed McBain, was one of the most influential writers of the postwar generation. He was the first writer to successfully merge realism with genre fiction, and by so doing I think he may actually have created the kind of popular fiction that drove the best-seller lists and lit up the American imagination in the years 1960 to 2000. Books as disparate as The New CenturionsThe Friends of Eddie CoyleThe GodfatherBlack Sunday, and The Shining all owe a debt to Evan Hunter, who taught a whole generation of baby boomers how to write stories that were not only entertaining but that truthfully reflected the times and the culture. He will be remembered for bringing the so-called “police procedural” into the modern age, but he did so much more than that. And he was one hell of a nice man. —Stephen King 

Way back in the mid-1970s, when I was a new writer and police series were very big, my editor asked me to do a series called Joe Ryker, NYPD. I had no idea how to write a police detective novel, but the editor handed me a stack of books and said, “These are the 87th Precinct novels by Ed McBain. Read them and you’ll know everything you need to know about police novels.” After I read the first book–which I think was Let’s Hear It for the Deaf Man–I was hooked, and I read every Ed McBain I could get my hands on. Then I sat down and wrote my own detective novel, The Sniper, featuring Joe Ryker. My series never reached the heights of the 87th Precinct series, but by reading those classic masterpieces, I learned all I needed to know about urban crime and how detectives think and act. And I had a hell of a time learning from the master. Years later, when I actually got to meet Ed McBain/Evan Hunter, I told him this story, and he said, “I would have liked it better if my books inspired you to become a detective instead of becoming my competition.” Evan and I became friends, and I was privileged to know him and honored to be in his company. I remain indebted to him for his good advice over the years. But most of all, I thank him for hundreds of hours of great reading. —Nelson DeMille

Word Ball

Word Ball is a game for your Kindle Fire. Today only you can get this application for free.

Can you become a Word Master? This fun app challenges your word-building skills in a fast-paced game for Android. Play with friends and beat the top scores. Test your limits by keeping the letters alive and reach the top levels. Gain achievements for different word-building categories. Word Ball will make you a “Word Master” in no time! Are you ready?

Brain-teasing Fun
Word Ball provides a fun brain-training exercise by making you focus and think on your feet while building words as quickly as possible. By concentrating on the letters as they shrink and bounce, the game allows your cognitive senses to react in a manner that reinforces word and pattern recognition. The game features high-resolution display graphics and includes an extensive dictionary with 175,000+ words, as well as an in-game word list.

How to Play
Your aim in Word Ball is to build words with the letters you’re given. As you play, the letters will bounce around the screen and shrink, making it more challenging as time goes on. In Classic Mode, you’re presented with 26 letters, and the game progresses at a normal pace. In Frenzy Mode, the letters shrink faster. Select Sprint Mode for a different challenge where you will create words out of nine letters for each level.

Points vary by letter and word length. The app’s settings let you turn sounds and music on or off and will show or hide game tips as you play.

Achievements and Medals
If you are a true wordsmith, you can kick the game into high gear and collect all of the Word Ball medals. You will receive medals for awesome plays (like making at least 25 six-letter words or 15 eight-letter words in one game). Brag about your skills on Facebook and Twitter, and climb the OpenFeint leaderboards. Note that the Leaderboards only apply to Classic Mode. There’s also a detailed breakdown of your statistics and score history.

Top Rated Kindle Games Now Available on Kindle Touch

It took awhile to make any of the Kindle games available for the Kindle Touch, but now, many of the most popular ones are compatible with it.  I am excited about not having worry about overusing the toggle button to navigate the games.  For more detailed, first hand reviews on Kindle games, check out the Kindle Apps Review blog.  There are a few that I really like that I think are worth downloading.

Jewels is a gem matching game that is popular on many mobile devices.  It goes well wtih the Kindle Touch because all you have to do is drag the shapes to the matching ones.  I admit that it can be more challenging to play on a black and white screen, but the shapes have patterns that help distinguish them from each other.

Battleship was one of my favorite childhood games.  The Kindle edition includes several versions of the hit game.  I like the portable nature of it because you don’t have to worry about pieces.  You can play with either the Kindle or another human player.  The basic object of Battleship remains the same: blow up your opponent’s ships before they blow up yours.

Mahjong Solitaire includes a stack of tiles.  You have to remove the top layer of tiles before you can use the tiles underneath.  There are a number of types of tile sets to choose from.  The tiles are kind of small, but I feel like the graphics work well with the size screen that the game has to work with.

The Electronic Arts games are the most complex Kindle games as far as design goes, and Solitaire is no exception.  Learn how to play different versions of Solitaire, or pass the time with the old traditional version that everyone seems to know how to play.

Bubble Pop is one of the newest Kindle games, and to me, is one of the best ones designed for the Kindle Touch.  All you have to do is pop matching bubbles.  It is a really mindless, but addicting game.

To win Slingo, the ultimate goal is to eliminate all of the numbers on the board.  The board is set up like Bingo, with reels at the bottom.  With each spin, you try to match up a number from the reel with one on the board.  It is a fun game, and the Kindle version is a real hit.

In order to find out whether your favorite game is compatible with the Kindle Touch, take a look at the link under the game’s price that says “Available for these devices.”  If it is available for the Kindle Touch, it will be listed on there.  Games are being updated constantly, so check back often if you don’t see it on the list right away.