I woke up this morning with a harsh realization that a lot has changed over the past year. Usually it’s New Years Eve or New Years Day that makes me think about such things, but this year is much different. One year ago today I was getting ready to go camping with hubby and the baby bassets. Little did I know I was actually saying goodby. Goodbye to friends and goodbye normality. It’s been a rough year to say the least. None of us came out the other side the same person we were before. Fortunately, I got great news from the baby bassets school. They will be return to in person classes mid April! I have never been happier about the prospect of going back to the daily grind.

The Snowdonia Killings: A Snowdonia Murder Mystery Book 1 (A DI Ruth Hunter Crime Thriller)
by Simon McCleave
4.1 Stars (4,126 Reviews)
Genre: Mystery | Crime Fiction

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Starting a new life in Snowdonia was always DI Ruth Hunter’s dream. Until a twisted killer turned it into her worst nightmare.

Detective Inspector Ruth Hunter lives with the pain of her partner’s mysterious and unsolved disappearance. About to hit fifty, the veteran police officer trades in the crime-ridden streets of London for a more peaceful life in rural North Wales. But Ruth has barely settled into her new position in North Wales Police, when the body of a brutally murdered woman is discovered… with strange symbols carved into her skin. Teaming up with an obstinate deputy, Ruth struggles to eliminate anyone from a long line of suspects. When another slain victim is discovered with the same cryptic markings, she’s forced to re-think the investigation.

Has Ruth got what it takes to solve the case before the murderer attacks again?

The Snowdonia Killings is the first book in the DI Ruth Hunter Crime Thriller series and set against the majestic backdrop of Snowdonia, a timeless land of Arthurian legend, folklore and myth. If you like dark police procedurals, psychologically complex characters, and shocking twists, then you’ll love Simon McCleave’s pulse-pounding debut novel.

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Kraamlok: Epic Dragon Fantasy on Another World (Dragon Planet Book 1)
by Sharon Plumb
5.0 Stars (1 Review)
Genre: Teen & Young Adult | Fantasy | Children’s eBooks

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The Eye shall be Blood, the sun shall be Bone, and dragons shall pass from the world. For it comes, it comes, the kraamlok comes… Dragon seer Tondoor was hatched for only one purpose: to ask the starry dragon god, Morwaka, for a way of escape from his tribe’s prophecy of doom from the sky. But Morwaka isn’t speaking to him. Doesn’t he want to save the dragons?

As rebellion brews around him and his arch-rival tries to steal his dragon love’s heart, Tondoor learns that the answer he seeks might lie with a lunatic dragon lost somewhere in the other five corners of the world. Can Tondoor succeed in his quest to save the dragons he loves — and survive the ones he doesn’t — before the kraamlok destroys their world?

Dragons and more dragons in variety of cultures, a pristine planet with surprising links to our own, plenty of lore and legends, politics and culture, a bumbling starry extra-terrestrial, and a sweeping epic fantasy quest. Perfect for readers of any age who want an exciting dragon saga with lots of twists and surprises. Includes Book Club discussion questions.

A Short Excerpt:
“What’s the kraamlok?” asked Tondoor. Elder Mala had used that word.
Kalooka steered him to the next picture on the cliff wall. “Look.”

This time the hazy colors showed an ice rock monster with furious red eyes, fiery orange fangs and two trailing, burning tails.

Kalooka’s voice quavered. “I was a hatchling when the seer made the prophecy. I’ll never forget it.” Her eyes misted like the pictures on the cliff. “It comes, it comes, the kraamlok comes!” she recited in an eerie chant. “With claws of ice it sweeps the stars; with fangs of night it hunts us. Wreathed in flame it falls, and rock shall flow like water at its falling. For it comes, it comes–”

“Stop!” shouted Tondoor. “Stop!” In the waning light, it seemed the missing seer himself was proclaiming doom from his image on the rock.

“I know,” Kalooka whispered. “That’s exactly how I felt. How we all felt.”

“Is the kraamlok is still coming?” Tondoor asked in a tiny voice. He didn’t dare look at the next picture.

Kalooka wrapped her wing around his trembling ones. “You tell us, little seer. It’s up to Morwaka–and, according to Elder Mala, up to you. I told you elders don’t understand what seers do.”

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Choosing Happily Ever After
by Elena Aitken
4.3 Stars (636 Reviews)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction | Women’s Fiction | Romance

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USA Today Bestselling Author, Elena Aitken invites you to celebrate happily ever after in her brand new, sexy-sweet series that will make you say, “I do!”

Despite having her own heart broken, wedding planner Hope Turner is a diehard romantic and has dedicated herself to Ever After Ranch and happily ever afters — other peoples.

For Levi Langdon there’s only ever been one woman for him. Now that he’s back in town after ten long years, he plans on proving to Hope that those feelings have only grown stronger.

Just when Hope starts to believe that a second chance at love and her own happily ever after might finally be possible, devastating news puts everything at risk and Hope and Levi must both decide: is their love strong enough to survive a second time?

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Lunatic City: A Gritty Cyberpunk Noir
by T. Allen Diaz
4.1 Stars (19 Reviews)
Genre: Thrillers | Crime Fiction | Science Fiction

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A cyberpunk noir in the tradition of Blade Runner and Altered Carbon!

Detective Frank Parker couldn’t let it go. If the department wouldn’t investigate his partner’s murder, he would.

Now, the Tycho City PD is coming for his job, and a city’s-worth of tattoo-faced psychos are out for his blood.

When he takes a private case from a shady entertainment mogul, it takes him on a wild rollercoaster ride from the seedy nightclubs and human despair of the Lower City to the bright lights and high-tech luxury of the Upper. As he closes in on his quarry, a terrible truth comes into focus.

An innocent victim is caught in this dangerous city’s crosshairs, and Frank is her only hope. But this is Lunatic City. Betrayal is in its DNA. And even Frank might find himself powerless to deny this town its pound of flesh…

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Beginner CSS: Like Putting Lipstick on a Zombie (Undead Institute)
by John Rhea
5.0 Stars (4 Reviews)
Genre: Computers & Technology

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There’s a zombie gnawing on your arm! But there wouldn’t be if you threw some CSS in its face. Zombies loath web development and when you take those websites from skeletal HTML structures to fleshed out CSS beauties they’ll take out twice the zombies per site. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is how you add color, design and style to your website.

What You’ll Beat Zombies With

You’ll learn all the major zombie-fighting CSS skills like how to set colors, change fonts, create backgrounds, use the CSS box-model, move elements around and build two column layouts with floats and positioning. Your webpages will never again be as drab as a zombie’s thought processes.

How You’ll Learn to Smack Zombies Around

You won’t just passively take in the view, like a zombie shuffling across the mainland. You’ll have plenty of combat practice with analogies, examples, and code tutorials you can build, break and fix again. Working with your hands and your head you’ll craft code that pleases the eye and knocks a zombie into last Tuesday.

All the code and directions are provided as both codepen tutorials and downloadable html files, so you can fight the apocalypse how and where you like. You can work with them on the codepen site or on your own device.

And later you’ll bring those skills together in a final project that cements those skills into zombie smashing muscle memory.

Why Zombies?

Are zombies just a gimmick? Why would this be any better than a straight laced book that sticks to the facts?

Straight laced books are often straight boring. And if you have insomnia problems go buy that book. The author, John, has read the boring books and knows that staying awake and engaged are also important for learning. But this book uses zombie references and analogies not just to make you smile, but to help the material stick. If a tough technical concept is related in silly terms you understand, like a zombie trying to buy gum at a super market, it’s much more likely to stay in that brain those zombies are intent on eating.

Is This Book For Me?

We at the undead institute believe that getting braaains should be fun. While our definition of fun typically involves silly jokes, zombie references and learning ways to build great websites, not everyone agrees. If you’re looking for straight technical explanations without any wit or whimsy (or zombies) then these books probably aren’t for you. If you have an enormous technical background and no time for humor or apocalyptic analogies, then move along. There’s nothing for you to see here.

But if you like a good (or sometimes bad) joke, if you have little to no technical background or inclination but want to learn HTML, CSS and more, or if you’re a technology pro and prefer a spoonful of fun with your web development (zombie antidote) medicine, then these books were written for you, and these books will help you reach your web development goals.

We believe that good learning and good fun should co-exist, so if you want to save humanity from the apocalypse, grab your Kindle, grab a snack (everyone’s hungry after the apocalypse) and hit that buy button. Let’s kick some zombie tookus!

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