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Daily Deals: A painful memoir, a recommendation from The Booksmugglers, and...

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Fire & Frost by Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane, Jessica Sims. $ 0.99

From the Jacket Copy:

From the authors who brought you Wild & Steamy come three all-new tales of lovers who create their own heat, even when they’re surrounded by ice…

Speed Mating by Jessica Sims – Estrella may be going into heat, but she’s determined to remain in control. Just because she’s ovulating doesn’t mean she has to settle for just any man (or his beast). Her sexy alpha’s determined to find her a tiger to take care of her heat and father her child…but no one seems to look quite as good as the man in charge. Will giving in to her need for her alpha ruin her tenuous relationship with her clan or be a match made in heaven?

Conjuring Max by Carolyn Crane – The witches of the world ridiculed and rejected nerdy Veronica for trying to use newfangled computers to enhance old world spellcasting. Well, it’s 1984 now, and she’s perfected her spellcasting computer program. Hey, who needs friends when you can conjure virtually anything…or anybody? So when Veronica makes powerful new enemies, she conjures Max, a pitbull of a cop, to deal with the pesky hitmen who keep coming around. Maybe Veronica can finally get some peace and quiet so she can work on her computer. But tough-guy Max is in no mood to play lapdog to a gorgeous witch.

Wrecked by Meljean Brook – A Tale of the Iron Seas – Elizabeth has spent the past five years running from her father; her father’s huntsman, Caius, has spent the past five years pursuing her. But when he finally catches up to her on an airship flying above Europe’s zombie-infested cities, Elizabeth discovers that Caius isn’t the only danger she has to fear–and now that he’s found her, Caius doesn’t intend to let her go…

I bought this anthology this morning and plan to read it at the subway stops, the cab rides, and all the lines around BEA.  Buy it.  You won’t regret it.

Brie from Romance Around the Corner says Fire and Frost is the newest collaboration between authors Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane and Jessica Sims. The novellas are unique and almost impossible to compare, but they do have two things in common: the charming, compelling characters and the way the “hot and cold” theme has been cleverly incorporated into each story…It’s unusual to find an anthology where all the novellas are equally strong, albeit for different reasons.

Brie says that these are stand alone novellas that do not require any previous knowledge of the series in which the novellas are set.

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The Space Between Trees Katie WilliamsThe Space Between the Trees by Katie Williams. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

This story was supposed to be about Evie—how she hasn’t made a friend in years, how she tends to stretch the truth (especially about her so-called relationship with college drop-out Jonah Luks), and how she finally comes into her own once she learns to just be herself—but it isn’t. Because when her classmate Elizabeth “Zabet” McCabe’s murdered body is found in the woods, everything changes—and Evie’s life is never the same again.

The Booksmugglers rated this book as one of the best of 2010. The protagonist is a socially awkward young woman and not in the way that she stumbles in the hallway only to be picked up by the class god. Instead, she doesn’t know how to make friends and sits on the periphery of life, interacting in painfully wrong ways.

A girl, Elizabeth “Zabet” McCabe’s, is murdered in the woods that surround Evie’s paper delivery route. Her body is found on a Sunday, and Evie is there to see it being carried away. Later, she discovers that it was Zabet who died, a girl her age, someone she knew a long time ago. At the girl’s funeral, Evie tells a terrible lie to Zabet’s father: she tells him that she was one of Zabet’s closest friends. The poor man, distraught with grief, uses that to try and connect with his dead daughter via (made up) stories that Evie tells and the only person who knows the truth is Hadley, Zabet’s real best friend. But possibly out of compassion, Hadley doesn’t reveal the truth to Zabet’s father, preferring instead to confront Evie in private, after which the two girls strike an uneasy friendship which is charged with not only grief, but fear, regret and the need to come to tears with Zabet’s death.

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A Deeper Dimension      by Amanda CarpenterA Deeper Dimension by Amanda Carpenter. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

An independent woman, a strong-willed man, and a love neither of them can deny. Diana needed no one. She’d survived on her own, put herself through school, and was totally self-sufficient. And now, at twenty-six, she had a successful career in the business world. And despite the fact that her new boss, Alex Mason was dynamic and attractive, she was determined to keep it strictly professional between them. But when unscrupulous business rivals threaten to destroy all that Alex has built, Diana finds herself falling for the hard-working man she discovers behind his formal faãade. And the closer she gets to Alex, the farther she drifts from her hard-fought independence… This Retro Romance reprint was previously published in March 1984 by Harlequin Books.

Before Thea Harrison became Thea Harrison of the Pia and Dragos series, she wrote Harlequin Romances under the name of Amanda Carpenter. My favorite is the one with the two young virgins (and maybe that could be rightly classified as New Adult).

I can’t remember this title, but I read them all shortly after I discovered her alter ego, ordering them used off the internet. They were all decently written, quiet romances.

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Alice Sebold LuckyLucky by Alice Sebold. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Enormously visceral, emotionally gripping, and imbued with the belief that justice is possible even after the most horrific of crimes, Alice Sebold’s compelling memoir of her rape at the age of eighteen is a story that takes hold of you and won’t let go.

Sebold fulfills a promise that she made to herself in the very tunnel where she was raped: someday she would write a book about her experience. With Lucky she delivers on that promise with mordant wit and an eye for life’s absurdities, as she describes what she was like both as a young girl before the rape and how that rape changed but did not sink the woman she later became.

It is Alice’s indomitable spirit that we come to know in these pages. The same young woman who sets her sights on becoming an Ethel Merman-style diva one day (despite her braces, bad complexion, and extra weight) encounters what is still thought of today as the crime from which no woman can ever really recover. In an account that is at once heartrending and hilarious, we see Alice’s spirit prevail as she struggles to have a normal college experience in the aftermath of this harrowing, life-changing event.

No less gripping is the almost unbelievable role that coincidence plays in the unfolding of Sebold’s narrative. Her case, placed in the inactive file, is miraculously opened again six months later when she sees her rapist on the street. This begins the long road to what dominates these pages: the struggle for triumph and understanding — in the courtroom and outside in the world.

Lucky is, quite simply, a real-life thriller. In its literary style and narrative tension we never lose sight of why this life story is worth reading. At the end we are left standing in the wake of devastating violence, and, like the writer, we have come to know what it means to survive.

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Graveminder Melissa MarrGraveminder by Melissa Marr. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Three sips to mind the dead . . .

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the attention her grandmother Maylene bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the small town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn’t a funeral that Maylene didn’t attend, and at each one Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: She took three sips from a silver flask and spoke the words “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”

Now Maylene is dead, and Bek must go back to the place she left a decade earlier. She soon discovers that Claysville is not just the sleepy town she remembers, and that Maylene had good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in Claysville the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected; beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D. If the dead are not properly cared for, they will come back to satiate themselves with food, drink, and stories from the land of the living. Only the Graveminder, by tradition a Barrow woman, and her Undertaker—in this case Byron Montgomery, with whom Bek shares a complicated past—can set things right once the dead begin to walk.

Although she is still grieving for Maylene, Rebekkah will soon find that she has more than a funeral to attend to in Claysville, and that what awaits her may be far worse: dark secrets, a centuries-old bargain, a romance that still haunts her, and a frightening new responsibility—to stop a monster and put the dead to rest where they belong.

Marr seems to have fallen off the radar a bit since her debut series, Wicked Lovely. That was back in the heydey of teen paranormal romance. Graveminder sounds interesting. Apparently this was on sale for $1.99 back in December 2012 and I wrote “Peculiar and spooky are some of the words used to describe this book but the criticisms point to the blandness of the characters who are vanilla and cardboard according to one reviewer.”

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and 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


  1. Isobel Carr
    May 28, 2013 @ 14:27:36

    I paid full price for Grave Minder when it first came out and I don’t regret it. It was interesting and different, even if I did find the progression of some aspects of the story slow or stilted. For $1.99, I’d certainly recommend it.

  2. Tabitha
    May 28, 2013 @ 14:49:15

    Fire and Frost is coming up as $0.99 at Amazon. Sold. :)

  3. marjorie
    May 28, 2013 @ 14:51:09

    Melissa Marr just published a middle-grade novel (writing as M.A. Marr) with Kelley Armstrong called Loki’s Wolves. Norse mythology in South Dakota. Meh characterization and writing, IMHO.

  4. KatieF
    May 28, 2013 @ 16:00:02

    @marjorie: I just started reading Loki’s Wolves with my 10-year old. The description sounded great but it’s not holding my son’s attention (or mine to be completely honest). I’m hoping it gets better as we get further into it but, so far, it’s pretty uninteresting

  5. AmyW
    May 28, 2013 @ 19:52:59

    I was a big fan of Wicked Lovely but I’ve fallen off the Melissa Marr bandwagon with the later books and Carnival of Souls. I found they relied too much on instalove and were really slow. I’ve been tempted by some of her newer stuff but I think I’ll pass based on the comments her.

  6. cbackson
    May 29, 2013 @ 08:48:36

    I can’t recommend “Lucky” enough. It’s a tremendously important book, especially (I think) for people who’ve never been exposed to sexual violence. There’s a line in the book (“we save ourselves or we remain unsaved”) that’s become something of a watchword for me. There’s a strong societal message that those who’ve been victimized in that way forever remain hapless and broken creatures (reflected in the frequent statement that rape is a fate worse than death). Without being heavy handed, “Lucky” is a powerful corrective to that idea: your agency is not gone forever and experiencing rape doesn’t mean you’re ruined for life.

  7. cleo
    May 29, 2013 @ 09:40:23

    I’m reading Fire and Frost right now and it’s so good.

  8. Shelley
    May 29, 2013 @ 13:45:11

    I highly recommend “Lucky”. I read this after “The Lovely Bones” which was so heartbreakingly awesome. I wasn’t sure what I would take from this before I started even though I knew it was autobiographical but I ended up getting so much out of it. I am pretty sure I covered every emotion in the spectrum and felt wrung out after finishing but I am very glad that I read it. I felt truly privileged that Ms. Sebold shared this story with us.

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