Do You Like Newly Released Paperbacks Under $5?

Had a nice surprise this afternoon when an author friend told me that Amazon had her upcoming release in a favorite series on sale for $4.69 — down from the $7.99 regular price. That’s more than $1 less even than the price of a Kindle copy for this title. I went out and quickly purchased a copy of the book Knot the Usual Suspects by Molly MacRae. But as is my usual habit, I check to see what other books people are ordering who purchase this title, and found Amazon is running a number of other upcoming releases on sale in paperback at the $4.69 pricing–books all available for preorder ahead of a Sept. 1st release date. In looking further, I found more discounted upcoming releases at $5.69 in paperback, too,  for titles that will be released sooner–on August 4th. So I thought I’d do a quick blog to let everyone have a chance to grab titles in their favorite series at a discount–or try a new series at a bargain. These are not only for August 4th, Sept. 1st & Sept. 29th preorders, but one of the titles is already out and available for shipping at more than $2 off regular price–no waiting! All these books are better priced than their Kindle copies–some offer a more than $2 discount on the paperback over the price of an ebook! Also please note that you must click the hot link–in this case the book title–to shoot over to the books’ Amazon page. The book covers are just to liven up the blog–they aren’t a portal to transport you there, folks. Sorry :)

HERE’S THE LIST of paperbacks to preorder at $4.69 or $4.75 for Sept 1st release–

Knot the Usual SuspectsKnot the Usual Suspects by Molly MacRae, A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery

The Marsh Madness by Victoria Abbot, a book collector mysteryMarsh Madness

Fudging the Books by Daryl Wood Gerber, Cookbook Nook Mystery #4

Trick or Deceit by Shelley Freedont, a Celebration Bay mystery

Black Cat CrossingBlack Cat Crossing by Kay Finch, first in a new series

Trick or Deceit

Fudging the Books

and Dead with the Wind by Miranda James is available for preorder at $5.03 for a September 29th releaseDead with the Wind

HERE’S THE LIST of paperbacks to preorder at bargain prices still for an August 4th release  (that’s just around the corner!). All of these–though not quite as cheap as the books with more distant release dates–are all less expensive than even their Kindle copies (as much as $2 off!):

Loom & DoomLoom an Doom by Carol Ann Martin (A Weaving Mystery) on sale for $5.68

A Dish Best Served Cold by Rosie Genova, An Italian Kitchen Mystery on A Dish Best Served Coldsale for $5.99

Crushed VelvetCrushed Velvet by Diane Villare, A Material Witness Mystery on sale for $6.20



AND FINALLY, A TITLE AVAILABLE NOW and sale-priced at the moment at $5.68, so grab it while it’s a deal–

Grace Cries Uncle by Julie Hyzy, a Manor House MysteryGrace Cries Uncle


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For TBT–My Favorite Commercials

I’m a reader–always have been–but I grew up as a television kid, too. I learned the ingredients of the Big Mac watching the McDonald’s commercial (yes, I can still say it nonstop without having to breathe–not bragging, just trivial fact). And kind of like commercials, I aced the grammar section in high school English class by knowing all the School House Rockwords to all of the Grammar Rock shorts. I also learned how a bill becomes a law by watching History Rock to help make an A on a 10th grade history test. And yes, that means I watched Saturday morning cartoons even when I was in high school (who am I kidding–I was still watching them when I got married). So, yeah, I’m geared for the shorts between show segments that get my attention, make me laugh, make me think, and make me remember.

Now, for Throwback Thursday, here is my list of My Favorite Commercials, with links to the videos if you want to reminisce a bit yourself. I’ve added pictures to decorate this post, but they’re just for show.  Look for the hot link to click over to the shorts you might want to watch again (and again).Hope you enjoy!

ClydesdalesI look forward to the Budweiser commercials every Super Bowl just to see the Clydesdales. However, Puppy Love is my all-time favorite, though it’s a fairly recent one. Of the 58.6 million hits on YouTube, my viewing probably accounts for 10 percent. Just kidding, but I really have watched it a lot of times. Before Puppy Love came out I counted the one with the Clydesdale Colt Getting a Little Help from His Friends as my fave. But truthfully, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Budweiser Clydesdale commercial I haven’t liked. But I don’t like the beer.

Mean Joe GreeneI appreciate a good pop commercial too–caffeinated and otherwise. My two favorite drinks were (and still are) Coke and 7-Up, so it’s no stretch to figure out that I have commercial favorites of each one. First, the earliest (yes the the same one used in the finale of Mad Men) the Hilltop Singers Offering the World a Coke. Next, the cool, un-caffeinated soda ad for 7-Up, The Uncola Commercial from the 70s. And about 9 years later the one where a Kid Gives Mean Joe Green a Coke from 1980.

May the Force be with youOkay, now going from the pop you drink to pop culture–yes, I am a Star Wars/Indiana Jones total-geekout girl. So I absolutely LOVED the Volkswagen commercial where a half-pint Darth Vader finally–successfully–used the power of the force and even surprised himself. Check out May the Force Be With Volkswagen.

These next two are really close. I honestly can’t tell you which is my very favorite. It truly is a tie.

Bird & JordanFirst up, a commercial really close to my heart because I Love Basketball. No surprise then that the Larry Bird/Michael Jordan decade was my all-time favorite basketball era ever. Given that information, it should also be no surprise that I adored the Bird/Jordan “Nothing But Net” competitions they did for McDonald’s. Want to know a secret? I still have one of the “Nothing But Net” caps you could buy at McDonald’s during that time, and I’ve never worn it because I don’t want anything to happen to it. The cap is packed away safe and sound on a shelf high in my closet. My kid will probably sell it on eBay someday (or whatever is the equivalent to eBay in the future). I’ve never even shown the cap to my husband. LOL! Hmmm, the kid may not know about this legacy. Anyway, did you like this commercial too? Then watch these two compete in Larry Bird & Michael Jordan–Nothing But Net

Cat HerdingWhich commercial is tied for my all time favorite? The EDS Commercial–Cat Herding. Funniest thing about this ad wasn’t the cat herding. It was the fact that everyone who saw it loved it, but no one ever remembered the company behind the message. The video was really great, but I’m not sure it was actually a successful commercial. Still, it was absolutely brilliant!

InterjectionsThanks to all the folks who put these videos on YouTube throughout the years. I’ll leave you with my favorite Grammar Rock–Interjections! Have a Wow! day, everyone.

Do you have a favorite commercial you want to share? Leave a note about it in the comments :)

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Yes, another editon of What’s New–and Free–and Made Me Smile Wednesday…

Ah, yes, we’re back for another edition of things I’ve found for free that I want to share with you mid-week. I’m focusing this time on free things that make me smile–hope they add a smile to the rest of everyone else’s week, too. So, here’s an animal story, an easy craft project, a way to stretch creativity, and a place to find free foreign language tools. Enjoy!

First up, this article about a golden retriever and his…well, let’s just say ‘offbeat’ friends. Click this Link to read the article, or you can just gaze happily at the picture–n-BOB-GOLDEN-RETRIEVER-large570

Bob the dog, and his eight bird friends and hamster buddy all live in Brazil, but his Instagram followers total more than 53K, and he has 12,000 friends on Facebook.


I’ve been in the middle of finding frugal tips–not just to stretch my wallet, but to help inDiet Coke Can Hacks developing a new character I have in a brand new mystery series (no more hints now, but will post on it soon). My series characters is more likely to recycle aluminum cans for the cash, rather than to create new things, but I wanted to share this video I stumble upon anyway. I’d suggest especially noting the last (tip#3) idea shown, as it could easily be the best and least expensive “quick gift” for a friend, mom, grandma, etc. All the tips are good, but I thought the last one really created “glowing” great potential. Click here to watch three clever ways to reuse soda cans–it’s only 3 minutes long & well worth the short time. Oh, and you’ll need to scroll down a page and a half to get to the video (I hate pages like this that pad the top, but this short video is worth hitting Page Down a couple of times).

For parents trying to find cheap and creative ways to help children stretch their imaginations during the summer months, take a look at The Amazon Free Storyteller. Click Here for the free tool that lets anyone upload a script they’ve written and bring it to life–so you might find it just as much fun as your children. Use the pre-designed characters, props, and backgrounds that Amazon includes at the site to create a storyboard or video. Yes, you can easily illustrate a story, and even incorporate music and sounds from Amazon’s free library. If you want more info on how it’s done, or how to share your/your kids’ mini blockbuster with others, there’s and FAQ Page to give you more info and even more ideas.

Have you ever wanted to learn a foreign language–and for free? Sound interesting? Live Mocha is a website that gives you full access to lessons in more than 35 languages. You just have to create an account. Finish the lessons and submit your work, and you’ll receive personalized feedback from other community members, including teachers, native speakers and language experts. Even more fun, the feedback often includes cultural information and speaking tips. There’s a “paid” section of the website, too, if you find you want to learn more after the free lessons are completed, but you’re not on the hook for anything.

For a bit more foreign language fun, the website Learn a Language offers over 1,400 free interactive flashcards to help the most important vocabulary in 19 languages. Included in these flashcards are 350 verbs, slang terms, greetings, and all the necessary survival questions you need to know before you can find a bathroom or a bookstore during your global travels.

Okay, that’s enough for this week. Remember to sign up for the PaperWhite giveaway on the contest page if you haven’t yet put your name into the drawing. You’ll find all the details on this site’s Contest Page, so click this link, or click the link on the header above.

And while they aren’t free, two of my books are on sale right now for 75% off. Get Organized for Murder and/or Counterfeit Conspiracies for a limited time at just 99 cents.

Have fun and enjoy! Back soon with more freebies I’ve found and want to share.

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For a Way to Get More News

Wanted to mention that I’ve finally taken the leap and started a Facebook Author Page at Ritter Ames Books. It has details right now about an FB event I’m participating in this Thursday, and how to enter for some of the prizes. And I’m planning a big giveaway by the end of the month to celebrate the new page–I’ll give the details once the Thursday Facebook event is no longer on the horizon. This is the page where I’ll post a fun or interesting thing I’ve discovered that relates to mysteries, as well as giveaways I learn that my fellow (and favorite) authors are doing at the moment. I’ll also be able to add first news easier there about my books too, just a brief post when there’s something my readers want to know. But I know Facebook isn’t for everyone, so I’ll still be posting info here–the blog process just doesn’t always have the brevity and immediacy options that a quick FB post achieves. Especially if it also relates to FB events, and there are more and more such events getting scheduled on FB all the time. So, feel free to like my author page if this sounds interesting. I promise not to swamp you with ads :)

RAM Author Page Banner


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What’s New–and Free–Wednesday

I’m trying to turn over a new leaf and blog more regularly, so since Wednesday is usually when the unexpected happens I’m starting here with a new feature on anything I find New or Free. Yeah, I know that sounds oxymoronic to start something on the day of the week I can usually control the least, but I’m always up for a challenge. So, here’s a potpourri of things I found interesting and/or free that I thought y’all might be interested in seeing, too.

Make Your Own Pallet BookshelfThis first idea is one that involves repurposing items with a little ingenuity and creativity. So items get recycled instead of ending up in landfills. I love projects like this–especially when you can get the materials cheaply or for just the cost of hauling it away for someone who doesn’t want the stuff anymore. This is a “Make Your Own Pallet Bookshelf” and a mini-tutorial can be found online–just Click Here

Adult Coloring PagesAre you a little stressed, and feel you need to let your inner child out to play? Well, go to Zen Downloadable Color Pages for Adults to not only find intricate color pages to make you forget your stress as you fill in the spaces with crayons, colored pencils or ink–but the site also gives a bit of information about why these kinds of designs help calm the soul.

If you want more coloring options, Mum in the Madhouse has a whole blog page full of downloadable coloring page options for every kind of taste and talent. Check it out and see :)

Carina Press is Celebrating their 5th Anniversary with a Giveaway on their blog. Check out the great books on offer and sign up for your own chance to win.

And if you’re looking for Free Mysteries to read over your summer vacation, Amazon’s Free Mystery Pages offer hundreds of great choices right now. Just click Next Page to get to the next set of books in the list.

I’m going to be looking for new things to send out next week. Let me know if you know about something you think I should include in a coming post.

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So Sad When Nature isn’t Very Bright



I feel sorry for stupid things. Right now, I’m feeling sorry for this albino (or just plain white) moth that is clinging to the sidewall of one of the oak cabinets in my kitchen. Okay, he found a place out of the rain, I get it. But shouldn’t survival instinct kick in and remind the moth that the entire rest of the kitchen has a lot of white he could use to hang for a spell and stay a bit safer.



Yep, all the walls are covered in a floral wallpaper with a white background, the border below what you see in this picture has larger butterflies instead of the small flowers. You’d think the moth would at least think about following the butterflies’ lead and maybe use that white background instead. You know, hide in plain sight.

Makes me better understand survival of the fittest–and the not so much. Of course, this moth is still living because I feel sorry for the fact that he isn’t the smartest wingding around. Maybe that’s his schtick–if he brings out my compassion for his lack of instinct I won’t kill him and he’ll live to eat my favorite chair.

No, I still think the moth is just dumb.

How about you? What do you think?

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Great Day Today for Blog Giveaways!

I’ve noticed several great blog posts today that also offer wonderful giveaways. If you have a few minutes, give these blogs a read and if you like the authors’ books sign up for the giveaways :)

Sparkle Abbey writes terrific humorous cozies that throw a spotlight on some fabulous dogs and cats who play key roles in the story lines. The authors (the books are written by a two-woman team) are at The Seekers Blog today, speaking to unpublished and wannabee authors about voice, and giving away a copy of one of their books to a lucky commenter.

Krista Davis is over at the Escape With Dollycas blog and not only talking about THE DIVA STEALS A CHOCOLATE KISS, but how one of her characters came to life on the page. This is one of my favorite series, and I always love the entertaining tips and recipes Davis shares within the story. Her publisher is also giving away two copies of the book to a couple of lucky fans–go check out the blog and scroll down for the entry info.

At Lori’s Reading Corner, Alexandra Forry talks about the importance of book covers and offers a brief beginning excerpted from her latest book TIMELESS ENDINGS. Also, there’s a Rafflecopter drawing to enter, and the winner will win a signed copy of this new book. Read the Blog and Enter Here:

Okay! That should make everyone’s coffee breaks more interesting today. Have a good one, folks!

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