Amazon Announces Surprise Thanksgiving Deals!

Amazon discounts Kindle Fire for Cyber Monday - gift-wrapped for Christmas deal shoppers

Amazon’s offering a 30% discount on every book in their store! (“Take an extra 30% off any book offered by,” reads an announcement they’ve tacked onto every page in the store…) It’s just one of several special offers they’re offering for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, which also include big savings on Kindles.

For a shortcut to Amazon’s book discount, just point your web browser to

Amazon’s also offering special pricing on their Kindle Fire HD. The big 8.9-inch device (with a high-definition color screen) has been reduced to just $229. That’s what it’d normally cost just for the 7-inch version of Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HDX. Amazon lowered the price when they added these tablets to their list of holiday gift suggestions.

For a shortcut to all of Amazon’s Kindle tablets, point your web browser to

Amazon’s also offering 30% discounts on their Kindle DX. WIth a 9.7-inch e-ink screen, it’s the largest Kindle available — and they’ve reduced its price to just $169. Currently you can also buy a used Kindle DX for just $133. This has always been my personal favorite Kindle — because the only thing better than an e-ink screen is a giant e-ink screen! :)

Kindle DX discount

Of course, Amazon’s not the only one offering discounts this weekend. Best Buy’s web site will also let you purchase a Kindle for just $49. And while supplies last, Staples will sell you an original color Kindle Fire tablet for just $79. If you to go an Office Depot store, they’re currently selling the same model for just $139

So if you’re looking for a good deal this holiday, there’s some great prices on Amazon Kindles!

Eight More Free Kindle Comic Books

Eight Free Kindle D.C. Comic books

Just in time for the holidays! D.C. Comics has teamed up with Amazon to offer eight different comic books on your Kindle for free! There’s Batman, Superman, and the Justice League — plus a comic book that’s based on The Vampire Diaries. The sale ends on Monday, December 2nd — so it’s a good time to snatch up some fun free Kindle ebooks for the Thanksgiving weekend!

For a shortcut, just point your web browser to

Each of the free comic books is a recent first issue for a currently-published titled — and one of the most interesting new titles is Batman ’66. “Put on your go-go boots and get ready to ‘Batusi’ back to the Swingin’ ’60s,” reads its description at Amazon, “as DC Comics re-imagines the classic Batman TV series in comics form for the first time!” One reviewer noted that the characters were drawn to resemble the actors who’d played them on the 1960s TV show, and another said it brought back fond memories from their childhood. And one reviewer specifically applauded the retro storyline for being “a comic to read and not have to toss myself into anything too serious…”

For a more modern take on the Batman character, there’s Legends of the Dark Knight and Batman Beyond 2.0. And for Superman fans, there’s also a free first issue of Adventures of Superman, plus a comic book called Smallville Season 11. The title is a nod to fans of the TV show (which was actually cancelled in 2011 after it had just completed Season 10). And there’s a fascinating story about who could replace Superman in Justice League Beyond 2.0 (starring Green Lantern and Captain Marvel)!

Amazon’s quietly touting the sale on the pages of some other comic books in their Kindle store. (“Through December 2, download eight free books from DC Comics including Legends of the Dark Knight #1 and The Vampire Diaries #1.”) When the holidays roll around, I like to relax and forget about work and enjoy some of the same things I enjoyed as a kid.

And now thanks to this holiday weekend special, there’s eight free Kindle comic books to choose from!

Remember, for a shortcut, just point your web browser to

A Funny, Free Turkey eBook for Thanksgiving!

A funny turkey ebook

Yes, it’s that once-a-year tradition, sharing this funny free ebook about turkeys — mine! It’s a fun short mystery that’s written entirely in rhyme, with 12 cartoon-y illustrations that tell the story of four turkeys on Thanksgiving Day waiting for the farmer’s axe. (“But one of the turkeys has a plan to escape!” read’s the book’s description at Amazon. “Can the farmer figure out which one? And can you?”)

For a shortcut to this free Thanksgiving ebook, just point your browser to

It’s called “The Turkey Mystery Rhyme,” and it was a real labor of love. (For five days every November, I make it available for free in Amazon’s Kindle Store.) Over the years the ebook has even had some strange adventures of its own. The day after I published it, I’d discovered that my turkeys had snuck onto Amazon’s list of the best-selling children’s ebooks about animals – and stolen the #73 spot from a book about Curious George!

And my friends surprised me one year by insisting that we all read the whole ebook out loud on Thanksgiving Day. They’d connected their widescreen TV to their computer, so it was mirroring whatever appeared on its desktop, and then they’d pulled up Amazon’s Kindle app on that computer, and led it to The Turkey Mystery Rhyme. It was a great way to get some real reactions to the story, especially since most authors never get to actually be in the room while their ebook is being read! And then we all took turns reading the rhyming story out loud.

“For Thanksgiving, try this game. Find the guilty turkey’s name…”

I remember we had a teenager in the room, and his mother asked if he knew which turkey had launched the daring plan for escape. But that mother was a sharp cookie, and she challenged one of the book’s important fictional premises.

Fearing folks on every street
hungering for turkey meat,
In the farmer’s yard’s a spread
where Thanksgiving turkeys bred.

When the daylight brightly broke
all the farmer’s birds awoke.
And, since it’s a holiday,
all turkeys can talk today…

“What?!!” she said, to laughter from the room. “Since when can turkeys talk on Thanksgiving Day?”

Everyone knows that,” I joked. “You’ve just never been on a farm…” And then we laughed some more, and continued reading…

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Read the free rhyming Thanksgiving turkey mystery at

Four Kindle Mystery Bargains by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie mystery book covers

She’s the best-selling novelist of all time, according to Wikipedia. In fact, there’s now over four billion copies of Agatha Christie’s novels scattered around the world — and dozens of her books are now available on the Kindle. This month Amazon is offering big discounts on three of her most intriguing mysteries. And there’s at least one more Agatha Christie ebook that’s now available for free!

For a shortcut to Amazon’s Agatha Christie page, point your browser to

Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie ($2.99)

This is a Hercule Poirot mystery — one of 33 novels that Agatha Christie wrote about her famous French detective. He also appeared in 50 more of her short stories, but for the month of November, Amazon is discounting this full-length 320-page mystery. “Mystery writer Ariadne Oliver has been invited to a Hallowe’en party at Woodleigh Common,” according to the book’s description at Amazon — where inevitably, one of the guests is murdered. “[I]t retains all the trademarks of what make Christie’s intricately woven, delightfully detected mysteries so endearing and timeless,” wrote one reviewer on Amazon, calling it “quick-paced and filled with a cast of characters who seemingly all have something to gain, or hide!”

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie ($2.99)

Miss Marple is the detective for this mystery — another favorite Agatha Christie detective, who appeared in 20 different short stories. But there are just 12 full-length Miss Marple novels — and Murder at the Vicarage was the very first one. “[A] dead body in a clergyman’s study proves to Miss Marple that no place, holy or otherwise, is a sanctuary from homicide…” warns the book’s description at Amazon. There’s lots of twists in its 307 pages, warns one reviewer, and “The minute you think you have it figured out the author throws you a curve…!”

Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (Free!)

There at least one Christie novel which has actually fallen into the public domain. Secret Adversary opens on the Lusitania — a British mail ship that was sunk during World War I. “The Lusitania had been struck by two torpedoes in succession,” Christie writes in an exciting prologue that opens the book, “and was sinking rapidly, while the boats were being launched with all possible speed…” Christie introduces her some funny new “detectives” in this novel — two unemployed young men named Tommy and Tuppence — who “quite accidentally get sucked into an international mystery that reaches to the highest levels of British government,” according to one review on Amazon.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (99 cents!)

It’s Christie’s first published novel ever — and it’s also her first story about detective Hercule Poirot! (At a mysterious estate, a wealthy woman is poisoned shortly after drawing up a new will, and Poirot is asked to investigate.) I’ve seen public domain versions of this ebook available too, but currently it’s only available in the Kindle Store for 99 cents. According to one Amazon review, Christie only wrote this book because her sister dared her too. (“With his egg-shaped head and his well-groomed moustache, Poirot enters and soon becomes one of fiction’s best-loved detectives…”) And the reader also makes their first acquaintance with his sidekick Captain Arthur Hastings in this novel, who first appears “recovering from a war injury at the upper-class household known as Styles Court.” (Watch out! There’s going to be a murder!)

Remember, for a shortcut to Amazon’s Agatha Christie page, point your browser to

Two Big Announcements from Amazon


Amazon’s gearing up for the big holiday shopping season — and they’ve just made two surprising new announcements.

Your Own Photos on Kindle Cases!

You can now upload your own favorite photo to Amazon, and they’ll make it into a case for your Kindle! You can also convert the photo into a Kindle skin — a thin, rubber wrap-around protector. And Amazon’s also got their own selection of designs to choose from, including illustrations of Snoopy and the other characters from Peanuts. Amazon’s press release promises they can even put images from Star Trek and other popular TV shows and movies onto your Kindle’s cover — and even characters from Breaking Bad!

Breaking Bad Kindle Cover

For a shortcut to the whole selection, just point your web browser to

Unfortunately, they’re only supporting Kindles from the last three years — as far back as the Kindle Touch, but not as far back as the fourth-generation “Kindle” (or the Kindle Keyboard…) But that still leaves a lot of Kindles that are now eligible for customer covers. “With this new service, we’re making it possible for customers to dream up virtually any design and seamlessly turn it into a Kindle cover — at no cost…” explained one Amazon Kindle executive. “We’re excited to bring this all-new technology to Kindle accessories and we can’t wait to see what customers come up with.”

This holiday season, some people may wind up receiving some very creative gifts! And Amazon’s also announced another new service that will make it even easier to finish your shopping…

Sunday Delivery of Packages!

I couldn’t believe it, but Los Angeles and New York City are now both getting packages delivered from Amazon on Sundays! And Amazon plans to expand the service to more cities in the next year, including Phoenix, New Orleans, Dallas, and Houston! “We’re excited that now every day is an Amazon delivery day…” announced Amazon’s vice president of worldwide operations and customer service. (It’s only available to members of Amazon’s Prime shipping program, which offers one year of free two-day shipping for a flat fee of $79 – and as a bonus, includes free access to Amazon’s online library of movies and TV shows on the web and with your Kindle Fire tablet)

To make this happen, Amazon’s teamed up with the U.S. Postal service. One business site pointed out that the post office could use the money, since traditional paper letters have been declining, now that more people communicate with e-mail. The post office actually beat out Federal Express for the right to deliver Amazon’s package, as well as U.P.S., but in the long run, the real winner may be Amazon. A business analyst at The Motley Fool points out that people who join Amazon’s Prime program ultimately use Amazon for the majority of their online shopping, and end up spending more than twice the amount spent by non-Prime members. In fact, on average prime members spend $1,200 a year on Amazon’s web site.

So it’s no wonder Amazon’s willing to try Sunday deliveries as a way to attract even more Prime customers. And The Motley Fool predicts that soon, Amazon may be offering Sunday delivery service to the entire country!

A $40 Credit When You Buy a Kindle Fire

Amazon discounts the Kindle Fire HD with a red gift bow for the Christmas holiday

For the next two days, Amazon is offering all their customers in the U.S. a $40 credit for “digital content” when you buy any new Kindle Fire. That’s $40 for ebooks, or any other digital content (like apps, music, movies, or TV shows). It’s almost like getting a Kindle Fire for $99 (since the cheapest model currently costs $139).

For a shortcut to Amazon’s promotion, point your web browser to

Just be sure to enter the code “Kindle40” when you’re completing your purchase. And Amazon’s making it even easier to try out one of their new Kindle Fire HDX tablets. At the side of each Kindle’s web page, they’re now touting a 30-day “risk-free” trial. “If you’re not 100% satisfied, you can return your device in new condition within 30 days”, it explains. But if you read the fine print, Amazon will actually let you keep your Kindle for almost ninety days before returning it.

If you purchase a Kindle any time between November 1st and December 31st, Amazon will let you keep it all the way through January 31st, and still return it for a full refund (according to Amazon’s Returns web page). And it’s got another interesting policy I didn’t know about. Apparently you can always return a Kindle within 60 days of its purchase for an 80% refund. Basically, Amazon’s trying to make it as easy as possible to try out your new Kindle to see if you like it.

One Amazon customer even reports that Amazon’s $40 credit may be just the beginning. After chatting with a customer support rep at Amazon, she posted on the Kindle Boards forum that “they are planning several promotions over the next few weeks.” It makes sense that Amazon would want to encourage people to Kindle Fire tablets during the big holiday shopping season. It’s got me wondering what else they might offer us in the future that could be better than a $40 credit?

By the way, I found the $40 credit on a technology blog that’s called “Gotta Be Mobile,” and they noticed that there was one more thing to watch for. The $40 credit apparently expires in March of 2014. (So about three and a half months from this week). “March of next year is a ways off,” the blogger writes, “and most users could go through $40 worth of credit in a heart beat, but if you’re the kind of user who likes to save your credit until something good comes along, it’ll be important to keep that expiration date in mind.”

But if you’re already wondering if you should buy a new Kindle Fire, now Amazon is giving you one more reason to say yes!

For a shortcut to Amazon’s $40 credit promotion, point your web browser to

Free Comic Books For Your Kindle!

Batman Li'l Gotham Halloween coverThe GIrl with the Dragon Tattoo graphic novel cover
The cover of the first issue of Mad MagazineBatman Flashpoint graphic novel cover

I love reading comic books on my Kindle. The colors look great on any of the Kindle Fire tablets, and you can read them in black in white on most of the newer Kindles, too. So I was delighted to see that Amazon’s giving away some new comic books for free, making it easy for people to give them a try. And one of the free comic books is the very first issue of MAD Magazine — plus a preview of a new comic based on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo!

To find all the discounts, just point your web browser to . Towards the bottom of the page, Amazon’s Comic Book Store for the Kindle lets you select “Sort By Price: Low to High”. It’s fun to read the 1952 letter that appeared in the first issue of MAD Magazine. (“…in the next few moments, you will be one of the many who are deciding the fate of MAD all over the country.”) Each issue cost just 10 cents, and its first issue included parodies of horror movies and TV westerns.

You can also read the color versions of all these graphic novels on other devices by using one of Amazon’s Kindle app. (It’s even possible to read Kindle ebooks on a Nook, by installing Amazon’s Kindle app from the Google Play Store!) But it’s also kind of fun to read a story-with-pictures on a black-and-white e-ink Kindle. Thanks to Amazon’s arrangements with all the top publishers, including D.C. and Marvel, there’s a lot to choose from, and many full-length graphic novels have also been discounted to between $3 and $4!

Also free is the 25-page preview of Vertigo Comics adaptation of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” (“Delve into the dark mystery of the Vanger family, as disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist is hired to uncover the truth behind a teenage girl’s disappearance over forty years ago…”) At least one reviewer on Amazon said it was a great companion to the best-selling mystery trilogy, adding that “The artwork in it is amazing!” and giving it five stars. The full edition (for $9.99) was just published last year, so it’s relatively new — and they’re giving away 25 of its 152 pages free!

There’s also a funny free Thanksgiving comic that looks at Batman when he was a child — as part of D.C. Comics special series, Li’l Gotham. It’s one of two stories in D.C.’s “Halloween Comic Fest 2013”, a 22-page holiday give-away that’s a nice way to celebrate the season. “Every once you in a while you just want to see the citizens of Gotham in a new light,” wrote one reviewer on Amazon, “and that’s exactly what this book is all about.” And of course, they added that the artwork of the superheroes as trick-or-treating children “looked like fun to draw!”

Also free is the 22-page Batman comic Flashpoint — the first chapter of a longer Batman graphic novel. (“When the Joker kidnaps the children of the city’s District Attorney, the Batman takes the case,” reads its description at Amazon. “But the man under the mask may not be the Dark Knight we know!”) Amazon’s also promising that ten D.C. graphic novels featuring Batman for $3.03, including Batman & Robin: Born to Kill, The Dark Night: Knight Terrors, and Batman: The Court of Owls. I got the 144-page novel Catwoman: The Game for just $3.03, and the same discount is also available for Justice League: Origin, Batgirl: The Darkest Reflection, and Teen Titans: Its Our Right to Fight..

Catwoman comic book cover

And Amazon’s also announced that they’ve discounted single issues of many classic comic books by Alan Moore to just 99 cents — including stories about The Watchmen and his original V for Vendetta.

But Marvel comics also has some graphic novels on sale, including the legendary Ultimate Comics: Wolverine vs Hulk, a 144-page graphic novel for just $1.99. Several more graphic novels are $3.82, like Spider-Man: Anti-Venom, X-Force: Sex and Violence, and Ant-Man & Wasp: Small World. There’s also discounts on graphic novels starring Iron Man, The Avengers, and Thor, though I don’t think the Kindle Store has any single issues available for Marvel Comics. But there’s another way to get free single-issue comics from both Marvel and D.C. if you have a Kindle Fire. Just install an app called Comixology, and there’s lots of free comic books to download from all the major publishers!

That’s a lot of comic books — but it’s a fun way to enjoy the weekend. On a lazy Sunday afternoon, it’s fun to curl up on the couch and avoid the chilly autumn weather, staying warm and cozy, and enjoying some colorful stories…

Find all of Amazon’s Kindle Comic Books at

Amazon Thanks Airlines With One-Day Kindle Sale!

Alex Baldwin plays a pilot on Saturday Night Live

Today only, you can buy a new Kindle on Amazon for just $59! And a Kindle Fire HD is just $118. Even a new Kindle Fire HDX will only cost you $195 today.

For a shortcut to all the Kindle deals, just point your web browser to

And Amazon’s offering the discounts for a surprising reason. They’re celebrating a new rule that now allows Kindles (and other electronic devices) to be used on an airplane, even during the take-off and landing. “Thank you, FAA” read a big announcement on the front page of Amazon today. They even included a link to the official press release on the web site for the Federal Aviation Administration. (“… the FAA has determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices during all phases of flight, and is immediately providing the airlines with implementation guidance.”)

To claim your discount today, Amazon’s even created an appropriate promotional code: ThnksFAA. “To say thank you, we’re taking 15%,” Amazon’s announcement explains. “You can now use your Kindle from take-off through landing!” It’s a one-per-customer discount, and Amazon’s also announcing their standard “while supplies last” disclaimer. But it’s still a nice way to celebrate the new ability to read your Kindle through the entire duration of any flight.

“We’ve been fighting for our customers on this issue for years,” one Amazon executive announced in a press release, “and we are thrilled by the FAA’s recent decision.” He called the FAA’s decision “a big win” for customers, and noted that even though the new policy was just announced on Thursday, Delta Airlines and JetBlue have already implemented the new rules on their flights.

It’s been fun to see the reactions online. One technology web site joked that Amazon was celebrating “the best way it knows how…holding a sale!” And the Washington Post notes that at one point, Amazon actually loaded up an airplane with Kindles — all of them turned on — to drive home their point to the FAA that Kindles should be allowed to operate even during a plane’s take-off.

But my favorite story came from the Boston Globe, which shared stories from flight attendants about facing children with tears in their eyes who didn’t want to turn off their videos. And there’s even a story about TV star Alec Baldwin, who in 2011 wanted to keep playing the game “Words with Friends” on his tablet, who made so much noise about it that he was finally kicked off the plane! Ironically, Baldwin got the last laugh by appearing on Saturday Night Live later that month — by playing a pilot from the same airline who believed that the actor was in the right. Don’t phones interfere with the plane’s communications system, the parody newscaster asks the actor.

“Oh, you don’t believe that, do you…? ” he replies. “Would you really get on an airplane that flew 30,000 feet in the air if you thought one Kindle switch could take it down? C’mon, it’s just a cruel joke perpetrated by the airline industry.

“And we would’ve gotten away with it, but Alec Baldwin was just too smart for us….!

Remember, for a shortcut to all the Kindle deals, just point your web browser to