Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 Free Kindle Books

Disclaimer: Prices Change. It’s 10:28 am EST and all books were free FOR EVERYONE in the US (you didn’t have to have Prime). Please check the Price BEFORE buying – especially if you are reading this post on Tuesday evening or on Wednesday.

Free Kindle Books – Full List at Amazon

The full list of new free kindle books at Amazon.

Free Kindle Books – Romance

  1. **When the Walls Fell (Out of Time) by Monique Martin. Price: $0. Genre: Romantic Suspense, Time Travel. Rated 5 stars on 19 reviews. 260 pages. 
  2. [Repeat, Good] Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo by Heather Wardell. Price: Free. Genre: Contemporary Romance. Rated 4 stars on 73 reviews. 256 pages.
  3. **Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens. Price: Free. Genre: Romantic Fantasy. Rated 4.5 stars on 84 reviews. 294 pages.
  4. [Repeat, Good] Sweet Ophelia (A Hollywood Story) by Kenneth Rosenberg. Price: Free. Genre: Contemporary Romance. Rated 4.5 stars on 17 reviews. 228 pages.
  5. Cassidy’s Cowboy (Search For Love) by Karen Rose Smith. Price: Free. Genre: Romance, Drama. Rated 5 stars on 5 reviews. 301 kb in size, so about 150 pages.
  6. The Prairie Prince by Marcia Lynn McClure. Price: $0. Genre: Historical Romance. Rated 4 stars on 15 reviews. 397 kb so perhaps 130 to 160 pages.
  7. Scent of Passion (Rutledge Werewolves) by Elizabeth Lapthorne. Price: $0. Genre: Erotica, Romantic Werewolves, Layer Cake. Rated 3.5 stars on 2 reviews. The wolf on the cover is like – Lady, put some clothes on. You’ll catch a chill.

Free Kindle Books – Thrillers & Mysteries

  1. [Repeat, Good] Cloudburst (An Art Jefferson Thriller) by Ryne Douglas Pearson. Price: Free. Genre: Technothriller, Spy Stories & Tales of Intrigue. Rated 4 stars on 18 reviews. 753 kb in size, so around 375 pages.
  2. Cruel Justice (DI Lorne Simpkins (Book one)) by Mel Comley. Price: Free. Genre: Mystery, Police Procedurals, Women Sleuths. Rated 5 stars on 12 reviews. 342 pages.
  3. [Repeat, Good] I Shall Not Want : Psalm 23 Mysteries Book Two (The Psalm 23 Mysteries) by Debbie Viguie. Price: Free. Genre: Mystery, Charity. Rated 4.5 stars on 21 reviews. 320 pages.
  4. Passage to Redemption by The Crew. Price: Free. Genre: Technothriller. Rated 5 stars on 5 reviews. 518 kb in size, or around 260 pages.

Free Kindle Books – Religious

  1. *Daily Dose of Determination by Melanie Bonita. Price: $0. Genre: Prayerbook, Meditations, Christianity. Rated 5 stars on 15 reviews. 209 kb so perhaps 80 to 100 pages.
  2. *The Jesus Revolution: Learning from Christ’s First Followers by Leith Anderson. Price: $0. Genre: New Testament Study. Rated 4.5 stars on 3 reviews. 145 pages.
  3. Church History: An Essential Guide (Abingdon Essential Guides) by Justo L. Gonzalez. Price: $0. Genre: Church History. Rated 3.5 stars on 15 reviews. 100 pages.

Free Kindle Books – Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror

  1. [Repeat, Very Good] The Takers: Book One of the Oz Chronicles by R.W. Ridley. Price: Free. Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Spine-Chilling Horror. Rated 5 stars on 38 reviews. 229 pages.
  2. A Wizard’s Role by Zak Shareef. Price: Free. Genre: Fantasy, Magic. Rated 4.5 stars on 7 reviews. 846 kb in size, or around 420 pages.
  3. These Hellish Happenings by Jennifer Rainey. Price: Free. Genre: Contemporary Fantasy. Rated 4 stars on 19 reviews. 249 pages.
  4. **[Repeat, Very Good] The Awakened: Book One by Jason Tesar. Price: $0. Genre: Epic Fantasy. Rated 4.5 stars on 102 reviews. 929 kb so perhaps 300 to 400 pages.

Free Kindle Books – Historical Fiction

  1. **Yellow Crocus: A Novel by Laila Ibrahim. Price: Free. Genre: History, Slavery. Rated 5 stars on 12 reviews. 240 pages.

Free Kindle Books – For Children of All Ages

Free Kindle Books – Various Genres (Fiction) including Adventure

  1. *Where Secrets Lie by Donna Marie Lanheady. Price: $0. Genre: Literary Fiction. 220 pages. Rated 4 stars on 9 reviews.

Free Kindle Books – Non Fiction

  1. [Pick of the Day!] ***The Rules of Money: How to Make It and How to Hold on to It by Richard Templar. Price: $0. Genre: Worth its Weight in Californium, Perhaps Gold would be more appropriate. 240 pages. I’ve read Richard Templar’s book on the Rules of Work and it was beyond magnificent. Hopefully, this is as good.
  2. **Never Let Go: A Philosophy of Lifting, Living and Learning by Dan John. Price: $0. Genre: Strength, Lifting, Exercise & Fitness, Philosophy. Rated 5 stars on 53 reviews. 418 pages.
  3. **Jesse’s Girl by Gary Morgenstein. Price: $0. Genre: Parenthood, Adoption, How would should a parent sacrifice for a troubled child? Rated 5 stars on 16 reviews. 342 pages. 
  4. *Circle of Friends Cookbook – 25 of JoAnn & Vickie’s Favorite Recipes by Gooseberry Patch. Price: $0. Genre: Cookbook, Lifestyle & Home. No reviews yet. 636 kb in size but it’s a cookbook so that could mean anything.
  5. *Critical Thinking Strategies for Success by Linda Elder, etc. Price: $0. Genre: Strategy, Critical Thinking. 3 books – Critical Thinking, Making Smart Decisions, and Now You’re Thinking. 3.2 MB in size.
  6. Options for the Beginner and Beyond: Unlock the Opportunities and Minimize the Risks by W. Edward Olmstead. Price: Free. Genre: Investing Introduction, Options. Rated 4.5 stars on 28 reviews. 256 pages.
  7. Weekend Homesteader: August by Anna Hess. Price: $0. Genre: Canning & Preserving. Rated 5 stars on 3 reviews. 55 pages. 
  8. [Repeat, Good] Making Sense of People: Decoding the Mysteries of Personality (FT Press Science) by Samuel Barondes. Price: Free. Genre: Advice & How-to, Health, Mind & Body. Rated 4 stars on 30 reviews. 241 pages.
  9. Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story, Updated and Expanded Edition by Jerry Weissman. Price: Free. Genre: Business Life, Communication, Office Skills. Rated 4.5 stars on 18 reviews. 293 pages.
  10. **Me and the Ugly C by Becky Dennington. Price: Free. Genre: Memoir, Women. Rated 5 stars on 38 reviews. 184 pages.
  11. [CHECK PRICE BEFORE CLICKING – It’s $200 normally] The Income Doubler: How to Double Your Income in 180 Days or Less by Reprogramming Your Subconscious Mind to Make Yourself Believe Your Deserve Twice As Much Money As You Are Earning Now by Clint Arthur. Price: $0. Genre: Double Your Income, Reprogram Your Mind, Motivational. Rated 3 stars on 1 reviews. This used to be $200 – the author certainly doubled his income. Also, don’t miss his other title – How to Reprogram Your Subconscious mind to Double the Length of Your Book Title.

Today’s Deal (Not Free, just Cheap)

  1. Kindle Daily Deal. The Best American Noir of the Century for $1.99. 39 stories including works by Elmore Leonard, Patricia Highsmith, Joyce Carol Oates, Dennis Lehane and William Gay.

Fantasy Vs Fantasy AKA Why YA novels are a disease

Just to Clarify: This post is not saying the following:

Ban books. Women should not read. Girls are Stupid. Steal Honey from Bears.

YA is crap. Twilight is terrible. There should be no Young Adult Books. Kids like Skittles too much.

Eat More Chicken. Eat Less Chicken. Save the Earth from the Ice Age. Save the Earth from Global Warming.

It is not trying to steal your rights to read books, or to read good books or to read terrible books.

It was written about Young Adult Books. It wasn’t meant specifically for girls or boys. The example quoted is girls but that’s just coincidental. You could take something like video games and find the same triggers being used to affect boys. PLEASE don’t turn this into something about women’s rights to read books. Or for that matter, about the right to read books.

What is this post saying, if it isn’t saying any of the above things?

It’s saying that a lot of the psychological triggers that are used to manipulate people are slowly entering YA fiction.

That it’s a trend which has a logical end-point – The devolution of books into something that isn’t very good, and which will end up being harmful to readers.

These psychological triggers, and the way they are used – are a bad, bad thing. Because we can’t defend against them. That’s the beauty of psychological triggers – Even knowing they exist isn’t defence against them. They are powerful because they are built over millions of years and 5 minutes of thinking they’re ineffective now won’t end their influence.

Millions and millions of years of human experience is more powerful than any argument about ‘people aren’t that stupid’. No, of course not. They’re human and they are susceptible to anything that wields influence over humans. It’s like a reaction to fire or to cold – it’s inside you and you can’t turn it off.

Also Note this key phrase from the post:

… we are moving away from the middle and going towards the far right.

The post is saying that we are headed in the wrong direction. That’s very different from saying ‘the world has ended’.

Please Also Note: This post observes the situation. It is not calling for action – and you can read it end to end to confirm this. It is pointing out things without asking to ban books or end things.

Finally, no politically correct werewolves or metrosexual vampires were hurt in the making of this post … unfortunately.

*******************************

Imagine a continuum of Fantasy.

  1. On the very left is imagination exercising Fantasy. One that gives you a sense of wonder and makes you think about the things that might be possible.
  2. In the middle is escapist Fantasy. Where you turn off the real world for a bit and dream away.
  3. On the very right is Reality-Polluting and Reality-Destroying Fantasy. Where the fantasy ends up destroying your hold on reality and/or ends up making you unhappy with reality.

If you want a very rough analogy then you have –

  1. Far-Left Fantasy = Playing a sport, reading a good classic book, drawing something. It’s an exercise of a faculty.
  2. Smack-in-the-Middle Fantasy = A board game, reading an entertaining book, a good (but not necessarily artistic) movie, a concert. Perhaps not the most amazing use of time but good entertainment and definitely doesn’t hurt you.
  3. Reality-Killing Fantasy = hitting your head against the wall, living in a bubble, taking wishfulness to an extreme.

The distinction is important because with Young Adult novels like Twilight and, to an extent, The Hunger Games – we are moving away from the middle and going towards the far right. To the Reality-Killing and Reality-Polluting Fantasies.

The Distinction between Fantasy and Reality-Killing Fantasy

There’s been a morphing in Fantasy.

Consider how video games have devolved from ‘look what might be possible’ games like The Legend of Zelda to ‘push all the psychological triggers’ social game corruption like Zynga’s games.

The same thing is happening with books for young adults. Authors are, knowningly or unknowingly, pushing psychological triggers instead of actually writing good stuff.

Let’s consider what psychological triggers you could push for a young teenage girl:

  1. Love.
  2. The Rich Boy Loving You.
  3. The Exciting Dangerous Boy Loving You.
  4. Both Fighting Over You.
  5. Social Validation.
  6. Social Status.
  7. A Feeling of Fitting In.
  8. Feeling Beautiful.
  9. Feeling Accepted.
  10. Your Hero not caring whether you’re rich or poor.
  11. Your Hero not caring how popular you are.

In the past, the focus was on all mediums (movies, games, books, music) delivering a message. Even escapist fantasy had a message. The book left you with something.

Now it’s just a hole in your soul that you’re told/sold can only be filled by a werewolf and a vampire wooing you with the ardor of jackrabbits.

These days, the message is forgotten in the pursuit of psychologically addicting the reader. And every YA fantasy romance novel is doing the same thing.

It’s no longer about romance or love. It’s about pushing the right triggers. Unfortunately, pushing the right triggers too well means you start destroying reality.

Push too many psychological triggers and you start destroying Reality

If you set up a romance novel with 3 or 4 triggers i.e.

  1. The Hero is rich.
  2. The Hero is good-looking.
  3. The Hero chooses you out of several options.
  4. There’s intrigue and perhaps a dash of danger.

Then there’s a pretty good chance real life can compete. Perhaps your real-life hero only hits 2 out of 4 points. But he’s flesh and blood and there to hold you in his arms. And there are ALWAYS other women to add some competition.

Real life is as compelling – sometimes more compelling.

However, YA books these days are getting too good at pushing psychological triggers:

  1. The Hero is rich and good-looking.
  2. There’s a Rival Hero who is also very desirable.
  3. The Hero is a Vampire. The Rival Hero is a werewolf.
  4. The social pressure and loneliness is amplified and then your Hero magically makes it all go away. 
  5. The fate of the world hangs on you.
  6. You have magical psychic powers.
  7. Your family has magical powers and drama of the sort few human families ever do.
  8. The Hero and the Rival are fighting over you.
  9. There are added enemies and dangers.
  10. You are told you are special.
  11. You are told you are entitled to whatever your heart wishes – use the Hero and Rival Hero like pawns if you wish.

How can Mr. Darcy compete with that?

And Mr. Darcy isn’t even real. How can the real love of your life compete with that?

Plus there’s no message. Instead of being good or love or decency – the message is entitlement and running away from reality.

It’s one thing if Disney is trying to manufacture fantasy boy bands for teenage girls. It’s quite another if you couple the power of these girls’ overactive imaginations with a plethora of psychological triggers (that take advantage of their vulnerabilities) to create something even Disney’s Boy Bands can’t compete with. Not unless they grow some fangs and develop some superpowers.

All the Fantasy Overload is Killing Reality

If you’re a young boy you’re hit with runway models and centerfolds and porn stars.

If you’re a young girl you’re hit with reality-destroying YA romance where a merman and a centaur and an Orang-utan man will fight a cosmic war for Earth’s fate and the prize will be you.

It’s getting so ridiculous it’s hard to believe. We don’t have woolly mammoths and other prehistoric monsters to challenge us for survival so now we are creating monsters of our own.

At this rate soon no boy and girl will fall for each other because the girl isn’t what some idiot in a mansion thinks women should be and the guy has neither vampiric powers nor a werewolf to play the perfect foil.

As a race we’re beginning to feed on our young. It’s so important to create ‘consumers’ that are unhappy and need to consume to fulfill themselves that we are doing everything we can to destroy their sense of reality.

That’s the problem with all these Twilight clones. They are a de-evolution of books. We don’t have literature or even pulp fiction any more – we just have a set of psychological triggers wrapped up in novel form. They are neither horizon expanding nor pure entertainment – they are just reality-destroying, unrealistic-expectations-creating, unhappy fantasy. If people are worried about declining birth rates and failing relationships now – wait till you get the generation that have grown up with Twilight.

Free Kindle Books Monday Morning (January 30th)

Disclaimer: Prices Change. It’s 9:51 EST and all books were free FOR EVERYONE in the US (you didn’t have to have Prime). Please check the Price BEFORE buying – especially if you are reading this post on any day other than Monday 30th January 2012.

Free Kindle Books – Full List at Amazon

The full list of new free kindle books at Amazon.

Free Kindle Books – Romance

  1. *Lucien’s Fall by Barbara Samuel. Price: Free. Genre: Historical Romance. Rated 4.5 stars on 20 reviews. 533 kb in size, so about 265 pages. The author of this novel is a RITA winner, so romance lovers will likely be thrilled with this story.
  2. Once a Cowboy (Harlequin American Romance) by Linda Warren. Price: Free. Genre: Contemporary Romance. Rated 4 stars on 109 reviews. 256 pages.
  3. Deep in the Heat of Texas by Amy le Blanc, Melissa Ecker, and Alta Hensley. Price: Free. Genre: Anthology, Contemporary Romance. Rated 4.5 stars on 9 reviews. 163 pages.
  4. *Undercover by Christina Wolfer. Price: $0. Genre: Romantic Suspense. Rated 5 stars on 2 reviews. The cover photo looks like it’s shot by whoever makes movie posters – they only show one side of the face or they fade out the edges – magical perfect symmetry. The girl’s pretty to begin with – the eye shadow and instant symmetry are just unfair.
  5. [Meanest Review Ever] Unrequited Love by Yvonne A Weems. Price: $0. Genre: Contemporary Romance. Agree that the cover is pretty and the rest of the meanest review ever is just wrong.
  6. Beautiful Mess by Lucy V. Morgan. Price: $0. Genre: Erotica, Exes and Male Friends and Stuff. Rated 5 stars on 6 reviews. 443 kb in size which is around 150 to 180 pages.

Free Kindle Books – Thrillers & Mysteries

  1. Merrie Axemas: A Killer Holiday Tale by M.R. Sellars. Price: Free. Genre: Thriller, Police Procedurals, Horror. Rated 5 stars on 10 reviews. 391 kb in size, or about 190 pages.
  2. *Dead America: Zombie Noir by Luke Keioskie. Price: Free. Genre: Mystery, Hard Boiled, Zombies. Rated 4.5 stars on 5 reviews.
  3. Flowers for Her Grave by Jean Sheldon. Price: Free. Genre: Mystery, Women Sleuths. Rated 5 stars on 6 reviews. 401 kb in size, so around 200 pages.
  4. *Windfall (a thriller about economic terrorism) by Faith Friese Nelson. Price: Free. Genre: Thriller, Economic. Rated 4 stars on 5 reviews. 222 pages.
  5. Murder in Store (Quint McCauley Mystery) by DC Brod. Price: $0. Genre: Mystery, Middle-Age Ex-Cop, Just Jilted. Rated 4 stars on 1 review. 21 pages. A middle-aged PI getting jilted by his 23 year old – that’s like buying a Porsche in reverse.

Free Kindle Books – Religious

  1. **The Good Life by Charles Colson. Price: $0. Genre: Part-Memoir, Part Enquiry of How We Live Our Lives. Rated 4.5 stars on 39 reviews. 416 pages.

Free Kindle Books – Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror

  1. Odd Stacks: Story Collection Box Set by Scott Nicholson. Price: $0. Genre: Zombies and More, Anthology of Short Story Anthologies.
  2. Just One Taste (The V V Inn) by C.J. Ellisson. Price: Free. Genre: Fantasy, Contemporary. Rated 4 stars on 12 reviews. 185 pages.
  3. [Repeat, Good] Valle (The Heku Series) by T.M. Nielson. Price: Free. Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Coven. Rated 4 stars on 20 reviews. 392 pages.
  4. Genesis: A Soul Savers Novella by Kristie Cook. Price: Free. Genre: Fantasy, Historical. Rated 5 stars on 18 reviews. 202 pages.
  5. **Loki by Mike Vasich. Price: Free. Genre: Fantasy, Epic. Rated 4.5 stars on 30 reviews. 380 pages.
  6. *Cameo the Assassin (Trilogy of Shadows Book 1) by Dawn McCullough-White. Price: Free. Genre: Fantasy, Historical, Adventure. Rated 4 stars on 31 reviews. 203 pages.
  7. The Golden Acorn (The Adventures of Jack Brenin) by Catherine Cooper. Price: Free. Genre: Fantasy, Magic. Rated 4 stars on 55 reviews. 377 pages.
  8. Chasing the Bard (The Fey With Us) by Philippa Ballantine. Price: Free. Genre: Historical Fantasy. Rated 4.5 stars on 14 reviews. 555 kb in size, or around 275 pages.
  9. Reaper IV: Daddy by Amanda M. Holt. Price: $0. Genre: Fantasy, For Adults Only, Book 4 in the Series, Novella. 36,000 words.

Free Kindle Books – Historical Fiction

  1. The Last Killiney (The Ravenna Evans Series) by J. Jay Kemp. Price: Free. Genre: Historical, eighteenth-century. Rated 4 stars on 9 reviews. 615 kb in size, or about 300 pages.

Free Kindle Books – For Children of All Ages

  1. *Sojourner (Book 1) (Sojourner Series) by Maria Rachel Hooley. Price: Free. Genre: Girls & Women. Rated 4 stars on 37 reviews. 244 pages.
  2. Taken by Debra Lee. Price: $0. Genre: Children’s Books. Rated 3.5 stars on 7 reviews. 176 pages.

Free Kindle Books – Various Genres (Fiction) including Adventure

  1. *Stealing Wishes by Shannon Yarbrough. Price: Free. Genre: Gay & Lesbian. Rated 4.5 stars on 14 reviews. 236 pages.
  2. *Sugarland by Joni Rodgers. Price: Free. Genre: Literary Fiction. Rated 4.5 stars on 7 reviews. 545 kb in size, or around 270 pages.
  3. **To Live and Die in LA by Terry L. Wroten. Price: $0. Genre: Going Clean Versus Revenge, Caught Up. Rated 4.5 stars on 29 reviews. 281 kb in size.

Free Kindle Books – Non Fiction

  1. **Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq by Kirsten Holmstedt. Price: Free. Genre: United States, Military History, Veterans. Rated 4 stars on 38 reviews. 388 pages.
  2. **lol…OMG!: What Every Student Needs to Know About Online Reputation Management, Digital Citizenship and Cyberbullying by Matt Ivester. Price: Free. Genre: Computers & Internet, Students, Social. Rated 5 stars on 39 reviews. 557 kb in size, or about 275 pages.
  3. **Beyond the Literary-Industrial Complex: How Authors and Publishers Are Using the Amazon Kindle and Other New Technologies (… to Unleash a 21-Century Indie Movement of Readers and Writers) by Stephen Windwalker. Price: Free. Genre: Publishing, Authorship. Rated 4.5 stars on 6 reviews. 203 pages. Readers and writers alike should be informed about whether or not this is the future that books hold.
  4. [Monday only] Atheism 101: Answers, Explanations and Rebuttals by Grigory Lukin. Price: $0. Genre: Atheism. Rated 4 stars on 10 reviews.
  5. [Monday only] Go to College without Going Broke: 33 Ways to Save your Time, Money and Sanity by Grigory Lukin. Price: $0. Genre: Personal Finance. Rated 4.5 stars on 13 reviews.

Today’s Deal (Not Free, just Cheap)

  1. Kindle Daily Deal. The Land of Later On – a vivid journey of the afterlife.