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Daily Deals: A classic science fiction, a romance, a recommended mystery...

Island Beneath the Sea - A Novel      By: Isabel AllendeIsland Beneath the Sea by Isabelle Allende. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Born on the island of Saint-Domingue, Zarité—known as Tété—is the daughter of an African mother she never knew and one of the white sailors who brought her into bondage. Though her childhood is one of brutality and fear, Tété finds solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and the voodoo loa she discovers through her fellow slaves.

When twenty-year-old Toulouse Valmorain arrives on the island in 1770, it’s with powdered wigs in his trunks and dreams of financial success in his mind. But running his father’s plantation, Saint Lazare, is neither glamorous nor easy. Although Valmorain purchases young Tété for his bride, it is he who will become dependent on the services of his teenaged slave.

Against the merciless backdrop of sugarcane fields, the lives of Tété and Valmorain grow ever more intertwined. When the bloody revolution of Toussaint Louverture arrives at the gates of Saint Lazare, they flee the brutal conditions of the French colony, soon to become Haiti, for the raucous, free-wheeling enterprise of New Orleans. There Tété finally forges a new life, but her connection to Valmorain is deeper than anyone knows and not easily severed. With an impressive richness of detail, and a narrative wit and brio second to none, Allende crafts the riveting story of one woman’s determination to find love amid loss, to offer humanity though her own has been so battered, and to forge a new identity in the cruelest of circumstances.

This is part of the “Book Club Girl” promotion by HarperCollins. 13 titles are discounted to $1.99, most of them have been featured here previously. This three star review on Goodreads gives a good summary of the book. The reviewer graded the book lower because he had just read Hilary Mantel and didn’t think Allende was as good a writer.

This book contains two major themes. First, it is a historical novel describing the Haitian slave rebellion (1791–1804) and New Orleans’ Creole society and culture of the same era. Second, the book provides a clever fictional plot that shows the ironic difficulties that can arise in a strictly racially segregated slave holding society where there’s an in between mulatto class who are blood relatives to both black and whites, and everybody pretends the relationships don’t exist.

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No One Needs to Know Made in Montana - 744	By Debbi Rawlins No One Needs to Know by Debbi Rawlins . $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

He wants to turn her in-she wants to take him to bed!

The moment wealthy ranch owner Tucker Brennan sees Annie Sheridan’s photo on a website, he knows he’s finally found the woman who let his brother take the fall in an embezzlement scheme. Now Tucker is on his way to the Safe Haven animal shelter in Montana to find out what really happened?and bring Annie to justice.

With a struggling shelter and no cash, Annie Sheridan has her hands so full that she’s almost forgotten why she had to go into hiding. So when the sleek and damnably good-lookin’ Tucker shows up offering a donation-and potential nooky action!- Annie figures things are finally going right.

There are secrets. There are lies. And there’s one heck of an attraction. But once they give themselves over to lust, no one needs to know?.

All four of this month’s Harlequin Blaze’s are on sale for $1.99. I’ll feature them over the next few days. There aren’t many reviews on this book but one said that the heat level was lower than expected.

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Now May You Weep      By: Deborah CrombieNow May You Weep by Deborah Crombie. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Newly appointed Detective Inspector Gemma James has never thought to question her friend Hazel Cavendish about her past. So it is quite a shock when Gemma learns that their holiday retreat to a hotel in the Scottish Highlands is, in fact, Hazel’s homecoming — and that fellow guest Donald Brodie was once Hazel’s lover, despite a vicious, long-standing feud between their rival, fine whiskey distilling families. And the fires of a fierce and passionate affair may not have burned out completely — on Brodie’s part at least, since he’s prepared to destroy Hazel’s marriage to win back his “Juliet.” But when a sudden, brutal murder unleashes a slew of sinister secrets and long-seething hatreds, putting Hazel’s life in peril, Gemma knows she will need help unraveling this very bloody knot — and calls for the one man she trusts more than any other, Duncan Kincaid, to join her far from home … and in harm’s way.

Janet W sent me this deal. She enjoys Crombie and says while it is midway through a long mystery series, the book has an Agatha Christie feeling to it. “The author is fantastic–not every book as good as the next but the ones set in London are truly wonderful. In my humble opinion, she is dead-one w/her British vocabulary and sensibilities.”

Thanks for the recommendation, Janet.

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Cryptonomicon by Neal StephensonCryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

With this extraordinary first volume in what promises to be an epoch-making masterpiece, Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.

In 1942, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse—mathematical genius and young Captain in the U.S. Navy—is assigned to detachment 2702. It is an outfit so secret that only a handful of people know it exists, and some of those people have names like Churchill and Roosevelt. The mission of Waterhouse and Detachment 2702—commanded by Marine Raider Bobby Shaftoe-is to keep the Nazis ignorant of the fact that Allied Intelligence has cracked the enemy’s fabled Enigma code. It is a game, a cryptographic chess match between Waterhouse and his German counterpart, translated into action by the gung-ho Shaftoe and his forces.

Fast-forward to the present, where Waterhouse’s crypto-hacker grandson, Randy, is attempting to create a “data haven” in Southeast Asia—a place where encrypted data can be stored and exchanged free of repression and scrutiny. As governments and multinationals attack the endeavor, Randy joins forces with Shaftoe’s tough-as-nails granddaughter, Amy, to secretly salvage a sunken Nazi submarine that holds the key to keeping the dream of a data haven afloat. But soon their scheme brings to light a massive conspiracy with its roots in Detachment 2702 linked to an unbreakable Nazi code called Arethusa. And it will represent the path to unimaginable riches and a future of personal and digital liberty…or to universal totalitarianism reborn.

A breathtaking tour de force, and Neal Stephenson’s most accomplished and affecting work to date, Cryptonomicon is profound and prophetic, hypnotic and hyper-driven, as it leaps forward and back between World War II and the World Wide Web, hinting all the while at a dark day-after-tomorrow. It is a work of great art, thought and creative daring; the product of a truly iconoclastic imagination working with white-hot intensity.

The reviews are all over the place for this book. It’s super long. Even the positive reviews said that the prose is overly verbose at times. But this is hailed as a modern classic. At $1.99 you can buy it and save it for when you have a week off and nothing better to do, right?

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

12 Comments

  1. lakaribane
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 14:20:29

    Ok, I had NO IDEA Isabel Allende had written such a book. I may just have to buy it now even though she is hit or miss for me. Just one thing, the heroine’s name,wow. On one hand, not sure why exactly her name is Zarité and not Charité. Does she have a lisp? Second, tété for HTs means breasts. I may have to block out the character’s name while reading it.

    The title is interesting too because recently a rather controversial (to me, anyway) personality died and he was one of the many, many people who believe the island was originally a part of Atlantis. Just to be clear, I do not believe that AT ALL!!! but was shocked at how many people around me do. I also read a references to the beliefs in mermaids and rivers spirits into the title.

    Still, the story sounds to me like a cliché: dawn of the revolution, forbidden love, the hardship of slavery, New Orleans etc. I hope a DA reader has read it and can offer an opinion so I can decided whether to read it or not.

  2. Tina
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 14:57:00

    The Deborah Crombie series is great., I glommed in big time last year. It has a very strong romance thread woven through the series as Gemma & Duncan fall in love in the course of the books. And while the mysteries are the main-stay and primary focus, their domestic drama plays a larger and larger part as the series goes on.

  3. Brian
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 15:19:46

    Another Crombie fan chiming in, got into the series last year when most of the books were on sale.

  4. cleo
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 15:45:54

    Ripetide has a sale (in honor of Stars and Stripes winning DABWAHA) until April 15th – 30% off all backlist and 50% off select titles. More info at http://www.riptidepublishing.com/news/dabwaha-backlist

  5. Miranda Neville
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 15:55:00

    I loved Cryptonomicon, which someone on Twitter recommended as a vacation read a couple of years ago. It is long – I sometimes got frustrated with lengthy digressions – but also gripping. I did feel it was a book I’d have enjoyed more in print. With three major story lines coming and going there were many times I wanted to flip back to refresh my memory. But there was no way I was lugging a 900 page book to Greece. Plus you can’t beat $1.99.

  6. Anouk
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 17:56:57

    @lakaribane:

    I read this last year. It’s a good book. However, if anyone is expecting a focus on romance and a romanticized depiction of slavery, this is not the book they should read.

    This may contain a spoiler so please don’t continue if you don’t want to be spoiled.

    I had a hard time with some parts because it’s not really a happy book, but then again it’s a book about slaves, slavery, a revolution, emancipation, and life after you think the worst is over. So you know… Also, whenever an author writes about slavery and the author is not afraid of offending, there usually is no redemption for the slavers at the end. That is reality. It’s like Octavia Butler’s Kindred in that aspect.

    Anyway, it’s a good book that requires some critical thinking and worth the read.

    By the way, if you use the French translation of tétér, suck or suckle, then Téte’s name would mean suckled, which works with one of the themes. I don’t know if that helps. :)

  7. Moriah Jovan
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 18:14:55

    I loved Cryptonomicon. Spent an entire weekend in my comfiest chair reading it (BK–before kids). Someone had recommended I read Snow Crash and it didn’t appeal to me, so they recommended Crypto. That hooked me. I’ve been a Stephenson fangirl since. The length didn’t bother me, nor the digressions, nor the verbosity. Atmosphere!

  8. hapax
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 20:21:53

    I loved the historical and crypto aspects of CRYPTONOMICON, but fair warning: if you expect to see *any* female character (no matter how minor) serve any function other than to be the receptacle for male penises or to squirt out (male) children, you will be sorely disappointed.

    Haven’t bothered to try any Stephenson since, but others tell me that he hasn’t much improved in that regard.

  9. hapax
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 20:55:38

    Hmm. Did my comment get stuck in moderation?

    I can’t believe that the word “pen is” triggered the spamtrap on this site, but I don’t know what else could have.

    Note for future reference: should I have have used “dick” or “wang” or “Mighty Staff of Lurve” instead?

  10. Jane
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 21:01:07

    @hapax – I am sure it was pen is. Askimet is our spam blocker of choice and so I guess other blogs don’t like the word.

  11. hapax
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 21:15:59

    Thanks, Jane!

    I don’t want to bogart the thread, so you may please delete me at #9 (and here, of course), unless you think others might find it informative.

  12. Lakaribane
    Apr 10, 2013 @ 20:14:27

    @Anouk: Thanks for the feedback, Anouk! My mother tells me the bookstore where she works has the French translation so I might get it paper.

    Good to know the heroine’s name is some sort of theme from the story itself. Ouf!

    And I am not looking for happy in these types of books, don’t worry!

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