Memoirs of a Vending Machine is a Free Trip to Japan

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Take a trip to Japan in this travel novel by James Pollard

Memoirs of a Vending Machine by James Pollard. FREE from Smashwords.com
Mike lands at Kansai Airport in Japan confident but ill prepared for his introduction to his new home. A sequence of events forces Mike on a Journey lasting all day and all night around Osaka. Meeting Mark, Jon and Jeff and other interesting and colourful characters along the way, they quickly discover the urban soul of Japan and learn enough in one day to last the rest of their time in Osaka.

Have a Fruit Cup. You Know You Want To

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I know you’re supposed to eat fresh fruit. I know fruit cups are supposed to be the stuff of school cafeteria trays, paired with fish sticks that are more breading than fish and mac-and-cheese you can’t be sure contains either.

But I don’t care. I love them anyway.

Yes, the little bits of fruit swim in the sugary syrup in which they’ve been marinating since the time they resembled something found on a tree, but let’s all be honest here. This is the place for honesty.

That’s what makes a fruit cup so yummy.

I don’t delude myself. I don’t count it as an actual serving of fruit, with its low fiber. But at least these days, fruit–not sugar–is the first ingredient.

That has to count for something.

Nearly Departed for Free Book Friday

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This week’s Free Book Friday starts with a ghostly mystery. I don’t think this is what they meant by “Fake it ’till you make it.”

Nearly Departed by Max Patrick Schlienger. FREE from Smashwords.com
Con artists are a notoriously skeptical bunch, and Dennis Gufehautt is no exception. His scheme of masquerading as a paranormal investigator seems foolproof, until he encounters an actual ghost.

Now, having unwittingly become a witness to a decades-old murder, Dennis finds himself stumbling headfirst into bizarre and often hilarious situations as he tries to solve a legitimate paranormal mystery.

Here’s Your Encounter in Paris

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Today seems to be travel themed, book-wise, anyway, and who doesn’t want to go to Paris? Follow Ellery on her journey through life, and have a little journey of your own.

Encounters in Paris – A Collection of Short Stories by Carolyn Moncel. $0.99 from Smashwords.com
Ellery Roulet, a 35-year-old African-American PR executive living in Paris thinks she has the perfect life until trouble enters her world via job loss, infidelity, and death. When Ellery’s world changes at five different periods of time over a ten-year span, she quickly learns that it is how she chooses to deal with life’s trickiest situations that shapes her soul.

An Ode to Sweatpants

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Go on. Admit it. You love them too.

It’s that soft coziness as you slip them on, nothing creasing against your skin. The elastic’s lack of judgment, the ability to sit in any contorted position without your jeans demanding to know what you think you’re doing.

They whisper of slow times with their best friend, the couch, of Netflix show marathons, of time that is entirely your own. Time when no one is watching.

And then there is the fleece. Everything should be fleece-lined.

But like all good things, sweatpants have their place. That’s what makes them special.

Take a Stormy Motorcycle Adventure Through Iceland

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Ever considered traveling Iceland on a motorcycle? Sherrie McCarthy did, and now you don’t have to. You can take an adventure from the safety of your couch. No helmet required.

Iceland: A Stormy Motorcycle Adventure by Sherrie McCarthy. $3.99 from Smashwords.com
Active volcanoes, glaciers, rivers without bridges and killer sheep – Iceland offers the kind of riding that motorcycle adventure dreams are made of. Ignoring the lack of off road skills in one half of the partnership, Patrick and Sherrie set off on a 6 week journey from Germany to Iceland and back in the summer of 2010. Includes 8 maps and 21 color pictures.

Take a Look Into Debbie’s Hellmouth

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As a purveyor of weird fiction myself, I couldn’t resist a title that wears that category proudly. Feel like your house is running your life? You’ve got nothing on Debbie.

Debbie’s Hellmouth by Matthew Sawyer. $4.99 from Smashwords.com
Debbie Menon has a unique pseudo-Victorian house she must sell – because her soul is held in proxy for that same disowned portal into Hell. Yet the evil nature of the place makes it unsaleable. Fortunately, Debbie’s not totally helpless – she’s been to Art school.

Cold is a Matter of Degrees

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Well, it’s happened. Fourteen degrees sounds warm. Yes, 14. Not 40. At this point, 40 degrees sounds like tank-top weather.

After days with highs with a minus sign in front of them, two digits next to one another sounds mighty toasty. Of course, my feelings on that point might change when the wind is scraping off the top layer of my skin, but still.

Stupid polar vortex.

Perhaps the cruelest part is the bright sunshine, sunshine where the sun is little more than a paper disk in the sky, mocking us. It’s hard to remember in days like this what it is like to run out out the door without layers, without a coat, without my extra-long scarf that might be a little too long.

But spring will come. Eventually.

Power is Dawning with This Trilolgy

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This morning’s book is a bargain: three books for the price of one! The entire Dawning of Power trilogy–the first three books in Brian Rathbone’s Godsland series– in one convenient packet of electronic goodness.

The Dawning of Power trilogy by Brian Rathbone. $3.99 from Smashwords.com
Includes all three books. Echoes of the ancients’ power are distant memories, tattered and faded by the passage of eons, but that is about to change. A new dawn has arrived. Latent abilities, harbored in mankind’s deepest fibers, wait to be unleashed. Ancient evils awaken, and old fears ignite the fires of war. In times such as these, ordinary people have the power to save the world or destroy it.

Grab a Glass of Water and Tuck into Thirsty Planet

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In this future landscape by Robert Tell, water is the ultimate prize.  You’ll never appreciate your faucet more.

Thirsty Planet, A Novel by Robert Tell. $3.99 from Smashwords.com
In 2121 Moss Leder flees across Canada one heart-pounding step ahead of his enemies. Earth is in trouble. People kill for drinking water. Leder’s innovative time booth holds the key to the planet’s renewal. His enemies fear his scheme will destroy their black market water cartel and try to stop him. An epic battle in the ancient tunnel under the Detroit River determines his destiny, and Earth’s.