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Daily Deals: Pimps, Viscounts, and lost friends

Owen's Daughter by Jo-Ann MapsonOwen’s Daughter by Jo-Ann Mapson. $ .99 AMZN | iBooks

From the Jacket Copy:

Skye Elliot is given a choice after her car accident—jail or rehab—and her ex-husband, a bull rider who introduced her to the party scene, gets custody of their four-year-old daughter Gracie. It takes Skye eight months to get clean, but the day she is released, she has one plan: to be a good mother—better, at least, than Skye’s own selfish mother and absent dad.

Owen Garret hasn’t seen his daughter in ten years. He, too, needs to make amends. Newly out of prison, he picks her up from rehab and together they set off to find Gracie, and to forge a relationship that transcends the hurt and anger that have brewed between them for almost a decade. In the meantime, they find Margaret Yearwood, too—Owen’s lost love whom he left when he turned himself in for a long-ago crime.

Owen’s Daughter is a stand-alone novel that brings back characters from Mapson’s treasured novel Blue Rodeo, and introduces them to the beloved cast of Solomon’s Oak and Finding Casey. With its father-daughter story and characters who overcome personal failings against great odds, Owen’s Daughter is a story of love and family that will enchant Mapson fans both old and new.

Booklist says, “Like Skye, Bill Samson has rechristened himself after a stint in prison, now going by the name, Owen Garret. Together, the wounded and wary duo make their way to Santa Fe, where Owen is reunited with his former lover, Margaret, an accomplished artist who is battling both MS and the return of her headstrong son, Peter. Reuniting cherished characters from Solomon’s Oak (2010) and Finding Casey (2012), Mapson introduces yet another fetching cast of fragile yet resilient personalities who warmly work their ways into readers’ hearts.”

So yesterday I meant to include a bunch of other Kobo codes but they never made it to the post. Here they are, courtesy of Darlynne:

2J7V3L 75% off US/CA/UK stores
43HQ8T 75% off US/CA/UK stores
5X7ZRR 75% off US/CA/UK stores

2269QM 65% off US/CA/UK stores
5MVALE 65% off US/CA/UK stores
5YL4RS 65% off US/CA/UK stores
5P2NEC 65% off US/CA/UK stores

5TPUE3 55% off US/CA/UK stores
3PN86Q 55% off US/CA/UK stores

2JDJ5L 45% off US/CA/UK stores
2HPUTH 45% off US/CA/UK stores

PERKOPOLIS is available all the time for 40% off, multiple purchases.

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My Brilliant Friend by Elena FerranteMy Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. $ 2.99 AMZN | iBooks

From the Jacket Copy:

A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship.

The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists, the unforgettable Elena and Lila.

Ferrante is the author of three previous works of critically acclaimed fiction: The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, and The Lost Daughter. With this novel, the first in a trilogy, she proves herself to be one of Italy’s great storytellers. She has given her readers a masterfully plotted page-turner, abundant and generous in its narrative details and characterizations, that is also a stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight her many fans and win new readers to her fiction.

The second book “The Story of a New Name” is also on sale for $2.99. The third book in the trilogy is due out on Sept 2. PW writes “This is both fascinating—two girls, their families, a neighborhood, and a nation emerging from war and into an economic boom—and occasionally tedious, as day-to-day life can be. But Lila, mercurial, unsparing, and, at the end of this first episode in a planned trilogy from Ferrante (The Lost Daughter), seemingly capable of starting a full-scale neighborhood war, is a memorable character. “

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Knight by Kristen AshleyKnight by Kristen Ashley. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

Anya Gage has learned that to get anything good in life, you have to work for it. She has no expectations, no dreams.

Then she finds herself at a party where she doesn’t want to be and she meets Knight.

Knight Sebring knows who he is, what he wants and what he likes. And he gets it. But he never expected something as sweet as Anya Gage to wander into his bedroom during a party he did not expect to be having to borrow his phone.

Knight tries to leave Anya to the life she deserves of white picket fences and a man who watches football on Sundays – good, normal and clean. But when Anya comes to his nightclub and finds herself in a situation, he knows someone has to look after her, he can’t fight it anymore and he decides that man will be him.

Knight teaches Anya that, just as with the bad, in life you should also expect the good. And he teaches her this by giving it to her.

But Knight has a dark past and just as he desires Anya for exactly who she is, he fears when she finds out exactly the man he has become and always intends to be, she’ll leave him for good, normal and clean.

WARNING: This book is an ADULT EROTIC romance featuring an anti-hero. This novel contains explicit sex scenes and language. The hero in this novel lives a life by his own code with no apologies. He is not your “normal” hero. If you do not enjoy the above, this novel may not be for you.

The hero is a pimp. Kati reviewed it here. You should read her review.

I read Knight too. Despite so many things wrong with this book, I went on to read other Kristen Ashley books and eventually read 75% of her backlist over a three week period of time. I didn’t read anything else but one KA book after the other.

I remember being completely scandalized by this book and the hero’s profession. Now? I’m immune. What’s happened to me?

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Master of Love by Catherine LaRocheMaster of Love by Catherine LaRoche. $ 1.99 AMZN | Apple.

From the Jacket Copy:

Available on eBook—a sexy historical romance featuring a genteel book dealer who is commissioned to organize an impressive personal library in the home of London’s most notoriously seductive lord.

Dominick Avery, Viscount Rexton, has a brilliant mind, yet is so intoxicatingly handsome no one ever takes him seriously as the philosopher he longs to be. He cultivates a wicked reputation as Lord Adonis, Master of Love, until his uncle sends him an irresistible bequest of books, on the condition he accept also the prim librarian who comes with them.

Miss Callista Higginbotham struggles to support her quirky household as a rare book dealer and librarian, while tottering on a dangerous edge of genteel poverty. But she quickly finds herself in greater danger yet, as her newfound desire flares for the infuriatingly flirtatious lord. Dominick wants nothing more than to unleash his luscious new librarian from her straight-laced propriety. He’s learned, however, never to trust desire—let alone the consuming passion that soon bedevils him.

Both must learn not to judge a book by its cover. But when Callista discovers a plot against Dominick’s life and risks all to save him, they both learn that love is the one lesson that cannot be learned from books…

No, I don’t know why Apple and Amazon are the only retailers price matching these days but they are. I guess iBooks wants to erode some of Amazon’s market dominance. That’s a good thing, for sure.

So on to the book. According to the top review on Amazon, the heroine develops both the dewey decimal system and the card catalog system. There’s good banter but not a lot of common sense between the two. Having the hero be the dumb blond, though, is always a little entertaining.

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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. Rose
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 14:23:42

    Perkopolis is no longer valid – I’ve heard of some people who were still using it in Canada recently, but even there it doesn’t seem to work consistently.

    It was a great coupon while it lasted.

  2. Michele Mills
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 14:23:53

    “I remember being completely scandalized by this book and the hero’s profession. Now? I’m immune. What’s happened to me?” Ha! Welcome to the club Jane, I’m right there with you.

  3. Alison
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 15:22:31

    Thanks for the codes – used the first seven already

  4. P. J. Dean
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 16:40:21

    I give KA props for having the cojones to create and give voice to a flesh peddler as a hero. She’d be the author to do it. The characterization of Knight was good but his portrait was an idealization of a real life “daddy.” He was definitely a fantasy as real life “daddies” aren’t gallant. “Knight” didn’t scandalize me. It just made me sad that a guy who lived off women flat-backing was seen as “his own man”, a sort of unapologetic, benevolent pioneer (definitely gives a whole new take on the phrase, “Westward, Ho!”). And female readers SWOONED because he cared for Anya. Care that was provided by others’ “work.” And Anya? A woman who didn’t bat an eye when he spoke about his true profession. Chick had no introspection. Clearly readers who’d rarely, if ever, used the word “pimp” in their conversations, let alone ever been in the company of one, melted over this book. It was a daring spin on a “hero” but my disbelief couldn’t be suspended for that long. Naw, nothing swoony about a pimp unless you’re the uncooperative “property” on the receiving end of a left hook.

  5. Anon
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 16:47:05

    Ms. Ashley’s work receives too many “needs editing” reviews for me to give her a try.

  6. Moriah Jovan
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 17:19:17

    @P. J. Dean:

    Clearly readers who’d rarely, if ever, used the word “pimp” in their conversations, let alone ever been in the company of one, melted over this book.

    That’s an interesting little assumption.

  7. wikkidsexycool
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 18:18:35

    @P. J. Dean:

    It’s not a pretty sight or even poetic justice to run into an old pimp still thinking they have game. The lives destroyed and influence on the next generation’s view of females is indeed a tragedy. Whether the pimp is a vampire in a paranormal romance or a contemporary lead, perhaps I’m too close to the subject to really appreciate the various ways to make him or her swoon worthy. The ones I’ve known weren’t heroic in the least and many ended up dying a violent death.

  8. peggy h
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 19:01:07

    THANK YOU very much for the Kobo codes!!

  9. EmilyAnn
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 19:52:14

    Funny enough it was a review of Knight on this site that led me to my KA backlist binge. I’ve read them all except Matilda and I auto buy the new ones. I used to have an an auto-buy list in the double digits but now it ‘s just her. After she got a publisher there were one or two less than stellar books, but she her next one would always pull me back in. It’s not that I don’t understand the criticisms, I just think she has a really unique way of writing that keeps you invested in the story. I will say the more I read go her other stuff, the less I adored Knight. There were much better ones afterwards.

  10. MaryK
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 21:28:34

    @Anon: Her kind of “needs editing” is different from the usual kind, IMO. She’s very wordy and descriptive in an almost stream of consciousness style. It doesn’t bother me because I feel like it adds scenery to the story. Readers who have strong opinions about economical wording or textbook sentence structure aren’t going to like her. To me, it’s similar to the difference between the rules of spoken speech versus those of formal writing. I think it helps to read KA as if someone is telling a story as opposed to writing it.

    In contrast, the kind of “needs editing” that bothers me is poor or incorrect word choice or disjointedness within the story, things that interfere with the story’s flow and jolt the reader out of the story into an effort to figure out what’s going on with the writing. I had that problem with Jessica Clare’s latest self-pubbed novella, but I can read KA all day. I won’t say KA couldn’t use some judicious editing (her phrasing can be odd for one thing). It’s just not for knock you out of the story kinds of things, IMO.

  11. Dee
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 22:02:10

    I did not expect to like KA after the many, many poor reviews of her self pubbed stuff but picked up her Mystery Man and loved it. I’m still not sure why I love her books, but she does redeem her heroes (though I still cannot finish Motorcycle Man after just a few chapters). Her Burg series is my latest guilty pleasure.

  12. Katherine
    Aug 29, 2014 @ 03:02:54

    Thanks for the kobo codes. I just bought a bunch of books.

    You can try these codes as well. They expire Aug 29 at 11:59 ET.






  13. Justine
    Aug 29, 2014 @ 11:01:32

    From Penny Reid’s blog: “To celebrate the looooong weekend (in the USA) and also the release of Beauty and the Mustache, I’ve put books 1, 2, 3, &4 in the Knitting in the City Series on BIG DEAL SALE until sometime during the day on September 2.”

    The sale price of each book is $2.99, which is 50% off the $5.99 normal price.

    To further quote Reid’s blog: “If you follow me at all, then you know that I always release my books at a discount (specifically, 50% off the normal price; this is so repeat readers can grab them for less right after they’re published).

    Then, with every book but the first in the series (after the first few weeks), the book will go up to its normal price of ($5.99).

    If you follow me then you also know that much of what I do (in terms of pricing, marketing, social media, interacting with the “publishing machinery”) is 75% experimentation. Neanderthal Seeks Human is the only book I’ve put on sale thus far after the first month. This approach (pricing) is all part of a long term experiment I’m conducting… more on this in the coming years.”

  14. Robin/Janet
    Aug 29, 2014 @ 12:49:13

    @P. J. Dean: I haven’t read Knight, because I’m not drawn to the pimp hero (and because I know how KA’s books are, I know it will be a highly idealized image – more on that below). But your comment hit on some of the issues I’ve been struggling with around a) how Ashley’s books idealize occupations like stripping, and b) how little we think about heroes in historical Romance, for example, who are making money off tenant farmers or who marry maids or governesses, own factories, etc. In other words, how many occupations there are where men are making money off the labor of women and people of color, and how many of these are represented in Romance without any comment or question.

    In Ashley’s books by contrast, you have an idealization of some of these occupations, but they are also dealt with directly and openly. This is especially true of stripping, which appears in numerous books, both from the perspective of the strippers (who are always represented as women who have agency and who have chosen their profession and are treated well by their employer) and strip club owners (Smithie from the Rock Chick books and Jake, the hero of The Will), who are portrayed as benevolent, respectful, and protective of their “girls” (a term both men and women use in the books, and therefore not, IMO, meant as a diminutive, even though I don’t love it).

    In one sense, I’m not sure how different these portrayals are from all of the aspirational, idealized portrayals in Romance. In another sense I like that Ashley’s books endeavor to treat stripping as a profession with dignity and to de-stigmatize it. Especially since the portrayal of some of these professions from a perspective of degradation and victimization can be exploitive, too, depending on how an author uses them. And, as I said above, I think there are myriad examples of men who make money off of the labor of women (many of whom are simply invisible to the reader) in Romance that go unquestioned.

    I haven’t come up with any easy answers or even a reconciled view for myself. I remain ambivalent. But this is one of the things I appreciate most about Ashely’s books – IMO her characters and her relationships present different questions to the reader about very cliched situations, and they make me pay attention to things I think many other Romance novels take for granted. Which is one of the reasons I will always defend her books as valuable to the genre. I still haven’t gotten up any enthusiasm to try Knight, but this thread is actually piquing my interest in it.

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