Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"On Message: A Jillian Hillcrest Mystery," by Joyce Strand

The first in the Jillian Hillcrest mystery series, inspired by true California cases.

On Message: A Jillian Hillcrest Mystery, by Joyce Strand

"'On Message' takes the reader into a corporate world where everything seems perfectly organised, until someone rocks that world and the lives of the people who inhabit it. Joyce Strand's insight into the life of Jillian Hillcrest, who is the central character, is comprehensively displayed in this intriguing story of greed and betrayal. Jillian truly realises the importance of friendship, as she is inevitably drawn in to the unravelling nightmare that is taking place. The book contains a moral message, which, for me, is a testament to its title. I am very much looking forward to Joyce Strand's next novel." -- Amazon reviewer

Murder intrudes on PR Executive Jillian Hillcrest's routine as head communications executive at a small Silicon Valley biotechnology company. She is eagerly staying on message to inform investors, the media and the community about her company and its products. When someone near to her is murdered, a determined San Francisco police inspector involves her in the investigation, convinced she is key to solving the crime. She co-operates fully only to find that solving a murder is more hazardous than writing press releases. On Message is the first in the Jillian Hillcrest mystery series. As with all the novels in this series, it was inspired by a real California case.

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Meet the Author

Mystery author Joyce T. Strand, much like her fictional character, Jillian Hillcrest, served as head of corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder. Rather, she focused on publicizing her companies and their products. Joyce received her Ph.D. from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA She currently lives in Southern California with her two cats, a collection of cow statuary and art, and her muse, the roadrunner.

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"CounterPoint," by Daniel Rafferty

This full-length thrill-ride of a fantasy is the first in the Counterpoint Trilogy from Daniel Rafferty.

CounterPoint, by D.J. R

"A novel of epic proportions. "Counterpoint" is an apocalyptic adventure that really took me by surprise. From the cover, it looked like maybe this was some sort of legal thriller, but instead it's a wild ride as angels battle the demons of hell to save mankind. This is a fast-paced read that once the action starts, it rarely lets up. I also enjoyed the quieter moments where the angels exchange some witty dialogue with each other, debating whether or not God will ever return and if He considered "evil" to be part of the experiment. In between the action, this is also a book that makes you think. It makes you think about where we've come as a society. Are we worth being saved, or are we better off being wiped out? D.J.R. may seem like an odd name for an author, and no information is given at the end of the book. I'll definitely be looking out for more books from him/her in the future." -- Amazon reviewer

"Sooner or later, the human experiment will have to be evaluated"

As the world turns on its axis, all but a precious few are aware of the cosmic conflict that has continued since time immemorial between heaven and hell, angels and demons. Angels have been tasked with guarding and administering the Human Experiment since creation began. The Archangel Michael fears the experiment has failed due to the pollution of evil and seeks to salvage what he can. The day of reckoning is fast-approaching, and humanity’s blissful ignorance will soon be shattered as these duelling forces come to a head on the battlefield of planet Earth.

High-ranking angel Ariel is made responsible for “securing” the Bassett family, and as the conflict begins to unfold, amidst an unreal, unsettling global tempest that seems never to cease, the family is forced to go on the run.

With the Bassett family and their allies in constant peril, the conflict widens in scope as well as geographic distance, and they find themselves battling angels, demons and ancient creatures on all sides. Led by Mary, beloved Irish matriarch of the family, the Bassett’s steady themselves for the onslaught ahead- readying for a battle that will test their fortitude and the survival of the world itself.

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Meet the Author

Daniel Rafferty currently lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is actively engaged in writing the epic Counterpoint Trilogy Series and is also working on different pieces of writing outside this genre. Always intrigued with epic dramas and grand questions which have been asked throughout the history of civilisation, he aims to incorporate dramatic stories around these questions. This provides a large tapestry in which his writing is sewn.

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"The Book of Truths," by Bob Mayer

Action and adventure from NYT bestselling author Bob Mayer!

The Book of Truths (Area 51: The Nightstalkers, Book Two), by Bob Mayer

"I've come to await Bob Mayer's releases anxiously, especially his Nightstalkers/Area 51 series. I'm never disappointed, as Mayer has a rare storytelling gift. His pacing is taut and nicely plot-linked. His characters are never cardboard. Even his villains -- at least those of them that are human -- are absorbing, identifiable and compelling. The concepts he presents are plausible and filled with unanswered questions to tantalize the reader. With The Book of Truths, however; he's turned his own genre on its ear and raised the bar to an entirely new level.

He has always investigated the intelligence artifacts and internal motivations that follow special services operatives, but for the first time, he has broached some possibilities that are deeply disturbing, rising from the clandestine nature of our nuclear weapons past as well as from the nature of command itself. The threats that arise are chilling, and very believable. 

Bob Mayer shines the light of speculative military fiction upon our inheritance from the Cold War era. This important book gave me a great deal to think about. If you have an interest in politics, military intrigue and the recent past or if you are just trying to find an entertaining read that will kick your brain into high gear, this book will do all those jobs and more."

-- Amazon reviewer

Building off the world first seen in Bob Mayer’s Area 51 novels, the Nightstalkers series explores a new covert force dedicated to moving unseen in their fight against the unknown.
A little truth is a dangerous thing.
A lot could kill us all.
The Nightstalkers are back, and the world needs them now more than ever.
When a real-life truth serum, an unauthorized military cabal, and the nuclear football—which contains the authorization the President needs to launch the nation’s missiles—all converge, the Nightstalkers suit up for another deadly job. Joining forces with the Cellar, the covert world’s police force, the team might be mankind’s last hope.
With the President infected by an out-of-control pathogen, the Nightstalkers’ primary mission becomes finding a hidden stash of nuclear missiles before a secret group can launch a pre-emptive strike against America’s enemies. Because a rogue general has taken control of the operation center beneath the White House, and all hell’s about to break loose.
The Book of Truths builds and builds before roaring to a breathless showdown that could mean the beginning of the end for everyone.

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Meet the Author

West Point Graduate, former Green Beret and NY Times bestselling author Bob Mayer has had over 50 books published. He has sold over five million books, and is in demand as a team-building, life-changing, and leadership speaker and consultant for his Who Dares Wins concept.

He's been on bestseller lists in thriller, science fiction, suspense, action, war, historical fiction and is the only male author on the Romance Writers of America Honor Roll.

Born in the Bronx, Bob attended West Point and earned a BA in psychology with honors and then served as an Infantry platoon leader, a battalion scout platoon leader, and a brigade recon platoon leader in the 1st Cavalry Division. He joined Special Forces and commanded a Green Beret A Team. He served as the operations officer for 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and with Special Operations Command (Special Projects) in Hawaii. Later he taught at the Special Forces Qualification Course at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, the course which trains new Green Berets. He lived in Korea where he earned a Black Belt in Martial Arts. He's earned a Masters Degree in Education.

His books have hit the NY Times, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and numerous other bestseller lists. His book The Jefferson Allegiance, was released independently and reached #2 overall in sales on Nook.

Bob Mayer grew up in the Bronx. After high school, he entered West Point where he learned about the history of our military and our country. During his four years at the Academy and later in the Infantry, Mayer questioned the idea of "mission over men." When he volunteered and passed selection for the Special Forces as a Green Beret, he felt more at ease where the men were more important than the mission.

Mayer's obsession with mythology and his vast knowledge of the military and Special Forces, mixed with his strong desire to learn from history, is the foundation for his science fiction series Atlantis, Area 51 and Psychic Warrior. Mayer is a master at blending elements of truth into all of his thrillers, leaving the reader questioning what is real and what isn't.

He took this same passion and created thrillers based in fact and riddled with possibilities. His unique background in the Special Forces gives the reader a sense of authenticity and creates a reality that makes the reader wonder where fact ends and fiction begins.

In his historical fiction novels, Mayer blends actual events with fictional characters. He doesn't change history, but instead changes how history came into being.

Mayer's military background, coupled with his deep desire to understand the past and how it affects our future, gives his writing a rich flavor not to be missed.

Bob has presented for over a thousand organizations both in the United States and internationally, including keynote presentations, all day workshops, and multi-day seminars. He has taught organizations ranging from Maui Writers, to Whidbey Island Writers, to San Diego State University, to the University of Georgia, to the Romance Writers of America National Convention, to Boston SWAT, the CIA, Fortune-500, the Royal Danish Navy Frogman Corps, Microsoft, Rotary, IT Teams in Silicon Valley and many others. He has also served as a Visiting Writer for NILA MFA program in Creative Writing. He has done interviews for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Sports Illustrated, PBS, NPR, the Discovery Channel, the SyFy channel and local cable shows. For more information see http://bobmayer.org and http://coolgus.com

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Kindle Daily Deals: Non-fiction, romance, Worlds of Warcraft and a kid's book!

Today's Daily Deals include non-fiction, romance, a World of Warcraft book, and one from a charming kid's series, "The Mole Sisters."

Here's today's Kindle Daily Deal, available for $1.99 today!

The Fifties, by David Halberstam.

Exuberant and ambitious, The Fifties delves into a decade that remains a monumental and lasting turning point in American history

Joe McCarthy. Marilyn Monroe. The H-bomb. Ozzie and Harriet. Elvis. Civil rights. It’s undeniable: The fifties were a defining decade for America, complete with sweeping cultural change and political upheaval. This decade is also the focus of David Halberstam’s triumphant The Fifties, which stands as an enduring classic and was an instant New York Times bestseller upon its publication. More than a survey of the decade, it is a masterfully woven examination of far-reaching change, from the unexpected popularity of Holiday Inn to the marketing savvy behind McDonald’s expansion. A meditation on the staggering influence of image and rhetoric, The Fifties is vintage Halberstam, who was hailed by the Denver Post as “a lively, graceful writer who makes you . . . understand how much of our time was born in those years.”
This ebook features an extended biography of David Halberstam.

"In retrospect," writes David Halberstam, "the pace of the fifties seemed slower, almost languid. Social ferment, however, was beginning just beneath this placid surface." He shows how the United States began to emerge from the long shadow of FDR's 12-year presidency, with the military-industrial complex and the Beat movement simultaneously growing strong. Television brought not only situation comedies but controversial congressional hearings into millions of living rooms. While Alfred Kinsey was studying people's sex lives, Gregory Pincus and other researchers began work on a pill that would forever alter the course of American reproductive practices. Halberstam takes on these social upheavals and more, charting a course that is as easy to navigate as it is wide-ranging.

654 pages, with a 4.5-star rating from 115 reviews. Text to Speech, X-Ray, Lending enabled.



Here's today's Daily Romance Deal, available for $0.99 today!

Falling for You (Crimson Romance), by Heather Thurmeier.

Newly single Cassidy Quinn is thrilled to be a contestant on the new reality dating show The One. But her excitement turns to horror when the gorgeous bachelor turns out to be her ex-boyfriend. Seeing Brad again makes Cassidy realize she might not be as “over him” as she thought—and then she meets hunky cameraman Evan Burke.

After watching his brother lose his wife in a tragic accident, Evan vows never to fall in love. But following Cassidy around as her personal cameraman makes him question his decision, and resisting her gets harder with every sunbathing, bikini-wearing day.
Cassidy and Evan begin a forbidden affair while her ex-boyfriend tries to win her heart back one groping, awkward moment at a time. If Cassidy can manage to stop falling off horses (literally), stop falling onto her ex-boyfriend, the bachelor (yes, literally), and stop falling in love with backstage playboy Evan, she might still make it through the show without becoming a tabloid sensation.
But soon Cassidy must choose between the ex who broke her heart and the cameraman who might never love her back. For Cassidy, this reality show just got real.
Sensuality Level: Sensual

242 pages, with a 4.4-star rating from 32 reviews. Text to Speech, X-Ray, Lending enabled.




Here's today's Daily Science Fiction/Fantasy Deal, available for $1.99 today!

World of Warcraft: Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War, by Christie Golden.

“Nothing is free, Go’el,” Jaina Proudmoore said. “Your knowledge and skills were bought at a cost. The . . . orc you left behind in your place had done much harm in your absence. If I have heard about what is going on in Orgrimmar and Ashenvale, surely you must have!”



Go’el’s mien, which had been deeply peaceful, now looked troubled. “I have heard, of course.”



“And . . . you do nothing'”

“I have another path,” he said. “You have seen the results of that path. A threat that—”

“Go’el, I hear this, but now that task is over. Garrosh is stirring up trouble between the Alliance and the Horde—trouble that didn’t exist until he started it. I can understand if you don’t wish to undermine him publicly, but—perhaps you and I can work together. Form a summit of sorts. Ask Baine to join us; I know he has no love for what Garrosh is striving for. I could speak with Varian. As of late, he seems to be more reachable. Everyone respects you, even in the Alliance, Go’el. You have earned that respect because of your actions. Garrosh has earned nothing but mistrust and hatred because of his.”

She indicated her cloak, which had blown about with the wind he had sent to bear her to shore. “You can control the winds as a shaman. But the winds of war are blowing, and if we do not stop Garrosh now, many innocents will pay the price for our hesitation.”

***

The ashes of the Cataclysm have settled across Azeroth’s disparate kingdoms. As the broken world recovers from the disaster, the renowned sorceress Lady Jaina Proudmoore continues her long struggle to mend relations between the Horde and the Alliance. Yet of late, escalating tensions have pushed the two factions closer to open war, threatening to destroy what little stability remains in the . . .

Dark news arrives in Jaina’s beloved city, Theramore. One of the blue dragonflight’s most powerful artifacts—the Focusing Iris—has been stolen. To unravel the item’s mysterious whereabouts, Jaina works with the former blue Dragon Aspect Kalecgos. The two brilliant heroes forge an unlikely bond during their investigation, but another disastrous turn of events looms on the horizon. . . .

Garrosh Hellscream is mustering the Horde’s armies for an all-out invasion of Theramore. Despite mounting dissent within his faction, the brazen warchief aims to usher in a new era of Horde domination. His thirst for conquest leads him to take brutal measures against anyone who dares question his leadership.

Alliance forces converge on Theramore to repel the Horde onslaught, but the brave defenders are unprepared for the true scope of Garrosh’s cunning and deceptive strategy. His attack will irrevocably transform Jaina, engulfing the ardent peacekeeper in the chaotic and all-consuming . . . TIDES OF WAR

400 pages, with a 4.5-star rating from 128 reviews. X-Ray, enabled. Whispersync for Voice audiobook available for $12.49 if you purchase this book.




Here's today's Kindle Daily Deal, available for $1.99 today!

The Mole Sisters and the Piece of Moss, by Roslyn Schwartz.

When a piece of moss is feeling bad, the Mole Sisters set out to show him what a wonderful world they live in. Their adventures take them from their mole hole to the top of the world and back again.

32 pages, with a 4.7-star rating from 3 reviews. Lending enabled.






Happy Reading!

Betsy

Kindle Fire Free App of the Day: A Database Tool and a Bonus App!

Today's Free App of the Day is SQLTool Pro Database Editor
Originally $1.99


This is a database tool that allows you to run queries against a SQL database. The negatives are that it is a very large size to download and that large queries are slow to execute. Because of the limited appeal of the app, I'm picking a an alternate app.

7 of 10 reviews are four stars and above.

So we have a bonus pick: Any.DO: To do list | Task List.
This is a nice productivity app. It's a minimalist to-do list. If you just need a simple list. You can set up folders for different parts of your life, like work and personal, or for projects, and assign tasks to them. One thing I like about this app is there is also an iOS version, and I can sync my tasks between both my iDevices and my Android ones. I think that's a good thing.... Any.Do will tell you you rock when you finish a task and you can set it to prompt you first thing every day to plan which unfinished tasks you are going to work on that day. Nice app. Note that it apparently doesn't sync with Google tasks, which I don't use. 34 of 68 reviews are four stars and above.

These apps are compatible with the original Fire and with my Fire HD 8.9" 4G. To tell if an app works for your Fire HD or other Android device registered to your Amazon account, click on the above link and look on the right side of the web page.  Amazon will tell you if it will work with your registered device.

Have fun!

Also check out the other digital deals from Amazon, including great deals on MP3s and videos: