Bargain & Daily Book Deals 09/30/17

Today on Amazon’s Gold Box, get up to 30% Off on select Britax car seats and accessories, 37% Off on Philips Norelco Series 5100 Beard & Head Trimmer and 50% Off on Pioneer Surround Elite Atmos Soundbar Home Speaker.

Coming up in tonight’s Lightning Deals is Disney Bedtime Favorites (starts for Prime members at 8:44pm ET).

If you have any interest in the History of Modern Science and Physics, be sure to snag Light Falls: Space, Time, and an Obsession of Einstein, which is only $0.99 from Audible today.

If you are a writer, the daily deal on Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere) for $1.99 looks to be worth picking up.

Today’s Daily Steal at Downpour is Carol: The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, read by Cassandra Campbell, which is described as an LBGT classic. The DRM-Free download is $3.95 today, as is This Side of Wild: Mutts, Mares, and Laughing Dinosaurs by Newbery Honor–winning author Gary Paulsen, read by Fred Sanders, and Old Wolf by Avi, read by Kirby Heyborne.

Over at Discover SciFi, you can enter to win “100 eBooks from Modern Master’s of Science Fiction”, plus you are supposed to get 5 free ebooks just for entering (my link still hasn’t shown up, but perhaps they are just slow?)

  • GRAND PRIZE of 20 eBooks by some of the top names in sci-fi: David Weber, Peter F. Hamilton, Octavia Butler, Greg Egan, William Gibson, and more PLUS 80 eBooks from the author’s at Discover Sci-Fi
  • PLUS 100 RUNNER UP PRIZES of a 10-pack of eBooks from the authors at Discover Sci-Fi: Evan Currie, Bobby Adair, Daniel Arenson, Samuel Peralta, Matthew Mather, Nicholas Sansbury Smith, Nick Webb, Joshua Dalzelle & Jay Allan.
  • And EVERYONE** who signs up automatically gets five digital books from this selection of authors, right away. A link to your free books will be emailed to you as soon as you sign up.

Bargain Picks

A Shadow Bright and Burning: Kingdom on Fire #1 ($1.99 Kindle), by Jessica Cluess [Random House Books for Young Readers] – Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

I am Henrietta Howel.
The first female sorcerer in hundreds of years.
The prophesied one.
Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one.
As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess’s spellbinding fantasy introduces a powerful, unforgettably heroine, and a world filled with magic, romance, and betrayal. Hand to fans of Libba Bray, Sarah J. Maas, and Cassandra Clare.

Chew: Fall Flavors, The: More than 20 Seasonal Recipes from The Chew Kitchen ($2.99 Kindle), by The Chew (Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly, Gordon Elliott, Daphne Oz, Mario Batali and Michael Symon) [Disney]

Appearing daily on ABC stations, The Chew celebrates and explores life through food, with a group of dynamic, engaging, fun, relatable co-hosts who serve up everything to do with food-from cooking and home entertaining to food trends, restaurants, holidays, and more-all aimed at making life better, fuller, and more fun.

This lively companion book not only captures The Chew’s trademark wit, fun, practical advice, and recipes-but highlights the easy ideas that have brought so much to America’s family table. The book offers up 100 mouth-watering recipes, divided into seasons, as well as nutrition and entertaining tips and behind the scenes dish from the show. It will be attractively designed to mirror the aesthetic of the show, and filled with gorgeous full color photos throughout– food shots and photos from the set.

Length: 240 pages

Open Road One Day Deals & Promos

Snoopy the Flying Ace ($1.99 Kindle), is just one of Charles M. Schulz’s collections on sale today only from Open Road. Looks like I’ll be filling in a few missing titles today! For those with Kindle Unlimited, a several of the titles are free to read.

This collection of comics starring Charles M. Schulz’s beloved Peanuts gang highlights Snoopy’s adventures in the sky.

Spend time with Charlie Brown and friends in this funny and charming collection of comic strips culled from Charles M. Schulz’s work. As Snoopy zooms through the air and fights off the infamous Red Baron, nothing can stop this flying ace and his Sopwith Camel fighter plane—except maybe dinner.

Award-winning author Charles M. Schulz’s classic Peanuts comics continue to be discovered and cherished by new generations of fans around the world.

More Daily Deals

Sweetshop of Dreams: A Novel with Recipes ($1.99 Kindle), by Jenny Colgan [Sourcebooks Landmark]

“Sheer indulgence from start to finish.” – Sophie Kinsella

Rosie Hopkins thinks leaving her busy London life, and her boyfriend Gerard, to sort out her elderly Aunt Lilian s sweetshop in a small country village is going to be dull. Boy, is she wrong.

Rosie’s life is…comfortable. And even though she might like to pursue a more rewarding career, and Gerard doesn’t seem to have any plans to propose, Rosie’s not complaining. Things could be worse. Right?

Lilian Hopkins has spent her life running Lipton’s sweetshop, through wartime and family feuds. When her great-niece Rosie arrives to help her with the shop, Lillian struggles with the idea that it might finally be time to settle up, and wrestles with the secret history hidden behind the jars of beautifully colored sweets.

But as Rosie gets Lilian back on her feet, breathes a new life into the candy shop, and gets to know the mysterious and solitary Stephen-whose family seems to own the entire town-she starts to think that settling for what’s comfortable might not be so great after all.

A charming, heartwarming story of nostalgic sweets and finding yourself, fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Weiner and Jill Mansell will be craving sweets and a romance of their own.

Other books by Jenny Colgan:
Meet Me At The Cupcake Café – “A hilarious, fast-paced fantasy about starting over, perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella. Absolutely adorable.” – Booklist
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris – A heartwarming and bittersweet story of love lost and found
Sweetshop of Dreams – A charming story of nostalgic sweets and finding yourself in unexpected places

UK Kindle Daily Deals
More Bargain Picks

How to Hang A Witch ($1.99 Kindle), by AUTHOR [Knopf Books for Young Readers] – #1 New York Times bestseller; A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens, 2016

It’s the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in this New York Times bestselling novel from one of the descendants of Cotton Mather, where the trials of high school start to feel like a modern-day witch hunt for a teen with all the wrong connections to Salem’s past.

Salem, Massachusetts, is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials—and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves the Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that weren’t enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real, live (well, technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries-old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.

Firstlife: An Everlife Novel ($1.99 Kindle), by Gena Showalter [Harlequin Teen]

From the author of the New York Times bestselling White Rabbit Chronicles series comes book 1 of a brand new series in which life as we know it is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.

There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t where the boy she’s falling for lives? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

May be price matched at, iTunes or Kobo for those needing EPUB.

Please see this post in regards to backing up your books purchased from B&N and this post if you are having problems with the new web design.

All prices current at the time the post is written. Most bargain books remain at their listed price until “midnight” (each store operates on it’s own timezone and schedule), but prices can change at any moment. I have seen prices change within the hour or even minutes after posting.

Note: Any Amazon links go to the post on the blog, rather than directly to Amazon. Just click the link from the blog post itself to go to Amazon from there.


The Nail in the Coffin of Our Hearts: Five Hundred Years of Fighting Idolatry

The Nail in the Coffin of Our Hearts

Five hundred years ago, God ignited a small flame in Wittenberg, Germany, and it grew into the golden blaze of the Protestant Reformation. What started in the hands of Martin Luther’s fabled hammer swings, soon became a battering ram which rung across the culture, smashing every false image of God in the cultural worship of the day.

It got messy.

Yes, it smashed images and statues and shrines and icons and relics. But these were simply outward manifestations of the invisible idols rooted in sinful hearts — idols sometimes perpetuated under the guise of “Christianity.”

The Reformers perceived the ancient expression of idol-making as simply the expression of an inner idol, a falsely placed confidence. The Protestant Reformation was a declaration of war on vain thoughts about God. And when war is declared against vain thoughts about God, war is declared on the culture’s idols.

Idol Factory

John Calvin fought in this battle, famously writing that “Man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.” But listen to what Calvin says a few sentences later.

Man’s mind, full as it is of pride and boldness, dares to imagine a god according to its own capacity; as it sluggishly plods, indeed is overwhelmed with the crassest ignorance, it conceives an unreality and an empty appearance as God. (Institutes, 1:108)

Nothing is more dangerous than religious confidence in a fake god of our own imagining.

Martin Luther fought this same war, writing against Rome:

The wicked say and confess . . . “I am a monk. I serve God with vows and ceremonies. Because of this he will give me eternal life.” But who tells you that you thus are worshiping the true God, when he has not commanded these things? Therefore you have made up for yourself some god who wants these things, although there is no true God who requires this or who wants to give eternal life because of this. What then are you worshiping except an idol of your own heart, whom you think the righteousness of your works pleases? (Works, 18:9–10)

Hear the unmasked lie: “I’ll be happy once I attain my spiritual security in my own meritorious deeds and vows and ceremonies.”

This claim is a false idol — a false security in the flesh — a false image of God and a false gospel and a false god altogether.

Shallow Theology

The Protestant Reformation was ignited by this confrontation with vain securities. The Reformers opposed images and statues and shrines and icons and relics. But far more central, the Reformers were aiming at the doctrinal idols, the false claims about God, and the presumptions concerning God that misled whole generations (Colossians 2:8; 2 Corinthians 10:4–5).

The Reformers drew from the first three commands to challenge this universal attraction of idols in every culture.

  • Command 1 in Exodus 20:3 — Don’t follow other gods.
  • Command 2 in Exodus 20:4–6 — Don’t corrupt your worship of God with vain images.
  • Command 3 in Exodus 20:7 — Don’t use God’s name in vain.

The three commands are three divine warnings against vain and shallow thoughts about God.

Warning 1 forbids syncretism. Don’t think that you can mix God with your worship of idols. If you want one-third of God, and two-thirds of other idols, you get none of God. Syncretism is vain thinking about God.

Warning 2 forbids reductionism. Don’t think that you can reduce God down into something manageable that you can hold in one hand like a household idol or a little golden calf. The earth is his footstool (Isaiah 66:1). Reductionism of God is vain thinking about God.

Warning 3 forbids presumption. Don’t speak rashly of God. It is vanity to think that we can invoke God’s name to cover over our ignorance of who he really is. Presumption about God is a cloak over vain thinking about him.

At root, all the physical idols of the Old Testament lie about God. That’s all they can do: lie. Idols are birthed from lies. Thus, in turn, idols can only preach sermons of deceit to their worshipers (Habakkuk 2:18; Zechariah 10:2; Jeremiah 10:15).

And as Luther discovered in the text of Scripture, the golden calf was fashioned with a stylus, a “graving tool” originally meant to write truth about God, but instead used to shape a golden lie (Exodus 32:4).

Our Idols Today

Taking aim at the religious idols of the age would become the battlefront as the Reformers reclaimed and proclaimed the epistles of Paul to the Galatians and Romans.

Man’s heart is an idol factory, and it took an entire revolution to slow its gears. Preachers had to be trained and sent out, evangelists had to take up the call, missionaries had to sail across dark seas to unknown lands, translators had to bring Scripture into the vernacular of the people, and healthy local churches had to grow so they could serve in this war. Every believer had to resist the idol factory of their heart by filling their hearts with Christ and nourishing themselves with robust knowledge of who God has revealed himself to be in Scripture.

This was the central concern the Reformers aimed at 500 years ago. Shallow thinking about God always replaces God, and sets in his place a fraudulent idol of security or sex or wealth or power or even of religion.

The Morning Star of the Reformation kbwo302a

Martin Luther didn’t stand alone 500 years ago. Nor does he stand alone today.

To mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we invite you to join us on a 31-day journey, beginning October 1, just 5–7 minutes each day, to meet the many heroes of the Reformation.

The sad reality is that Scripture warns us over and over that we are all idol-makers. Seven billion polytheists today cannot (and will not) stop worshiping, because they cannot stop placing their hope and future security in things. Sovereign grace must break our idolatrous impulses.

As John Calvin so famously put it: The human heart is an idol factory, churning out new idols like the conveyor belt in a manufacturing plant rolling out new widgets. Viral idols gush out of fallen hearts and flood every nook and cranny of media in our culture — in social media, television, music, movies, and novels and memoirs.

A long time ago in Wittenberg, Germany, a monk ignited a 500-year war on idolatry. And the Reformation flame endures because the fundamental battle wars on today.

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