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Daily Deals: Literary horror, billionaires in love, and baseball

Falling In Lydia MichaelsFallin In by Lydia Michaels. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

The debut of an emotionally charged and highly erotic contemporary romance trilogy, in which love and trust are the most dangerous games of all…

With a dark past that would have shattered most people, Evelyn “Scout” Keats is doing what no one in her bleak world thinks possible—getting off the streets and leaving her impoverished life behind. She’s a new maid at the luxurious Patras Hotel, and aims to keep her job no matter what. But that doesn’t mean she’s going to sacrifice her dignity, or let anyone into her heart. The risk of losing either is just too great.

When hotel tycoon Lucian Patras discovers Evelyn in a compromising position, he uses everything at his disposal to seduce her—a proposition that both surprises and frightens her.

Ignorant to her true circumstances, Lucian relentlessly pursues Scout as a prize to be won. But he is soon given an unforgettable lesson in love and sacrifice when he learns how far Scout has gone to gain her independence and discovers that there are some things money can never buy.

I read this and its an intriguing idea. Evelyn “Scout” is virtually homeless and she has a problem that prevents her from getting employed. Her relationship with Lucian Patras is fairly standard fare but I did like Scout. The insertion of another character, however, is problematic and the story ends on a cliffhanger. Still, if you like the billionaire / down trodden maid stories (aka the HP story lines) this is probably worth the try.

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Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevyHemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy. $ 3.99

From the Jacket Copy:

An exhilarating reinvention of the gothic novel, inspired by the iconic characters of our greatest myths and nightmares.

The body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues—though the authorities aren’t sure if it’s a man they should be looking for.

Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a foreboding biotech facility owned by the Godfrey family—their personal fortune and the local economy having moved on from Pittsburgh steel—where, if rumors are true, biological experiments of the most unethical kind take place. Others turn to Peter Rumancek, a Gypsy trailer-trash kid who has told impressionable high school classmates that he’s a werewolf. Or perhaps it’s Roman, the son of the late JR Godfrey, who rules the adolescent social scene with the casual arrogance of a cold-blooded aristocrat, his superior status unquestioned despite his decidedly freakish sister, Shelley, whose monstrous medical conditions belie a sweet intelligence, and his otherworldly control freak of a mother, Olivia.

At once a riveting mystery and a fascinating revelation of the grotesque and the darkness in us all, Hemlock Grove has the architecture and energy to become a classic in its own right—and Brian McGreevy the talent and ambition to enthrall us for years to come.

Wow, what a cover! The author is a screenwriter and PW says that this is a pretty slick and engaging literary horror novel.

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And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You Kathi Kamen GoldmarkAnd My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You by Kathi Kamen Goldmark. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Smashing…the characters are unforgettable raves Amy Tan; “funny, authentic, and moving” says Dave Barry; “the female Kinky Friedman has arrived” lauds Olivia Goldsmith. This hilarious, fast-paced novel about musicians, love, and family is the literary debut of Kathi Kamen Goldmark, founder of the Rock Bottom Remainders, the publishing industrys hottest band. The tale follows sexy Sarah Jean Pixlie as she catapults from struggling back-up singer to blazing star on the country music scene. Along the way, she pours out her irreverent, savvy soul in the delicious, humorous lyrics to more than a dozen original songs, including “Put Me on the Guest List (To Your Heart),” “Hell on Heels,” and “My Baby Used to Hold Me (Now He’s Putting Me on Hold).” Witty and fresh, this romp is a great performance on stage and on the page.

PW “A couple of the family subplots are clunkers, but a quirky, satirical edge keeps the novel from falling into rags-to-riches cliches. The combination of Goldmark’s playful humor, her smooth prose style and her knowledge of the music business carry the day; despite the occasional misstep, the whole ends up exceeding the sum of its parts by a considerable margin.”

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One Last Strike: Fifty Years in Baseball, Ten and a Half Games Back, and One Final Championship Season by Tony La RussaOne Last Strike: Fifty Years in Baseball, Ten and a Half Games Back, and One Final Championship Season by Tony La Russa. $ 2.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

The team that refused to give up
their manager in his final season
A comeback that changed baseball

After thirty-three seasons managing in Major League Baseball, Tony La Russa thought he had seen it all—that is, until the 2011 Cardinals. Down ten and a half games with little more than a month to play, the Cardinals had long been ruled out as serious postseason contenders. Yet in the face of those steep odds, this team mounted one of the most dramatic and impressive comebacks in baseball history, making the playoffs on the night of the final game of the season and going on to win the World Series despite being down to their last strike—twice.

Now La Russa gives the inside story behind this astonishing comeback and his remarkable career, explaining how a team with so much against it was able to succeed on baseball’s biggest stage. Opening up about the devastating injuries, the bullpen struggles, the crucial games, and the players who made it all possible, he reveals how the team’s character shaped its accomplishments, demonstrating how this group came together in good times and in bad to become that rarest of things: a team that actually enjoyed it when the odds were against them.

But this story is much more than that of a single season. As La Russa, the third-winningest manager in baseball history, explains, their season was the culmination of a lifetime spent studying the game. Laying bare his often scrutinized and frequently misunderstood approach to managing, he explains his counterintuitive belief in process over result, present moments over statistics, and team unity over individual talent. Along the way he shares the stories from throughout his career that shaped his outlook—from his first days managing the Chicago White Sox to his championship years with the Oakland A’s, to his triumphant tenure as St. Louis’s longest-serving manager. Setting the record straight on his famously intense style, he explores the vital yet overlooked role that his personal relationships with his players have contributed to his victories, ultimately showing how, in a sport often governed by cold, hard numbers, the secret to his success has been surprisingly human.

Speaking candidly about his decision to retire, La Russa discusses the changes that he’d observed both in the game and in himself that told him, despite his success, it was time to hang up his spikes. The end result is a passionate, insightful, and remarkable look at our national pastime that takes you behind the scenes of the comeback that no one thought possible and inside the mind of one of the game’s greatest managers.

The Cardinals are in the World Series (tied it up 1-1 last night). St. Louis’ team is made up of baseball players, not stars. The current hero for the team is Michael Wacha, a rookie, who earns less than a million dollars. In baseball terms, that’s like playing for free.

Of course, if you are a fan of the Red Sox, you could go with “Wicked Good Year: How the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics Turned the Hub of the Universe into the Capital of Sports” for $2.99 or “Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season” for $3.99

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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

2 Comments

  1. April
    Oct 25, 2013 @ 16:34:14

    Hemlock Grove was a Netflix Original series –kind of a Horror Soap Opera.I thought they were making another season of it but I haven’t heard about it for a while now.

    ReplyReply

  2. DS
    Oct 27, 2013 @ 08:34:34

    @April: It seems to be a novelization of the first series that has already appeared on Netflix. The second series is supposed to come out in 2014.

    I’m pretty impressed at the review reaction to the book (especially the ones that offer grudging respect) because most movie/tv novelizations read like they were phoned in.

    ReplyReply

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