Sunday, December 25, 2011

Santa Brought You An E-Reader ... Now What?

First off let me say Merry Christmas to all of you. I hope each of you are int he midst of a fabulous holiday season.

Once again this year e-readers were a hot time and if you are in need of some reading material to load to you new advice here are a few suggestions. I'll be up front and honest, I count everyone of these authors as friends but that is not to say they are not talented deserving writers. Taste is subjective and I dare say there is one or two things on this for every reader regardless of their reading preference. It's a long list, but well worth perusing for the things that match your personal taste in literature

Several authors have multiple books available, but I have linked to their latest work.

(All links are to kindle version but most books are available in other formats as well)

Monkey Justice by Patti Abbott ($2.99)

"Patricia Abbott proves that there are many shades of noir as she expertly layers her stories with melancholy, loss and the frailness of the human psyche" – Dave Zeltserman, author of Pariah

“Patti Abbott is a master when it comes to short stories.” -- Anne Frasier, author of Pale Immortal and The Orchard (as Theresa Weir)

“In this collection of short contemporary noir fiction, Patti Abbott distinguishes herself as an extraordinary storyteller of the dark recesses of the human heart. Abbott’s characters hit hard, fight dirty, and seek a brand of hardscrabble justice that will leave you both wincing and wishing for more.” – Sophie Littlefield, author of a Bad Day for Sorry

The Tavernier Stones by Stephen Parrish ($2.99)

When the body of seventeenth-century mapmaker Johannes Cellarius floats to the surface of a bog in northern Germany with a 57-carat ruby clutched in his fist, the grisly discovery ignites a deadly twenty-first-century international treasure hunt to unearth the fabled Tavernier stones.  The hoard reputedly contains some of the world's most notorious missing jewels, including the 280-carat Great Mogul diamond and the 242-carat Great Table diamond.

Scrupulously honest Amish-born cartographer John Graf teams up with outlaw prospector and gemologist David Freeman in a ferocious race to find the treasure and break a secret code that will unravel the centuries-old Tavernier stones mystery. But other fortune hunters, opportunists and criminals alike, are in hot pursuit of the mismatched partners---and they'll stop at nothing to possess the legendary jewels.

Illuminated by Erica Orloff ($7.99)

Some loves are not made to last . . . Like Romeo and Juliet, Heloise and Abelard were doomed from the start, and their romance was destined to pass into history. Yet when sixteen-year-old Callie Martin discovers a diary hidden within an antique book, their story - and hers - takes on another life. For the diary leads Callie to the brilliant and handsome August, who is just as mysterious as the secret the diary hides. Their attraction is undeniable. As the two hunt down the truth behind the diary - and that of Heloise and Abelard's ancient romance - their romance becomes all-consuming. But Callie knows it can't last . . . love never does. Will their love that burns as bright as a shooting star flame out, or will these star-crossed lovers be able to defy history?

The Valley of Shadows by Mark Terry ($3.99) 

A raid on a Pakistan Al-Qaeda cell recovers two laptops. When the computers' booby-traps are defused and the computers decrypted and translated, they indicate that Al-Qaeda has planned a series of simultaneous attacks in five U.S. cities involving potential dirty bombs, biological weapons and maybe even a nuclear weapon-on Election Day. Derek Stillwater, troubleshooter for the Department of Homeland Security, is assigned to a multi-jurisdictional Special Terrorism Activity Response Team (START) to locate the weapon and terrorists in Los Angeles and prevent the attack. They have two days. But as they close in on their targets, Derek begins to think that the intelligence they gathered is a sideshow to distract them from the real target-one of the two candidates for President of the United States.

BEAT to a PULP by various authors  ($0.99)

BEAT to a PULP: Hardboiled is a compilation of uncompromising, gritty tales following in the footsteps of the tough and violent fiction popularized by the legendary Black Mask magazine in its early days. This collection includes thirteen lean and mean stories from the fingertips of Garnett Elliott, Glenn Gray, John Hornor Jacobs, Patricia Abbott, Thomas Pluck, Brad Green, Ron Earl Phillips, Kent Gowran, Amy Grech, Benoit Lelievre, Kieran Shea, David Cranmer, and Wayne D. Dundee and a boiled down look at hardboiled fiction in an introduction by Ron Scheer. Edited by David Cranmer and Scott D. Parker.

Plum Blossoms in Paris by Sarah Hina ($3.99)

 In her debut novel, Hina tracks a poetic Parisian romance between an American tourist and a French writer. Daisy, a 23-year-old neuroscience grad, has dropped her lab-rat life in Ohio for an open-ended trip to Paris after getting dumped by her longtime boyfriend. Named by her father after Henry James's novella, Daisy is "trying to outrun a broken heart" in her search for "the iconic bohemian chase" experienced by great 20th-century writers and artists in Montmartre. On her train ride to the city from the airport, she has a chance encounter with Mathieu, a writer and tour guide. They meet again by happenstance at the Musée d'Orsay and fall into a whirlwind affair. The lovers set out on one of Mathieu's city-wide tours, playfully debating current events, art, literature, and their disparate cultures. Hina's unrelenting lyrical composition may turn some readers off, but the tone brings a fantastical quality to the dreamer's idyll of a romantic tryst with an artistic Frenchman in Paris.

An Uncommon Crusade by Caron Guillo ($2.99) 

Only God can save them now . . .

Elisabeth, Simon, and Hugo join an ill-fated commoner’s crusade to Jerusalem in search of wealth, glory, and redemption. But their dreams are destroyed when Elisabeth and Simon are sold into slavery and Hugo finds himself adrift at sea.

From the dark forests of thirteenth century Germany, through treacherous alpine passes, to a sprawling estate in Egypt, three lives become linked in a desperate journey.

Tears of Like Souls by Val Conrad ($7.99)

 Medical Examiner Investigator Julie Madigan might have survived her half-brother's brutal crime spree, but the emotional wounds left by Anthony Bock's evil run deep. She begins a walk down the path to healing with the one man who's always loved her - Zach Samualson, who works for the Drug Enforcement Agency. They begin to establish a new life together in Washington - until he reveals a secret of his own. Julie's torn between trusting him and running from her inner demons and the one question that's haunted her since she was sixteen -did Bock make her kill her father?

Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer ($9.99)

Every ghost has a story to tell.

The last place Tansy Piper wants to be is stuck in Cedar Canyon, Texas, in the middle of nowhere, with a bunch of small-town kids. But when her mother decides to move to the desolate West Texas town, Tansy has no choice but to go along. Once there, Tansy is immediately drawn to the turret of their rickety old house, a place she soon learns has a disturbing history. But it's the strange artifacts she finds in the cellar—a pocket watch, a journal of poetry, and a tiny crystal—that have the most chilling impact on her.
Tansy soon finds that through the lens of her camera, she can become part of a surreal black-and-white world where her life is intertwined with that of mysterious, troubled Henry, who lived in the same house and died decades earlier. It seems their lives are linked by fate and the artifacts she found, but as Tansy begins spending more and more time in the past, her present world starts to fade away. Tansy must untangle herself from Henry's dangerous reality—before she loses touch with her own life forever.

The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner ($9.99)

While Nick Gardner’s family is falling apart, his best friend, Scooter, is dying from a freak disease. The Scoot’s final wish is that Nick and their quirky classmate, Jaycee Amato, deliver a prized first-edition copy of Of Mice and Men to the Scoot’s father. There’s just one problem: the Scoot’s father walked out years ago and hasn’t been heard from since. So, guided by Steinbeck’s life lessons, and with only the vaguest of plans, Nick and Jaycee set off to find him.

Characters you’ll want to become friends with and a narrative voice that sparkles with wit make this a truly original coming-of-age story.


Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles Vol. II by Edward Grainger ($0.99)

Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles Vol. II continues to chronicle the tales of two unorthodox 19th century U.S. Marshals. With seven more adventures, this collection includes the novella "Origin of White Deer" where the outlaw marshal leaves his Arapaho home as a teen to find his roots in the lawless town of Cheyenne, Wyoming. These noir tales infuse the Western genre with a fresh perspective on topics like race relations and social justice while still delivering pulse-racing action in the tradition of Wanted: Dead or Alive and Gunsmoke.

DEADLY BY THE DOZEN by various authors (myself included) ($2.99)

Twelve Short Stories of Murder and Mayhem written by an eclectic group of writers. Ranging from tough and gritty to light and comic and every landscape in between, DEADLY BY THE DOZEN promises to entertain, chill, thrill and inspire. Edited by award-winning thriller author Mark Terry.

Operation: Midnight Guardian by Linda Castillo ($3.99)

When a federal transport was ambushed and overturned in the wilds of Montana, MIDNIGHT agent Sean Cutter was given forty-eight hours to track down a desperate woman. But falsely accused, Mattie Logan didn't want to be saved. It was Sean's job to convince her otherwise.

A former Department of Defense scientist now targeted by the terrorist known only as the Jaguar, Mattie couldn't risk betrayal again. But neither could Sean. Caught out in the blistering cold, Mattie sought shelter beneath Sean's broad shoulders, each needing the other's warmth to stay alive. But would trusting one another prove to be more difficult than clearing Mattie's name?

The Man in the Cinder Clouds by Rick Daley ($4.99)

The freezing temperature is the only thing cool about Jason’s trip to the North Pole, but things heat up when his father discovers a book buried deep in the ice. This is no ordinary book, mind you. For starters, it was written by an Elf. And if that’s not enough, the book proves the existence of Kris Kringle—you know, Santa Claus.

Born human but abandoned as a baby, Kris is rescued by Elfs and grows up among them…but he doesn’t really fit in. Kris embarks on a quest to find his true family among the humans by delivering presents on Christmas day. But there’s a catch: the High Council of Elfs is convinced humans are wicked at heart, and Kris can’t return to his Elfin home unless he can prove otherwise.

His journey takes him all the way to the legendary Great Northern Glen, and from there to the town of Oldenton, where he finds two orphans who are about to lose everything they have to a greedy uncle. With only days before Christmas, Kris must try to help the kids, deliver his presents, find his family, and prove that human virtue does exist…even in the most unexpected of human hearts.

Whispers by Travis Erwin (that would be me) ($0.99)

A collection of two short stories, and a memoir vignette.

Three tales range in setting from the lonely solitude of a high mountain trail, to a quiet suburban neighborhood, to the stress-filled halls of a Childrens hospital. Collectively the trio of stories share a bond rooted in the most abstract of human emotions ... fear, hope, and love.

Liar's Fire by Dee Burks ($0.99)

Three Dates. Three Hours. No Commitment. No Kidding. It seemed like a really good idea at the time to Serena Finley, editor of the Cranfield Reporter-Star. Faking a romance couldn't be that hard could it? No one said it had to be real and if everyone thought she was in love, they'd stop hounding her to find a man. Serena knew she could do this and no one would ever be the wiser - best case scenario. Then Tyler Cooper walked into her life and best case scenario became iffy. He fit her idea of Mr. Wrong in every way. From a failing business, to limited social skills, Tyler would never have made her list of datable men. He was a cowboy for heaven's sake, who probably wouldn't know cashmere if it bit him in the butt. But she needed his help and he needed hers, which made him perfect. Until tonight. Somewhere in the midst of the pretend and the lies, her heart had been drawn to his. His kisses stirred her soul while his friendship gave her the strength to deal with old hurts and past heartaches. Serena knew this had no future. She was bound for Manhattan; Tyler was determined to stay in Texas. Would she risk everything for a chance at real love? Or walk away from this flame with her heart in ashes?  

The New Face of Jazz: An Intimate Look at Today's Living Legends and the Artists of Tomorrow by Cicily Janus ($18.99)

Jazz is thriving in the twenty-first century, and The New Face of Jazz is an intimate, illustrated guide to the artists, venues, and festivals of today's jazz scene. This book celebrates the living legends, current stars, and faces of tomorrow as they continue to innovate and expand the boundaries of this great musical legacy.
     In their own words, artists such as McCoy Tyner, Arturo Sandoval, Diane Schuur, Terence Blanchard, Charlie Hunter, Nicholas Payton, George Benson, Maria Schneider, Christian McBride, Randy Brecker, Jean-Luc Ponty, Joe Lovano, Lee Ritenour, and more than 100 others share intimately about their beginnings, musical training, inspiration, and hard-earned lessons, creating a fascinating mosaic of the current jazz community.
     Photographer Ned Radinsky contributes 40 amazing black-and-white portraits of these musicians doing what they do best—playing. An appendix offers resources for jazz education; an exclusive reading list; and the lowdown on those organizations and societies doing their part to promote jazz as a living, breathing art form. 

Extinct Doesn't Mean Forever by various authors ($2.99)

Echoes of yesterday touch the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary ways in 19 provocative stories by some of the best up-and-coming authors of mainstream and speculative fiction around the world.

The Feedstore Chronicles by Travis Erwin ($6.99)

 Welcome to Pearl's Feed and Seed -- Most coming-of-age stories are fraught with symbolism, hidden metaphors, and a heaping mound of other literary devices. Not this one. Not mine. You see, I came of age while working at a dusty Texas feedstore. A place where To Kill a Mockingbird involved a twelve-year-old and a BB gun. Of Mice and Men was a problem easily solved with rat poison. And David Copperfield was nothing more than a dude that made shit disappear. In the spring of 1989, I went to work at Pearl's Feed and Seed for a man named Doyle Suggs. On the surface Doyle and I had little in common: I was a rosy-cheeked boy of sixteen; he was a twice-divorced, thirty-year-old high school dropout. I had yet to go on my first date; he was trading sex for horse feed in the back room. Sure, Doyle was a lout, a liar, and a lecherous derelict. To this day, he remains the most morally bankrupt man I've ever met, yet my life wouldn't be half as blessed, had I missed out on his misguided education. The Feedstore

Forgive me, but I cheated and added more than one title of my own. 

The Wonder of Ordinary Magic by Lilli Day ($2.99)

Bobby Weaver is a brother, an uncle, a husband, and a successful young writer who just happens to be in a coma. As he continues to work on his own unfinished novel, a murder mystery set along The Appalachian Trail, he shares his thoughts about his current situation, his family, and life in general. Interwoven throughout the book with Bobby's irreverent voice are the viewpoints of six other characters as we move through one day in their busy lives. From a spirited four-year-old, to a grieving seventy-three year old, we are introduced to the people in this young writer's life and a spare, bittersweet story unfolds with an unexpected and poignant ending.

Resonance by Avery Debow ($2.99)

Resonance Murphy cares about only one member of the world's population—herself. So, when the self-applauded master of irresponsibility moves to the Maryland Eastern Shore town of Tyne and discovers the fate of all humanity rests on her shoulders, she's more than a little irked.

Thousands of years ago, seven benevolent gods drove their evil brother, Ta-gul, into a collapsing dimension. Now, Ta-gul is about to re-emerge in Tyne and Resonance is the warrior fated to destroy him. With a murderous dark magician; an ancient cult; a desperate fallen goddess; and a mysterious, tattooed young woman each intent on thwarting her by any means, Resonance must put aside her inhibitions and finally place her trust in someone besides herself.

Fearful of the coming days and fascinated by the mercurial young woman, necromancer Quinn Lehrer aligns himself with Resonance. As Quinn helps the reluctant warrior run the gantlet of reality-bending trials that will give her the power to defeat Ta-gul, a series of terrible revelations will force him to decide if Resonance is truly worth aiding.

As the clock ticks down to Ta-gul's ascension, the unlikely couple find themselves in a labyrinth of choice and consequence, where each decision sheds new light on Resonance's long-forgotten past, and brings the reluctant warrior closer to the moment when she will become either the savior of humanity—or the catalyst for its downfall. 


Gone Never Forgotten by Natalie Bright ($4.99)

Words for hope and healing after the loss of a baby. Rhymed and free verse poems, uplifting Bible verse, and personal insight based on the author's own loss.

I'm sure I have left one friend or another off and for that I apologize but hopefully I have included at least one title that all you e-reading folks (new and otherwise) will find interesting enough to purchase. And thank you for supporting me and my writing friends.


Charles Gramlich said...

I've got quite a few of these, all the pulpier ones.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

I don't have any of these as I am dead broke making Christmas a bust material wise.

But, even if you did not get a Kindle you can always use the free KINDLE FOR PC program which is how I read a lot of things gifted to me by various authors for review purposes.

Old Kitty said...

Happy Christmas Travis!!

I've opened all my pressies now and nope - no-one fell for my "much as I spit on all things eee, I wouldn't say no to an e-reader if Santa brought me one. Ahem"! LOL!!!

Oh but I got tons of chocolate! Take care

Stephen Parrish said...

You're a good man, Trabbis. Merry Christmas!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks for the nod, Travis. Hope you had a good holiday.

David Cranmer said...

Thanks, Travis! And I hope your holidays were tops.

All You Can Books said...

Yes, I got a Nook as a Christmas gift and now I'm looking for some interesting sites with free or paid eBooks. I want to read something interesting, but I don't know what yet. I would love to read again "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas, because it's my all time favorite book. Nevertheless, I will buy "Monkey Justice" by Patti Abbott as well, because my sister told me that it has a great story. Thank you for this lovely article!