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Daily Deals: Carnies and former pop princesses turned detective

Carniepunk  by Rachel Caine(Gallery Books)Carnie Punk by Rahcel Caine. $ 1.99 at AMZN | Google

From the Jacket Copy:

Come one, come all! The Carniepunk Midway promises you every thrill and chill a traveling carnival can provide. But fear not! Urban fantasy’s biggest stars are here to guide you through this strange and dangerous world. . . .

RACHEL CAINE’s vampires aren’t child’s play, as a naïve teen discovers when her heart leads her far, far astray in “The Cold Girl.” With “Parlor Tricks,” JENNIFER ESTEP pits Gin Blanco, the Elemental Assassin, against the Wheel of Death and some dangerously creepy clowns. SEANAN McGUIRE narrates a poignant, ethereal tale of a mysterious carnival that returns to a dangerous town after twenty years in “Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea.” KEVIN HEARNE’s Iron Druid and his wisecracking Irish wolfhound discover in “The Demon Barker of Wheat Street” that the impossibly wholesome sounding Kansas Wheat Festival is actually not a healthy place to hang out. With an eerie, unpredictable twist, ROB THURMAN reveals the fate of a psychopath stalking two young carnies in “Painted Love.”

Jia reviewed it and gave the collection a B- overall.

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The Book Thief  by Markus ZusakThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak . $ 3.99

From the Jacket Copy:

The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that will be in movie theaters on November 15, 2013, Markus Zusak’s unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

School Library Journal says “Zusak not only creates a mesmerizing and original story but also writes with poetic syntax, causing readers to deliberate over phrases and lines, even as the action impels them forward. Death is not a sentimental storyteller, but he does attend to an array of satisfying details, giving Liesels story all the nuances of chance, folly, and fulfilled expectation that it deserves. An extraordinary narrative”

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Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City)  by Penny ReidFriends Without Benefits by Penny Reid . $ Free

From the Jacket Copy:

Friends Without Benefits can be read as a standalone, is a full length 120k word novel, and is book #2 in the Knitting in the City Series.

There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Finney: 1) She suffers from severe sarcastic syndrome, especially when she’s unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her like Nico Manganiello, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Elizabeth Finney is almost always right about everything: the musical merits of boy bands are undervalued by society, “benefits” with human Ken dolls are better without friendship, and the sun has set on her once-in-a-lifetime chance for true love. But when Elizabeth’s plans for benefits without friendship are disarmed by the irritatingly charismatic and chauvinistic Nico Manganiello- her former nemesis- she finds herself struggling to maintain the electric fence around her heart while avoiding electrocution or, worse, falling in love.

Reid wrote this funny book called Neanderthal Seeks Human. The heroine in that book is a high functioning autistic. The heroine in Friends without Benefits is friends with the heroine in Neaderthal Seeks Human. Her one true love died when she was sixteen and Elizabeth is stuck in romantic stasis forever. (or so she believes) Ultimately the lower starred reviews mention this issue as being problematic. Either you buy into that concept or it doesn’t work for you.

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Size 12 Is Not Fat (Heather Wells Series #1) by Meg CabotSize 12 Is Not Fat (Heather Wells Mysteries) by Meg Cabot. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Heather Wells Rocks!

Or, at least, she did. That was before she left the pop-idol life behind after she gained a dress size or two — and lost a boyfriend, a recording contract, and her life savings (when Mom took the money and ran off to Argentina). Now that the glamour and glory days of endless mall appearances are in the past, Heather’s perfectly happy with her new size 12 shape (the average for the American woman!) and her new job as an assistant dorm director at one of New York’s top colleges. That is, until the dead body of a female student from Heather’s residence hall is discovered at the bottom of an elevator shaft.

The cops and the college president are ready to chalk the death off as an accident, the result of reckless youthful mischief. But Heather knows teenage girls . . . and girls do not elevator surf. Yet no one wants to listen — not the police, her colleagues, or the P.I. who owns the brownstone where she lives — even when more students start turning up dead in equally ordinary and subtly sinister ways. So Heather makes the decision to take on yet another new career: as spunky girl detective!

But her new job comes with few benefits, no cheering crowds, and lots of liabilities, some of them potentially fatal. And nothing ticks off a killer more than a portly ex-pop star who’s sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong . . .

This is a fun little series about a Resident Assistant at a NY college. Mixed in with her penchant for solving mysteries is Heather’s struggle with her ex who is becoming famous and her feelings for her ex’s hunky older brother. I enjoyed the ones that I read quite a bit.

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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. Renda
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 14:12:00

    Loved, loved, loved Reid’s Neanderthal. Can’t wait to read this one!

    And the Heather Wells series, really lots of fun.
    It will be sad reading the last one, but I am sure it is great, too.

  2. Amanda
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 14:16:45

    I loved Neanderthal Seeks Human and didn’t realize the second one was out, can’t believe that its free already.

  3. MaryK
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 14:49:11

    Jenn Bennett’s Kindling the Moon is 1.99 at Amazon. Any opinions on the series?

  4. Melissa
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 15:09:27

    I loved The Book Thief. My book club selected it last year. It’s set in Nazi Germany and is narrated by Death, so be prepared for that. I expected it to be a tearjerker. Those usually make me roll my eyes. This made me cry.

  5. Darlynne
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 15:35:52

    I tried twice to read THE BOOK THIEF and just couldn’t finish it. There wasn’t anyone remotely likable or even interesting to me–well, except for Liesel’s foster father–and I seem to be a voice of one, given all the accolades and upcoming movie.

  6. Keslynn
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 15:35:57

    @MaryK: I really enjoyed Kindling the Moon. It’s more UF than paranormal romance. It’s fairly unique – not the normal vampire and werewolf deal. I recommend it.

  7. Readsalot81
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 15:55:53

    @Mary K – Jenn Bennett’s Arcadia Bell books are one of my favorite UF series. The heroine is smart, but flawed – and the visual imagery is strong. Her books get stronger as they go along, but for $ 2 – it’s definitely worth checking out.

    I DNF’d CarniePunk. I didn’t like most of those stories. But again, for only 2 bucks – hard to go wrong if you like the line up of authors.

  8. JenM
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 16:33:03

    Two thumbs way up for Kindling the Moon. I really like this series. It’s UF, but it has a good romance between Cady and Lon, and the paranormal elements are pretty different from the usual vamps/werewolves etc.

  9. Mag
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 17:04:49

    I loved Penny Reid’s Neanderthal Seeks Human! I can’t believe this is free! So excited!

  10. JL
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 20:53:13

    I really liked Kindling the Moon, haven’t read the follow ups yet. The characters are great, but the plot is quite weak. The heroine does nothing to move the story along, it all happens behind the scenes while she goes to the movies. Too passive to live. And the big twist is obvious from beginning. That was a bit annoying but the characters and writing is so fun that none of my critiques matter. It’s one of those books that just has something special that makes up for all the flaws, if you know what I mean.

  11. Karen W.
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 21:51:04

    I loved THE BOOK THIEF and highly recommend it. A very emotional read and a book that I sitll think about after several years.

  12. Cecelia
    Oct 09, 2013 @ 08:11:30

    Got Penny Reid’s FRIENDS WITHOUT BENEFITS yesterday and could.not.stop.reading!!! I stayed up way past my bedtime and have a book hangover this morning. Getting NEANDERTHAL and starting it on my lunch break – I love Reid’s writing. Thanks so much!!

  13. Tressa
    Oct 09, 2013 @ 10:59:55

    It appears that Friends Without Benefits isn’t available at Barnes & Noble or Kobo. It is available at Amazon.

  14. Daily Deals: Monster chasers, a Prairie Bitch, and a New Adult
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 14:02:12

    […] sale in celebration of NY ComicCon. This deal was mentioned in the comments earlier this week and Keslynn shared that it was more UF than PNR but that she recommended […]

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