Moon Handbooks is one of the most respected travel guide publishers out there. The books usually have some information not found in other guidebooks.
This month, Moon is offering two of their U.S. guidebooks for free in the Kindle version (ebook). These books happen to be the cities that are hosting the Democratic and Republican conventions this year.
Republicans will be invading the Tampa and St Petersburg area of Florida at the end of August. But you don’t have to be going to the GOP convention to get a free download of Moon Tampa and St. Petersburg. This freebie will save you $17.95.
Democrats will be headed to Charlotte, NC, shortly after for their convention. For them – and anyone else traveling to the city – a free download of Moon Charlotte is available. You’ll save $16.95 with this freebie.
If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still take advantage of these ebook deals. Amazon has a free Kindle reading app for smartphones, tablets and computers, that you can also download (I use it).
Be sure to share these freebies with your friends, so they can get these great guidebooks.
I first met author PJ Haarsma several years ago when I worked with his non-profit charity Kids Need to Read on their first website. His first book in The Softwire series, Virus on Orbis, had just been released and it proved to be an excellent read.
The story centers on 12-year-old Johnny Turnbull and his younger sister who were born and raised by a computer after their parents – and all adults – on board their starship passed away. When they reach their destination on Orbis 1, all of the ship’s children learn they must work as slaves to pay off the debts of their deceased parents.
Johnny turns out to be a “softwire” – a human who can manipulate a computer with his mind. So when the planet’s computer begins to mysteriously malfunction, he turns out to the prime suspect and must prove his innocence before time runs out.
Though aimed at young readers, the characters and story are well-written and fleshed out enough to hold the interest of adult sci-fi fans.
Now four books into The Softwire universe, Haarsma’s first book, Virus on Orbis, has just been made available as a free download for the Kindle via Amazon.
Give it a try – I’m sure you’ll be hooked on the series.
One of my favorite genres of books to read is the fantasy genre. If yours is too, you may want to check out the Guardians of Legends series by author J.C. Chancellor.
The first book is Son of Ereubus and it was published in November 2010. The summary blurb on the book reads:
Three thousand years ago, Man irresolutely placed his faith in a mythical world. That world, Adoria, now holds Man’s final hope.
As the last stronghold of Man is threatened, the fates of three strangers become forever intertwined and everything they once believed will be irrevocably changed as they discover that their time has run out.
I have to admit, I haven’t read it yet, but the Amazon reviews for it are really good. Speaking of Amazon, you can pick up a copy of Son of Ereubus for just $14.
However, I found out that you can get an E-version of the book to read on your computer for free, from the author herself. That’s right, completely free. I’ve already downloaded it.
Why would someone give their book away for free? Well, Chancellor has the second book in the series, Blood of Adoria, coming out later this month.
So the idea is that by letting you read the first book, you’ll be hooked and purchase the second one when it comes out.
So if you want to check out Son of Ereubus, you can find the link to download it at the author’s personal blog, Welcome to the Asylum.
Feb 13, 2011 contests/freebies
I don’t remember entering this contest, but somehow I seemed to have won a prize pack for the movie, The Rite, starring Anthony Hopkins.
Among the prizes were a long-sleeve shirt, a knit cap, a leather-bound notebook and a candle. There was also supposed to be an umbrella and a USB flash drive bracelet (according to the letter with it), but they were M.I.A.
The book is cool – it’ll be good to travel with for quick notes. The hat I’ll probably give away to someone, since I don’t wear hats. I might do the same with the shirt. And the candle is disgusting – it’s all black and smelly and it actually partially melted in transit, so it has the texture of sludge. I might try to scoop out the candle and use the votive glass for another candle.
I emailed about the missing items, though. I’d love the bracelet, as that would be great for traveling, too.
I got a cute little surprise in the mail…my own mini Cabo Diablos from Cabo Wabo tequila.
I had signed up for their email club about a month ago, but wasn’t really expecting anything other than the standard marketing newsletters and the like. So this was a fun little pick-me-up to see it in the mail.
It’s about 2 inches tall, made of hard rubber and is dressed like a Mexican luchadore (wrestler) in a red suit with devil horns and a pointed tail. It also has its right hand raised up in the traditional metal music “horns” pose of the index and pinky fingers forming horns.
Printed on the inside of the box are the following “proper care” instructions:
1] Water your Diablo frequently with Cabo Wabo tequila.
2] Always bring your Diablo along when partying.
3] Do not accidentally leave your Diablo behind in a bar. That’s no way to treat your wingman.
Then in smaller print it says:
You’ve received this because you’ve been a little devil. This Diablo, like our tequila, is a work of fine art and not a toy. Please enjoy your Diablo responsibly.
What a cute little tchotcke! Not to mention a great marketing tool. A+ to Cabo Wabo tequila for this Diablo gift. Now if only it came with an actual sample. LOL
PS: For those unaware, Cabo Wabo tequila is owned by rock musician Sammy Hagar, who has not only had a lengthy solo career, but was lead singer for Van Halen for many years following the departure of David Lee Roth.
Saturday, Rhon and I were out running errands and I spotted a 7/11 gas station. “Free slurpee day!!” I remembered, so I had Rhon pull over. We grabbed our free samples and then headed over to Whole Foods to pick up a few staples. En route, we passed another 7/11 across the street from WF, but it was on the wrong side of the road.
Pulling into the Whole Foods lot, I saw we were there in time for the weekly farmer’s market, which IMHO, was rather lackluster.
I mean the vendors there were cool – there was some really pretty medieval-style jewelry and a guy selling fresh honey in several flavors I’d never even heard of (we tried every flavor and ended up buying some Tupelo Honey).
But there were maybe 15 vendors overall. It took us all of ten minutes to walk the whole market area in the parking lot.
Realizing the heat was starting to trigger some of my illness symptoms, we headed inside to the AC-confines of the store. Then I realized it was free sample day, so we took some time to cool off by trying just about every sample. In doing so, I spotted that the WF-brand cheese puffs were 2-4-1, so I splurged because the only thing better than the WF cheese puffs is when 1 bag is free. LOL And I don’t feel so guilty since it’s more natural than Cheetos, not to mention waaaayyyy less sodium (only 150mg per 2 cups of the puffs).
I also sampled some blue potato salad from the hot bar in the fresh prepared section of the store. I’d never eated a blue potato before – tasted less starchy in texture. Wasn’t a fan of the vinegrette they put in the salad, though. Too much lemon.
We left Whole Foods and this time the 7/11 was on the right side of the street, so we stopped in for another sample – and to be fair, we each tried different flavors. Ok, so that’s stretching the rules a bit for the promotion, but nowhere on the signs did it say one per person.
Then as we were driving to another place to do another errand, we passed a third 7/11, and decided to make it kind of a game. If we passed a 7/11, we had to stop and get a sample and review it. But it had to be a different flavor each time.
All in all, we passed seven 7/11′s, but one of them had decided not to participate, so we technically only had six samples. And that one was really rude about it.
Here are my ratings from favorite to least:
- 1] Fanta Blue Raspberry – had to go with the classic. The blue tongue was just a bonus.
- 2] Fanta Pina Colada – would be even better with some vanilla rum in it, but the slurpee machines don’t serve it that way for some reason…
- 3] Blue Mountain Dew – kinda like if MD mated with the Fanta Blue Raspberry, but the citrus of the MD clashed just a little too much with the raspberry.
- 4] Strawberry-Pineapple-Lime – tart and refreshing, but I was confused because it was blue in one store, but pink in another.
- 5] Crystal Light Apple Mango – you could definitely tell the two flavors were in there, but it was way too sweet, which you wouldn’t think from a sugar-free flavor. In fact, I couldn’t even finish it because it was so sweet.
- 6] Fanta Watermelon – icky icky icky. That’s all I’ll say about it. I ended up tossing half of it.
Two more things I should note… first, it was the first time I’d had any caffeine in almost five weeks and we probably should have had something more substantial in our stomachs than the WF samples (all those chemicals do not a happy tummy make LOL). But otherwise, it was actually a fun and low cost way to spend the hot afternoon.
What can I say,…sometimes you just have to make your own entertainment.