A Review of the Interactive Story, Hearts of Iron: War Stories

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 6.45.09 PMHearts of Iron: War Stories by Aaron Rosenberg

Hearts of Iron: War Stories is a branching narrative about a young British pilot during the Battle of Britain.

Churchill once said “Never was so much owed by so many to so few”! Take part in this historic turning point during WWII as you make your own choices on the way.

Be wise! The decisions you make will influence which skills you learn, your relationships with other characters and even the story’s outcome.

The narrative is written by the well-known writer Aaron Rosenberg and lovingly edited by Paradox Interactive.

Hearts of Iron: War Stories is part of the Paradox Interactive’s Hearts of Iron franchise, which includes the PC grand strategy video games, music and books.
You are strongly encouraged to create an account and login, especially if you own other Paradox games, although it is not required to experience this game book.

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Guest Post: TaleHunt, An App That Brings Out Your Inner Storyteller


By Aby Matthew – Co-founder and CMO of TaleHunt

TaleHunt is an app that features stories 250 characters or less. The platform has built up a community of writers and readers.

Imagine how amazing it is for us to craft a story and others to get enraptured by our imaginary world of tales? The most powerful way to articulate our lives is by writing a story. Writing helps us to understand ourselves from yet another perspective, to feel each and every moment in our lives, to explore a “deep me” within ourselves, and much more. So next time you dismiss the thought of writing a story because of lack of time, dedication or perseverance, checkout the TaleHunt mobile app that brings out your inner storyteller. Continue reading

Authorly, Turn Your Book Into An App


Recently I learned about a new tool called Authorly, which can turn books into apps to sell in all the major app stores, including Google Play, iTunes, and the Amazon app store (see my post, “Turning Your Ebook Into An App“).

Authorly allows authors to easily create apps for their books, and make them interactive. And although I like the service, I do want to point out that the gap between ebooks and apps is closing, and ebooks in certain forms can also have interactivity. For example, enhanced ebooks (with EPUB3) can contain video, audio, and some javascript for interactivity. KF8, the newest ebook format for Amazon, can have hotspots, where you touch a certain area on the screen and it magnifies the text. And iBooks Author allows for widgets and almost endless possibilities for interactivity with javascript and HTML5, such as zooming images, scrolling sidebars, pop-overs, 3D images, questions within the text, and more. Continue reading

PressReader: Connecting People Through News


PressReader is an innovative app that connects readers with more than 2,400 newspapers in 57 languages. The app can auto-deliver content, save articles, and share via social media. Earlier this year, the company released an interesting graphic of the top stories of 2013, along with facts about how and when people read.

Nikolay Malyarov, EVP, Chief Content Officer and General Counsel at PressReader, kindly took the time to answer some of my questions about the app. Continue reading

NARR8, an Interactive Content Channel


NARR8 is an innovative, new(ish) content platform and mobile app. Founded in 2011 by Alexandr Vashchenko, NARR8 was inspired by Vaschenko’s love of comic books and entertainment media.

“The name ‘NARR8’ came from the idea of combining story telling, or ‘narration,’ with the number 8, which, aside from being an auspiciously lucky number in certain parts of the world, also resembles the Mobius strip—the symbol of infinity,” Alexis Valerio, Senior PR Manager for NARR8, said. “We wanted to emphasize the idea that NARR8 would offer both infinite breadth in the form of a variety of content genres, and infinite depth in the form of episode after episode of great stories.” Continue reading

E-Book Review: Cinderella, an interactive EPUB3 book


Cinderella by Charles Perrault, Stanislav Ustymenko

Cinderella – World-famous fairy tale accompanied by questions.

During the reading children are constantly interacting with the characters of the fairy tale, so they need to answer a small educational question to move to each next page. This turns reading into an exciting and entertaining process supporting comprehensive development of the child.

Languages: English, French, German, Russian. Continue reading

ChannelCaster, a new social mobile app

Apps are becoming a big part of our culture. Recently my sister has gotten into the app world. Right now she’s working for ChannelCaster, and here’s what she has to say:

ChannelCaster is a new mobile app that allows users to discover, mash and share content on their mobile/tablet devices. Users are able to create and broadcast their own channels featuring any interest they may have by combining the latest news from sources like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and other blogs. The app is created by OneLouder, completely free on the Android market and super addicting….I heard about the app through a campus ambassador program with Youth Marketing Connection and have been promoting the app on the UCLA Campus. I have created some great channels like Around the World on a Discount and Dining and Entertainment in Westwood, CA. For more information on ChannelCaster or to download the app follow this link and get connected!

This Week in Publishing

Here’s what’s going on in the publishing industry this week:

It’s JFK month. Makes sense, since this year marks the 50th anniversary of his election.

On Monday The Perseus Books Group, along with NBC News, released a new iPad app, JFK: 50 Days. The app complements the new book, “JFK Day by Day,” and it features 50 days of JFK’s presidency, including rare footage from NBC, interviews, and intimate Kennedy family moments.

iPad app gives an intimate look into JFK presidency

Expanding on that last link, Gallery BooksSimon & SchusterCBS News and The Discovery Channel have collaborated to produce a second e-book about JFK’s presidency. The e-book, titled “The Kennedy Detail,” will be released on November 22, the day The Discovery Channel will premiere it’s documentary, “The Kennedy Detail.”

Simon & Schuster to Release Enhanced E-Book on JFK

Also LIFE, where I’m currently working, published an exclusive gallery of never-before-seen photos of JFK at the beginning of this month to commemorate the election.

JFK: Unpublished

In other news, Google has signed an accord with France’s biggest book publisher Hachette Livre on the scanning and sale of out-of-print books, which grants the publisher wide control over pricing and content–apparently the deal covers about 50,000 books. Hachette will be the first publisher to collaborate with Google. Interesting, since in December 2009 a court in Paris ruled that Google had violated French copyright law against La Martinière.

Google, Hachette ink accord on book scanning

Copia, a social networking site for book readers, has finally gone live. But they also canceled production of their ereader devices and instead will partner with a yet unnamed company. This was a surprise since they had previously announced they would offer a $99 e-reader. Some of the features of the iPad app will be writing in the margins of e- books.

Copia’s Book Retail Social Network Goes Live; Devices Cancelled

And lastly, it looks like the iPad will soon have some serious competition (maybe). Blackberry is planning on releasing it’s Playbook tablet sometime next year. In the meantime, here’s a (slightly biased) video comparison of the iPad and the Playbook.

Blackberry Playbook vs. iPad: A Video Comparison