Daily Deals: Seven Ox Seven and ColorBook

Seven Ox Seven; Part One: Escondido Bound Today Amazon offers Seven Ox Seven; Part One: Escondido Bound by P. A. Ritzer just for $1.99

Seven souls risk everything to seek a home on the West Texas frontier. Will they discover a secret Eden, or have they embarked on a dangerous misadventure? Cowboys Luke Stuart and Tom Schurtz meet in the infamous Dodge City at the end of trail drives in 1877. Back in Texas, Luke and his wife, Elizabeth, divulge a plan to Tom. The Stuarts and Tom consequently partner up and venture out to establish an ideal ranch in the canyons region of the Llano Estacado, only recently (and not completely) vacated by the Comanche.They seek the mysterious Canyon Escondido, which may not exist. They have learned of it from the family lore of neighbors and the legends of their peoples, Apache and Mexican. In hope, the pioneers drive their herd across rolling plains, through notorious settlements and the wanton buffalo slaughter. Various challenges test their determination along the path they have chosen, not least so when they finally face the success or failure of their quest and what must then follow.

Some words about the Author

P. A. Ritzer spent four years traveling through Kansas, Colorado, and especially Texas, researching primary and secondary sources, and the land itself and the people who live on it, to inform his crafting of Seven Ox Seven. He brings to his story a background in history (Gonzaga University BA) and theology (Harvard University, University of Notre Dame MA).


ColorBookAlso you can get ColorBook for free today only.

ColorBook is a photo-editing app for your Android device that lets you turn your own personal pictures into coloring book images. Create colored masterpieces and share them with your family and friends; each image you create will be truly one of a kind.

Select Your Palette

It’s easy to turn a photo into a customized coloring book image. Just open the ColorBook app and take a photo (or choose one from your personal photo gallery or Facebook profile). The photo will appear on your screen transformed into a black and white, pencil-drawn image.

If you like, you can change the visual style of the image before you go any further. Touch the Menu button, then select Style, and you’ll find three options: ColorBook (the default line-drawing style), GrayScale, and Original. Pick your favorite. Now it’s time to get coloring!

Stay Inside the Lines–or Don’t

Start by choosing a brush size and paint color from the tabs at the bottom of the screen. Create broad strokes with a large brush, or pick one that’s pinpoint-sized to get precise. For detail work, you can use the app’s two-finger zoom feature to see up close and make sure you color inside the lines.

The color choices are wide open, so be creative. Basic options are available at a single touch, but you can also bring up a color wheel and choose the exact shade you want.

Coloring is easy. Using your finger, touch the screen anywhere. You’ll see the color appear immediately, as if you’re holding a crayon or pen. If you make a mistake, touch the Erase tab and use your finger to remove the offending strokes.

Save and Share Your Work

When you’ve finished your masterpiece, make sure you share it with your friends. You can post it to Facebook or send it via e-mail or text message.

And remember to save your work to your device! You can make sure you never lose a project by selecting “Auto save” in the app’s Menu settings. Then anything you’re working will automatically be preserved for you whenever you exit the app. Happy coloring!


Front-lit Kindle Coming Soon; Amazon Not Waiting On Color

Well, only hours after my speculation that Amazon might intend to make a huge impact by being the first company to make the next obvious step in eReader innovation by jumping in with a Color Kindle they have leaked some information to the contrary.  Instead, according to a recent Reuters report citing an inside source who has direct experience with the prototype, there will be new Kindle models coming this July that include the first front-lit monochrome Kindle eReader.

Naturally the comparison will be made with the Nook Simple Touch w/ GlowLight.  We have to expect that Amazon will be making a more significant overhaul of their eReader than Barnes & Noble did, given how well the Kindle Touch has held up in direct Kindle vs Nook comparisons of late.  Adding a lighting layer to the existing model would hardly be enough to get people interested.

That said, it will meet demands.  Customers have been wishing for a light on their Kindles since the first version was released.  While the complaint has not been enough to derail the Kindle, as many initially thought would be the case with so many LCD-based eReaders on the market, the demand has not gone away at any point.

The type of lighting we believe will be used in the new Kindle will allow for adjustable intensity for reading in any situation while not being a major source of eye strain or power depletion.  Essentially we get to keep all the benefits of E Ink without making the sort of sacrifices that are usually involved in switching to lit devices.

Chances are good that Amazon will attempt to draw attention to the new Kindle by pricing it below the comparable Nook model.  Reuters speculates on a $10 price increase related to the added light and that does seem reasonably in line with previous Kindle pricing, as Amazon loves to demonstrate how affordable they can manage to be.  The normal, un-lit Kindle model or models will be priced the same as ever, most likely, with further cuts possible should they have managed to source cheaper parts.  Clearly the strategy of selling at or near cost is working to their advantage and will continue.

While it is disappointing to not have a color Kindle on the horizon just yet, it makes sense that this upgrade had to come as soon as possible.  The Kindle has not always been the best eReader available, especially in early comparisons with what Sony was offering, but there has rarely been a feature that could be pointed to as overwhelmingly important and only available through the competition.

Look for the newest Kindle eReader to be released before the end of July 2012 and the newest developments in Kindle Fire and color Kindle hardware in the months that follow.  It is unlikely that Amazon will fail to pursue color E Ink in the year to come and we know that the Kindle Fire is due for an upgrade before the holiday season.  This should be the first of many big Kindle developments.