Amazon Discounts Two “Game of Thrones” Graphic Novels!

The Hedge Knight - a Game of Thrones Graphic Novel       The Sworn Sword - a Game of Thrones graphic novel by George R R Martin

Amazon’s got a special discount for people who love “Game of Thrones”. They’re discounting two massive “Game of Thrones” graphic novels to just $2.99. The novels offer a new story written by George R. R. Martin, a “prequel” that’s set 100 years before the events in the popular series.

For a shortcut, point your browser to

“The Hedge Knight” involves a squire who rides into a jousting tournament seeking respect, according to Publisher’s Weekly, and discovers chivalrous heroes who “turn out to be simultaneously smaller and larger than he imagined.” Everyone “is more complicated than they seem,” according to the magazine, and an Amazon customer described this 184-page graphic novel as “an excellent display of chivalry and character… How the virtues of knighthood, of protecting the innocent and poor, combat with the corruption that grows among the nobility who make up this same order.”

And “The Sworn Sword” — the second graphic novel — also tells another new story with the same inspiring characters. This time they’re off on a journey to find a puppeteer named Tanselle — and also avoiding the schemes of a local nobleman, “while a darker, greater thread threatens to unravel long-held truths of the Battle of Redgrass Field…” The co-author of this series, Ben Avery, was personally selected by George R. R. Martin, and he delivers 178 pages with the same familiar and delightful depth. “In classic George R.R. Martin fashion, heroes and villains are never clear-cut,” reads the book’s description at Amazon, “and political alliances threaten to slice the deepest.”

I’m excited because there’s already been a TV adaptation of the popular series of books by George R. R. Martin. HBO premiered its 5th season this week, and promptly set a new record for traffic to their new HBO Now app. But it seems like graphic novels are the perfect “middle ground”, bringing text and images together to bring the magical knightly tale to life.

“The artwork is beatiful and true to story,” wrote another reviewer on Amazon, “and I didn’t feel that anything was left out…”

Remember, for a shortcut, point your browser to

Last Chance for Amazon’s May Discounted eBooks!

Mozart in the Jungle - sexy book cover   The Girl Who Came Home - a Novel of the TItanic

Agatha Christie - Miss Marple - at Bertram's Hotel   100 Simple Secrets Why Dogs Make Us Happy

I love it when Amazon lowers the prices on Kindle ebooks. And my favorite is their big monthly sale where there’s a massive selection of ebooks for just $3.99 or less. There’s still four days left to check out Amazon’s selection of discounted ebooks for May. And remember, after June 1st the same URL will lead to a whole new selection!

For a shortcut to Amazon’s discounts, point your browser to

Here’s some of this month’s most intriguing selections.

Mozart in the Jungle - sexy book cover

Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music by Blair Tindall ($2.99)

Yes, it’s about classical musicians — but it’s not just recitals and performances in Broadway orchestras, according to this book’s description at Amazon. Instead it reveals “the secret life of musicians who survive hand to mouth in the backbiting New York classical music scene, where musicians trade sexual favors for plum jobs and assignments in orchestras across the city.” (Despite the fancy music being performed, the musicians “play drunk, high, or hopelessly hungover, live in decrepit apartments, and perform in hazardous conditions…”) This stunning 2005 memoir became the basis for one of the most popular original TV shows created by Amazon for their Prime TV service, and its screenplay was co-authored by Roman Coppola, the son of Francis Ford Coppola.

Agatha Christie - Miss Marple - at Bertram's Hotel

At Bertram’s Hotel (Miss Marple Mysteries Book 11) – by Agatha Christie ($1.99)

Out of all this month’s deal ebooks, this was Amazon’s #1 best-seller on the first day of May. It’s the second-to-last book in Agatha Christie’s series of Miss Marple novels, offering 272 pages of some great mystery writing. The story takes place at “a restored London hotel with traditional decor, impeccable service — and an unmistakable atmosphere of danger behind the highly polished veneer,” according to the book’s description at Amazon. It’s received fabulous reviews — “One of the author’s very best productions…” wrote the Saturday Review of Literature, and the New York Times called it “A joy to read from beginning to end…” And best of all, Amazon’s discounted it to just $1.99 — and for just $3.99 more, Amazon will also give you the audiobook, so you can switch between text and audio!

100 Simple Secrets Why Dogs Make Us Happy

100 Simple Secrets Why Dogs Make Us Happy by David Niven, PhD ($0.99)

A book that seems guaranteed to make you smile like a puppy on a springtime morning. “Why do people who have dogs live happier, longer, and more fulfulling lives?” asks this book’s description at Amazon. It points out that years have been spent investigating how dogs have a real positive effective on the happiness and health of their companions, adding that this book reviewed more than 1000 scientific studies, boiling them down to 100 simple secrets. Dogs help us live longer and communicate better (even before you get to the benefits of a regular walk around the block with your favorite pet). Though it’s 226 pages, the print edition was “a tiny book,” according to one reviewer on Amazon, “The kind your parents put in your stocking at Christmas. But it’s also charming, cute, and sure to make you smile….”

The Girl Who Came Home - a Novel of the TItanic

The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic by Hazel Gaynor ($1.99)

The true story of the Titanic — and a group of hopeful Irish emigrants on board — becomes a novel blending fact and fiction into what Amazon calls a “poignant story…that explores the tragedy’s impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants.” This is a new book — published just one year ago — and it’s already become a New York Times best-seller. It opens with a homesick Irish teenager named Maggie Smith, who is leaving behind the man she loves, only to wake up in a New York City hospital. (And her story ultimately has a deep impact on the life of an American girl, 70 years later…) Usually this novel retails for $14.00, but Amazon’s discounted it to just $1.99 — and for just $3.99 more, Amazon will also give you the audiobook, so you can switch between text and audio!

Remember, for a shortcut to Amazon’s discounts, point your browser to

Amazon Celebrates Pac-Man’s Anniversary!

Pac-Man on Amazon's home page

Friday Amazon surprised their customers by featuring a game of Pac-Man on their home page. “Happy 35th Anniversary, Pac-Man!” flashed their cheery message, below a row of golden pixels being eaten by Pac-man, as he turned a corner to avoid the blue-eyed “ghosts” chasing him. It was fun seeing all those familiar colors from the classic video game — the red, green, and orange ghosts — and Amazon even snuck in a pixelized version of the Amazon logo! And they’re also offering discounts on Pac-man games today — including a free version of Pac-man for Android phones and tablets!

For a shortcut to the free Pac-man app, point your browser to this URL.

Amazon’s also offering a 75% discount on “Pac-Man Museum,” an app which officially collects together what it promises are “the greatest PAC-MAN games of all time.” Normally this collection costs $19.95, but today it’s been slashed to just $4.99. There’s also 75% discounts on “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures,” a game based on the popular new Pac-Man TV show, and on a new game called “Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+”. (“There are plenty of different level designs,” writes one reviewer on Amazon,” adding “you can alter the visual style for each map, everything around you changes on the fly, you can be chased by dozens of ghosts at a time. It’s intense!”)

Google’s also celebrating Pacman’s birthday, but of course, you’ll have to search for it. If you type “Pacman” into Google’s search bar, the first result is their own online version of the game, which Google featured on their front page back in 2010 (celebrating Pacman’s 30th anniversary). And they’re also distributing the same free version of Pacman for Android devices in Google’s app “Play Store”.

I commemorated this anniversary by reading some fascinating trivia about Pac-man’s creator, Toru Iwatani (who was just 24 when he created the game!) According to Wikipedia, Toru maintained for years that his inspiration for the yellow character came from a pizza with a slice missing, but in 1986 he qualified this, saying that Pac-man actually was also designed to look like the Japanese character for the word mouth. Pac-man gets powerful when he eats an energizer button, which he says was inspired by Popeye, and he also wanted to encourage more girls to join in the fun of playing video games.

And by 1990, the game had earned more that $2.5 billion — one quarter at a time.

Remember, for a shortcut to the free and discounted Pac-man apps, point your browser to this URL.

Free Comic Book Day and The Kindle

Free Comic Book Day - Batman Superman Divergence Preview Batman Free Comic Book Day - Future's End

Free Comic Book Day - The Simpsons Bongo Free For All By Matt Groening Free Comic Book Day - Dr Who

It’s today! Around the world, comic book stores will give you comic books if you pay them a visit today. And it’s also “Independent Bookstore Day” — a new event started last year which has since expanded to over 400 bookstores across the U.S.A. Amazon is keeping quiet about both events, but many of the free comic books also eventually become free Kindle ebooks! You can still find some of last year’s free titles in Amazon’s Kindle Store — plus a chance to pre-order this year’s free preview of the D.C. Universe’s upcoming “Divergence” storyline.

For a shortcut to Amazon’s “Free Comic Book Day” ebooks, point your browser to

It’s an interesting moment in time. “Instead of heralding the industry’s doom, the death of Borders may have helped clear away competition,” writes The Washington Post, explaining the origins of Independent Bookstore Day. Comic book stores have been celebrating their event for over a decade, and this year both Marvel and D.C. Comics are using it to promote upcoming storylines in their comic books. But they’ll be joined by dozens of independent publishers who are giving away 50 free comic books today. Here’s some of the more interesting titles.

Free Comic Book Day - Batman Superman Divergence Preview

– D.C. Comics offers a comic with three different “previews” — 8-page excerpts from actual upcoming comic books (Batman, Justice League, and Superman). It’s promoting a new ongoing storyline about a war with “the biggest villains in the D.C. universe” — and on Monday, you’ll be able to download it as a free Kindle ebook!

Free Comic Book Day - The Simpsons Bongo Free For All By Matt Groening

– Matt Groening contributed a comic book featuring The Simpson’s. Its title is “Bongo Free-For-All”, and its cover shows Bart and Lisa Simpson (plus his friends Nelson and Milhouse) fighting four other children over their favorite comic book, “Radioactive Man”.

– Marvel comics is releasing a special “Avengers” comic book, celebrating the release of the second movie in their blockbuster franchise. And they’re also giving away a free “Secret Wars” comic showing “the final days of the Marvel Universe as you know,” teasing an upcoming storyline that they’re promising will be “the biggest comic event of the year.”

– Chuck Palahniuk is even contributing a free “Fight Club” comic book (which also includes a new story by Guillermo del Toro based on his vampire novel, “The Strain.”)

Free Comic BOok Day - Neil Gaiman's Justice

– Neil Gaiman’s “Lady Justice” returns to comic book stores. (“Back in print for the first time in two decades!”) It’s a full reprint of the very first issue of the comic book from 1991, in a series that was created (though not always written) by science fiction legend Neil Gaiman.

Free Comic Book Day - Dr Who

– There’s also a Dr. Who comic for fans of the long-running (and recently-revived) science fiction series. (“Take a blistering trip through time and space with three stunning ALL-NEW short stories featuring Tenth Doctor, Eleventh Doctor and the brand-new Twelfth Doctor by the ongoing DOCTOR WHO creative teams.”

– Boom! Studios is releasing a special compendium with 10 stories using several different famous characters including Snoopy, Garfield, and the fanciful muppet characters from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth.

Bob's Burgers

– Bob’s Burgers gets commemorated with this special collection of the best stories from its first run as a comic book, written by the writers and animators of the popular FOX cartoon. (“Thrill to Tina’s Friend Fiction, Louise’s Unsolved Mysteries and Curious Curiosities, Gene Belcher Presents: The Musical, and more!)

– Steampunk Goldilocks. Author/illustrator Rod Espinosa continues his re-imaginings of classic stories by bringing a retro-geeky to the story of Goldilocks. (With a special cameo by Ms. Muffet)

– There’s also comic books with The Tick, SpongeBob SquarePants, Scooby Doo, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

It’s the perfect time to introduce your young family members to the joys of reading comic books. (And the perfect time to enjoy it yourself!)

Remember, for a shortcut to Amazon’s “Free Comic Book Day” ebooks, point your browser to