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What time is it? It’s GIVEAWAY time! Check out Bellingwood Boxed Set: Books 1-3 by Diane Greenwood Muir and find out how you can enter! All Free!

A magical coming-of-age story from Coretta Scott King honor author Jewell Parker Rhodes, rich with Southern folklore, friendship, family, fireflies and mermaids, plus an environmental twist: Bayou Magic

There are secrets only the dead can tell. And some of these secrets refuse to remain buried… The Girl and The Field of Bones by A.J. Rivers

The more you look for love in all the wrong places, the more you wonder if it was right in front of your nose all along… The Dating Itinerary by Brooke Williams

The battle for mankind’s future is upon us… and it rests in the hands of one forgotten soldier… Exodus Ark by J.N. Chaney

Live a better, longer life AND enjoy every moment of it… Unlock Bliss: A Memoir Of Getting Happier by Dr. Zeev Gilkis

What time is it? It’s GIVEAWAY time! Check out A Lotus Grows In The Mud by Goldie Hawn and find out how you can enter!

She shouldn’t have stayed. Now she can’t leave…. Blood Secret by Jaye Ford

Perfect for not-so-scary storytime: Halloween With Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid

This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches: The Witches by Roald Dahl

Telling her smoking hot boss that she was married seemed like a good idea at the time…. Working Stiff: Runaway Billionaires #1 by Blair Babylon

For fans of THE DA VINCI CODE, THE RED TENT and THE CONFESSIONS OF YOUNG NERO: The Mystery Of Julia Episcopa by John I. Rigoli and Diane Cummings

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A great read for just $1.99 on Kindle, just in time for Election Day … with no axe to grind! Dmitri Ragano’s The Voting Machine: A Temo McCarthy Mystery: It’s election season in Las Vegas and someone is murdering voters….

 

The Voting Machine:

by Dmitri Ragano

Kindle Price: $1.99

<%title%>
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
It’s election season in Las Vegas and someone is murdering voters.Two political activists from opposite ends of the left-wing/right-wing divide are killed inside electronic voting machines. They die just before casting ballots in a crucial swing state Senate race.Temo McCarthy is summoned by the FBI to assist their investigation. He knows the murder victims through his work as a campaign volunteer in a bitterly contested voter registration drive.As the case unfolds, the FBI links the killings to a broader terrorist attack on the general election.

Temo realizes that he alone holds the key to finding a ruthless and brilliant killer who is determined to sabotage the vote and provoke a national crisis.

(This is a sponsored post. We encourage you to support our sponsors and thank you for considering them.)
Authors and Publishers: Interested in learning more about sponsorship? Just click on this link for more information.

Treats Only! We’ve Got 5 Brand New Kindle Freebies Right Here, Including Some Definite Must Reads! David Bishop’s The Blackmail Club, Jessica Bell’s String Bridge, Rose Carter’s The Curious Case of Daniel Walter, Anthony E. Cardenas’ The Gestalt Man, and The 1st Circle – Under a Blood-Red Moon by Eileen Bell, Ryan McFadden and Billie Milholland

With hundreds of new books turning up free each day now in the Kindle Store, it can be tough to hone in on books that you will actually want to read. And almost of the new free books will be free for just a day or two at a time, so we are working hard to make sure that you do not miss the ones you want!

Here are a few books that have just gone free by authors who have already proven to be favorites with Kindle Nation readers. Please grab them now if they looks interesting to you, because they probably won’t stay free for long!

Important Note: This post is dated Wednesday, October 31, 2012, and the titles mentioned here may remain free only until midnight PST tonight.

Please note: References to prices on this website refer to prices on the main Amazon.com website for US customers. Prices will vary for readers located outside the US, and even for US customers, prices may change at any time. Always check the price on Amazon before making a purchase.

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String Bridge

by Jessica Bell
<%title%>
4.8 stars – 29 Reviews
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

“Jessica Bell’s STRING BRIDGE strummed the fret of my veins,
thrummed my blood into a mad rush, played me taut until the final page, yet
with echoes still reverberating. A rhythmic debut with metrical tones of
heavied dark, fleeting prisms of light, and finally, a burst of joy–just as
with any good song, my hopeful heartbeat kept tempo with Bell’s narrative.”

~Kathryn Magendie, author of
Sweetie, Tender Graces and Secret Graces,Publishing Editor of
Rose & Thorn Journal

“Poet and musician Jessica Bell’s debut novel String
Bridge is a rich exploration of desire, guilt, and the difficult balancing
act of the modern woman. The writing is lyrical throughout, seamlessly
integrating setting, character and plot in a musical structure that allows the
reader to identify with Melody’s growing insecurity as her world begins to
unravel … String Bridge is a powerful debut from a promising writer,
full of music, metaphor, and just a hint of magic.”

~Magdalena Ball, author of
Repulsion Thrust and Sleep Before Evening

“The last novel that moved me and engaged me to this extent
was Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy. Like Conroy, Jessica Bell is a brilliant writer of great skill and
depth. She doesn’t pull back from the difficult scenes, from conflict, pain,
intensity. She puts it all out there, no holds barred, no holding back. She
knows how to craft a scene, how to develop character, how to create suspense.
This is an absolutely brilliant debut novel. I look forward to reading her next
novel, and next and next.”

~Karen Jones Gowen, author of Farm Girl, Uncut Diamonds and House
of Diamonds

 

* * *

The Blackmail Club, a Jack McCall Mystery

by David Bishop
<%title%>
4.8 stars – 37 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
* TOP 5 on AMAZON LIST OF TOP-RATED MYSTERY SERIES, (June/1/2012 and running)
* AMAZON BEST-SELLING LIST OF MYSTERY SERIES (May/18/2012 and running)
* AMAZON BEST-SELLING LIST OF HARD-BOILED MYSTERIES (May/18/2012 and running)Washington, D.C., is a town full of powerful people hiding ugly secrets. The blackmailer, a renaissance man, keeps his promise: pay me, I’ll return the juicy evidence I have against you, and you’ll never hear from me again. Jack McCall, a former operative for the U.S. intelligence community and now a private investigator hunts this wily and diabolical madman. His victims, having paid and not been further extorted, are reticent to admit ever having been blackmailed. McCall’s efforts to solve the case are assisted by Nora Burke, his sexy assistant who also helps Jack recover from the loss of his wife, and Max Logan, a retired detective of Irish-Scottish parentage. Chock full of colorful characters from the worlds of politics, art, and the media, The Blackmail Club is a cerebral, physical and sexy five-course gourmet meal of mystery. Sit back and fasten your seatbelt, relax, and be entertained while you try to fit together the final pieces before you turn the final pages.

* * *

THE CURIOUS CASE OF DANIEL WALTER

by ROSE CARTER
<%title%>
4.0 stars – 4 Reviews
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Who among the identical twins is the murderer?

* * *

The Gestalt Man

by Anthony E. Cardenas
<%title%>
4.4 stars – 8 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

Michael Jeck suffers from severe dissociative identity disorder as a result of a series of traumatic incidents in his childhood. He has five separate and individual personalities–Kara, a brainy, intellectual woman trained as a medical examiner; Nick, an aggressive hit first ask questions later guy; Alex, the suave, sophisticated, educated man; Telly, a brainy teenager who is an expert with computers and technology; and Sara, a mute eight year old girl who creates mature, beautiful works of art to express herself.

Thanks to years of experimental psychotherapy, Jeck has managed to gain control over his five other personalities, not by suppressing them, but by living with them. He then uses their specific skills and talents to form a kind of think tank, capable of effectively solving complex and difficult crimes. In this way, he and his five personalities function as a unified whole, rather than individual parts–a truly gestalt personality.

Michael Jeck is now a special agent with the FBI and has garnered a reputation as an eccentric genius that can solve any case. Recently, however, he has been unable to crack a strange series of murders that appear to be completely different but also thinly connected to each other. Concerned with the lack of results, the Assistant Director of the FBI decides to assign Jeck a partner for the very first time.

Enter Grayson O’Neal, an FBI agent from the behavioral sciences division, whose mysterious past and strange eagerness to work with Agent Jeck causes a newfound tension amongst the normal “group” dynamic.

Together, Jeck and Grayson work to solve the mystery of the serial killings, at the same time trying to come to terms with their respective pasts, and their uncertain futures.

Content Advisory: This book is intended for mature audiences and contains graphic violence, explicit sexual activity and disturbing imagery.

* * *

The 1st Circle – Under a Blood-Red Moon (The Tenth Circle Project)

by Eileen Bell, Billie Milholland, Ryan McFadden
<%title%>
4.7 stars – 3 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

Nominated for the 2011 Aurora Award (Canada’s top SF&F literary award)

After generations of conflict, the twin cities of Hope and Glory launch the 10th Circle Project, an ambitious deep earth energy venture that holds the tenuous promise of peace and cooperation. As the drilling descends beyond recorded depths, old rivalries simmer, mistrust and greed threaten to explode into war, and the earth begins to reveal its own powerful secrets, both divine and demonic.

These are the stories of the First Circle…
Disgraced cop Harry Stafford’s banishment to Purgatory and vice, is a career ender. When he encounters true evil, a monster who might’ve once been a man, he must decide how much more he’s willing to lose.

One small job — the type where no one gets hurt and everyone gets paid. Except Jack knows that there’s no such thing as a small job and his only chance of getting out of Hope alive are a killer with half a brain, a drug-addicted wheelman, and a crazed demolitions expert.

Conman extraordinaire, Reverend Jim is having a crisis in faith. Is this really about the con and the money? Or is God trying to deliver a message – and he must be the messenger?

When Dr. Ember Cantara is lured to Glory to develop a cure for a rare but fatal retrovirus, she learns that even an earthquake can’t bury an organism that has waited eons to emerge.

(This is a sponsored post.)

KND Kindle Free Book Alert for October 31: Hundreds of brand new Freebies in the last 24 hours added to our 4,000+ Free Titles sorted by Category, Date Added, Bestselling or Review Rating! plus … Rob Blackwell’s A Soul To Steal is the perfect Halloween read! (Today’s Sponsor – 99 cents)

Powered by our magical Kindle free book tool, here are this morning’s latest additions to our 1,100+ Kindle Free Book listings…
But first, a word from ... Today's Sponsor
If you love Halloween, this is the book for you! This book offers mystery, thriller, romance, and the paranormal.

A Soul To Steal (The Sanheim Chronicles, Book One)

by Rob Blackwell
4.6 stars - 116 reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here's the set-up:
How far would you go to catch a serial killer?

For two local reporters, the cost may be their souls. Lord Halloween, a vicious murderer who targeted Loudoun County, Va., twelve years ago, has returned. Quinn and Kate, two community journalists, race to uncover his identity before a promised bloodbath on Halloween. But to stop him, they may unleash a far darker threat--and pay an unimaginable price.

A Soul to Steal has been featured on USA Today and praised by book bloggers and readers alike for its thrilling combination of mystery, suspense and the supernatural. Hailed as an addictive page-turner with a "fantastic" ending, this Kindle bestseller is the perfect novel for Halloween.
One Reviewer Notes:
You have the paranormal, murder, mystery/thriller, suspense and a little romance all rolled into one great read... Everything comes together incredibly well at the end. The ending of this book was amazing. I highly recommend this book.
Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Book Lover
About the Author
Rob Blackwell is a journalist who currently serves as Washington Bureau Chief for American Banker newspaper. A native of Great Falls, Va., he has worked as a reporter for the Loudoun Times-Mirror, Eastern Loudoun Times and a columnist for the South County Chronicle.
He recently published his first novel, "A Soul to Steal," set in Loudoun County, Va. He has won several Virginia Press Association awards and was co-winner of the Jesse H. Neal Award for Business Journalism. He has appeared several times on other media outlets, including NPR, BBC, CNBC and C-Span.
He lives in Virginia with his wife and two children. Rob Blackwell is a journalist who currently serves as Washington Bureau Chief for American Banker newspaper. A native of Great Falls, Va., he has worked as a reporter for the Loudoun Times-Mirror, Eastern Loudoun Times and a columnist for the South County Chronicle. He recently published his first novel, "A Soul to Steal," set in Loudoun County, Va. He has won several Virginia Press Association awards and was co-winner of the Jesse H. Neal Award for Business Journalism. He has appeared several times on other media outlets, including NPR, BBC, CNBC and C-Span. He lives in Virginia with his wife and two children.
UK CUSTOMERS: Click on the title below to download
A Soul To Steal (The Sanheim Chronicles, Book One)
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The March issue of our magazine!In this issue...• An exclusive interview with Terry Deary, bestselling author of the ‘Horrible Histories’• Our new series of travel features, Off the Beaten Track• How to start your own small business• How to learn a new language• The difference between...
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Mom’s Favorite Reads eMagazine March 2019
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He was a university boxing champ with a bruised and battered face. But could anything have prepared young Father Sammy for his appointment as Secretary/MC to an irascible and eccentric old Cardinal?At first, his new boss seems like a shining example of childlike and bumbling innocence. But Sammy...
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Eminently Respectable Capers
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Discontent with his life as a tale-spinner, Ratatosk the squirrel goes searching for the Well of Fate hoping he can change his destiny. But what he finds at Yggdrasil will test the very core of his resolve. When he faces the unexpected dangers beneath the great tree, Tosk will have to choose...
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One Night. No Limits. (Short Story). Amazon #1 Best Seller Jason“When my financial right hand leaves me hanging right before the biggest meeting of my life, I’m furious. I need someone to replace him NOW—and the only person left at this hour is Melanie. I barely even know her – but since I...
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So many people today are just going through the motions of life. We tend to fight or hide when a storm comes our way, instead of standing strong and peaceful like a well-rooted tree. We allow other people's opinions and the world's perceptions to define us. And Christians in particular, who have...
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Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit and watching in this with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. – Ephesians 6:18The sin of prayerlessness as one of the deepest roots of the evil. Few can plead themselves free from this. Nothing so reveals the...
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"There are some laugh-out-loud moments in this story... Michael Winn’s Biblical update is a delightful read." -IndieReaderWhy do bad things happen to good people? Middle School gym teacher Joseph Bustamante more than meditates upon this ageless question, he demands an answer! And for good cause....
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The dead are coming alive on an island in the North Atlantic Ocean. A bullet isn’t going to stop them. They feel no pain. Flesh-eating walkers have been taking sheep and cattle from the fields. A minor inconvenience until someone, or something, starts to organize them. A force of pure evil...
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Nothing stays buried forever… Reporter Zoe Clarke's life has lost its magic. So when she gets a job offer in the middle of nowhere, Zoe jumps at the chance to make a name for herself only to find her new home is teeming with magic and paranormal beings—and those aren't its only secrets. During...
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KND Kindle Free Book Alert for October 31: Hundreds of brand new Freebies in the last 24 hours added to our 4,000+ Free Titles sorted by Category, Date Added, Bestselling or Review Rating! plus … Rob Blackwell’s A Soul To Steal is the perfect Halloween read! (Today’s Sponsor – 99 cents)

Kindle Nation Daily Bargain Book Alert: Just in time for Halloween, discover A.R. Wise’s DEADLOCKED series by getting DEADLOCKED 1 ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Caught in the middle of the city when the zombie outbreak started, his wife and daughters stranded on their roof as zombies waited below, David will have to fight through hordes of undead to get home.

A father’s journey home through the Zombie Apocalypse.

Do Halloween full blast this year with A.R. Wise’s DEADLOCKED series!

David was caught in the middle of the city when the zombie outbreak started. His wife and daughters were at home, stranded on the roof as zombies waited below.

He would have to fight through hordes of undead, merciless other survivors, and a series of death defying stunts to get home. However, even if he makes it there, how can he be sure they’re safe?

Deadlocked puts you into David’s head as he struggles to get home. Then a final onfrontation occurs that could guarantee his family’s survival, but at what cost?

From the reviewers:

“I look forward to reading the rest of this series! ”
Kelly Frances  |  30 reviewers made a similar statement

“This story is very well written and paced beautifully. ”
Allwyyn  |  32 reviewers made a similar statement

“It’s fast paced action from the opening scenes right to the very end, making for a quick and enthralling read. ”
Kat from The Aussie Zombie  |  24 reviewers made a similar statement

A very fast paced & well written storyline with lots of action from beginning to end and with characters that were very well developed. I also liked reading the author’s notes at the end of the book which offered some insight into the series. I was glad I took a chance on this book. I really enjoyed it! –  Dave

A.R. Wise seizes you from the very first page and keeps on pushing. Unlike most novels, there isn’t a single down moment in Deadlocked. It would actually be a challenge to stop reading. If you haven’t put this on your Kindle yet . . . do it now! You won’t be disappointed.  –  Vincent Bivona

Visit Amazon’s A.R. Wise Page

A.R. Wise was born in Indiana and has lived in Florida, Texas, and now Colorado. He is married to an unreasonably understanding and beautiful wife and has two wonderful little girls.

He has been writing since he was young, but the daunting task of facing rejection after rejection in the traditional publishing world always kept him from pursuing his passion. The new eBook revolution has given him a chance to put his work out there for everyone to enjoy, and he has been shocked at the reception it’s received!

A.R. Wise’s series of zombie fiction, Deadlocked, has enjoyed massive success on Amazon. Five Star reviews continue to pour in and the success has encouraged him to continue to write. If you enjoy his work, you have the eBook revolution to thank for it!

And here, in the comfort of your own browser, is your free sample of Deadlocked by A.R. Wise:

 


Today’s Kindle Daily Deal — Wednesday, October 31 – Save 83% on Leonard Rosen’s Thinking Man’s Mystery, All Cry Chaos … Plus, Mark Tufo’s Zombie Fallout (Sponsor)

But first, a word from … Today’s Sponsor

<%title%>

Zombie Fallout

by Mark Tufo
4.4 stars – 352 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Don’t have a Kindle? Get yours here.
Or check out the Audible.com version of Zombie Fallout
in its Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged!

Here’s the set-up:

“Working as both straight up survival fiction and comedy, Mark Tufo’s FALLOUT is a gory, laugh out loud tale of a community of heroes, cowards and misfits struggling against zombies. Tufo’s unlikely hero is one of the funniest and most endearing characters I’ve seen in zombie fiction.” – Craig DiLouie, author of TOOTH AND NAIL and THE INFECTION

About the Author:

Mark Tufo was born in Boston Massachusetts. He attended UMASS Amherst where he obtained a BA and later joined the US Marine Corp. He was stationed in Parris Island SC, Twenty Nine Palms CA and Kaneohe Bay Hawaii. After his tour he went into the Human Resources field with a worldwide financial institution and has gone back to college at CTU to complete his masters. He has written the Indian Hill trilogy with the first Indian Hill – Encounters being published for the Amazon Kindle in July 2009. He lives in Colorado with his wife, three kids and two English bulldogs. Visit him at marktufo.com for news on his next two installments of the Indian Hill trilogy and his new novel Zombie Fallout.
Each day’s Kindle Daily Deal is sponsored by
one paid title on Kindle Nation. We encourage you to support our sponsors and thank you for considering them.

and now … Today’s Kindle Daily Deal

All Cry Chaos (Henri Poincare) by Leonard RosenKindle Daily Deal: All Cry Chaos

This masterful and gripping debut thriller begins with the bizarre assassination of mathematician James Fenster on the eve of his speech for the World Trade Organization. The murder trail leads veteran Interpol agent Henri Poincaré on a high-stakes, world-crossing quest for answers with his chain-smoking, bon vivant colleague Serge Laurent.

Today’s Price: $1.99 (83% off)
Learn more

 

Publetariat Dispatch: Is Social Media Making [Authors] Too Vanilla?

Publetariat: For People Who Publish!

In today’s Publetariat Dispatch, author L.J. Sellers talks about the author’s challenge, of using social media effectively while still allowing one’s unique personality and perspectives to come through to readers.

Several recent blogs made me think about the writer’s role and how social media has made us all so likable and homogenous.

First there was Sandra Parshall’s great piece on Poe’s Deadly Daughters in which she asked the question: Should writers keep their opinions to themselves online so they don’t offend readers? She mentioned instances in which readers said they would never read so-and-so’s work again because of something they had posted on Facebook or Twitter. I’m guessing it was something political, and the readers were of the other persuasion.

This has weighed on my mind because I have succumbed to self-censorship. Every day, I make a choice to not post links to liberal commentaries I enjoyed. When others post political statements I agree with, I’ll click the Like button but typically won’t comment. My thinking is that conservatives buy novels too, so why offend them? But it also makes me cringe. Until this point in my life—when I became a very public person—I’ve always spoken freely and said what I thought. Maybe too much so, I hear my husband say in my head.

I even moved The Sex Club—my bestseller and a book readers loved—out of my Jackson series and into the standalone thriller list, because the book is political and I didn’t want to lose readers before they even gave the series a chance. But now Amazon wants to market it as part of the series, and I said yes. I’m a little worried about the backlash, but I’m also happy to take ownership of my politics again.

The other interesting post that dovetailed into this discussion was in Slate magazine and subtitled The Epidemic of Niceness in Online Book Culture. The author made the point that when writers friend, support, and Like! everyone, it becomes nearly impossible to give an honest critique of their work. How can you say something even mildly critical about a novel if the author just gave you an online hug?

In my experience, most writers are by nature really nice people. We’re typically very supportive. We want to help each other, and post great reviews on Amazon, and retweet book links. And l love it. I’m part of that culture. But is it honest? If I were a professional book reviewer who didn’t know some these authors personally, would I have a different assessment of their work? In that scenario, my loyalty would be to readers, to give them a full honest appraisal of the book.

If I post on Twitter than I’m reading a particular book and someone asks me if I like it—and by then I’ve stopped reading it—what do I say? If I post that it was too slow for me, I risk offending several people and maybe that reader will decide we must like different books so they won’t bother to try mine.

This is why I don’t read much fiction or talk about what I read—unless I love it. And I turn down almost all requests to review novels. My nature is to be supportive—often to an extreme—but I also have a loyalty to my readers, and I shouldn’t steer them toward books just because those writers are my friends whom I have great affection for.

I love social media and connecting with people and I’ll keep doing what I can to cultivate friends and encourage people to like me. But some days, the self-censorship makes me not like myself.

What do you think? Is the online writer community too nice? Do you ever wish you could cut loose and say something critical or political—without losing readers or friends?

– by L.J. Sellers, author of provocative mysteries & thrillers

This is a reprint from the Crime Fiction Collective blog, and is reprinted here in its entirety with that site’s permission.

 

Amazon’s New “FreeTime” Parental Controls for the Kindle Fire: Potentially Very Cool, But Right Now? Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

By April Hamilton and Steve Windwalker

(Editor’s Note: For articles like this one on Kindle Fire features, content, tips, and tricks, please check out our Kindle Fire at Kindle Nation Daily sites on the web and on Facebook.)

Amazon is in the process of rolling out a potentially very cool new set of features that they are calling FreeTime, and as is so often the case with 1.0 versions of new functionality, we have good news and bad news.

First, we’re excited about the things that we expect FreeTime will allow us to do in — we hope — the not too distant future.

  • Set up separate user accounts, or “profiles”, for each child
  • Add specific, permissible content to each profile: anything you don’t add, they can’t see or access
  • Set daily maximum usage time limits, and/or time limits according to content type
  • Changes you make in FreeTime on one Kindle Fire in your household are automatically “pushed” to all other Kindle Fires registered to your Amazon account
  • Each child can set up and maintain her own “Favorites” sub-menu
  • Enjoy some free, kid-friendly apps and picture books that come pre-loaded with FreeTime
  • For out of the box thinkers, FreeTime will also enable an unintentional Collections solution for the Kindle Fire: set up a separate profile for each collection you wish to create, then add the items you want to each profile/collection!

As you can see, there’s a lot here that will make the Kindle Fire models even more family-friendly — and education-friendly — than they are already.

But the bad news is that they are a little further from nailing all of this than we’d like to see with a set of features that somebody on the Kindle team has apparently — and we think prematurely — labeled as “ready for prime time.” Just in case Amazon is looking for suggestions here, we’d suggest the following areas that deserve a “Needs Improvement” grade on our FreeTime report card:

  • When launching a profile, most of the time it launches and displays the correct carousel/menu of items that were added for that profile. But about 30% of the time, the first tap says it’s loading the profile, then nothing happens, and a second tap loads the full, normal carousel/menu, providing access to ALL content.
  • When the above happens, sometimes it stays on the full carousel/menu, other times it suddenly switches to the selected profile after opening some piece of content or other.
  • FreeTime profile carousel changes aren’t reliably pushed to the other Kindle Fires registered to the same Amazon account, as they should be: some changes “take”, and others don’t, and there’s no discernable pattern.
  • The FreeTime app only allows Books, Videos and Apps as content/access types – no photos, audiobooks, web, etc., yet the Favorites star icon/menu is there and it instructs the user to “drag favorite videos, websites, apps, photos…” to the Favorites tab to store them there. The Favorites instruction text should be updated to reflect only the content types that are allowed in FreeTime.
  • It’s unclear whether or not Audiobooks and Photos are supposed to be available content types in FreeTime, but they should be. The lack of Audiobook content is especially disappointing, since it means Immersive Reading and Whispersync for Voice aren’t available from within FreeTime. The Immersive Reading feature in particular would be a very good thing to provide for kids.
  • The FreeTime app prompts for the Parental Controls password for each sub-menu item, even after you’re in the FreeTime Parents’ Menu area; it’s unclear if this is by design, but if it is, it’s a poor design choice because it’s very irritating. You have to enter the password just to get into the Parents’ Menu, so once you’re there it seems you shouldn’t have to enter the password again.
  • In the Parents’ Menu there’s a “More” item that opens up the Fire’s regular Parental Controls menu, but once you’re there, there’s no ‘back’ arrow to return to the Parents’ Menu in FreeTime, there’s just a Home menu icon. Again, we don’t know if this is a bug or purposeful design choice, but it’s confusing and irritating.
  • FreeTime automatically installs a couple of apps and several books, all of which are kid-friendly but all of which are also designed for very young kids. Sfter setting up a profile for a child older than eight or so and handing the Fire off to him, he’d be horrified to find Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes and a collection of picture books have automatically been added to his carousel.

These items can be removed from his carousel, but still show up in his book and app collections. You can’t remove them for one profile and still leave them for another. Also, even after you remove them from a given profile’s carousel, they show up there again sporadically from time to time.

In conclusion, while we’re excited about FreeTime’s potential for providing parental controls and Collections functionality, we’re a little disappointed in the initial rollout. We’re looking forward to the next release though, and will be sure to post about it here, to keep our readers in the loop!