Giving away an old Kindle

Amazon Kindle Fire HD
Amazon Kindle Fire HD (Photo credit: TipsForComputer.Com)

Many of you have that old kindle collecting dust on a shelf and have thought about giving it to someone or some organization that could use it.  A simple search can pull up organizations like E-Books for troops ( or the Kindle Classroom Project ( just to name a couple that distribute used kindles.

Basically, what you want to do is send your information (bookmarks, etc.) to the cloud. You will then perform a factory reset. On some older kindles, the sequence is Home > Menu > Settings > Menu> Reset to Factory Defaults. On the Kindle Fire, the sequence is Settings > Device > Reset to Factory Defaults.  If you are having trouble finding the reset, go to for another method.

Give the old unused kindle a new life. Wipe away your data with a factory reset and pass the kindle to a friend or family member. It would make a nice gift for someone when bundled with an Amazon gift card.


In my mailbox: The Barrow


Sometimes I’m a little hard on the mailman/delivery man. I relish pointing out mutilated packages.  However, last night Brown showed up in the dark, placed my book beside the wall on an unlit porch, rang my doorbell, and knocked on my door. He even waved when I picked up my package.

This time I received an ARC of “The Barrow” by Mark Smylie. This book will be available March 4th, 2014.

To find the Sword, unearth the Barrow. To unearth the Barrow, follow the Map.

When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard, they think they’ve struck it rich. But their hopes are dashed when the map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place.

Stjepan Black-Heart, suspected murderer and renegade royal cartographer; Erim, a young woman masquerading as a man; Gilgwyr, brothel owner extraordinaire; Leigh, an exiled magus under an ignominious cloud; Godewyn Red-Hand, mercenary and troublemaker; Arduin Orwain, scion of a noble family brought low by scandal; and Arduin’s sister Annwyn, the beautiful cause of that scandal: together they form a cross-section of the Middle Kingdoms of the Known World, brought together by accident and dark design, on a quest that will either get them all in the history books, or get them all killed.

The Barrow

In my mailbox


disenchantedA pair of interesting books landed in my mailbox or should I say were plopped on my front porch, Lynn Viehl’s “Disenchanted & Co” and “The Clockwork Wolf.” Disenchanted & Co will be available January 28, 2014 from Pocket Books. As you can see from the picture, I have an Advanced Reader Copy that doesn’t give you a good look at the cover so I’ve added a better look at the cover art.

Disenchanted & a bindup of the first two parts of Disenchanted & Co series. “Her Ladyship’s Curse” and “His Lordship Possessed” that were published in ebook format in August and October this year.

Book description:

In the Provincial Union of Victoriana, a steampunk America that lost the Revolutionary War, Charmian “Kit” Kittredge makes her living investigating crimes of magic. While Kit tries to avoid the nobs of high society, she follows mysteries wherever they lead.

Unlike most folks, Kit doesn’t believe in magic, but she can’t refuse to help Lady Diana Walsh, who claims a curse is viciously wounding her while she sleeps. As Kit investigates the Walsh family, she becomes convinced that the attacks are part of a more ominous plot—one that may involve the lady’s obnoxious husband.

Sleuthing in the city of Rumsen is difficult enough, but soon Kit must also skirt the unwanted attentions of a nefarious deathmage and the unwelcome scrutiny of the police chief inspector. Unwilling to surrender to either man’s passion for her, Kit struggles to remain independent as she draws closer to the heart of the mystery. For the truth promises to ruin her life—and turn Rumsen into a supernatural battleground from which no one will escape alive.

The Clockwork Wolf (Disenchanted & Co.) will be available February 25, 2014 which seems a little near the knuckle time wise for readers unless they read Disenchanted & Co earlier in ebook format. I wonder why Pocket decided to release it so close (one month) to Disenchanted & Co ? I also wonder why Amazon has the digital ebook priced higher than the paperback? Hmmm? Maybe the price will change before the books become available?

As the proprietor of Disenchanted & Co. in a steampunk version of America, Charmian “Kit” Kittredge makes her living solving magical crimes. But when a snobbish lady begs for help, saving her reputation might very well cost Kit her life.

Doing a favor for deathmage Lucien Dredmore, Kit agrees to interview a newly widowed lady as a potential client. Upon meeting, however, she learns that the woman in question is none other than Lady Eugenia Bestly, president of the Rumsen Ladies Decency Society— someone who once led a vicious campaign to ruin Kit’s life. Ironically Lady Bestly now lives in fear herself, for the press is about to unmask her husband as the savage “Wolfman” who died while terrorizing the city.

As monstrous rampages continue to occur, Kit soon determines there is more than one Wolfman, and that they may themselves be victims of evil players. While avoiding both mechanized assassins and attempts by Dredmore and Chief Inspector Tom Doyle to take her under their protection, Kit follows a tangled path that leads from a prestigious gentlemen’s club fronting a hellish secret to a vengeful tribe and dangerous, ancient magics.

Free Masonic ebooks

In the 19th century, certificates such as this...
In the 19th century, certificates such as this were commonly issued to Masons to show that they had taken the three degrees of Craft Masonry in a regular lodge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a small list of “free” ebooks at Amazon. The prices of these ebooks may change without notice. Take a moment to insure that the price is still $0.00 before making your purchase.

Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry

The Builders A Story and Study of Masonry

The Symbolism of Freemasonry Illustrating and Explaining Its Science and Philosophy, Its Legends, Myths and Symbols

The Mysteries of Free Masonry Containing All the Degrees of the Order Conferred in a Master’s Lodge

Masonic Monitor of the Degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason together with the Ceremony of Installation, Laying Corner Stones, Dedications, Masonic Burial, Etc.

The Principles of Masonic Law A Treatise on the Constitutional Laws, Usages and Landmarks of Freemasonry

Review: Growing Up With Ghosts

guwgGrowing Up With Ghosts
by Sharon Day
Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN-10: 1481810111
ISBN-13: 978-1481810111

(Barry’s score 5 stars out of 5)

Buy @ Amazon
Growing Up With Ghosts

Sharon Day is the sassy, spunky, red-head known for her books on zombies and the paranormal. She maintains the popular blog “Ghost Hunting Theories” and can be found on a myriad of radio interviews, conventions, etc.

“Growing Up with Ghosts” takes us through her early life growing up in an old Southern haunted mansion. I guess the skeptical part of me would shrug off most of the sounds described in the ebook. If an old house didn’t make odd sounds, I think I’d be worried. That being said, seeing ghosts is something else all together.

Father remained in place, frozen by the sight of this stranger in his basement. Just as he took in the details of the boy’s asymmetric eyes, the down-turned corner on one side of his mouth, the very wide-set space in the center of his face and flat nose, the boy disappeared as if he evaporated in the dry cool basement air.

All in all, it comes down to the reader deciding what is and what isn’t paranormal. Is plaster falling from the ceiling paranormal? That being said, the story of a picture crashing into a TV tray and stacks of pennies not tumbling over will have you scratching your head for an answer.

The ebook will give you a little glimpse into Sharon Day and shows the genesis of her interest in ghost hunting. I enjoyed her ebook and found it entertaining and thought-provoking.  I give it 5 stars out of 5.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook free from the author Sharon Day. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Happy Valentine’s Day — Free ebook

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Let’s kick this holiday off with a free ebook “A Steampunk Valentine”. The ebook is packed with an assortment of steampunk stories and poems from a variety of authors.

By the way, the first poem was written by me.

steampunk valentinePublished: Feb. 13, 2013
Words: 29,445 (approximate)
Language: English

Stories and poems from the Saint Valentine’s Day Short Short Competition

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