Daily Deals: Well-Offed in Vermont and Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix & Her Nightmare

Well-Offed in Vermont (A Pret' Near Perfect Mystery)If you are looking what to read on this holidays you can take the opportunity of Amazon’s Daily Deals and buy Well-Offed in Vermont (A Pret’ Near Perfect Mystery) written by Amy Patricia Meade just for $1.99 .

In bucolic small-town Vermont, Stella Thornton Buckley feels out of her element—and not just because she’s fresh from Manhattan. Mere hours after moving to maple syrup country, she and her husband, Nick, find a dead man, Allen Weston, in their well. The police investigation forces the couple out of their lovely farmhouse and—since the motels are packed with leafpeepers—into a less than luxurius deer camp. Instead of mourning the loss of electricity and running water, Stella and Nick drive their Smart Car all over the Vermont hamlet to question the quirky locals about Weston, a shrewd businessman who rubbed a lot of folks the wrong way.

Stella and Nick may never shed their flatlander reputation, but they just might be able to make a few friends and help Sheriff Mills solve a murder.

Some words about the Author

Author of the critically acclaimed Marjorie McClelland Mysteries, Amy Patricia Meade is a native of Long Island, N.Y., where she earned bachelor’s degrees in English and business. She enjoys traveling, cooking and classic films, and is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. Her Pret’ Near Perfect Mystery series debuts this November with Well-Offed in Vermont, and she is the author of the forthcoming Rosie the Riveter Mystery series (Kensington). Meade now lives in Vermont and spends the long New England winters writing mysteries with a humorous or historical bent.


Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix & Her Nightmare

Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix faces a serious issue–and it’s not just signing her name. She is stuck. She is stuck on a six-sided, 3D cube with nothing but a key, a door, and her wits–which are controlled by you. Did her nightmare just become worse?

This is more than just a puzzle game. It’s a 3D, spider-infested, stupefying, wonderfully-horrific puzzle nightmare.

Curiosity Captured Vanessa

Vanessa loves two things: puzzles and exploring, and her meddling curiosity has gotten you both into all kinds of mind-boggling trouble. One day, while exploring her father’s antique shop, she discovers a mysterious, mechanical box. After fiddling around with it, the box sucks her and her world inside. Use your considerable puzzle-solving skills to twist and turn her way to freedom.

The Stuff of 3D Nightmares

Across more than three dozen levels, guide Vanessa from the entrance of each level to the exit until she finally makes it home. Standing between her and freedom are a number of gameplay mechanics. Move blocks and turn faces of the cube to navigate Vanessa out of this nightmare.

What’s so mind-boggling about that, you ask? The two-dimensional world lies on the surface of a three-dimensional magic cube, and you must rotate each face of the cube to find the multiple solutions to only one exit per level.

Return to the Underworld

And it’s not just hard the first time. You’ll be tempted to go back and replay levels to earn more coins, achievements, and better solutions to each puzzle–as if your productivity in the real world wasn’t disrupted enough the first time around.

Now We’re Just Showing Off

Maybe you normally dream in black-and-white, but this game is a nightmare deluxe. Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix and Her Nightmare won Best Design in the Independent Game Developers Competition and was a nominee and finalist for the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Awards, Indie Game Challenge, sponsored by GameStop. Additionally, it was the PAX 10 Official Selection by Penny Arcade Expo.

Enjoy award-winning game design from acclaimed designer, David Sushil complemented with music by Telethon

Nook Situation Improves In Face of Kindle Competition

The past few months have been interesting for both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  While the former has been enjoying record success in both their eReading efforts and the new Kindle Fire tablet sales however, B&N seems to be having some trouble keeping up with things related to their Nook line.  There has even been talk of them spinning off the whole Nook endeavor into its own company due to the high expense of keeping pace in a competitive market.  Despite all of this though, and regardless of how it plays out in the larger scheme of things, a lot has been happening that should keep the Nook line a definite consideration for consumers.

Probably the most important factor would be what’s new with the Nook Tablet.  While it was always somewhat superior to the Kindle Fire on paper, the experience of using it has generally failed to impress by comparison and certain restrictions on how the end user could manage their data caused a great deal of upset.  Recently this has all changed with the announcement of a simple method for rooting the tablet and gaining much greater control over it as a result.  All you need now is a MicroSD Card and some freely available software from the guys over at XDA.  While for most people’s general uses this still will not necessarily make the Nook Tablet superior to its Kindle competition, it does open up the possibility of finally making the use of the better hardware for those who want to get maximum performance for their money.

The eReader side of things has hardly been left to sit around unnoticed either, of course.  There are currently two major bits of information going around specific to this.  First, word is out that Barnes & Noble will shortly be announcing the release of their eReaders outside the US for the first time.  Most likely this will be in a partnership with UK bookseller Waterstones, if the rumors are to be believed.  Some might remember the same company expressing interest in creating its own eReader to compete with the Kindle some months back, so this partnership would be completely in character.

There is also word of a new generation of the Nook already getting set to hit the shelves.  It would be difficult to imagine what significant improvements they could have planned over the Nook Simple Touch already given how well it stacks up against the competition (I would argue that if you ignore the differences in integrated stores it is noticeably superior to any of the latest Kindles), but could be an effort to either reduce prices or spring something entirely new on the market.  Either way, for the most part these rumors are tied up in claims regarding the Waterstones partnership and should both come to fruition they will likely appear on a similar timeline.

Possibly not the best time in the world to be the company that runs the Nook line, given how heavily Amazon is investing in making the Kindle Fire and Kindle eReaders successful.  They’ve done a great job of stepping up to the plate and providing good products despite this, however, and offering superior hardware for the money is always going to serve to draw the attention.