Wife By Wednesday. by Catherine Bybee

Wife by Wednesday is not your average romance novel.  The added twist is that it put a contemporary spin on what is usually a historical idea.  It is currently in the top 10 books on the Kindle Bestseller List, and is pretty cheap at $.99.

The general plot stars Blake, a member of the royal family who must have a wife by Wednesday, or he loses his inheritance.  Blake seeks out Sam Elliot’s matchmaking firm, Alliance, for help.  Surprised to find out that Sam Elliot is actually Samantha Elliot, he offers her a ton of money to marry her for a year.

As they say,  usually the best romances come along when you aren’t looking.  For Samantha, this is certainly true.  What starts out simply as a business contract, morphs into much much more.

Wife by Wednesday makes for an entertaining read, and keeps you interested with the biting dialogue.  It is short, and engaging without too much intensity.

There seems to be a trend going on with contemporary adaptations of historical novels like Pride and Prejudice and others. It would be interesting to hear what the well known historical authors would have to say about today’s society.

The timing of Wife by Wednesday is also fitting considering the excitement surrounding the recent royal wedding.

The reviews overall are excellent, with very few under 4 stars.  Catherine Bybee is the bestselling author of a number of romance novels that are worth checking out.

Amyrph

“While somewhat predictable, the story was entirely focused on its main characters and there really weren’t any extra (read: unnecessary) storylines. It was a fun, fast read with plenty of “love” scenes. I will definitely be seeing what else Catherine Bybee has to offer! Her style was detailed, not rushed, and I particularly liked that I didn’t have to waste chapters to find out what each character was doing.”

Best Places to find Free Kindle Books

There are many options on where to find free Kindle books.  Amazon has dedicated a page to list all of the options.  The only catch is that you really have to be diligent about tracking the special promotions.  They disappear quickly.

First off, the Kindle Store has limited time promotions on different books.  I’ve found some good ones through the Top 100 Free Kindle books list.  This list is updated hourly, so if you see one you like, grab it immediately.  the list includes popular free games such as Pixel Perfect Holiday Puzzles.

The free books offered by the Kindle Store are mostly romantic or religious themed.  But, if you take some time to look through the list, you can find some books with a good storyline.  It is a great opportunity to explore new authors who don’t get the recognition from the big name publishers.

Pre 1923 classics can be found in a variety of places.  Project Gutenberg is one of the original sources for free e-books.  It currently has a collection that includes roughly 30,000 titles.  You can download the books to your Kindle via USB.

Amazon’s free book page provides links to Project Gutenberg, as well as other internet based e-books.  Open Library, ManyBooks.net, and Internet Archive offer up to millions of titles.  For web based e-books and limited previews, check out Google books.

Some great programs were launched this Fall: Kindle Library Lending and Kindle Owner’s Library Lending.  Kindle Library Lending is available in 11,000 and counting libraries across the US.  Most libraries have a widget somewhere on their website that directs you to their Kindle books available through OverDrive.  My local public library just added Kindle Library Lending, and it offers a mix up new and old books.  There is already a waiting list on many of them.

Amazon Prime members can access the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.  It is a Netflix for books type deal.  You can only check out one book a month, but it doesn’t have a due date.  The library includes over 5000 books.  Lots of bestsellers in the collection.  One thing to note is that you have to download the book directly from your Kindle direction instead of on Amazon’s website.

So, to sum it up, there are tons of free e-book options available for all of the Kindles.  The great thing about the free classics is that you can use them for school.  The physical books are not that expensive, but with a lot of them it can add up.  Free is always good!

I’m hoping that if I wait long enough, the Steve Jobs biography and other major bestsellers will be available for lending.  But, that will probably be awhile.

 

Free Kindle Book – Change of Heart by Fran Shaff

 Change of Heart is a heartwarming, yet grief stricken love story that is certainly worth reading.  It is currently on the Kindle Top 100 list of free books.  It is hard to gauge how long a book is going to be free, so catch it while you can.

Change of Heart is set in the 1850’s Midwestern United States.  Marietta Randolph lives in Chicago, and is forced to travel to the wild lands of Nebraska to pick up her nephew.  Zack’s parents, Kathy and Clint, were murdered by “savages”.  So, Marietta has to fulfill her legal guardian duties that she agreed to in case anything happened to her sister and and brother in law.

She makes the long trip to Nebraska in a carriage.  There she meets Jase, Clint’s brother.  Jase is like a second father to Zack, and took him in after his parents’ death.

In the usual fashion of Western romances, you have the incredibly appealing rancher.  Add being trapped in a snow storm, and you can probably figure out the rest of that part of the story.

Fran Shaff has the ability to capture the reader’s attention and make her stories so real that the reader just escapes into the fictional world..  The element of grief and family adds depth to the story.  I love books like that.  It is so nice to escape into another world for awhile.

She has won a number of awards for her Romance writings, as well as Children’s literature.  She also won E-Book of the Month Award from MyShelf.com.  Most of her books are available for Kindle, and are $3.99 and under.

So, if you’re a fan of sweet romances, give Change of Heart a try.  The reviews overall are positive.

C. Donne

“CHANGE OF HEART will touch a place deep in your heart. Marietta, Jason, and Zack all lost people they loved deeply when Clint and Kathy died, together they are able to comfort each other and begin to heal the wounds that are left when something so horrible happens to someone you love. I adored the unselfishness both Marietta and Jason show by their willingness to make sacrifices for Zack. Fran Shaff does an amazing job pulling the reader into the story so that you feel like you’re really part of it. I became so involved, I’d read all the way through the story before I even realized it, and was extremely impressed to find myself so emotionally involved that I cried at several points. “

Free Kindle Book – Just the Way You Are by Barbara Freethy

I’ve read a few of Barbara Freethy’s romance novels, and have really enjoyed them because they have storylines that tend to have more depth than your basic, trashy romance novel.

Just the Way You Are is about two sisters: Tessa and Alli.  Alli seduces Tessa’s boyfriend, Sam Tucker and that leads to a surprise pregnancy and a troubled marriage.

In sibling relationships, there is often one sibling that is super successful.  That sibling may have the good looks, an amazing job, and the husband or significant other that everyone else would die to have.  Alli lives in the shadow of Tessa, who is a supermodel.  So, this book examines the dynamic of sibling relationships.

The unifying symbol in Just the Way You Are is a pearl necklace that Alli and Tessa’s grandmother, Phoebe started with her husband.  After Phoebe has a stroke, Alli and Tessa come together to find the last pearl in the necklace.  The pearl necklace represents the love their grandparents have, and it helps heal the wounds from the past.

Just the Way You Are will probably not be on the list of free Kindle books very long.  Right now it is #1 on the Top 100 list.  So, if I were you, I’d grab it soon before it goes off the free list.

If you’re into sweet romance novels and beach reads, other authors similar to Freethy are Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs, and Barbara Delinsky.  There are more that you’ll find listed as suggestions when you look up these authors.  Most of their Kindle books are pretty cheap.  They’re not always just about romance.  They explore other types of relationships as well.

After going over the reviews, I saw that several reviewers mentioned how real the characters seemed.  I love it when authors create stories that let you escape into the characters’ lives and forget that they aren’t real people.

Viaggiatrice

“The best romance novels are the ones that do not follow formula (at least in every aspect). Barbara Freethy has always been good at making her characters a little more realistic and a little less cookie-cutter. It is a great relief to find someone who does. This story is very well done. None of the characters is a saint, all have insecurities and doubts, and each is very flawed.”

amie

“I always enjoy Barbara Freethy’s style of writing before. She always manages to create characters that real, who are not flawless, and fill with insecurities — which make them real human. And the new novel “Just The Way You Are” impresses me just like others.”

 

 

Charles Martin Kindle Books

I just wanted to mention one of my all time favorite authors: Charles Martin.  He has written seven books, all available on the Kindle.  I’ve been reading his books since he just got started.  His books have grown greatly in popularity since then.

He’s been compared to Nicholas Sparks, even he mentioned that once, but his books have a backstory element that Sparks’ books do not have.  My favorites are When Crickets Cry and Chasing Fireflies.

Martin’s latest, The Mountain Between Us is the story of two people who survive a plane crash, and spend time defeating the odds of surviving the brutal forces of nature in the middle of nowhere.  I can only imagine the kind of bond that Ben and Ashley form during this ordeal.  It is a good thing that Ben happens to be an orthopedic surgeon, and can treat some very serious wounds in the process.

I love Martin’s easygoing writing style.  You really feel like you get to know the characters better that way.  I also love how he slowly unwraps the elements of their lives as the stories progress.  I got the pleasure of meeting him when he did a reading of his book, Where the River Ends, in Blowing Rock, NC.  He is very friendly and personable.  That goes a long way when an author actually interacts with their readers.  It makes the readers want to read their books that much more.

Keiki Hendrix

“All of Charles Martin’s book carry a certain unique quality; rich insights into personalities and characteristics, beautiful scenery and landscapes, and a moving and inspiring messages.”

chefbec

“WOW! Charles Martin has done it again! What a story! Have your tissues ready for this one. I loved how you were kept in suspense until the very end when everything was revealed. This book is beautifully written and the story is amazingly constructed to build you to an outstanding ending! A great story of love and devotion.”

 

Kindle Book Recommendations: Romance

The theme of the day is Romance books for the Kindle!  Specifically, romance books revolving around crazy supernatural types of things.  I understand that’s the big thing these days, after all, and I had to narrow it down somewhere.  Can you imagine trying to pick three unique Harlequin Romances to throw up?  Anyway, being fairly new to the genre I’ve gone with a couple of what I understand are fairly big names. This was a surprisingly fun list to go through, though, and I heartily recommend a browse even to people who aren’t normally wild about this particular theme in their reading.  I’m leaving out Hocking on purpose, since she seems to fit better into a niche for younger readers.

Halfway to the Grave – Jeaniene Frost

Catherine Crawfield has very simple ambitions in life: working hard in her grandparents’ cherry orchard, trying to keep her mother from diving into the bottle one more time, and trying to kill the undead monster that fathered her. This is the first book in a series that seems more than a little clichéd at first, but build up enough momentum as the plot and relationships develop to be worth sticking it out for.

While I can’t say anything about the later books in the series, you can tell that there’s potential and the writing is definitely good enough to make it tempting to keep on going with it.  If nothing else, this doesn’t seem like something that’s heading downhill.

The Kindle Edition is $7.99

Shadow Game – Christine Feehan

When Dr. Whitney, the scientist in charge of the experiment he volunteered for, goes missing, Captain Ryland Miller finds himself in a high security mansion with Lily Whitney where he begins to think that maybe the psychic powers brought on by this experiment aren’t his only concern.

The plot is thin.  There’s no denying that.  The flamboyant characterizations serve as a decent way to offset that, though. The real redeeming aspect, for me at least, was the amazing sense that the author knows exactly how far-fetched the scenarios she has come up with really are and is choosing to go with it anyway.  There are some real stretches and no small number of amazingly overextended metaphors.  This was a blast for me, if perhaps not in the same way that I would imagine some fans would prefer for it to have been.  Not at all an intended insult to the author.  This was pure fun if you can avoid taking it too seriously.

The Kindle Edition is $7.99

Guilty Pleasures – Laurell K. Hamilton

It’s my understanding that there’s some controversy over this author.  Looking through the list of her works, it definitely seems she’s gone a bit downhill over the years.  That said, she apparently started out well.  This one is the first book in an ongoing series set in what is now an almost cliched world of human/supernatural coexistence.  Looking back, it seems to me that she got in on that early enough that it’s excusable.

The writing is strong, the plot is fairly compelling, and the characters are believable if not necessarily deep.  What surprised me here was the lack of emphasis on graphic scenes, given what I’d heard about the series.  Overall, definitely something I would recommend even to those who aren’t romance fans.

The Kindle Edition is $7.99

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With this one, I’ve come to the end of my easily categorizable list of recommendations from readers.  Feel free to send along some more to spread the word to fellow Kindle book lovers by emailing me!

Twilight Series for Kindle: Featuring Breaking Dawn

At last, we reach the final installment of the Twilight series for the Kindle: Breaking Dawn.  Bella and Edward get married, and we hear a good bit of the story from Jacob’s point of view.  It appears that Breaking Dawn was written for a more mature audience considering the more graphic depictions of certain events in the novel.

The reviews for Breaking Dawn were all over the place.  Some say it is the worst book in the whole series, and others say it is awesome.  So, it really is just a matter of personal preference I guess.

CallanShea

“Book four of the series, Breaking Dawn was an interesting turn of events. I found myself being surprised in some occasions, and I felt like it was an overall good book. I know that it catches a lot of flak, but the book is good. It is interesting, well-written, and has a developed plot.”

Here is a review that pointed out an issue that was brought up multiple times in other posts, which is the fact that about half of Breaking Dawn was written from Jacob’s perspective instead of Bella’s.

Kelly3202

“I could not put the books down. I read all four in a month. The only thing that i don’t like is the wolf thing and how the fourth book focuses on Jacob. Given what it was about, i feel she should have had something in there from Edward’s point-of-view. Overall, love them!!!”

This reviewer brought up a good point.  This series is meant to be fiction, and often in life, things don’t turn out the way we want them to, but fiction gives us a means of escape.  It also fuels our imagination.

Fysher

“I was a little worried about the second part being told from Jacob’s perspective, but suprisingly it was very good. I know in life you don’t always get what you want, but that’s why this is fantasy/fiction. Bella got everything she wanted.”

So for those of you who have read Breaking Dawn, do you think it provided a good ending for the series?  If not, what would you change about the ending?

Twilight Series for Kindle: Featuring Eclipse

eclipseThe Edward-Bella-Jacob triangle is in full force in the third installment of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Bella and Edward are applying for college and consider marriage. Bella’s interest in Jacob, the werewolf goes to a new level when she discovers she might be in love with him as well.

A major battle erupts in Seattle that leads to a great deal of fighting and bloodshed, and the army is made up of a bunch of newborn vampires. What an image. The battle is fueled by Victoria’s jealousy over Edward and Bella’s relationship. In efforts to avoid spoiling the plot for those of you who haven’t read the book, I will leave it at that. So, grab a copy of Eclipse for your Kindle and Kindle DX and tell us what you think.

One interesting conclusion from the reviews of Eclipse are how varied the reactions. Eclipse got reviews ranging from “major cheesy” and “disturbing” to “a great love story.”

kim h

“I was very hesitant of reading this series since i am not much into the vampire books but wow!! I was wrong on this one. I loved it and I coulnd’t put the book down. I have 2 kids and i was able to ready this series in a very short time and that is really good for me. I am usually a slow ready but this author really captivated you to want to read more and want more. I got lost in the this world of theirs and really wanted more. I wish she would continue to write more about it. The Characters are fun and it brought back memories of being a teenager and the whole love thing. WOW!! It’s a must read!!”

This review reminds me of my thoughts on Harry Potter.  I usually don’t read fantasy, but somehow those books really sucked me in after I finally sat down to read them.  It is probably because despite the supernatural element of Twilight and Harry Potter, both series contain issues that we deal with in real life.

From the Heart

“I had a great time with this book, mostly because it really twisted everything around in a way I never thought it would go. Edward became so overprotective with the kidnapping and everything, that really stuck with me and made him the villain of this book. I did not see that coming. And the relationship between Bella and Jacob became a great strong-point of the story as well. I loved seeing her stand up for herself.”

A review particularly catered to the Kindle version:

Becs

“Having just finished reading Eclipse on my kindle, and thoroughly enjoying it, I did not encounter any typos or formatting issues, save one minor point; there are no spaces between scene changes within chapters. The lack of spaces that indicate an end of scene did cause me some confusion when reading. I would occassionally come across a paragraph that did not flow as it was not in context with the previous paragraphs, I would then realise that a scene break had just occurred but had not been acknowledged in the spacing. In all other areas I was happy with the formatting of my kindle version of Eclipse.”

Twilight Series for Kindle: Featuring New Moon

new moonNew Moon is the second book in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga.  It is a really dark book, which makes it’s title, New Moon, very appropriate.  It is $8.99 on the Kindle and Kindle DX.

New Moon is a bit Romeo and Juliet-esque because it involves similar circumstances and depression.  Bella celebrates her 18th birthday with Edward and his family.  She ends up cutting herself to the point of bleeding and, as vampires, the Cullen family is overwhelmed with the desire to eat her.  When they realize how much of a danger they are to Bella, they decide to move away.

After Edward moves away, Bella suffers from a deep depression and seeks solace from Jacob Black.  He and his tribe are werewolves.  They protect Bella from various threats and revenge attacks.  A bit of miscommunication becomes a matter of life or death for Edward, but will Bella save him in time?

Sometimes I am shocked at the dark nature of young adult novels, but in a sense they do address major issues that teenagers today have to deal with.  That includes depression and struggles relating to romantic relationships.

New Moon didn’t get as good of reviews as it’s predecessor, Twilight, but here are a few I thought were interesting.  Many complain about what a sap and over the top Bella is, but in a sense this is what teenagers can relate to.

Night Wind

I’m glad that there is a popular Native American character and that he is a potential love interest for the main character instead of just in the background. I’m not glad that Jacob’s character is so devoted to someone who repeatedly hurts him (Bella even admits that she’s being selfish by wanting Jacob with her even though she doesn’t return his romantic feelings). This book isn’t for me, but I’m glad other people have enjoyed it. If you enjoy a good love triangle, then you’ll like this book. If you find such drama annoying, then you’ll hate it. Again, it just depends on what you’re looking for.”

From the Heart

“If Stephanie Meyer played on our sympathies by showing us a weak Bella in Twilight, I think she tried to compensate by breaking her out of that mold in New Moon. All of a sudden she starts acting out, being reckless with her motorcycle and cliff-diving. Likewise, we don’t see much of Edward but learn much more about Jacob. Makes me wonder if she felt bad for leaving us in the dark about him in the first book.”

Jamie Wasserman “jamie23”

“kay, so this is a lot of people’s least favorite in the series. The pacing in the book is dreadfully slow. Bella spends a lot of time wallowing and doing harmful things. But it resonates true and it makes the ending in Italy that much more exciting. Finally, Edward and Bella are together for all about 5 minutes. It’s a wonderful prelude to book 3.”

Twilight Series for Kindle: Featuring Twilight

Twilight SeriesI’m sure many of you are familiar with the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer that has been a huge book and movie box office success. You can get the whole Twilight saga on your Kindle or Kindle DX for $36.99. This is a great deal considering individual Kindle Bestsellers usually run about $9.99 or up each.

The first book in the Twilight series: Twilight, introduces Bella Swan, who moves from Arizona to Washington State. There, she falls in love with Edward Cullen, a vampire. After showing up out of nowhere to save Bella from getting hit by a bus, Bella and Edward form a deep bond. Jacob Black, a Native American who gains the powers to morph into a wolf, competes with Edward for Bella’s love. He only had a minor role in Twilight, but takes on a much larger one in the later books in the series.

Meyer on Jacob’s character:

“Jacob was my first experience with a character taking over—a minor character developing such roundness and life that I couldn’t keep him locked inside a tiny role….From the very beginning, even when Jacob only appeared in chapter six of Twilight, he was so alive. I liked him. More than I should for such a small part

The Twilight series has captured the attention of teenagers and adults alike, and has rivaled the success of Harry Potter. Vampires have been a really popular theme in recent years due to the success of the Twilight series. The romance element, particularly the love triangle going on between Bella, Edward and Jacob, adds another twist that readers of many ages can relate to.

A few helpful reviews about the series as a whole:

H.K. Sidhu “reading goddess”

“The story arc draws you in and captures you to the point where you can not put the books down wanting to know what is going to happen next and whether Bella and Edward make it together as a couple and to see how they get through all the hurtles that are thrown their way by the antagonists within the story (who by the way are so interesting on their own that you want to know more about them and the world of Stephanie Meyer’s vampires and their evolution). Suffice it to say, by the time I finished reading this series I felt bereft that there was no more books and that the series and come to its end…”

K. Foster “K. Foster, M. Msc” provides a good list of the themes in the series:

“Besides the obvious romantic theme in this series there are many other messages. Such as: acceptance of others, family relationships, getting over prejudices, spirituality, and following your dream.”

John

“The story of Edward and Bella is the story of true love. a story I can relate to… she writes of the love they have for one another in such a way that it grabs you by the hand as she takes you for a walk thru Forks, WA and the humor, jealously, anger, heartbreak, and extreme love of two young kids looking for what all people around the world are looking for…”

So, question: Are you Team Edward, or Team Jacob?