Room for Two FREE on Kindle

My first book, Room for Two, is free on Kindle starting today. It will be available as a free download through Friday, September 26.

It's also available for free in the Amazon stores for CanadaUK, Australia, Japan, France, Brazil, IndiaSpain, Italy, Mexico, and Germany.

If you don't have a Kindle you can download  Kindle app for your phone, tablet, or computer for free.

Read the first three chapters of Room for Two here.

About Room for Two

"Sweetie, I'm home." I tried to put as much kindness into my voice as possible. I didn't want to have another argument - at least not right away.



A gunshot echoed from our bedroom, followed by the sound of a bullet casing skipping along a wall.

Everything slowed down.


When a life is destroyed, when guilt says you played a role in its destruction, how do you face the days ahead?

Twenty-six-year-old Abel Keogh chooses to ignore the promptings he receives concerning his wife's mental illness, and now he feels he is to blame for her choices. If only he had listened . . .

At some point in our lives, each of us face devastating afflictions and must eventually cope with loss. Regardless of how it happens, the outcome is still the same - we are left isolated, alone, wondering what we could have done differently, and where we can turn for peace.

This is Abel's story in his own words. His search for peace and the miracle that follows is proof that love and hope can endure, despite the struggles and tragedies that shape each of our lives.



Room for Two Available on Kindle

For the first time Room for Two is now available on the Kindle. This is a format that many of you have asked about for years and now that I have the rights back to the book I'm happy to finally make it available for those who want to read it that way. For those who would prefer a paperback copy or another ebook format, those will be coming in January 2014.

For those who are unfamiliar with the book, you can read a summary of the book as well as first three chapters here.


A Tale of Two Kindles

Marathon Girl solved our eReader dilemma a couple weeks ago when she gave me a Kindle Touch for my birthday. It was an unexpected gift since I haven’t completed about reading on the iPad in months. Thankfully, I don’t have to deal with the iPad’s backlit screen. As a result I’ve been reading a lot more the last two weeks—almost double the amount of reading I did on the iPad. As for the Kindle Touch, it’s superior in every way to its keyboard predecessor except for one important thing: turning pages. The great thing about the keyboard version is that it had buttons on either side of the device that allowed me to rest my thumb and push a button when I was ready to go with the next page. With the touch version I actually have to tap the screen to turn a page and I’m starting to find that a tad annoying. I’m so tired when I get around to reading some nights that it’s a lot easier to keep my hand in one place and read instead of touching the screen and letting a small smudge develop after a night of reading. (Yeah, I know I had to swipe the screen with my iPad to turn pages but it was an iPad. It’s never had buttons to turn pages.)  It’s almost like Amazon got so caught up in the touch screen craze that they never stopped to think whether or not touching the screen or side buttons made for a better reading experience. It’s not just me that misses the button. After swapping Kindles for a night, Marathon Girl said she preferred having the buttons to turn pages too. (She hasn’t traded Kindles since then. Hmmmmmmm.)

When it comes to browsing, highlight, taking notes, buying more books or anything else I do with the touch version is miles ahead of earlier version. Though still not perfect, note taking has improved so much that I’m actually starting to read non-fiction ebooks on it. So the only suggestion I would send to Amazon (who I’m sure is reading this) is to put some page turning buttons on the next generation of the Kindle Touch. Please, please, please put those wonderful page turning buttons back on both sides of the device and let readers decide whether they want to touch the screen or push a button. That would make this wonderful reading device absolutely perfect.

As for the iPad, I’m not going to use that for reading again unless one of our Kindles breaks. The backlit screen is a much bigger annoyance than touching the screen to turn pages. The Kindle’s E Ink display makes reading a thousand times more enjoyable and I will gladly touch the screen to turn the page instead of having my eyes feel like they’re going to pop out of my head.

Amazon Didn't Blow It

I was a tad worried before Amazon announced their new Kindles. I knew they were going to launch a color version of their popular e-Reader but was concerned they’d mothball the E Ink (black and white) versions.

Thankfully I was wrong. The new Kindles keep the same screen size but are smaller, faster, and—most importantly—keep their E Ink technology.  Since I stare at a computer screen all day, the last think I want to do is read on another computer screen before I go to bed. My eyes enjoy the break. I will continue to be a Kindle customer so long as they keep this technology.

My only concern about the new touch version of the Kindle is that it appears they lost the buttons on the side of the Kindle. I really like those as I can keep my hand still as I read. Not sure how it’s going to feel wiping the screen every time I want to turn the page. I want to read, after all, not look at my smudges on the screen. Sadly the classic Kindle, which still keeps those side buttons, doesn’t come with a 3G version—which is way more convenient than the wireless ones.

Sadly I'll to wait until November to test one out.

Solving Our eBook Dilemma

Ever since I bought Marathon Girl a Kindle and we officially made the switch to eBooks, the problem we’ve run into is not enough eBook devices (one) for the two of us to share. I installed a Kindle reader on my laptop but quickly realized didn’t like reading a book off a computer screen. So for the past few months we’ve been forced to race to the Kindle to see who gets to use it. Since Marathon Girl is much faster than me—even when she’s pregnant—that means she gets to the Kindle first leaving me with the laptop or a paperback (shudder).

Thankfully we’ve found a solution—albeit from an unexpected source.

A few weeks ago I received an iPad 2 as a gift. After playing around with it for a few minutes the first thing I installed was the Kindle app. I didn’t have high hopes that this was going to solve our eBook problem as it has a back-lit screen but figured it couldn't hurt to try. Much to my surprise I actually enjoy reading eBooks on the iPad. I’m not sure if it’s because the screen is smaller than my computer, that I hold the screen at a different angle, or the fact that it’s lighter than my laptop. Whatever the reason I can actually read eBooks on it for long periods of time without getting the headache that accompanies reading them from my computer. As an added bonus Marathon Girl and I can even read the same book at the same time—something that’s really cool if it’s a book we’ve both been dying to read.

I still prefer the Kindle over the iPad (it's smaller, lighter, and has non-backlit screen) but I can live with using the iPad--at least until we find it in our budget to get another Kindle. Plus, I won't be losing Kindle races to Marathon Girl anymore. That will be a nice boost to my ego. :-)

Non-Fiction Books and the Kindle

Me: For the first time since buying a Kindle for Marathon Girl, I’ve ordered hard copies of two books. They arrived— Question Man: Wait a minute. I thought you guys loved the Kindle. Why are you ordering hard copies of books now?

Me: We do love MG’s Kindle; so much so that we probably need a second one. Good thing Father’s Day is coming up next month. (Hint, hint, hint!) However, I have a hard time reading non-fiction books on the Kindle.

Question Man: Have a hard time reading them? Is there a formatting issue with the non-fiction books.

Me: No, it’s not a formatting issue. When I read non-fiction (with the exception of memoirs) I’m a prolific note taker. I underline a lot of passages, make tons of notes in the margins, and use my own shorthand for cross referencing purposes.

Question Man: Did you know you can highlight passages, take notes, and mark up Kindle eBooks just about any way you want?

Me: Yes, I know. The problem is that it takes considerably more time for me to take notes with the Kindle—at least twice as long if I had the paper book and pencil in my hand. It wouldn’t be a big deal if I was just highlighting a handful of passages or only had a few notes. However, my note taking gets pretty extensive. Hence the reason I ordered hard copies.

Question Man: Well why don’t you download a Kindle app for your computer and highlight and take notes at lightning speed?

Me: I have downloaded the Kindle App on my PC. It’s way faster to highlight and take notes. The problem is I stare at a computer screen all day for work plus the hour or two I squeeze in for writing. By the time I get around to reading, my eyes don’t want to stare at a backlit screen anymore. They need a break.

Question Man: So what’s your solution?

Me: Well, a second Kindle would help. (Hint, hint, hint!) That would give me more time to practice highlighting and note taking. But for now I’m sticking with paperbacks—at least for non-fiction. That means Story Engineering and Cool IT will reside in paperback on my shelf for now. Fiction however will always find a home on my Kindle. Hopefully I can find a solution before I need to buy another non-fiction book.

Question Man: Will you let us know if you find a solution?

Me: You bet. And if anyone out there has any tips, please let me know.

Marathon Girl and Her Kindle

For our anniversary back in February I bought Marathon Girl a Kindle. Even though Marathon Girl’s an avid reader, I wasn’t sure how the gift would go over with her—after all she seemed just fine holding a paperback in her hands as she read herself to sleep at night.

For the first two or three weeks the Kindle went largely untouched because Marathon Girl had a stack of books on her nightstand that she wanted to finish. When she finished those books she picked up the Kindle and started reading the one eBook I bought along with the Kindle. And once she picked it up, hasn’t been able to put it down. Just a few of the things she loves about it include how she can resize the text, never lose her place, and look up words in the online dictionary that she’s not familiar with. Plus she likes the fact that she can download a book with a push of a button instead of having to go to a bookstore or library.

Though I’m happy the gift’s been a huge hit, it’s causing one problem in our otherwise wonderful marriage: there’s only one of them.

Yep, I love the Kindle just as much as Marathon Girl. But since we have only one, a minor (but friendly) argument can break out over who’s turn it is to use it. Alas, since the Kindle belongs to Marathon Girl and she gently reminds me of the books I need to spend time writing, I generally end up with the short end of the stick (a.k.a a paperback). So it looks like I’ll need to get my own Kindle before too long.

The good news is that there’s a rumor floating around that Kindles will be more or less free by Christmas. (First sign this might be true: there’s now an ad-sponsored version of the Kindle for $114.) And even if that turns out to be just a rumor, I’m sure we can save up the money for one by then. Until then I’ll just have to sneak in some personal Kindle time when Marathon Girl’s not looking. :-)


And speaking of Kindles, I’ve received many emails asking when The Third will be available in eBook format. Well, The Third is now available on Kindle. It should be available in other eBook formats soon.