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Daily Deals: Inspies; Vegas; and Hollywood

I'm Not Her  Janet GurtlerI’m Not Her by Janet Gurtler. $ Free at Amazon and Apple

From the Jacket Copy:

“For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel envy…”

Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. But, the smiles of her picture perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn’t hold it together, who will?

Janet Gurtler tests the bonds of sisterhood in this moving debut that readers of Jodi Picoult and Sarah Dessen will savor.

I’ve not read this book but we have featured it here before for $2.99. Sounded interesting and I think I bought it, but like many of my purchases, it has gone unread.

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Busting Vegas  Ben MezrichBusting Vegas by Ben Mezrich. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

He played in casinos around the world with a plan to make himself richer than anyone could possibly imagine — but it would nearly cost him his life.

Semyon Dukach was known as the Darling of Las Vegas. A legend at age twenty-one, this cocky hotshot was the biggest high roller to appear in Sin City in decades, a mathematical genius with a system the casinos had never seen before and couldn’t stop — a system that has never been revealed until now; that has nothing to do with card counting, wasn’t illegal, and was more powerful than anything that had been tried before.

Las Vegas. Atlantic City. Aruba. Barcelona. London. And the jewel of the gambling crown — Monte Carlo.

Dukach and his fellow MIT students hit them all and made millions. They came in hard, with stacks of cash; big, seemingly insane bets; women hanging on their arms; and fake identities. Although they were taking classes and studying for exams during the week, over the weekends they stormed the blackjack tables only to be harassed, banned from casinos, threatened at gunpoint, and beaten in Vegas’s notorious back rooms.

The stakes were high, the dangers very real, but the players were up to the challenges, consequences be damned. There was Semyon Dukach himself, bored with school and broke; Victor Cassius, the slick, brilliant MIT grad student who galvanized the team; Owen Keller, with stunning ability but a dark past that would catch up to him; and Allie Simpson, bright, clever, and a feast for the eyes.

In the classroom, they were geeks. On the casino floor, they were unstoppable.

Busting Vega$ is Dukach’s unbelievably true story; a riveting account of monumental greed, excess, hubris, sex, love, violence, fear, and statistics that is high-stakes entertainment at its bes

Dukach and his band of MIT gamblers were the basis of some movie, if I recall correctly. I can’t say if the book is any good.

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The Fame Game Lauren ConradThe Fame Game by Laura Conrad. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

In Hollywood, fame can be found on every corner and behind any door. You just have to know where to look for it. Nineteen-year-old Madison Parker made a name for herself as best frenemy of nice-girl-next-door Jane Roberts on the hot reality show L.A. Candy. Now Madison’s ready for her turn in the spotlight and she’ll stop at nothing to get it. Sure, she’s the star of a new show, but with backstabbing friends and suspicious family members trying to bring her down, Madison has her work cut out for her. Plus, there’s a new nice girl in “reality” town—aspiring actress Carmen Price, the daughter of Hollywood royalty—and she’s a lot more experienced at playing the fame game… When the camera’s start rolling, whose star will shine brighter?

Filled with characters both familiar and new, Lauren Conrad’s series about the highs and lows of being famous delivers Hollywood gossip and drama at every turn.

Laura Conrad is a television actress, right? Stars in something on the CW? Book is probably ghostwritten? Probably is very realistic, though.

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Loving      by     Karen KingsburyLoving by Karen Kingsbury. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

The answers Bailey Flanigan once longed and prayed for are finally becoming clear.

In Loving, the fourth and final book in the Bailey Flanigan Series by New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury, Bailey is planning a wedding and making decisions that will shape her future. Bailey enjoys the beginning of her new career and time spent with Brandon while Cody faithfully coaches his team on and off the field. Will she spend her life with Brandon Paul in Los Angeles, or will her heart draw her back to Bloomington, Indiana and Cody Coleman, her first love? Bailey has learned much and grown over the years, but the greatest challenges, the richest joys, and the deepest heartaches are still to come.

Featuring members from Karen Kingsbury’s popular Baxter family, Loving completes Bailey and Cody’s story — the finale thousands of fans have been waiting for.

A number of Kingsbury books are on sale for $1.99. She is one of the big name inspirational authors. At least one reader was really disappointed by this book because she felt that the heroine chose the wrong person in the love triangle.

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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. Julie
    May 21, 2013 @ 14:04:44

    Hey Jane,

    Lauren Conrad is a reality TV star. She was on The Hills I believe. Can’t imagine she wrote this either.

  2. John
    May 21, 2013 @ 14:54:06

    FWIW, I’ve read Conrad’s first two books (LA Candy and Sweet Little Lies) and, though most definitely ghost-written, they were entertaining and pretty accurate in regards to the inner workings of the reality TV world. Fans of The Hills have repeatedly stated that the books are basically fictionalized versions of the show and its happenings, but as someone who never got into said show, they were decent reads. They’d be good for readers who like books ala Pretty Little Liars, Private, and the like. :)

  3. LG
    May 21, 2013 @ 15:09:45

    I started reading I’m Not Her a while back and couldn’t get very far into it. Not necessarily because the book was bad (although YA contemporaries are not usually my thing), but because I realized that cancer is one of those things I can’t deal with well in my recreational reading.

  4. Estara Swanberg
    May 21, 2013 @ 15:58:33

    I thought – in the way of a good deal ^^ – I’d signalboost Carina Press’ Angela James offer of free pre-release “post-apocalyptic motorcycle club new adult romance” to Goodreads members (she says the book won’t be on netgalley) to review.

    It’s not my cup of tea but I remember lots of comments on those Motorcycle Club books DA reviewed a while back.

  5. hapax
    May 21, 2013 @ 19:18:50

    post-apocalyptic motorcycle club new adult romance


    Now THAT’S marketing!

  6. Justine
    May 21, 2013 @ 20:40:36

    The movie 21 was adapted from Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich. Busting Vegas is very similar to Bringing Down the House. I think of Bringing Down the House, Busting Vegas, and his latest release (Straight Flush) as series-like siblings.

    Ben Mezrich writes his books with the intention of adapting them into screenplays. I can’t pinpoint exactly what I dislike about his narrative style, but I think it has something to do with that fact.

  7. Estara Swanberg
    May 22, 2013 @ 07:10:12

    @hapax: I thought so, too, heh ^^ – direct and honest.

  8. Stephanie Scott
    May 22, 2013 @ 10:15:58

    “I’m Not Her” is also free on Barnes & Noble for Nook–I just downloaded it. Thanks! She’s an author I’ve been meaning to read. I saw her on a Sourcebooks tour with Miranda Keanneally.

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