Friday, 31 January 2014

The Digital Reader

The Digital Reader

Five Launchers Which Make Your Android Tablet Look Like an iPhone, WindowsPhone, and More

Posted: 31 Jan 2014 02:47 PM PST

One of the great things about Android is that it is almost infinitely customizable. If you don’t like how something looks, you can search Google Play for a replacement.

Don’t like a widget? There’s a dozen alternatives. Don’t like the home screen on your tablet? There are a hundred alternatives to choose from!

I was reminded of the many options today when I set out to find a new home screen app for my Hisense Sero 7 Pro. I was looking for a home screen that behaved and looked like the home screen on the Kobo Arc 7 (or possibly the home screen on the Kindle Fire HD).

In short, I was looking for a home screen which would put my ebook library front and center. I didn’t finds that home screen (not yet), but while I was exploring I found a few fun alternatives that I thought would be fun to share.

Sidenote: Scroll down to the end of the post for a few tips on how to install these apps and how to switch between them.

Espier Launcher

First up is the Espier Launcher. This is an iPhone inspired home screen app which looked pretty good on my tablet:

Click to Embiggen

Click to Embiggen

This launcher replaces the app drawer with the infinitely long chain of iOS home pages, and uses icons that look a lot like Apples. It offers quite a few customization options, including some that require a paid upgrade. It’s available in Google Play as Espier Launcher and Espier HD (for larger screens).

Best iPhone Launcher

Next is the Best iPhone Launcher. Yes, this app is basically the same as Espier, but it looks different and it manages to replace the notification bar across the top of the screen with one that looks like it was copied from Apple (it doesn’t, however, replace the existing icons). Also, I preferred it over the Espier Launcher, which was a good enough reason to include it.

Click to embiggen

Click to embiggen

This home screen doesn’t work so well on a high resolution tablet, but it should work okay on a smaller screen. You can find it in Google Play.

Paper Go Launcher Ex Theme

This next home screen app makes your app icons look like they were drawn free hand on a piece of brown paper. It appears to have been designed for a smaller screen, so I wouldn’t try it on a tablet.

Click to embiggen

Click to embiggen

You can find this app in Google Play. It is actually a theme for Go Launcher, so you will need to install both.

Launcher 8

If iOS isn’t your thing then how about Windows Phone? Launcher 8 offers a stomach-turning Metro-style replacement home screen that will convince the uninformed (me, for example) that we’re looking at a device running one of Microsoft’s OSes.

launcher 8

This is a terribly confusing home screen app which I assume is behaving just like you would expect a Windows Phone to behave (even the lock screen behaves differently). The tiles are customizable, and the home screen scrolls vertically to show more rows of tiles.

Y0u can find this app in Google Play. And if this launcher doesn’t suit you, check out Windows 8 launcher. That second launcher would have been my first choice (it looks nicer) but it’s not compatible with my Hisense Sero 7 Pro.

Atom Launcher

And if yu’re looking for a theme out of left field, try Atom Launcher. It’s a minimal;ist typographic theme which looks and acts like nothing I’ve seen before on an Android tablet.

atom launcher 1  atom launcher 2

You can find the Atom Launcher in Google Play. If you want a suggestion, I would combine it with the Typo White theme. It replaces the more common icons with words (Chrome, music, browser, etc). It’s visually eye catching, though I’m not sure I would want to use it for long.

Of the 5 launchers mentioned above, i think I like the Espier the best. I’m not an Apple fanboi, but I like the number of customization options and the generally clean appearance.

Which launcher did you like?

Can you suggest one to add to this post? (Any launcher that will make my Android tablet look like it’s running a different OS would be great.)

P.S. Installing these alternate home screens is simple.  Just look for them in Google Play and click the install button. If you cannot find an app in Google Play on your device, chances are your device isn’t compatible.

P.P.S. Make a note of the home screens you install; you can remove them by going to the apps menu under the settings menu and then selecting the app and choosing the uninstall option.

P.P.P.S. If you want to switch between the home screens on your device, press the home button. Once you find a home screen which you want to use all the time, press the home button, check the box, and then click okay. it will lock in one home screen as default.

The post Five Launchers Which Make Your Android Tablet Look Like an iPhone, WindowsPhone, and More appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Google Play Books Doesn’t Support Epub, and Other Crazy Possibilities

Posted: 31 Jan 2014 08:05 AM PST

Epub Chimeric[1]advocates like to pretend that it’s an industry standard format, but that’s not completely true.

Kobo (to name one example) adds their own nonstandard components to the files they sell, Apple prefers their own bastardized form of Epub3 ( iBooks) and uses a proprietary DRM, and then there’s the fact that no vendor actually supports the complete Epub3 spec other than Apple.

And now it seems we can add Google to the mix. A reader has tipped me to the news that Google Play Books doesn’t actually display Epub. Sure, Google will let users upload Epub files, and they maintain a pretense of selling Epub, but their reading apps apparently Do Not Display Epub files when you are reading an ebook.

I learned of this oddity from Ben Hollingum, an ebook developer based in London. He detailed the quirk on his blog a couple days ago:

Most e-readers ruin your books by not recognising certain CSS declarations, overriding them with their own defaults, or by implementing your CSS in a freakishly non-standard way – not so Google Play Books. The part of Google Play Books that handles CSS stylesheets – presumably forked from the Chrome browser – seems to be excellent, it can understand complex pseudo-class selectors and parse combinations of pseudo-class and pseudo-element selectors with ease. The problem comes from the way that it handles the HTML framework onto which that CSS is applied.

This first became apparent to me when I loaded one of the books I was working on into Google Play Books. This book had drop-caps on the opening body-text paragraphs of each chapter. These were identified using an HTML class (p.first) and a pseudo-element selector (::first-letter). I did it this way because it allowed swanky modern systems like iBooks and Readium to display drop-caps, but phrased it in such a way that Adobe Digital Editions and similar readers (which always render drop-caps wrong) would ignore it (pseudo elements mean nothing to them).

When I loaded this book into Google Play books I noticed something odd. In addition to the drop cap on the first paragraph (which rendered very nicely), it added a drop cap to the first letter of the following page (the page break having fallen halfway through the first para). This seemed to imply that Google Play Books was altering my HTML in real-time (it reacted to changes in font-size and line-height that moved the page break), adding in a hard paragraph break on either side of the page break.

Ben goes on to explain the steps to confirm this strange behavior, eventually ending with:

Intrigued, I added another layer to my selector. I changed it to body>div.text>p:first-of-type::first-letter this absurdly convoluted selector should, in theory, have selected only the first letter of the first paragraph of the first div in the whole HTML document. What it actually did was select the first letter of each page.

This seems to imply that in order to render a book, Google Play Books takes the content from your epub and pastes it into an individual HTML document for each page. To make it even stranger, in order to work out where to put the page breaks it must have to apply the CSS to the HTML first, then work out where the page breaks will fall, then chop up the HTML into individual documents and re-apply the CSS. Only after it has gone through all that can it render the page.

Based on this behavior Ben has awarded the title of “weirdest epub rendering engine” to Google Play Books.

If his report is correct then it will most definitely deserve the title, but unfortunately for me I have not yet managed to confirm Ben’s claims.

I don’t think I know anyone (other than Ben) who has looked closely enough at GPB to have noticed this strange behavior, and I didn’t get a response to my tweet yesterday. It had an #eprdctn tag attached, so I thought it would get some attention, but aside from a single retweet I have not gotten even a nibble.

And so I am throwing this story on to the blog just to see what happens. If anyone can confirm or deny this story, please let me know.

In spite of the lack of evidence, I have to say that this report rings true.

This report is consistent with Google requiring that you upload an ePub before downloading it and reading it in the Google Play Books app, and it offers the best explanation for Tom Semple’s remark that GPB only downloads a fragment of an ebook at a time. It would also explain why GPB didn’t support 3rd-party ebooks until the middle of last year.

All of those quirks can be explained by the simple supposition that the Google Play Books app for Android doesn’t actually support Epub. Instead it appears to be using some type of concealed intermediary file format of unknown design to serve up fragments of an ebook.

P.S. If anyone knows of a best practices FAQ for GPB, please don’t hesitate to share a link. I want to see what it says.

P.P.S. In a way, this quirky non-Epub behavior might be caused by Google Play Books’ early history. While Google focuses support on Epub now, there was a time when they would let authors and publishers upload just about any type of file to be sold in Google’s ebookstore. This included RTF, PDF, PDB, XML, DOC, and even Mobipocket (I kid you not).

The behavior reported by Ben could be the result of some Googler’s kludged together attempt to support all those disparate file formats in a consistent manner. I don’t know why they didn’t just convert to Epub, but I suppose at some point this chimeric file made sense. Or maybe they didn’t have enough time to get it right, I don’t know.

image credit Heidi Taillefer

The post Google Play Books Doesn’t Support Epub, and Other Crazy Possibilities appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Today's Kindle Books

Today's Kindle Books

More Bargain and Free Books for 1-31-14

Posted: 31 Jan 2014 08:05 AM PST

Cozy up on your couch and choose from this selection of 2 bargain books and 2 free books. Make sure to "LIKE" and spread the word about ENT.

Book Of The Day: From This Moment On, by NY Times bestselling author, Bella Andre, has a 4.5 star rating and is on sale for only $2.99 – save $2!


On the Inside
by James Kipling
Rating: 4.0 Stars
Genre: Thriller and Suspense
Price: $0.99 Save $2.00
Make sure price is still $0.99 before clicking "Buy".

“Author James Kipling has an unique writing style as he takes you on a journey of emotional whirlwind with twists and turns.” -H. Jacobs

Detective Hazel Hanson is one of the best in her field. Her headstrong and stubborn approach has proven itself in every solved murder case in New York City. But all of that changes when she is given the responsibility of solving The Slitter Case. Unaware of the true dangers that lie in wait for her, Detective Hanson attempts to find the man responsible for the brutal killings of several women in New York City.

The scales begin to tip when FBI agents storm in to assist with the case. Among them is Special Agent Owen Jones, the only person Hazel has ever loved and whose sudden reappearance after five years threatens to jeopardize her sanity. As she battles with her own inner demons, the case and her life begin to spiral out of control. This young detective is unprepared for the hidden dangers that lie on the other side and unaware that her life now hangs in the balance.


Saving Grace
by Lesley Ann McDaniel
Rating: 4.2 Stars
Genre: Womens Fiction
Price: $0.99 Save $2.00
Make sure price is still $0.99 before clicking "Buy".

“..Lesley Ann McDaniel did a remarkable job with a complex story line and intriguing characters.” -A. Reid

What happens when a New York City opera singer flees to a small town in Montana to escape a stalker? Tracy Fontaine is about to find out. When an obsessive fan forces Tracy to change her name to Grace Addison and go into hiding, the last thing she wants is to get to know the locals.

Now, not one but two men have worked their way into her daily routine, much to the chagrin of jealous local girl Sophia, who insists on prying into Grace's past and stirring up deadly trouble. Will Grace find love in Madison Falls…or will her stalker find her?



Please make sure the price says "Kindle Price $0.00″ before clicking “Buy”. If it says "Prime Members $0.00″ “read for free”, it is NO LONGER FREE. All books are free at the time they are posted but are subject to change back to full price at any time. If you are outside of the United States, these books may not be free.

Untangle My Heart
by Maria K. Alexander
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Price: $0.00 Save $14.99
Subject to change back to full price at any time.

When her marriage ended in tragedy, Kate DiFrancesco rebuilt her life, but has never gotten over the pain of what she lost. Seeking the help of an ex-lover ignites feelings she’s promised never to have again. She’ll need to untangle herself from dangers in her past in order to break the hard shell around her heart.

Edward Weston has a lot to prove, both to his stuffy upper-crust British family, and to himself. Working alongside Kate, a woman he had a casual relationship with, stirs unexpected feelings. Helping her family makes him realize what he’s missing. For the first time, he wants more than a one-night stand. When Kate is threatened, Edward must overcome feeling unworthy to protect the woman he loves and fight for the family he never thought he’d have.


Ashes of Roses
by Christine Pope
Rating: 4.4 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Price: $0.00 Save $14.99
Subject to change back to full price at any time.

Even the Emperor of Sirlende cannot always do as he pleases, but when custom demands he find another bride after the death of his betrothed, a princess he barely knew, Torric Deveras defies his counselors and changes the rules rather than make a loveless marriage. Ashara Millende is the only daughter of a nobleman, but had her inheritance stolen from her by her unscrupulous stepmother.

A servant in the house that should have been hers, she dreams of escaping the drudgery of her life and finding someone who will love her for who she truly is. When Torric invites all the marriageable women in his kingdom to a five-day holiday of feasts, tournaments, hunts, and balls so that he might choose an Empress from among them, Ashara never dreams that she can attend, much less catch his eye and win his heart. Then a woman with hidden secrets appears who will give Ashara the chance to win her heart’s desire — if only she is bold enough to take the first step.


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More ENT Deals for 1-31-14

Posted: 31 Jan 2014 07:57 AM PST

Download another assortment of 3 bargain books and 2 free books for your reading enjoyment. Please "LIKE" and let a friend or two in on your source for Kindle deals.

Book Of The Day: From This Moment On, by NY Times bestselling author, Bella Andre, has a 4.5 star rating and is on sale for only $2.99 – save $2!


Block 24
by Evan Tyler
Rating: 4.7 Stars
Genre: Historical Fiction
Price: $0.99 Save $3.00
Make sure price is still $0.99 before clicking "Buy".

“Evan’s writing style was just as unique as her storyline.” -Kara B.

A re-emergence of the past…Natalie Clarke might be spiteful at best and vicious at worst, but was that reason enough for Phillip Gise to leave her lonely and diseased? Fortunately, she has a set of devious plans that just might keep her busy enough to forget her present situation. Guy Lewis has played Best Friend Extraordinaire to Natalie since grade school, supporting her through all of her daily drama.

This time around, Guy runs into his own troubles when his fierce, wealthy manager gives him the type of attention he never asked for…or expected. Julia Clarke, Natalie's younger sister, has arrived in Brooklyn to uncover their grandmother's secret life in Block 24, the site of Auschwitz's little-known brothel. What Julia discovers proves more relevant in the present age than ever before.


Truth or Date
by Susan Hatler
Rating: 4.2 Stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Price: $0.99 Save $2.00
Make sure price is still $0.99 before clicking "Buy".

Truth or Date – Nook
Truth or Date – Apple iBooks
Truth or Date – Kobo

“You end up wanting more!!” -sabsuy

Gina Hall is done with men who won't commit. Ten years waiting for her ex to propose wasted her time. Never again. When her friend Kristen starts a game of Truth or Dare, she dares Gina to go on a date with Ethan, who's amazing and total marriage material. As Gina plans the going away party for office playboy Chris Bradley, she spontaneously initiates a game of Truth or Dare with him.

When his turn comes around, he dares Gina to pose as his girlfriend to help get a flirty colleague off his back. Gina finds playing couple with Chris way too much fun. Even though Gina and Chris are pretending, their relationship begins to feel painfully real. Fearing she might be falling for another fly-by man, Gina must focus on Ethan so she doesn't make the same dating mistakes all over again.


The Undead Heart
by Tate Jackson and Rebecca Goppert
Rating: 4.0 Stars
Genre: Paranormal
Price: $0.99 Save $2.00
Make sure price is still $0.99 before clicking "Buy".

The Undead Heart – Nook
The Undead Heart – Kobo
The Undead Heart – Sony Reader

“The characters are very well developed and the plot is captivating.” -Danielle S.

Rebecca Stockdale had enough issues in her life; parents that hated her for the strange abilities that she had been born with, she was about to move away from her sister and only friend, Bev, and she had had a really bad date that would change her forever. Just when she was about to escape the drama that she had always lived in, Richard, a vampyre, walked into her life and shattered her reality with one request;

travel back in time to 1888 to stop a psychopathic vampyre bent on revenge and save the family she never knew she had. She would be joined on her journey by a band of vampyre hunters. Hunters who, centuries ago, had vowed to slay all vampyres. A vow they set aside to protect the family that they had come to love, knowing that the outcome of that decision would be an eventual battle.

A battle of decapitation and blood; a battle they may not survive. She was leaving a life she would kill to get away from for a family she would gladly die to protect, but could she do it? Could she make it back alive? Did she possess the strength and courage it would take to change the past and save their future? She was about to find out.



Please make sure the price says "Kindle Price $0.00″ before clicking “Buy”. If it says "Prime Members $0.00″ “read for free”, it is NO LONGER FREE. All books are free at the time they are posted but are subject to change back to full price at any time. If you are outside of the United States, these books may not be free.

Deep Blue Secret
by Christie Anderson
Rating: 4.3 Stars
Genre: Young Adult
Price: $0.00 Save $11.99
Subject to change back to full price at any time.

Deep Blue Secret – Nook
Deep Blue Secret – Apple iBooks
Deep Blue Secret – Kobo
Deep Blue Secret – Sony Reader

California teen Sadie James thinks her life couldn’t get any better. She has great friends, an energetic mother she adores, and the beach practically in her own backyard. But her carefree life is turned upside down when she’s rescued by a mysterious and strangely familiar boy who won’t even tell her his name.

Each time the boy appears, Sadie’s unexplainable attraction to him deepens along with her need to unravel his secrets. The boy is there to protect her, but as wonderful and exciting as it might be to have an irresistible boy with crystal green eyes protecting her every move, every minute of the day…why does Sadie need one?

As Sadie finds answers, she realizes her life isn’t as perfect as she thought. Not only is she caught in a world of dangerous secret agents she never knew existed, but it turns out her true identity may be the greatest secret of all.


Exodus Lost
by S.C. Compton
Rating: 4.9 Stars
Genre: Non-Fiction
Price: $0.00 Save $11.99
Subject to change back to full price at any time.

Exodus Lost reopens cold cases from antiquity and applies cutting-edge science, classical scholarship, and tenacity to solve them. The adventure begins with Aztec and Mayan chronicles of an epic voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. By mapping the details within these texts, the author tracks down their lost homeland and corroborates the local traditions of an ocean-crossing long before Columbus.

This discovery leads to new insights into the origins of Mexican and Western civilizations, the Bible (including new archaeological evidence for two major biblical events), the alphabet, and much more. Enter a world of exploration and discovery, mystery and revelation. Whether your passion is archaeology or religion, history or simply a great adventure, Exodus Lost delivers.


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More Kindle Deals for 1-31-14

Posted: 31 Jan 2014 07:48 AM PST

Don't miss out on another set of 3 bargain books and 2 free books to add to your Kindle library. Make sure to "LIKE" and share these deals with friends and colleagues.

Book Of The Day: From This Moment On, by NY Times bestselling author, Bella Andre, has a 4.5 star rating and is on sale for only $2.99 – save $2!


Fifty Ways to Leave Your Husband
by K.C. Wilder
Rating: 4.8 Stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Price: $0.99 Save $2.00
Make sure price is still $0.99 before clicking "Buy".

“Clever and witty while being super hot….Haven’t come across a book this entertaining (AND sexy) in a while.” -Michelle C.

Eve Wolcott has it all: a handsome, successful husband from a moneyed old New England family, two bright young sons enrolled in a premier prep school, stately homes sprinkled along the East Coast. Well, except her husband is a serial philanderer, her mother-in-law is the devil in Lily Pulitzer, one of her sons is miserable at prep school while the other is dismissive of her altogether, and it takes a cocktail of antidepressants to get Eve through her day.

When a chance encounter with a hunky stranger coincides with Eve’s discovery of her husband’s latest betrayal, she throws caution (and at least one perfectly good pair of panties) to the wind. Is she having a crisis inspired by her impending fortieth birthday, or is she just ready to take a long, hard look at her life and shake things up a bit?

Egged on by Tamara, her brash, potty-mouthed best friend, Eve embarks on a steamy adventure with perpetual playboy Finn. Amidst the rich backdrop of coastal Rhode Island, Eve discovers how much of herself she’s sacrificed over the years – and how much more she may have to sacrifice yet to bring passion and meaning back into her life.


Joshua’s Tree
by N.W. Harris
Rating: 4.7 Stars
Genre: Action and Adventure
Price: $0.99 Save $4.96
Make sure price is still $0.99 before clicking "Buy".

Joshua’s Tree – Nook
Joshua’s Tree – Apple iBooks
Joshua’s Tree – Kobo

“The fast paced story keeps you hanging on each page…" -Antje H.

When a skateboarding accident hurls 17-year-old Joshua Tyler into a dismal future overrun by flesh-eating mutants, he taps into the strength and courage hidden within him and manages to stay alive, only to discover his horrifying relationship to the scientific genius who brought all life on Earth to the brink of annihilation.

Aided by Nadia, a beautiful warrior student who believes he may be the prophesized savior sent to rescue her people, Josh learns to fight for survival. Terrified by the constant threat of a violent death, Josh wants nothing more than to get back to his own life. But the longer he survives in this strange place, the more he learns about its creation.

Charged with the job of assassinating the enemy's leader, Josh begins to uncover his connection to the army of cannibalistic monsters—a nightmarish truth that could prevent him from ever finding his way home.


Born of the Grave
by Danny Cantrell
Rating: 4.8 Stars
Genre: Science Fiction
Price: $0.99
Make sure price is still $0.99 before clicking "Buy".

“Vivid descriptions draw the reader into the story and you can hardly wait until the next page!” -Connie

Nobody’s Happy When The Dead Come Home! One year after burial, the dead in a rural Appalachian town are burrowing out of their graves and returning to their earthly homes–with deadly consequence for their loved ones.

As the terror spreads, a claustrophobic mining engineer, a female entomologist, and their team must enter the dank confines of a long- abandoned coal mine to attempt to destroy a hybrid alien that threatens to transform life on earth.



Please make sure the price says "Kindle Price $0.00″ before clicking “Buy”. If it says "Prime Members $0.00″ “read for free”, it is NO LONGER FREE. All books are free at the time they are posted but are subject to change back to full price at any time. If you are outside of the United States, these books may not be free.

Paradise Falls
by Ruth Ryan Langan
Rating: 4.4 Stars
Genre: Historical Romance
Price: $0.00 Save $3.99
Subject to change back to full price at any time.

In 1890 Massachusetts, Fiona Downey accepts a teaching position in rural Michigan, populated by few farms and even fewer people.

Living with the Hayden family in Paradise Falls, she is drawn into their complex relationships, especially the uneasy dynamic that seems to pit brother against brother: the older, taciturn Grayson, and Fleming, a handsome charmer.

Attracted to Grayson — but pursued by Fleming — Fiona must decide where her true love lies — and whether that love is worth sacrificing her dearest dreams.


Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush
by Jackie Hirtz and Marcy Winograd
Rating: 5.0 Stars
Genre: Children and Middle Grade
Price: $0.00 Save $8.99
Subject to change back to full price at any time.

In this middle grade novel for girls, eleven year-old Lola Zola tries to support her laid-off parents and tuxedo cat Bowzer by selling "magical" lemonade rumored to zap wrinkles and promote world peace.

Trouble arises when her rich class rival, Buck, aka Slime Bucket, opens a competing 'limo-nade' stand out of the back of his father's Cadillac limousine – right across the street from Lola's house. Intrigue and spy organizations run amok until closely kept secrets are revealed and Lola must decide what it means to win.


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Book Of The Day – From This Moment On

Posted: 31 Jan 2014 05:50 AM PST

Today's Book of the Day is a Contemporary Romance novel by NY Times and USA Today bestselling author, Bella Andre, and it's 40% off for a limited time. From This Moment On has a 4.5 star rating and is on sale for only $2.99 – save $2!

“The story is beautifully written, very hot and sexy in parts and heartfelt and emotional in others.” Jane – Amazon Reviewer

From This Moment On
by Bella Andre
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Price: $2.99 save $2


From This Moment On – Nook
From This Moment On – Apple iBooks
From This Moment On – Kobo

For thirty-six years, Marcus Sullivan has been the responsible older brother, stepping in to take care of his seven siblings after their father died when they were children. But when the perfectly ordered future he’s planned for himself turns out to be nothing but a lie, Marcus needs one reckless night to shake free from it all.

Nicola Harding is known throughout the world by only one name – Nico – for her catchy, sensual pop songs. Only, what no one knows about the twenty-five year old singer is that her sex-kitten image is totally false. After a terrible betrayal by a man who loved fame far more than he ever loved her, she vows not to let anyone else get close enough to find out who she really is…or hurt her again. Especially not the gorgeous stranger she meets at a nightclub, even though the hunger – and the sinful promises – in his dark eyes make her want to spill all her secrets.

One night is all Nicola and Marcus agree to share with each other. But nothing goes as they plan when instead of simply tangling limbs, they find a deeper connection than either of them could have anticipated. And even though they both try to fight it, growing emotions – and sizzling attraction – keep drawing them closer together. Close enough for them to wonder if stealing one more secret moment together can ever be enough?

Here’s what the reviewers have to say:

I read this book in one sitting. Yes, it’s just that good! At first, it seems like opposites attract but as we get to know Nico and Marcus they have much in common. I am so glad the Sullivans are a large family, that means more great stories to come!


From This Moment On is a stunning poignant romance. I just absolutely fell in love with Nicola and Marcus. They are so sinfully sweet together. Bella Andre has penned a remarkable contemporary romance that will leave you craving more of this exhilarating family.


Once I finished reading this book, all I could do was just sit there and smile. It was a book that made you feel good inside. I can’t wait for her next book to come out.


I started this book and couldn’t seem to put it down. It consumed my whole morning. What an AWESOME read.


Another winner for Bella Andre! So many times a book will have too much erotica but not enough emotion. This book has the right mix of both. My only problem is Ms. Andre can’t write fast enough for me!

Get From This Moment On here: From This Moment On

About The Author

Having sold more than 2 million books, New York Times, USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author Bella Andre’s novels have appeared on Top 5 bestseller lists all over the world. Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly), her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine “Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into nine languages, and her Sullivan books are already Top 20 bestsellers in Brazil. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post has called her “One of the top digital writers in America” and she has been featured by NPR, USA Today, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and most recently in TIME Magazine. She has given keynote speeches at publishing conferences from Copenhagen to Berlin to San Francisco, including a standing-room-only keynote at Book Expo America on her self-publishing success.

After signing a groundbreaking 7-figure print-only deal with Harlequin MIRA, Bella’s Sullivan series is being in paperback in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia in continuous back-to-back releases through summer 2014.

If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favorite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100 year old log cabin in the Adirondacks.

Thank you for considering today’s Book Of The Day – Bella Andre and ENT appreciate it.


Bargain and Free Books for 1-31-14

Posted: 31 Jan 2014 05:43 AM PST

Happy Friday, ENT readers! Get your Kindle ready for the weekend by downloading this assortment of 3 bargain books and 2 free books. Please "LIKE" and share ENT with everyone!


Chocolate Beach
by Julie Carobini
Rating: 4.1 Stars
Genre: Christian Fiction
Price: $0.99 Save $2.00
Make sure price is still $0.99 before clicking "Buy".

Chocolate Beach – Nook

“…a strong story line, well sketched characters and strong, realistic situations.” -BSewingLady

Bri Stone has the man of her dreams, a surf-ridin’ son, a chocolate-loving best friend, and a job as a SoCal tour bus host. Throw in an intrusive mother-in-law, a flirty new boss, a vocal nemesis, and suspicions that her husband might be bored–and Bri’s rose-colored sunglasses suddenly crack. Can Bri reinvent herself–and recapture his heart?


It Started with a Whisper
by A.W. Hartoin
Rating: 4.6 Stars
Genre: Young Adult
Price: $0.99 Save $3.00
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It Started with a Whisper – Nook
It Started with a Whisper – Kobo
It Started with a Whisper – Sony Reader

“…a fun, well written story with a plot that moves along at a good pace.." -Debbie M.

Wishes are powerful things, if you belong to the MacClarity clan. You can ask Grandpa for anything and he’ll make it come true, even though he’s been dead for nearly a hundred years. Ernest MacClarity doesn’t take the rumors about Grandpa too seriously. But when he’s had enough of his teacher’s harassment, Ernest asks Grandpa to take care of Miss Pritchett for him.

Grandpa does and family secrets start to surface like magic. During a summer filled with both fear and fun, Ernest begins to realize that Grandpa isn’t the only special thing about his family, and their oddities aren’t just skin deep. Too bad he didn’t know sooner.


The Ice Captain’s Daughter
by S.G. Rogers
Rating: 4.2 Stars
Genre: Historical Romance
Price: $0.99
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“The writing is smooth and the plot has just enough originality to keep it from being a copy of every other historical romance…” -InD’Tale Magazine

The daughter of a wealthy ice merchant, Miss Jillian Roring intends to marry for love. En route to her first Season in London, however, a failed kidnapping sends her into the arms of the most jaded bachelor in England. When Logan and Jillian unwittingly violate the rigid rules of propriety in Victorian-era England, he is obliged to make her an offer of marriage.

Because she aspires to be more than an obligation, Jillian refuses the match. Logan follows her to London to woo her properly, but his scheming ex-fiancée has other plans. Can Logan convince Jillian that his love for her is real or will the cruel gossip and sharp tongues of London society tear their budding relationship apart?



Please make sure the price says "Kindle Price $0.00″ before clicking “Buy”. If it says "Prime Members $0.00″ “read for free”, it is NO LONGER FREE. All books are free at the time they are posted but are subject to change back to full price at any time. If you are outside of the United States, these books may not be free.

The Anvil of the Craftsman
by Dale Amidei
Rating: 4.7 Stars
Genre: Thriller and Suspense
Price: $0.00 Save $12.99
Subject to change back to full price at any time.

The Anvil of the Craftsman – Nook
The Anvil of the Craftsman – Apple iBooks
The Anvil of the Craftsman – Kobo
The Anvil of the Craftsman – Sony Reader

A doctoral candidate in Theological Studies accepts recruitment by a friend in the U.S. State Department for an initiative to the most troublesome province in 2006 Iraq. The many challenges of nation building expand the mission from diplomacy to a survival situation as local and international interests position themselves to oppose a State Department initiative: one vital to progress in an uncertain theater.

Terrorism and counter-terror operations threaten to keep the team from leaving the relative safety of Baghdad. Until, that is, a former USAF Special Tactics operative hunting the men who want to kill them draws duty as their protector. The simple questions posed during a tribal council threaten provincial and regional stability; the conclusions reached explode into a clash of faith, loyalty, schism and betrayal that will help shape the future of two nations.


Beyond Survival
by Captain Gerald Coffee
Rating: 5.0 Stars
Genre: Memoirs and Biographies
Price: $0.00 Save $24.99
Subject to change back to full price at any time.

Beyond Survival – Apple iBooks

When life loses its meaning, when suddenly the world is turned upside down, when there’s nothing left that resembles life as we’ve known it, where do we find the strength and sustenance to go on? For naval aviator Jerry Coffee and others who were held as prisoners of war in North Vietnam, there was only one choice: to go within.

Beyond Survival is a journey into the invincible human spirit that unites heart and mind in a compelling and unforgettable experience. Drawing from his seven years as a POW, Captain Coffee provides timeless lessons that apply to the physical, emotional, and ethical challenges of everyday life.

Proving that leadership and creativity are possible in difficult and uncertain circumstances, Captain Coffee offers a message we can draw on in any trying situation. His story demonstrates that conviction must come from within, and in telling that story he touches the place inside of us where growth begins.


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Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Digital Reader

The Digital Reader

The Morning Coffee – 31 January 2014

Posted: 30 Jan 2014 09:09 PM PST

Top stories this morning include a typographical rant about the correct number of spaces after a full stop (link), 250 million kids can’t read (link), an old but only recently discovered post detailing the ties between B&N and CEO Riggio’s other business holdings (link), a useful way to combine the functions of Pocket and Evernote (link), and more.

  • Briefly: Apple v. Samsung (
  • Combine Pocket with Evernote for a Clutter-Free, Paperless System (LifeHacker)
  • Copyright Troll Perfect 10 Loses Once Again, Setting More Good Precedents For Copyright Law (Techdirt)
  • Fate of Girl Genius omnibus at Tor causes friction between the Foglios and Patrick Nielsen Hayden (TeleRead)
  • Flat World chips away at $9B textbook industry with cheaper digital versions (VentureBeat)
  • Keep me informed: parsing the logic of Ezra Klein's move to Vox Media (Pressthink)
  • Judge Understands BitTorrent, Kills Mass Piracy Lawsuits (TorrentFreak)
  • The Nook isn't the only thing dragging down Barnes & Noble. So are its ties to founder Leonard Riggio (Quartz)
  • Report: 250 Million School Age Kids Can’t Read (Huff Post)
  • Two spaces after a period: Why you should never, ever do it. (Slate)
  • Piracy, Saviour of the Book Industry (Forbes)

The post The Morning Coffee – 31 January 2014 appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Amazon’s Q4 Report Suggests the Kindle, Kindle Fire Have Peaked

Posted: 30 Jan 2014 07:08 PM PST

I’m sureamazon-logo3 that you’ve already read the news that Amazon released their year end report today, but did you happen to notice what wasn’t in the press release?

There were a few telling absences from the press release, and if we read between the lines we end up with a few questions Amazon hasn’t answered.

The press release starts out well. The financial news was generally good, with Amazon reporting that net sales were up in 2013:

Net sales increased 22% to $74.45 billion, compared with $61.09 billion in 2012. Excluding the $1.28 billion unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the year, net sales grew 24% compared with 2012.

Operating income increased 10% to $745 million, compared with $676 million in 2012. The unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the year on operating income was $29 million.

Net income was $274 million, or $0.59 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $39 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, in 2012.

Analysts weren’t happy, of course, but that’s no surprise.

After the financial news Amazon listed the accomplishments they wanted to highlight. It’s too long to quote here, so I suggest that you go read the press release. While you’re at it, count the number of times the Kindle is mentioned, and then count the mentions of the Kindle Fire.

Did you notice what wasn’t there?

There’s no mention of how many tablets and ereaders Amazon sold, and there’s no mention of how many ebooks they sold, either. Those are telling details, IMO, and they could be saying that Amazon’s hardware efforts and ebook efforts have peaked.

Amazon took the time to mention the new Australian Kindle Store, and they took time to mention Kindle on airplanes, Kindle mayday, Kindle FreeTime, and pretty much every other new Kindle program.

And yet Amazon didn’t mention ebook sales or hardware sales.

I’m sure some of my readers recall that I wrote a very similar post around this time last year. I can’t link to that post because it unfortunately has been eaten by my blog (I cannot find it in the Internet Archive’s Wayback machine, either). As I recall, I commented upon Amazon not mentioning their hardware sales; they mentioned ebook sales in the press release (up 70%), but not hardware, and I concluded that the hardware news was not good (or at least that’s what I think I wrote).

Earlier today I was reminded of that post by a reader who I think wanted to remain anonymous. He reached much the same conclusion I did. Actually, he went several steps further than I dare, and he wrote that

  • International expansion is basically at a standstill, both for Amazon as a whole and in particular for Kindle. After a few big launches in Europe and Asia, the roster of countries has remained the same for about a year. So the Kindle ecosystem basically exists in ten countries.
  • The Kindle Fire has gone through countless sales.
  • Kindle Fire appears to have flopped in mainland Europe. If you look at the rankings sometimes you'll see it below the top 100!
  • In both the UK and US, the Kindle store shows Paperwhite ahead of any Fire model.
  • This is anecdotal, but less and less Android developers seem to be making the effort of publishing on the Amazon store.My guess is the Kindle Fire has flopped, and the Paperwhite is doing OK but not booming in sales. Amazon will shove this under the carpet the usual way, i.e. through total silence.

I think he went too far, but I do agree that Amazon is no longer seeing the growth along the lines of what they reported in past years. I would go along with the theory that hardware sales have flattened (IDC estimates back this up), but I am not so sure I would make the same claim about ebook sales.

Yes, Amazon neglected to mention ebook sales, and while that probably means that there was insufficient growth, the relative lack of growth might have a cause other than Amazon’s digital efforts fizzling.

As you might recall, in 2012 there was an ebook sales bubble due to the release of The Hunger Games movie (and 50 Shades). This made the AAP’s stats for 2013 look flat, and Amazon’s sales could be suffering from the same effect.

Of course, the AAP statistics mainly cover the US ebook market, while Amazon sells internationally. But if Amazon wasn’t seeing much in the way of growth of international ebook sales then it might not have been enough to overcome the unimpressive stats for the US ebook market.

This is all speculation, obviously, but before you dismiss it as the ramblings of a madperson I would like to ask you one question.

Why didn’t Amazon use a phrase like “best year ever” to describe their ebook sales?

It’s vague enough that Amazon could have used it to refer to sales that were up by as little as a couple percent and still told the truth (and avoided an SEC investigation).  But Amazon didn’t even use a vague phrase, and I would argue that it’s a sign that sales were not up.

The post Amazon’s Q4 Report Suggests the Kindle, Kindle Fire Have Peaked appeared first on The Digital Reader.

N2A Cards Now Support Android 4.4 Kitkat – Can Turn Your B&N Tablet into a Real Tablet

Posted: 30 Jan 2014 04:56 PM PST

Do n2a cardsyou have one of Barnes & Noble’s tablets to spare and don’t know what to do with it? You might want to check out N2A cards.

This is a microSD card which comes with an open version of Android installed. Insert it into your B&N tablet (Nook Color, Nook Tablet, or Nook HD/HD+), reboot the tablet, and you’ll have a regular Android tablet free of B&N’s chains. The tablet will have full access to Google Play and come with a lot of useful apps.

And starting today, all cards will be shipped with the latest version of Android, 4.4 Kitkat. One of these $30 to $50 cards will turn your outdated device into one of the most modern Android tablets, giving you bragging rights over a lot of Android smartphone and tablet owners.

I’ve tried these cards once or twice myself without much luck, but I know several people who swear by them. And even I will agree that if you have an old B&N tablet and you want to get more use out of it this is worth a try.

N2A Cards

P.S. On a related note, N2A also expanded into offering a similar service for the Kindle Fire. For $20 they will sell you a firmware update which you can install on a Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD (2012), or the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 (newer models not supported).

The post N2A Cards Now Support Android 4.4 Kitkat – Can Turn Your B&N Tablet into a Real Tablet appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Google Play for Education Adds Textbook Rentals, New Tablet from Samsung

Posted: 30 Jan 2014 02:19 PM PST

Google google_education[1]added a couple new partners to their bid for the $5.4 billion K-12 learning market this week, and they also announced new textbook options.

Toshiba, Lenovo, and Samsung have all announced that they would be launching a device as part of Google Play for Education; the former 2 will be contributing Chromebooks while the latter is launching an Android tablet.

The new Samsung Galaxy Tab for Education appears to be based on the existing Galaxy Tab 3 10.1. This is a $359 tablet running Android 4.4 Kitkat on a dual-core 1.6GHz Atom Z2560 CPU with 1GB RAM, 16 GB Flash storage, a pair of cameras, a bevy of sensors, and a 10.1″ screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800.


Samsung reports that the new version of the tablet will include the customized version of Google Play for Education which Google launched in November 2013. There’s no word on price but Google has revealed that this tablet is scheduled to ship in April 2014.

Along with the Nexus 7, HP Slate 8 Pro, and the Asus Transformer Pad, the Galaxy Tab for Education will be the 4th tablet available in this program (just as soon as the latter 3 tablets are released). Selection is limited at this time to just the single tablet, the Nexus 7, though there are also 8 Chromebooks.

In other news Google is also expanding the content available as part of the program. Google has signed a new contract with HMH, HarperCollins, and Random Penguin Solutions which will “add thousands of K-12 books to Google Play for Education, from digital textbooks like GO Math! and Journeys Common Core  to classic literature like Bridge to Terabithia, Lord of the Flies, and Things Fall Apart.”

Final Play Books for Education screenshot

As part of Google’s plan to siphon taxpayer dollars away from useful pursuits, the ebooks and digital textbooks will be available under 60, 180 or 360 day rentals, thus forcing schools to pay again and again. Why a school would want to rent a novel instead of buying a paper copy (which could last a decade) is beyond me, but it appears Google expects to find interested parties.

There’s no word yet on how much success Google has had since they launched their education division 2 months ago, but I do know that they have their work cut out for them. Google is one of many companies playing catchup to Apple this market.

This smartphone and tablet maker largely invented the tablet in education market, and currently claims to have a 94% market share. That equals 2 and a half million tablets sold over the past year,  and if it’s true then at best all of Apple’s competitors combined have sold somewhere under 200 thousand tablets.






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Archos Unveils a New Trio of Budget Tablets, Suggests That the Budget Tablet Market Will Have a Rather Dull Year

Posted: 30 Jan 2014 10:40 AM PST

Archos unveiled a trio of budget Android tablets with large screens today, but for the life of me I don’t see why they bothered.

The Neon line of tablets features 3 models with screen sizes ranging from 9″ to 10.1″, all of which run Android 4.2 on a quad-core 1.4GHz MediaTek CPU. The tablets all have 1GB RAM, 8GB Flash storage, and microSD card slots, and generally resemble the large budget tablets which have been released over the past 9 months.


I don’t have prices or a release date yet, but the spec sheets are listed and I am not impressed. Archos has basically released tablets which are indistinguishable from ones that have been on the market for 6 months or more.

The Neon tablets have the same VGA webcams (I’m not joking), the same disappointing screen resolutions, and largely the same appearance as any large-screen Android tablet randomly grabbed from the electronics section of the Amazon website.

The 9″ tablet has a screen resolution of 800 x 480, while the 9.7″ has a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 and the 10.1″ 1024 x 600. These are literally the same screen resolution as on tablets released 6 months ago, including at least one from Archos. Just about the only thing that’s new about these tablets is that they have quad-core CPUs, albeit old ones, but even that isn’t all that much to recommend the Neon tablets.

Quad-core CPUs might sound impressive but, as I have discovered when reviewing the Sero 7 Pro and Ematic’s first quad-core tablet, the supposedly more powerful CPU doesn’t actually translate into a more powerful tablet with better performance.

archos_101neon-600x368 archos_90neon-820x420 +

So what does Archos bring to the table? Well, I’m expecting that these tablets will be cheap, so there’s that.  And if the prices are as low as I expect battery life probably won’t be anything to speak of, but that’s not unique to Archos.

All in all, the new tablets from Archos confirm my suspicions from CES 2014: the coming year looks to be rather dull for the budget Android tablet market. We might see tablets with newer versions of Android, and we might see tablets with a better feature here or there, but I am not expecting to see any tablet that will make me wont to wait, and I’m not even sure we’ll see any decent values.

What with last year’s tablets going on sale, there’s a good chance that you might be able to pick up a tablet with the same performance and quality as the new models, only at a much lower price. If you find a budget tablet you like on sale, buy it. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

P.S. Unless Hisense surprises me, which is possible.


The post Archos Unveils a New Trio of Budget Tablets, Suggests That the Budget Tablet Market Will Have a Rather Dull Year appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Facebook’s New Paper App Aims to Render Flipboard & Facebook’s Own App Obsolete

Posted: 30 Jan 2014 09:09 AM PST

Rumorspaper 2 have been circulating for over 6 months now that Facebook was working on some type of mobile news reader, and today we finally got to see what everyone is talking about.

Paper, aka Facebook’s latest bid for your eyeballs, is an iPhone-only app which is designed to offer up nuggets from your news feed mixed in with news articles, blog posts, and ads. The app won’t be out until Monday the 3rd, but Facebook is teasing us with a few hints today.

Building on Facebook’s long-term plan to become “the best personalized newspaper in the world”, Paper takes the idea of aggregators like Flipboard and Zite in a new direction. It presents updates in a familiar-looking “story” layout with a single update or large-format photo filling the screen edge to edge in an immersive design (all the better to keep your focus when Facebook shows you an advert).

The default section of Paper is a user’s news feed, but users can also pull up and browse other sections, including sports, tech, headlines, etc. "Each section includes a rich mix of content from emerging voices and well-known publications," Facebook says, giving us a strong clue who Facebook sees as the real intended creators for paper: brands, be it celebrities, advertisers, or news organizations.

paper 1

The Verge got an early hands-on demo, and they described the app so:

Paper cuts away virtually all buttons and other UI elements to make every status update, photo, and news story appear full-screen. To get around, you will need to learn a basic set of gestures, but the app will gently remind you what they are if it thinks you’re stuck. Wide photos pan as you tilt the phone (the team cheekily calls it the “Ken turns” effect), UI elements often just fade away, and news stories are presented in Twitter-esque cards.

The lack of chrome to help place you in the app and tell you how to navigate can be a little disorienting. On the bright side, the UI is fast and fluid, thanks to the nine months the team has spent working on the app. Loren Brichter, the creator of Letterpress and Tweetie, also chipped in on the coding. The result is an app that shares a family resemblance to Facebook Home on Android, but is much faster and more full-featured.

This demo video will tell you more:

And as you can see in the video, users can also post updates from the Paper app.

Paper is the first product from Facebook Creative Labs. It builds on nearly 2 years of work, some of which had been previously revealed as the news feed update from last March, but the main event is just beginning to see the light of day. According to Re/Code, the entire project is known as Project Reader,and was spearheaded by Chris Cox, Facebook's VP of product.

That long development by one of Facebook’s core teams could also become a problem.  FB may have been spending the past couple years finding better ways to show you updates, but in that time they have also deployed a new business plan of charging people for the privilege of communicating with their followers. How long do you think it will be until that starts affecting the content you see in paper?








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Amazon Knocks the Price of the Kindle Down to £59 in The UK

Posted: 30 Jan 2014 07:05 AM PST

I think Amazon’s facing more pressure in the UK (or maybe they just want to have another sale). Amazon’s Kindle K4cheapest ebook reader just got a little more budget-priced today.

They’ve knocked £10 off the price of the Kindle, bringing it to an appealing £59. This is the basic model Kindle, which means it lacks the touchscreen, frontlight, fast CPU, or other frills found on the more expensive models. On the other hand it also has an ever falling price, which is itself appealing.

The retail giant faces perennial pressure in the UK from any number of competitors. Today it might be Sainsbury’s, but tomorrow it could be Sony, and then Nook, Kobo, or even Tesco (at some unknown future date), each of which might throw a sale in order to attract customers.

Amazon UK

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Google Play Books Regains Ability to Upload, Read PDF Files

Posted: 30 Jan 2014 06:05 AM PST

Google’sgoogle play books itunes here today gone tomorrow effort to let users read their own ebooks in GPB is back again with a new app update. The search engine giant rolled out a new update this week for their Android app which restored the ability to upload PDFs to a user’s personal cloud.

Google Play Books had gained the ability to upload Epub and PDF in early December, but lost support for uploading PDFs about 10 days later when Google realized that users actually expected it to function properly.

For those just tuning in, Google takes a unique approach to letting users read their own content in Google Play Books, one which is not shared by any other ebook vendor.  In order to read a personal ebook in GPB on your Android device, Google requires that you first upload the ebook to their servers before downloading it again with the Google Play Books app. The upload feature is available in the iPad and iPhone apps, on the Google Play website, and in the GPB Android app.

If, for example, you find an ebook you wish to read at Feedbooks Google wants you to download it, upload it, and then download it again before you can read it. And yes, that is as strange as it sounds, and it is the main reason I have stayed with 3rd-party apps like Aldiko and Moon+ Reader when reading on Android tablets.

While I’m sure everyone can agree on the value of storing personal ebooks in the cloud, requiring that all of the ebooks be stored there  is almost Vogon-ish. Wait, did I just prove Google made contact with extra-terrestrials?

Android Police

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