Changes in the Publishing World

Amazon has been re-defining the idea of a "book" by introducing the "single" and offering "serials". This is based on the idea that an electronic book can be any length. In the past, it was not cost-effective to print a shorter book. Those would be sold to magazines as short-stories.

There are novellas and shorter novels available at the Kindle store. We have all read books that were too long, that seemed to have been stretched out to meet the acceptable length for a published book. A book can now be the optimal length to tell the story.

E-books have created a market for reading material and new authors that wouldn\'t be read if the old hard-copy publishing world still prevailed.

Original music is being developed for online streaming and downloads. And the app market for mobile devices is open to any one with talent and ideas. With opportunites for writing talent being expanded thanks to digital books, I am waiting for great content to watch on my tablet devices. I wish I had more to choose from than season 2 of a sit-com.

Link ID: 09092014-27


American Crucifixtion: The Murder of Joseph Smith

American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church

On June 27, 1844, a mob stormed the jail in the dusty frontier town of Carthage, Illinois. Clamorous and angry, they were hunting down a man they saw as a grave threat to their otherwise quiet lives: the founding prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. They wanted blood.

At thirty-nine years old, Smith had already lived an outsized life. In addition to starting his own religion and creating his own “Golden Bible”—the Book of Mormon—he had worked as a water-dowser and treasure hunter. He’d led his people to Ohio, then Missouri, then Illinois, where he founded a city larger than fledgling Chicago. He was running for president. And, secretly, he had married more than thirty women.

In American Crucifixion, Alex Beam tells how Smith went from charismatic leader to public enemy: How his most seismic revelation—the doctrine of polygamy—created a rift among his people; how that schism turned to violence; and how, ultimately, Smith could not escape the consequences of his ambition and pride.

Mormonism is America’s largest and most enduring native religion, and the “martyrdom” of Joseph Smith is one of its transformational events. Smith’s brutal assassination propelled the Mormons to colonize the American West and claim their place in the mainstream of American history. American Crucifixion is a gripping story of scandal and violence, with deep roots in our national identity.

Publication Date: April 22, 2014

Link ID: 04292014-147


The Reckoning

The Reckoning

For centuries, the importance of financial accounting has been well understood. Essential to building businesses, states, and even empires, accounting has also helped leaders measure their power and craft their policies. When practiced poorly or neglected, accounting has contributed to cycles of destruction, as the 2008 financial crisis has made all too clear. In The Reckoning, award-winning historian Jacob Soll shows how the use and misuse of financial bookkeeping has determined the fate of entire societies. In the right hands, accounting has created social stability, good governance, and economic prosperity. In the wrong hands, good accounting practices have often been subverted, with disastrous results ranging from financial losses and debt to complete economic collapse.

From the Medici bankers to the director of finances under Louis XVI, from the Industrial Revolution to the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Recession, The Reckoning demonstrates that civilizations are only as strong as their bookkeepers.

Publication Date: April 29, 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars

Link ID: 04292014-146


Lorenzo De Medici

Lorenzo de Medici

Lorenzo de' Medici was never an old man. He died in 1492 at the age of forty-three. He came to power in fifteenth-century Florence at the age of twenty. In the twenty-odd years of his rule, this banker, politician, international diplomat, free-wheeling poet and songwriter, and energetic revolutionary helped to give shape, tone, and tempo to that truly dazzling time of Western history, the Renaissance. This book, by award-winning author Charles L. Mee, Jr., recounts the remarkable life of Lorenzo de’ Medici and of the times in which he lived.

Publication Date: April 10, 2014

3.8 out of 5 stars with 14 reviews

Link ID: 04292014-145


The Railway Man

The Railway Man: A POW's Searing Account of War, Brutality and Forgiveness

Now a Major Motion Picture Starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman.

The Railway Man is a remarkable memoir of forgiveness—a tremendous testament to the courage that propels one toward remembrance, and finally, peace with the past. Eric Lomax, sent to Malaya in World War II, was taken prisoner by the Japanese and put to punishing work on the notorious Burma-Siam railway. After the radio he illicitly helped to build in order to follow war news was discovered, he was subjected to two years of starvation and torture. He would never forget the interpreter at these brutal sessions. Fifty years after returning home from the war, marrying, and gaining the strength from his wife Patti to fight his demons, he learned the interpreter was alive. Through letters and meeting with his former torturer, Lomax bravely moved beyond bitterness drawing on an extraordinary will to extend forgiveness.

Publication Date: April 11, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars with 177 reviews

Link ID: 04292014-144


The Dead and Those About to Die: D-Day

The Dead and Those About to Die: D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach

A white-knuckle account of the 1st Infantry Division’s harrowing D-Day assault on the eastern sector of Omaha Beach—acclaimed historian John C. McManus has written a gripping history that will stand as the last word on this titanic battle.

Nicknamed the Big Red One, 1st Division had fought from North Africa to Sicily, earning a reputation as stalwart warriors on the front lines and rabble-rousers in the rear. Yet on D-Day, these jaded combat veterans melded with fresh-faced replacements to accomplish one of the most challenging and deadly missions ever. As the men hit the beach, their equipment destroyed or washed away, soldiers cut down by the dozens, courageous heroes emerged: men such as Sergeant Raymond Strojny, who grabbed a bazooka and engaged in a death duel with a fortified German antitank gun; T/5 Joe Pinder, a former minor-league pitcher who braved enemy fire to save a vital radio; Lieutenant John Spalding, a former sportswriter, and Sergeant Phil Streczyk, a truck driver, who together demolished a German strong point overlooking Easy Red, where hundreds of Americans had landed.

Along the way, McManus explores the Gap Assault Team engineers who dealt with the extensive mines and obstacles, suffering nearly a fifty percent casualty rate; highlights officers such as Brigadier General Willard Wyman and Colonel George Taylor, who led the way to victory; and punctures scores of myths surrounding this long-misunderstood battle.

The Dead and Those About to Die draws on a rich array of new or recently unearthed sources, including interviews with veterans. The result is history at its finest, the unforgettable story of the Big Red One’s nineteen hours of hell—and their ultimate triumph—on June 6, 1944.

Publication Date: April 29, 2014

Link ID: 04292014-143


Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I

England's first Queen Elizabeth gave her name to an age.

Inheriting a bankrupt, famished, and powerless country, she healed its religious rifts, replenished its treasury, redefined diplomatic guile, defeated the Spanish Armada, and inspired a new flowering of English culture.

Her father, Henry VIII, beheaded her mother, Anne Boleyn, and Elizabeth was declared a bastard. As Henry kept marrying and discarding wives, she had to be adroit and canny to avoid being snared in the schemes of courtiers plotting to win the crown. And when at last she ascended the throne, her councilors told her she could survive only by marrying.

But she reigned for forty-four years as Glorianna, the "Virgin Queen," whose wit, evasions, and towering intellect frustrated enemies both within and outside her island kingdom. The more we know about Elizabeth's endless complexity, the more remains to be learned. Here's a beginning.

4.1 out of 5 stars with 13 reviews

Link ID: 04292014-142


Edward III: The Perfect King

Edward III: The Perfect King

Holding power for over fifty years starting in 1327, Edward III was one of England’s most influential kings—and one who shaped the course of English history. Revered as one of the country’s most illustrious leaders for centuries, he was also a usurper and a warmonger who ordered his uncle beheaded. A brutal man, to be sure, but also a brilliant one.

Noted historian Ian Mortimer offers us the first comprehensive look at the life of Edward III. The Perfect King was often the instigator of his own drama, but also overthrew tyrannous guardians as a teenager and ushered in a period of chivalric ideals. Mortimer traces how Edward’s reforms made feudal England a thriving, sophisticated country and one of Europe’s major military powers. Ideal for anyone fascinated by medieval history, this book provides new insight into Edward III’s lasting influence on the justice system, artistic traditions, language, and architecture of the country.

4.7 out of 5 stars with 15 reviews - Prime Members can borrow this book for free.

Link ID: 04292014-141


History New Releases

Operation Cowboy: The Secret American Mission to Save the World's Most Beautiful Horses in the Last Days of World War II (Kindle Single)

A thrilling account of one of the strangest and most daring military operations in history.

In the final days of World War II, with the ravenous Red Army marching across Czechoslovakia, a wily band of American soldiers did the unexpected: they teamed up with the Nazis and went behind enemy lines to save the world’s rarest horses from imminent extinction at the hands of the Russians — including the exquisite white Lipizzaner, whose bloodlines date back to Genghis Khan. Based on personal interviews and new archival research, New York Times bestselling author Stephan Talty recreates in vivid detail the exhilarating rescue mission, led by unlikely heroes who just “wanted to do something beautiful.”

This is a Kindle Single. It is 70 pages. The book was just released April 3, 2014. It has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars with 26 reviews.

Link ID: 04292014-139

Historical Fiction

Steve Dancy Series - Western Thrillers

James D. Best is one of the best writers of Western thrillers. His Steve Dancy series is a great read.

The stories are fascinating and are not what you expect. These books have twists and turns that are not cliches. They are firmly set in the old West, but the main character - Steve Dancy - is unique in the way he solves problems. He is one of the most interesting characters I have read in a long time.

As the author says, "Honest Westerns. Filled with dishonest characters."


The Shopkeeper (A Steve Dancy Tale)

In 1879, Steve Dancy leaves NYC to explore the west. He is soon embroiled in a deadly feud with a Nevada silver baron and the shopkeeper kills two men in an impulsive street fight. Pinkertons, assassins, and aggrieved bystanders escalate the feud until it pulls in all the power brokers in Nevada. Can a New York shopkeeper survive the Wild West?

4.3 out of 5 stars with 124 reviews


Leadville (Steve Dancy Tales)

In 1879, Joseph McAllen asks Dancy for help. Ute renegades have abducted a girl near Mesa Verde, Colorado, and the Pinkerton captain wants Dancy to join the rescue party. The trail doesn't lead into the mountains, but to Leadville—a mining town teeming with the worst elements of a raw frontier.

4.5 out of 5 stars with 43 reviews


Murder at Thumb Butte (A Steve Dancy Tale)

In the spring of 1880, Steve Dancy travels to Prescott, Arizona to gain control of a remarkable invention. But on his first night in the territorial capital, his friend, Jeff Sharp is arrested for a midnight murder. Can Dancy discover the true killer before his friend stretches a rope on the courthouse square?

4.5 out of 5 stars with 32 reviews


Steve Dancy Tales, Three Novel Box Set

This set has the first three Steve Darcy novels in one book. This is a good price if you want to read all three books -- and you should.

4.8 out of 5 stars with 6 reviews


The Return (Steve Dancy Tales)

It's the summer of 1880, and Thomas Edison's incandescent bulb is poised to put the gaslight industry out of business. Knowing a good business opportunity, former New York shopkeeper Steve Dancy sets out to obtain a license for Edison's electric lamp. After two years of misadventures out West, the assignment appears to be right up his alley. But new troubles await him in New York City.

4.7 out of 5 stars with 33 reviews


Tempest at Dawn

This is a novel about the men who created the U.S. Constitution. It is a novel, but is based on real history.

4.5 out of 5 stars with 86 reviews

Link ID: 04082014-131

Historical Fiction

The Silver Rush mystery series

Ann Parker has written a series that is set in the American West, specifically the 1880's silver rush in Colorado. The stories are mysteries which sets them above the standard Western fare.

These are interesting stories with a strong female protagonist. Here is the author's desciption of the her: Silver Queen Saloon owner Inez Stannert -- a woman with a mysterious past, a complicated present and an uncertain future.


Silver Lies: A Silver Rush Mystery #1 (Silver Rush Mysteries)

4.3 out of 5 stars with 77 reviews


Iron Ties: A Silver Rush Mystery #2 (Silver Rush Mysteries)

4.6 out of 5 stars with 23 reviews


Leaden Skies: A Silver Rush Mystery #3 (Silver Rush Mysteries)

4.2 out of 5 stars with 28 reviews


Mercury's Rise: A Silver Rush Mystery #4 (Silver Rush Mysteries)

4.6 out of 5 stars with 32 reviews

Link ID: 04082014-130


Amazon To Launch a Video Box

On April 2, 2014, Amazon will be making an announcement. It is expected to be a Video box that will allow you to your computer content on your television.

It will compete with Apple TV, Roku and Google Chromecast. Google Chromecast is only $35.00. I bought a Chromecast and I can watch Netflix and Hulu Plus, as well as view my Google Chrome browser output. Streaming video on my Chrome browser can be played on Chromecast, but not Amazon streaming video.

I watch a lot of Amazon video. They have a great service that doesn't get the attention is deserves. They have recent TV shows, many the day after they air on network. And Amazon's library includes many recent movies. If you signup for Amazon Prime you will get most of these features for free. The Amazon box will surely offer Amazon streaming video. The question is, what will it cost? There isn't any price information yet, but it will surely be competitive with the other devices on the market.


Amazon Launching Video Box Next Week

Amazon Set Top Box Event

Amazon Media Event

Link ID: 04012014-33


KF8 - New Kindle Format

Kindle has announced a new format for ebooks. KF8 will be an advancement over Mobi, its present format. KF8 will have HTML5 and CSS3 features that will enable graphics and advanced formatting.

This new format is being presented for the new Kindle Fire, which will ship in less than two weeks. But Amazon has not releases the specs yet. I signed up to be notified when the documentation is released, but it hasn't yet. When the Amazon Fire ships will there be multimedia content available?

Here's hoping that Amazon releases the documentation soon.

Link ID: 03242014-34


Amazon Silk Browser support

The primary browsers that people use are Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and Opera. There are others, but these are the one that are listed in charts when showing who supports various CSS3 features.

But there is a new browser that will arrive in about two weeks and that is Amazon Silk. I have heard that is is webkit based, but I haven't seen any information about which features it supports.

As soon as I receive my Amazon Fire, I want to look at some test sites that I will create. I will publish what I see. I have a lot of books and articles that show the various browsers and their compatability with CSS3 and HTML features. I hope that many of these articles and sites will be updated accordingly.

Here's hoping that the Amazon Silk has great coverage of the newest features. I am hoping that this will be a major platform in the future.

Link ID: 03212014-32


Kindle Fire

I have has a few days to work with my new Kindle Fire. I have to keep reminding myself that I bought the Kindle Fire to replace my Kindle, not my iPad.

The Kindle Fire doesn't replace the iPad. It doesn't really come close. The biggest issue is that the Kindle is Android based. There just aren't enough apps available for Android. I don't know if this will change in the future, but right now, Android doesn't have the richness of iOS5.

Amazon has its own app store so the Fire really has access to a subset of the available Android apps.

But as an eReader, it is an improvement over my old Kindle. I did a lot of reading on the Kindle app for my PC or iPad. This enabled me to see color illustrations and even multimedia when available. The Kindle Fire will let me read these books on my Kindle device.

As an Amazon Prime member, I can watch movies and TV, many of them for free. I used to watch these on my desktop, but now I can watch a TV show while I am out, like on a bus, or in a waiting room. As a media device, it is great. It is small enough to carry around, unlike the iPad, and yet it is larger than my iPhone for reading and watching videos.

The Fire won't replace my iPhone or my iPad, but it will replace my old Kindle. And I will use it more than I use my Kindle now.

For the price, buying the Fire was a good idea. If the price were closer to the price of an iPad, that woouldn't be the case.

Link ID: 03182014-57


Kindle Fire Ships Today

Kindle Fire is shipping today - one day early. Mine is on the way so it will be here at any time. I can't wait to try it out. I am already an Amazon Prime member, so I am anxious to try watching TV and movies.

Of course, the Kindle is primarily an eReader. The Publisher Guidelines for KF8 haven't been released yet. Nor has the Kindle Gen 2 tools. I have a number of books on my Kindle with color and animation, but I have to read them on my iPad or desktop Kindle apps.

I can't wait to try out the Amazon Fire and I'll write about my experiences this week.

Link ID: 03142014-55


Send To Kindle App

Send to Kindle is a new application developed to users of any Kindle devices or Kindle reading apps. The app is free and can be downloaded from http://www.amazon.com/sendtokindle.

This app adds Send to Kindle to your right-click menu in Windows Explorer. It also appears as printer option in the print menu. (It is only available for Windows PCs right now. It is easier than emailing to the device, or loading from a USB cable.

The documentation is here.

Link ID: 03122014-65