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Daily Deals: Scary thrillers and cute dogs

Samhain Publishing is offering 50% off all print titles with code PAPERBACK50.

The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter)  by Thomas HarrisThe Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter) by Thomas Harris. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

A serial murderer known only by a grotesquely apt nickname–Buffalo Bill–is stalking women. He has a purpose, but no one can fathom it, for the bodies are discovered in different states. Clarice Starling, a young trainee at the FBI Academy, is surprised to be summoned by Jack Crawford, chief of the Bureau’s Behavioral Science section. Her assignment: to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter–Hannibal the Cannibal–who is kept under close watch in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.

Dr. Lecter is a former psychiatrist with a grisly history, unusual tastes, and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind. His intimate understanding of the killer and of Clarice herself form the core of Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs–and ingenious, masterfully written book and an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.

This is a Kobo price match. I’ve never read the book but I thought the movie was fantastic (and frightening). Any one have opinions about the book being better?

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The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox  by Maggie O'FarrellThe Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Maggie O’Farrell’s captivating and critically acclaimed gothic tale of family secrets and the irrepressible freedom that truth brings

Chic and independent, Iris Lockhart is tending to her vintage-clothing shop in Edinburgh (and evading her married boyfriend) when she receives a stunning phone call: her great-aunt Esme—whom she never knew existed—is being released from Cauldstone Hospital, where she has been locked away for more than sixty years. Iris’s grandmother Kitty always claimed to be an only child. But Esme’s papers prove she is Kitty’s sister, and Iris can see the shadow of her father in Esme’s face. Esme has been labeled harmless—sane enough to coexist with the rest of the world—but she’s still basically a stranger, a family member hidden away who will surely bring secrets with her when she leaves the ward. Moving expertly among the voices of Iris, Kitty, and Esme herself, Maggie O’Farrell reveals the story of Esme’s tragic and haunting absence.

The Washington Post says that this is a feminist book with a mystery that “you want to solve until you start to suspect the truth, and then you read on in a panic, horrified that you may be right.” Set in 1930s Edinburgh…I think I’ll pick this up.

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When Lightning Strikes by Brenda NovakWhen Lightning Strikes by Brenda Novak. $ Free

From the Jacket Copy:

Find out how it all began with this first book in bestselling author Brenda Novak’s Whiskey Creek series!
Gail DeMarco left Whiskey Creek, California, to make a name for herself in Los Angeles. Her PR firm has a roster of A-list clients, including the sexy and unpredictable Simon O’Neal. But Simon, who’s just been through a turbulent divorce, won’t cooperate, so she drops him from her list—and he retaliates by taking the rest of her clients with him.

Desperate to save her company, Gail makes a deal with Simon. What he wants is custody of his son, but that’s going to require a whole new image. He needs to marry some squeaky-clean girl like Gail, who’ll drag him off to some small, obscure place like Whiskey Creek?. Gail reluctantly agrees to become his wife. She isn’t reluctant because he’s too hard to like. It’s because he’s too hard not to love!

For more Whiskey Creek stories, check out When Snow Falls, When Summer Comes, Home to Whiskey Creek, Take Me Home for Christmas and Come Home to Me.

This series is actually really interesting although I didn’t love the first book. The heroes and heroines are unusual. One hero was a drifter with no money (no secret inheritance or anything) and that’s as far away from the billionaires that you can get. If you haven’t read Novak, you can try her out for free, but just remember that the series gets stronger as it goes on.

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Stay: A Novel by Allie LarkinStay: A Novel by Allie Larkin. $ 2.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Girl meets dog in this effervescent “feel-good debut” (People) by the author of Why Can’t I Be You

Savannah “Van” Leone has been in love with Peter Clarke since their first day of college. Six years later, Peter is marrying Van’s best friend, Janie. Loyal to a fault, Van dons her pumpkin-orange, maid-of- honor gown and stands up for the couple, struggling to hide her true feelings even when she couldn’t be more conspicuous. After the wedding, nursing her broken heart with a Rin Tin Tin marathon plus a vodka chaser, Van accidentally orders a German Shepherd puppy over the Internet. When “Joe” turns out to be a hundred-pound beast who only responds to commands in Slovak, Van is at the end of her rope-until she realizes that sometimes life needs to get more complicated before it can get better.

The reviews say that this is a romance novel with a dog on the cover. Sounds good to me. (The heroine falls for her new vet)

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Fifty First Times: A New Adult Anthology by Julie CrossFifty First Times: A New Adult Anthology by Julie Cross $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy: You always remember your first time…

Featuring stories from some of the hottest names in New Adult, Young Adult, and Romance including New York Times Bestselling authors J.Lynn/Jennifer Armentrout, Molly McAdams, Sophie Jordan, and Carrie Ryan.

Whether it’s the couple who decides not to go through with it, the two boys who finally aren’t ashamed, the newlyweds whose wedding night could very well be their last night together, the deaf pair who have no choice but to take body language to a new level–or, of course, the two young lovers fumbling and laughing, getting everything wrong. These are the memories that will never fade.

Join nineteen fantastic authors as they pull back the curtain and give you a peek inside that one intense moment in their characters’ lives when everything changes and nothing will ever be the same again.

NOTE: These stories are works of fiction. If you want to know about our first times, you’ll have to buy us a pet monkey first.

I whiffed on this one yesterday but I was so busy I never got around to changing it. And honestly I was fist pumping in the morning about all the tasks I was accomplishing. Anyway, Monique on facebook asked if I had read this set and I haven’t. Generally speaking I don’t find novellas satisfying so I stay away from stories even shorter.
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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. library addict
    Mar 01, 2014 @ 11:11:08

    I liked Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs back when I first read them. I wish I could purge the sequel, Hannibal, from my memory. What the author did to Clarice was just so, so, so, so , so, so wrong! I still get angry thinking about it. So much so I have never tried to reread the earlier books. I seriously need brain bleach because now I have remembered how much I loathed the third book. Grr!

  2. Monique D
    Mar 01, 2014 @ 11:21:11

    Thank you Jane ! What would we do without you! About Silence of the Lambs: the book, the movie was very faithful to the book, so much so that when I read the book, I actually pictured Jodi Foster; she was really the only one to play that character. Although the ending is a bit far-fetched and convoluted – I don’t remember it being so bizarre in the movie, but I guess some things don’t look so weird on screen as when you read them… But it’s well worth the money ! Drat ! The Maggie O’Farrell book is not on sale in Canada !

  3. Tanya
    Mar 01, 2014 @ 13:38:34

    I’m picking up the O’Farrell as well. I remember reading Silence back in the 1990s, when we all passed it around at work. I miss those days of communal reading bliss. Anyway, loved it, stayed up all night reading it, and have skipped the sequels both filmic and literary. BTW, my favorite Hannibal is Brian Cox, followed closely by the divine Mads M. I really though SIr Anthony’s performance was pure caricature.

  4. PeggyL
    Mar 01, 2014 @ 17:59:36

    I remember reading the novel in preparation of seeing the movie, about which I heard *really* scary things–yes, I wanted to know beforehand, I was skittish like that. Though the book engaged me at the time and I thoroughly enjoyed it, it’s the film that is more memorable to me. It is one of those rare occasions when the film version tells a better story, IMO.

    The movie actually prompted me to read the prequel soon after I saw it. Now, HANNIBAL was another experience altogether.

  5. Meljean
    Mar 01, 2014 @ 18:45:22

    I like both Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs as books better than as movies, but a lot of that is because I’m not a huge fan of Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter. He’s just too over-the-top for me in the role (and later portrayals of him all seemed more godlike and infallible, with his character and the cannibalism fetishized, which pretty much made the movies and books unreadable/unwatchable for me). I probably enjoyed the Manhunter version more just because of that reason — and even in the new TV series, I like pretty much everything except Hannibal, even though I can appreciate Mads Mikkelsen’s treatment of the character, and I kind of love that they’re rounding out the Graham backstory that was only briefly mentioned in Red Dragon/Silence.

    But also because there’s something about the way that Harris writes women that I really appreciate (at least in the first books, because I couldn’t get through the later ones). Like Clarice, for instance — you don’t really get a sense of her sexual behavior at all in the movie, but you do in the book. It’s just bits of pieces, and only while she’s interacting with her roommate at the academy (another good female character) but it’s just, you know, there. Like women have sexual needs and might like sex and it’s not a huge deal and I never feel that she’s judged for it in the text.

    The same goes for Reba in Red Dragon. There’s a lot that could have gone wrong with the character (and maybe her blindness was handled poorly; I don’t know, though it felt well done to me, and didn’t fall into any of the “she’s a saint” pit-traps that so often seem to come up around portrayals of blind people) but it just didn’t. And Will Graham’s interactions with Molly feel just right — I never feel like I’m supposed to be angry at her, which so often happens when a wife isn’t 100% happy/supportive of what her husband is doing — like that’s always the excuse in movies and books for the hero to start fooling around or flirt a bit. But it’s not even a thing.

  6. Lynn Rae
    Mar 01, 2014 @ 18:57:27

    I read Red Dragon when I was about fifteen and it made a huge impression on me on two levels. The first was that it was a damned good book, filled with ideas I’d never considered. This was before the fad of every thriller having a serial killer/profiler premise, and I think Thomas Harris set the standard. The second level was that I appreciated the craft that went into the book, and for a teenager who read voraciously but with little analysis, recognizing the quality of the book made me a more discerning reader in the future. Silence of the Lambs was wonderful and I read that as soon as it came out. I’ve read his subsequent books with less enthusiasm.

  7. Janine
    Mar 02, 2014 @ 00:31:25

    I read both Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs in my early twenties and thought they were excellent. I liked the movie of The Silence of the Lambs a lot too but the books were so good in terms of the characterization, and the voice as well. Though I haven’t read either in years, I still remember the closing lines from both, and I get chills down my spine (in a good way) when I think about them.

    I have a hard time saying which of the two I liked more; Red Dragon had a bigger impact on me because I hadn’t seen the movie, whereas with Silence I had seen the movie first, so I was more prepared for what happened.

    Having said that, I just don’t know that I could bring myself to read the books now. They are violent to a chilling degree and Harris gets inside serial killers’ heads better than any other author I’ve read. By showing their humanity, he also explores man’s inhumanity, and asks whether our essential nature is good or evil.

    I haven’t read Hannibal and I won’t, because of what he does with Clarice’s character in that book and also some of what I heard about the violence in that book sounded not just gruesomely violent but disgusting. I haven’t read the book, and Harris is a hugely skilled writer, but still, I believe he took a wrong turn there.

  8. Kaetrin
    Mar 02, 2014 @ 01:50:01

    There is not enough brain bleach in the whole world to wipe Hannibal (the book and the movie, not the tv show) out of my mind. The macabre violence went just too far for me, especially at the end and I just could not believe what happened to Clarice’s character. Basically everyone in the book/movie was horrible and/or stupid and there were no good guys. Just yuck.

    Hubs and I are watching the Hannibal tv show now. Our jury is still out regarding the entire show, but we both agree that Mads Mikkelsen’s Hannibal is super creepy – and you just know that every meal he serves to someone has something human in it. I think hubs and I are right on the edge of what we can cope with – whether we fall off and have to stop is yet to be discovered.

  9. Anne
    Mar 03, 2014 @ 10:47:23

    I have to agree that with Meljean. I loved the Manhunter movie.. and Anthony Hopkins while extremely creepy did not ring true for me as Hannibal. I did read Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs enjoyed them way more than the movies.

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