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Daily Deals: Contemporary to Award winning middle grade books

Blackberry Winter      by     Sarah JioBlackberry Winter by Sarah Jio. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

In 2011, Sarah Jio burst onto the fiction scene with two sensational novels—The Violets of March and The Bungalow. With Blackberry Winter—taking its title from a late-season, cold-weather phenomenon—Jio continues her rich exploration of the ways personal connections can transcend the boundaries of time.

Seattle, 1933. Single mother Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, goodnight and departs to work the night-shift at a local hotel. She emerges to discover that a May-Day snow has blanketed the city, and that her son has vanished. Outside, she finds his beloved teddy bear lying face-down on an icy street, the snow covering up any trace of his tracks, or the perpetrator’s.

Seattle, 2010. Seattle Herald reporter Claire Aldridge, assigned to cover the May 1 “blackberry winter” storm and its twin, learns of the unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth. In the process, she finds that she and Vera may be linked in unexpected ways…

I’m tempted by this book but if there is anyone out there, can you tell me if it ends in a satisfactory manner? From the reviews, it sounds like part of the story is Claire’s marriage in trouble and that there are cameos from couples who were brought together in previous books which sounds like romance to me.

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Coraline Neil GaimanCoraline by Neil Gaiman. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

“Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house. . . .”

When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.

But there’s another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

Celebrating ten years of Neil Gaiman’s first modern classic for young readers, this edition is enriched with a brand-new foreword from the author, a reader’s guide, and more.

This is an Amazon daily deal. At BN, the price is 5.99. I’m astonished that it has been 10 years since this book has first been published.

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Burning Up      by     Susan AndersenBuring Up by Susan Andersen. $ 1.46 / 1.54

From the Jacket Copy:

Though it’s been years since the infamous Macy O’James stepped foot in Sugarville, Washington, everyone remembers what she supposedly did. The tiny town is still buzzing about her crime and lack of punishment.

Now back to lend her family a hand, Macy vows to hold her head high—especially at her high school reunion. But forget about the hottest man in Sugarville escorting her. Though she and fire chief Gabriel Donovan generate enough sparks to burn down the town, he’s a law-abiding, line-toeing straight arrow. So not her type.

But maybe—just maybe—he can change her mind about that.

I’m a bit flummoxed by this price, but it seems both Amazon and BN is honoring a price close to it. It is 1.46 at Amazon and 1.54 at BN. This reviewer kind of encapsulates how I feel about Andersen’s books: “The author knows how to move the story along and the dialog is snappy and fun to read. It may not have been the most original contemporary romance I’ve read, but I will say that it is well-written.”

Before the days of the erotic romance, I used to think SA wrote really steamy romance scenes. Now? Not so much.

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Catherine, Called Birdy      by     Karen CushmanCatherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Corpus Bones! I utterly loathe my life.

Catherine feels trapped. Her father is determined to marry her off to a rich man—any rich man, no matter how awful.

But by wit, trickery, and luck, Catherine manages to send several would-be husbands packing. Then a shaggy-bearded suitor from the north comes to call—by far the oldest, ugliest, most revolting suitor of them all.

Unfortunately, he is also the richest.

Can a sharp-tongued, high-spirited, clever young maiden with a mind of her own actually lose the battle against an ill-mannered, piglike lord and an unimaginative, greedy toad of a father?

Deus! Not if Catherine has anything to say about it!

The thirteen-year-old daughter of an English country knight keeps a journal in which she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off.

A number of readers mentioned how much they loved this book when I lasted featured Karen Cushman’s The Midwife’s Apprentice. The ePub can be purchased for $1.99 at Apple (opens iTunes).

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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. JuneA**
    Oct 28, 2012 @ 10:53:45

    Blackberry Winter is on my TBR, I’m looking forward to reading it when my pile goes down!

  2. joanne
    Oct 28, 2012 @ 12:03:18

    I’m a little tired of reading the countless erotic romance scenes that appear in all my books for the past few months… so many and all the same. Maybe I’ll give the Susan Andersen book a try especially since I love the wonky price. Thanks

  3. willaful
    Oct 29, 2012 @ 03:28:37

    I’m not a big Anderson fan, but I recall thinking that one was quite good. And CCB is awesome, of course.

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