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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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Kindle Fire HD 8.9” First Impressions

Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD 8.9” tablet is now shipping out to many of those who got their preorders in early.  While new customers will have to wait until at least December 3rd for their new devices to be mailed, it’s a good time to take a look at what Amazon has done here and what the chances are that they will be able to mark a success in the large tablet section of the market.

Mostly I’m looking at the actual experience of using the new tablet.  Now that it’s possible to play with, we can get a good idea of how it’s going to go over with customers throughout the holiday season.

Display

The visuals are nice.  We’re working with a much higher resolution now and it shows.  The colors are basically the same as you find on the smaller model.  Not much more to say than that there is absolutely nothing to complain about here, even when it comes to watching HD video content.

Sound

Maybe it’s just because of how impressive the last Kindle Fire I had in hand turned out to sound, but I was looking forward to hearing what this one could do. The quality is almost exactly the same.  There might be some small improvement over the 7” model when it comes to the effectiveness of the stereo speakers but if so it’s minimal.  Still, both Kindle Fire HD models stand above every other tablet on the market today when it comes to sound quality.

General User Experience

The 8.9” model is a bit harder to use one-handed but it’s still not bad in that respect.  In every other way I find it superior to the 7”.  The weight is little enough that long use isn’t a problem.  The larger screen makes for better browsing and app usage.  The size is about as large as it can get without becoming as unwieldy as an iPad.  Not bashing the iPad, this is just going to see a lot more regular use than mine by comparison because of the slight decrease in size.

Overall

This would make a good selection for anybody wanting a slightly more powerful consumption tablet.  It’s smaller than either the Nexus 10 or the iPad, but larger than the less expensive budget tablets that Amazon is known for dominating.  The price is right at $299, though I would recommend springing for the extra storage available at $369 if the option is available.

If you want a portable device to watch video on, this is likely to be the best thing on the market for a while.  The Kindle Fire HD 8.9” combines sound, video, and streaming quality to make a truly excellent experience.

If you’re looking for a functional tablet for productivity, it’s still ok?  The iPad (and now Microsoft’s Surface) is the leader in terms of tablet productivity for a reason.  Make no mistake, Amazon isn’t intruding there yet.  This should be viewed purely as a means to tap into their ecosystem and the media sources it can link you to.  What it tries to do, however, the new Kindle Fire does very well indeed.

Daily Deals: 14 Kurt Vonnegut Books, Stolen and ShisenSho

Welcome to the Monkey House (Kurt Vonnegut series)Kurt Vonnegut is one of the greats, and today’s Kindle Daily Deal features 14 of his books for just $1.99 each (75% off). From Vonnegut’s short-story collection “Welcome to the Monkey House” to his satirical novel “God Bless You Mr. Rosewater,” today’s deal is perfect for Vonnegut fans and those just discovering his work. Here is the list of the set:

1. Welcome to the Monkey House (Kurt Vonnegut series)

2. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (Kurt Vonnegut Series)

3. Bluebeard (Kurt Vonnegut Series)

4. Galapagos (Kurt Vonnegut Series)

5. Deadeye Dick (Kurt Vonnegut Series)

6. Jailbird (Kurt Vonnegut Series)

7. Mother Night (Kurt Vonnegut Series)

8. Player Piano (Kurt Vonnegut Series)

9. Slapstick (Kurt Vonnegut series)

10. Timequake (Kurt Vonnegut series)

11. Bagombo Snuff Box (Kurt Vonnegut Series)

12. Fates Worse Than Death (Kurt Vonnegut Series)

13. Hocus Pocus (Kurt Vonnegut Series)

14. Palm Sunday (Kurt Vonnegut Series)

Some words about the Author

Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) is one of the most beloved American writers of the twentieth century. Vonnegut’s audience increased steadily since his first five pieces in the 1950s and grew from there. His 1968 novel Slaughterhouse-Five has become a canonic war novel with Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 to form the truest and darkest of what came from World War II.

Vonnegut began his career as a science fiction writer, and his early novels–Player Piano and The Sirens of Titan–were categorized as such even as they appealed to an audience far beyond the reach of the category. In the 1960s, Vonnegut became closely associated with the Baby Boomer generation, a writer on that side, so to speak.

Now that Vonnegut’s work has been studied as a large body of work, it has been more deeply understood and unified. There is a consistency to his satirical insight, humor and anger which makes his work so synergistic. It seems clear that the more of Vonnegut’s work you read, the more it resonates and the more you wish to read. Scholars believe that Vonnegut’s reputation (like Mark Twain’s) will grow steadily through the decades as his work continues to increase in relevance and new connections are formed, new insights made.

 

StolenStolen is a book for young readers. It was written by Vivian Vande Velde and cost only $1.99.

The same day that the villagers of Thornstowe finally hunt down a witch with a reputation for stealing children, a 12-year-old appears in the woods with no memory of her past. Is there a connection between Isabelle, the girl who doesn’t know who she is, and the girl the witch stole six years earlier? One of the few things Isabelle remembers is a chant that keeps running through her head:

Old as dirt,
dirty as dirt.
Ugly as sin,
mean as sin.

Don’t let the old witch catch you!

Could Isabelle have been stolen by the old witch of the woods, or has she lost her memory as the result of an accident? And what about the baby the witch stole right before the villagers attacked? Did either the witch or the baby survive the fire the villagers set?

“Isabelle heard no sound beyond the faintest shivering of leaves in a gentle breeze. No sound of pursuit. But surely something was wrong, or she would know who and where she was. So she resumed running. But it wasn’t as effortless as before. Her worry weighed her down as she tried to list the things she knew—and found the list of things she didn’t know longer by far.”

Some words about the Author

Vivian Vande Velde’s books have won many awards, including the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Never Trust a Dead Man. She is also the author of Ghost of a Hanged Man. She lives in Rochester, New York.

 

ShisenShoAlso Amazon offers ShisenSho. It is a game and you can get it for free today only.

ShisenSho, sometimes known as “Four Rivers”, is a single-player, tile based board game, where the objective is to remove all tiles from the board.

Following a major update, ShisenSho now has many new features, including “pattern” layouts, “multi-layer” layouts and “blocking” wall tiles.

ShisenSho has 45+ challenging and varied layouts and has been designed to provide an appealing but challenging experience for the user. The user interface is clean and easy to use and, with a choice of tile-sets and the inclusion of high resolution backgrounds, the game is visually stunning.

Game Mode options are:

Standard – normal game, high scores are maintained by board layout;
Race – race against time to get on the high score board;
Chase – tiles reappear on the board as the game progresses;
Memory – match hidden tiles, seriously difficult..!

It is an excellent game for all age groups, providing stimulation and a mental challenge.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9” Takes on iPad But May Face Other, Unexpected Competition

We’ve recently talked about the release of the new Kindle Fire HD 8.9”.  It’s a solid device that gives every indication of being worth an investment.  While not quite as versatile as many Android tablets due to Amazon’s proprietary software configuration that prevents access to the Google Play service, there is little else to complain about and a lot to be excited for.  Some reports indicate that between this and the 7” model, Amazon’s tablets will outsell the iPad Mini 2 to 1 over the upcoming holiday season.

All that sounds great for Amazon and it’s definitely a sign that they will remain a major part of the Android tablet scene for some time to come.  They may be in trouble as time goes on, however.  The problem is not what many people have expected.  The iPad is hard to compete against, but the surge in video game consoles with touchscreen accessories may hit Amazon in a major way.

The Wii U just dropped, which is what brings this to mind.  Nintendo’s new console comes with a controller that doubles as a tablet.  It offers a supplementary second display that should come in handy in everything from game play to movie watching.  Sure, it requires a Wii U console to work, but that also allows the user to tap into a wide selection of content associated with that system.

Microsoft is also said to be working on a 7” tablet to supplement the Xbox 360 and the as-yet unannounced Xbox 720.  Their Smartglass software already allows anybody with a portable device (smartphone or tablet), or even a convenient PC, to tap into the console experience.  The Xbox Tablet, as it’s being called, will offer many of the same benefits that the Wii U controller boasts as well as serving the role of standalone portable.

Now, the main use of the Kindle Fire line is in consumption.  Amazon designed them for that purpose and there has been no real effort to make them into anything but a convenient gateway into Amazon’s digital content selection.  This means that in many ways the same customers they are looking at attracting are also likely to be interested in gaming and entertainment consoles, for obvious reasons.  If we’re looking at a class of devices that are exceedingly popular and tie into their own proprietary tablets, as in the case of these consoles, it may cut into Kindle Fire prospects.

While this is all speculation, I can’t help but feel that Amazon is going to have to come up with some special service that distinguishes their hardware offering in the next year or so.  The budget tablet market is still going strong, but there are a lot of big names that seem about as well equipped as Amazon who are set to enter the market.  Since all the digital content sold through the company is meant to be platform-agnostic, there’s going to need to be something special done.  Otherwise it’s only a matter of time before the iPad is just one of many strong competitors for the Kindle Fire HD.

Amazon Offers Unity Plugins to Kindle Fire Developers

Amazon has been making an effort to interest app developers, especially game developers, in their distribution platform lately.  As has been mentioned here in the past, their GameCircle will allow for all sorts of social features to be integrated into just about any game without much trouble.  Before this, many of the more popular Android games were unable to make use of their full feature set because of the Kindle Fire’s disconnection from Google services.

Moving forward along the same lines, Amazon has released plugins for the popular Unity game engine that should make it easier than ever for developers to add some in-app purchasing to their productions and build GameCircle into their games.

There are a number of reasons that this will be attractive.  According to the press release regarding these plugins, in-app purchasing averages more than twice the revenue generation of paid app sales per transaction.  Developers who can interest their users enough to encourage the occasional purchase will benefit from ongoing sales and therefore enjoy a fairly nice stream of income.

The GameCircle features help with this.  GameCircle’s main attractions are Leaderboards, Achievements, and Whispersync for Games.  The first two are easy ways to nudge players into spending more time immersed in the app.  More exposure and more personal time investment means more likelihood of making a casual purchase.  The latter feature, Whispersync for Games, encourages use of multiple devices and allows players to pick up where they left off even if they delete local data.  That means that there is a far lower bar to replay should somebody be interested in running through their favorites a second time.

This will be both good and bad for the players, but mostly good.

By bringing these features to the Kindle Fire, Amazon has finally provided all the tools that developers will need to properly prepare their apps for distribution via the Amazon Appstore for Android.  This will lead to more games, and apps in general, being made available for the Kindle Fire.

Whispersync for Games should go a long way to encourage quality game design as well.  Since there is reason to hope that users will keep coming back now that their progress and achievements can be saved even after deleting an app temporarily, there is more reason to provide ongoing support and updates.

Of course the ease with which in-app purchases can be offered also means a slew of new apps meant to do nothing more than milk microtransactions out of every user.  These types of lazy designs are a big presence on Google Play, but there’s been nothing keeping them away from Amazon aside from the extra effort it would take.  I’m not referring to the genuinely malicious software, of course, but even the merely bad can be obnoxious to watch out for.

Expect to see more games with more features springing up in the months to come thanks to these plugins.

Kindle Black Friday Specials for 2012

Every year Black Friday sales get more hyped and involve more ridiculous deals.  In some cases that’s a bad thing, especially when it involves camping outside stores for silly amounts of time to get a chance at one of the only two units available in a particular sale.  In many others it’s just a great time to save some money.

Since we know that a sale is on the way let’s take a look at what to expect as far as discounts this week.

According to Buyer’s Review, we can expect the following deals in brick & mortal stores this Friday:

  • Best Buy: Amazon Kindle Fire – $159.99 bundled with free $30 Best Buy Gift Card
  • Office Depot: Amazon Kindle Fire – $159.99 bundled with $25 Visa Card
  • Staples: Amazon Kindle Fire – $159, bundled with $20 Staples Gift Card
  • Office Max: Amazon Kindle Fire – $159
  • Best Buy: 16GB Amazon Kindle Fire HD – $199.99 free $30 Best Buy Gift Card included
  • Office Max: 16GB Amazon Kindle Fire HD – $199, bundled with $25 Office Max Gift Card
  • Staples: 16GB Amazon Kindle Fire HD – $199, bundled with $20 Staples Gift Card
  • Staples: 32GB Amazon Kindle Fire HD – $249, bundled with $20 Staples Gift Card

We do have every reason to believe that Amazon will use this opportunity to further promote the Kindle line directly through their own storefront as well, though.

Sadly, we’re not going to be seeing a sale on the Kindle Paperwhite.  The eReader side of things has proven so popular since the Paperwhite was released that an order today will take over a month to get to its destination, just barely making it in time for Christmas if you spring for 2-day shipping.  In a matter of days it will likely be impossible to order a Kindle Paperwhite and have it before 2013.

We will certainly be seeing this sale day used as an opportunity to promote the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD, however.  An effort was clearly made to get the Kindle Fire HD 8.9” out before Black Friday, which indicates that the larger tablet will be a part of the promotion as well.

Looking at the store offers above, nobody is actually discounting the Kindle Fires themselves.  All that is being added is a promo gift card.  Given all the blowback Amazon has been getting from these same retailers about showrooming, I expect that the online deal will go a bit further.  How much further is difficult to predict, but 10-20% off the price would create a huge surge of interest.

Remember that Amazon is using the Kindle Fire as a cheap option for content sales.  They’re not making much on the devices themselves.  As such I don’t think we can expect to see a $99 Kindle Fire, even using refurbished 1st Gen models.  Since recent teardowns point to there being a bit more profit than the earlier generation allowed for in a single unit, however, they have some leeway.

I know that I’ll be watching for a $160 Kindle Fire HD and I would be surprised if I don’t see one by the end of the week.

Daily Deals: The Charlestown Connection, Promise the Night and Cooking Conversions

The Charlestown ConnectionThe Charlestown Connection by Tom MacDonald is cost only $1.99 today only.

Dermot Sparhawk, a former All American Boston College football hero, is stacking cans in a parish food pantry in Boston’s Charlestown, when his godfather, Jeepster Hennessey, shows up with a knife in his back and dies at Dermot’s feet. Once slated for a professional football career, now a recovering alcoholic, with a torn-up knee, Dermot sets out to solve the murder of his godfather with the help of his Micmac Indian cousin, his paraplegic tenant, and a former teammate. Dermot’s investigation has him tangling with members of the IRA, FBI, and the Boston mob. He also is forced to contend with Charlestown’s code of silence and the norms of the neighborhood where he grew up. Feeling like he did at the height of his game, Dermot uses his Native American intuition and Irish good looks to help him uncover clues. Dermot stumbles upon bits and pieces of information that he cobbles together into an unlikely theory which leads him on an unexpected trail and to a new mystery that could cost him his life.

Some words about the Author

Tom MacDonald has Boston in his blood. Born, raised, and living in the Boston area, Tom knows of what he writes. As Director of Social Ministries at St. Mary’s-St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Charlestown, he brings his fictional work to the page of The Charlestown Connection. Tom has a B.A. in sociology from Stonehill College, a MBA.

 

Promise the NightPromise the Night by Michaela MacColl is offered by Amazon just for $1.99.

This fascinating story will capture any young reader with a thirst for adventure. Like MacColl s Prisoners in the Palace, Promise the Night propels the reader into an evocative story with an unforgettable protagonist, while bringing the setting and time period to life. Immediately compelling and action-packed, this work of historical fiction explores the life of Beryl Markham, the fist person to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west from England to North America. From raising horses and hunting during her childhood in Africa to learning to fly as a young woman, Beryl s inspiring life and adventures will keep readers voraciously turning the pages.

Some words about the Author

Michaela MacColl studied multi-disciplinary history at Yale University, which turns out to be the perfect degree for writing historical fiction.

 

 

Cooking ConversionsCooking Conversions is a free and useful application for your Kindle Fire for everybody who deals with a kitchen.

Over 300 cooking conversions including
– 70 volume conversions found in the kitchen (cups, teaspoons, pints etc.),
– 5 temperature conversions,
– 22 weight conversions,
– over 200 ingredient conversions and even
– 10 butter conversions (convert between sticks of butter and grams, cups, tablespoons etc.),
– oven and yeast conversions

Amazon Kindle Turns 5

As of November 19th, the Kindle is five years old.  Since its first incarnation we have watched it go from a fairly clunky attempt at introducing something new into the market to an elegant piece of technology that continues to deserve its position at the top of the same market it helped popularize.  We’ve been watching this progression since the beginning (our first post here was less than a month after launch on December 15th 2007) and it’s been a great time.

Looking back at the first generation Kindle is a great way to help understand why it hasn’t been just the hardware keeping the line going.  Amazon made a fairly good eReader, but even at the time there were superior options.  The first Sony Readers to be released in the US were lighter, faster, and generally more pleasant to use.  Still, Amazon pulled off a “good enough” device and supported it with the best digital reading content anywhere.

The Gen 1 Kindle had a resolution of 800 x 600, less than a quarter gigabyte of storage space, was uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time (compared to newer models, though it was great at the time), and would run you around $400 without a case or any books included.  About the only thing it had going for it compared to future products was the SD card slot, which was eliminated in the second generation.

That’s not to say it was a bad device so much as to illustrate how far things have come.  When new, the first Kindle captured the attention of huge numbers of people despite the price and was often held up as a valid alternative to the iPad.  That comparison is nonsense, but it illustrates how interesting people found the idea.

For comparison, you can now get the Kindle Paperwhite (assuming you can find one since they are in short supply at the moment) for $119.  It has a 6”, 212PPI display running with a 758 x 1024 resolution.  Battery life will last you over a month at a time in many cases.  The internal storage us up to two gigabytes and you can download your books on your home WiFi.  There is lighting for the screen without any of the problems that E Ink was solving compared to lighted screens in the first place.  Five years has meant a lot of progress.

Most importantly, the Kindle Store and Amazon’s support for its associated features have expanded even more.  The whole publishing industry has been forced to take digital distribution seriously and nobody does it better.  Kindles now enjoy a presence in millions of homes around the country and we expect to see even more of them in organizational settings like libraries now that central management tools have been released.

What is still to come for the Kindle is open to debate.  Some people expect a move away from eReaders to concentrate on the Kindle Fire tablet line.  Personally, I doubt it.  The Kindle eReader is what put Amazon on the map in terms of computing devices and it will continue to be a major point of interest in the future.  The only real question is how much further they can take it and in what direction.

Daily Deals: Berlin Diary, Ginger Pye and Turkey Stuffin’

Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 by William Shirer L. is the first book in today’s daily deals set with price $1.99.

A radio broadcaster and journalist for Edward R. Murrow at CBS, William Shirer was new to the world of broadcast journalism when he began keeping a diary while in Europe during the 1930s. It was in 1940, still a virtual unknown, that Shirer wondered whether his reminiscences of the collapse of the world around Nazi Germany could be of any interest or value as a book.

Shirer’s Berlin Diary, which is considered the first full record of what was happening in Germany during the rise of the Third Reich, first appeared in 1941. The book was an instant success. But how did Shirer get such a valuable firsthand account? He had anonymous sources willing to speak with him, provided their identity remained protected and disguised so as to avoid retaliation from the Gestapo. Shirer recorded his and others’ eyewitness views to the horror that Hitler was inflicting on his people in his effort to conquer Europe. Shirer continued his job as a foreign correspondent and radio reporter for CBS until Nazi press censors made it virtually impossible for him to do his job with any real accuracy. He left Europe, taking with him the invaluable, unforgettable (and horrific) contents of his Berlin Diary.

Berlin Diary brings the reader as close as any reporter has ever been to Hitler and the rise of the Third Reich. Shirer’s honest, lucid and passionate reporting of the brutality with which Hitler came to power and the immediate reactions of those who witnessed these events is for all time.

Some words about the Author

William Shirer (1904-1993) was originally a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and was the first journalist hired by Edward R. Murrow for what would become a team of journalists for CBS radio. Shirer distinguished himself and quickly became known for his broadcasts from Berlin during the rise of the Nazi dictatorship through the first year of World War II. Shirer was the first of “Edward R. Murrow’s Boys” – broadcast journalists – who provided news coverage during World War II and afterward. It was Shirer who broadcast the first uncensored eyewitness account of the annexation of Austria. Shirer is best known for his books The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich which won the National Book Award and Berlin Diary.

 

Ginger Pye (Young Classic)Ginger Pye (Young Classic) written by Eleanor Estes is the second book. Today’s price is only $1.99.

Eleanor Estes’s Ginger Pye, a 1952 Newbery Medal winner, is a warm, witty mystery set in a small-town American community. Ginger Pye, the star of the show, is the very smart dog that ten-year-old Jerry Pye buys for a hard-earned dollar. The most famous pup in Cranbury (a town between Boston and New York), Ginger knows many tricks, is as loyal as he is smart, and steals the hearts of everyone he meets . . . until someone steals him! Will Jerry and his sister Rachel ever be able to find their beloved terrier?

Don’t miss the sequel, Pinky Pye!

Some words about the Auhtor

Eleanor Estes won the Newbery Honor for ‘Rufus M.’, ‘The Middle Moffat’ and ‘The Hundred Dresses’. She also won the prestigious Newbery Medal for ‘Ginger Pye’.

 

 

Turkey Stuffin'Turkey Stuffin’ is a game for your Kindle Fire. Today it is free. But only today.

Start stuffing stuff in a turkey in TURKEY STUFFIN’, a hilarious holiday warmup!

You’re on the clock to jam this fine foul full of tasty concoctions and prove your poultry stuffing prowess by creating the fattest, tastiest turkey in the world!

But Turkey Stuffin’ ain’t all rosemary and yams. Overstuff the bird and you’ll yield a massive mess that no Pilgrim should ever have to witness.

Use the correct combinations of items to mix secret foul fattening recipes including The Turdrunken, Fowl Language, Return to Sender and Butter Ball. You’ll even earn Game Center Achievements for getting your hands and elbows dirty.

Turkey Stuffin’ truly is a… load of fun!

Product features:

  • Purdy Pictures: A humorously illustrated turkey.
  • Tons o’ Stuff-ins: Scads of stuff-ins including finger foods, condiments, silverware, electronics and more!
  • Silly Sounds: An extensive soundtrack of silly and stupid turkey sounds.
  • Scores Galore: A pitiful excuse of a rating system that tells you exactly how tasty and fat you made your turkey.

Daily Deals: Against the Law, Ralph Tells a Story and F18 Carrier Landing

Against the Law (The Raines of Wind Canyon)Today Amazon offers Against the Law (The Raines of Wind Canyon) by Kat Martin just for $1.99

At thirty-two Dev is “mostly retired” from Raines Investigations, content to run operations from his sprawling Arizona home. But Dev has never been able to say no to a beautiful woman, so when Lark Delaney comes to him for help, the former U.S. Army Ranger from Wind Canyon gets back in the game.

Lark is sexy, successful and dedicated to tracking down the baby girl her sister gave up for adoption. It should be a straightforward case, but it’s not long before Dev uncovers a shady adoption ring and worse—the child’s parents have been murdered and the little girl has been taken.

As the case grows dangerous and Lark needs him more than ever, Dev can’t ignore his growing attraction for her. He also can’t trust his judgment with women or the emotions he’s long-since buried. But there’s a chance, if he gets this right and saves Lark’s niece, that he’ll end up saving himself, too.

Some words about the Author

Kat Martin began writing in 1985 and quickly became a New York Times bestselling author. She’s written over 50 romantic suspense, historical and contemporary novels, and is the author of over 11 trilogies that range from the historical to the paranormal. Her works have been published in 12 languages and more than 24 countries. She’s married to Larry Jay Martin, an author, screenplay writer and blogger. Fans can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and Squidoo.

 

Ralph Tells a StoryRalph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon costs only $1.99.

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut. Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers. An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8) Kirkus, September 2012

Some words about the Author

Abby Hanlon has a master’s degree in early childhood education from the City College of New York and bachelor’s from Barnard College, Columbia University. Abby has taught creative writing and first grade in the New York City public school system. Inspired by her students’ storytelling and drawings, Abby began to write her own stories for children. Determined to illustrate her stories, Abby taught herself to draw after not having drawn since childhood. Ralph Tells a Story is her first book. Abby lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and their two children.

 

F18 Carrier LandingF18 Carrier Landing is a free game for 1 day.

Mobile Aircraft Carrier Landing Simulator.

Landing on a flight deck is one of the most difficult things a navy pilot will ever do. The flight deck only has about 500 feet (about 150 meters) of runway space for landing planes, which isn’t nearly enough for the heavy, high-speed jets F/A-18 Hornet. Like a Top-Gun pilot enjoy afterburner, tonneau, loop.

You will be the pilot of F/A-18 Hornet, F-14 Tomcat and C-2A Greyhound aircraft flying in virtual environments with a stunning graphic. You will have the possibility to see again your performances with 30 seconds REPLAY function with the possibility of changing the point of view switching between several cameras and immediately share personal screenshots on Facebook and Twitter!
And when you will reach your best score let share it in the GameCenter. For a worldwide challenge!

Happy landing!

Product features:

  • Multi-camera replay function.
  • Carrier/Airbase landing with advanced weather conditions settings (wind, rain, fog) and different scenarios (day, dawn, overcast, night).
  • Free flight mode.
  • F/A-18 Hornet, F-14 Tomcat and C-2A Greyhound cockpit view mode.
  • I.F.L.O.L.S. approaching system.

Daily Deals: Silent Tears, Between and Word Stack

Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese OrphanageToday Amazon offers Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage by Kay Bratt just for $1.99

Irrepressible memories. Vacant eyes. A child being dangled from a third story window. A boy tied to a chair. Children sleeping in layers of clothing to fight off the bitter cold. An infant dying from starvation. Some things your mind will never allow you to forget.

Silent Tears is the true story of the adversity and triumphs one woman faced as she fought against the Chinese bureaucracy to help that country’s orphaned children.

In 2003, Kay Bratt’s life changed dramatically. A wife and mother of two girls in South Carolina, Bratt relocated her family to rural China to support her husband as he took on a new management position for his American employer. Seeking a way to fill her days and overcome the isolation she experienced upon arriving in a foreign country, Bratt began volunteering at the local orphanage. Within months, her simple desire to make use of her time transformed into a heroic crusade to improve the living conditions and minimize the unnecessary deaths of Chinese orphans.

Silent Tears traces the emotional hurdles and daily frustrations faced by Ms. Bratt as she tried to change the social conditions for these marginalized children. The memoir vividly illustrates how she was able to pull from reservoirs of inner strength to pursue her mission day after day, leaving the reader with the resounding message that everyone really can make a difference.

Some words about the Auhtor

Kay Bratt grew up in the Midwest as the child of a broken home and later, a survivor of abuse. Facing these obstacles in her own life instilled in Kay a passionate drive to fight for those that had been dealt an unfair hand. Upon arriving in China on an expatriate assignment with her husband in 2003, she was immediately drawn to the cause of China’s forgotten orphans. Moved beyond tears by the stories of these children, she promised to give them the voice they did not have. In 2008, she self-published her memoir Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage to do just that. With the help of her readers, Kay continues to raise awareness and advocate for at-risk children. In China, she was honored with the 2006 Pride of the City award for her humanitarian work. Now residing in the states, she is an active volunteer for An Orphans Wish (AOW). Kay currently resides in Georgia with her husband and her daughter.

 

BetweenBetween by Jessica WARMAN is the second book in the today’s daily deals set. It costs only $1.99.

Elizabeth Valchar-pretty, popular, and perfect-wakes up the morning after her eighteenth birthday party on her family’s yacht, where she’d been celebrating with her six closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, what she finds will change everything she thought she knew about her life, her friends, and everything in between. As Liz begins to unravel the circumstances surrounding her birthday night, she will find that no one around her, least of all Liz herself, was perfect-or innocent. Critically acclaimed author Jessica Warman brings readers along on a roller-coaster ride of a mystery, one that is also a heartbreaking character study, a touching romance, and ultimately a hopeful tale of redemption, love, and letting go.

Some words about the Author

Jessica Warman writes poetry and short stories, as well as young adult fiction. Between is her third novel for young adults. She lives in Pittsburgh, USA, with her husband and children and has a passion for long-distance running.

 

Word Stack - Fun and Addictive Word AssociationWord Stack – Fun and Addictive Word Association is a free game for today only.

Challenge your brain and have some fun with our new word association stacking game. Be careful, it’s addicting!

Laugh… Giggle.
Smile… Frown.
Key… Board.
King… Queen.

Stack and match words that are associated to each other!

Words can be synonyms.
Words can be antonyms.
Words can be compound words.
Words just have to be related!

Warning! Caveat! As stacks get harder, a word can be matched to multiple different words, so you’ll have to get the right combination to complete the stack correctly.

Word Stack comes with 7 stack packs! That’s 280 playable stacks.

Enjoy!