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Daily Deals: Star crossed lovers; neighbors in love; and an exploration...

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle ZevinAll These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

n 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city’s most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.’s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she’s to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight—at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.

The reviews for this book that I’ve never heard of before are really good. PW says “Offering the excitement of a crime drama and the allure of forbidden romance, this introduction to a reluctant Godfather-in-the making will pique the interest of dystopia-hungry readers.” School Library Journal says “The story is incredibly compelling–an intriguing future with a classic tale of star-crossed lovers. Readers will be racing to find out the sequel’s release date as soon as they finish the last page.”

This book was on sale last year per my records.

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Destiny's Embrace by Beverly JenkinsDestiny’s Embrace by Beverly Jenkins. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

Gentleman Seeks Housekeeper.Must be willing to travel.

Desperate for another life away from Philadelphia, headstrong and beautiful Mariah Cooper answersan advertisement for a housekeeper at the otherend of the continent. Waiting in California isthe most breathtaking—and arrogant—man shehas ever met . . . and he’d like nothing betterthan for Mariah to go back home!

Logan Yates has run Destiny, the family ranch,since he was a boy. He doesn’t need this Eastern misshis stepmother hired, though his home’s chaoticstate suggests otherwise. Still, he’s secretly pleasedthat Mariah gives as good as she gets—and he mustfight the urge to take her in his arms and kiss herwhenever she proudly stands her ground. But whenhe’s in danger of losing her, Logan will have tochoose between pride . . . and his heart’s true desire.

A mail order bride story, of sorts.

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Love Cemetery China GallandLove Cemetery by China Galland. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

y the eve of the Civil War, there were four million slaves in North America, and Harrison County was the largest slave-owning county in Texas. So when China Galland returned to research her family history there, it should not have surprised her to learn of unmarked cemeteries for slaves. “My daddy never let anybody plow this end of the field,” a local matron told a startled Galland during a visit to her antebellum mansion. “The slaves are buried there.”

Galland’s subsequent effort to help restore just one of these cemeteries—Love Cemetery—unearths a quintessential American story of prejudice, land theft, and environmental destruction, uncovering racial wounds that are slow to heal.Galland gathers an interracial group of local religious leaders and laypeople to work on restoring Love Cemetery, securing community access to it, and rededicating it to the memories of those buried there. In her attempt to help reconsecrate Love Cemetery, Galland unearths the ghosts of slavery that still haunt us today. Research into county historical records and interviews with local residents uncover two versions of history—one black, one white.

Galland unpacks these tangled narratives to reveal a history of shame—of slavery and lynching, Jim Crow laws and land takings (the theft of land from African-Americans), and ongoing exploitation of the land surrounding the cemetery by oil and gas drilling. With dread she even discovers how her own ancestors benefited from the racial imbalance.She also encounters some remarkable, inspiring characters in local history.

Surprisingly, the original deed for the cemetery’s land was granted not by a white plantation owner, but by Della Love Walker, the niece of the famous African-American cowboy Deadwood Dick. Through another member of the Love Cemetery committee, Galland discovers a connection to Marshall’s native son, James L. Farmer, a founder of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and organizer of the 1961 Freedom Riders. In researching local history, Galland also learns of the Colored Farmers’ Alliance, a statewide group formed in the 19th century that took up issues ranging from low wages paid to cotton pickers to emigration to Liberia characters in local history. Surprisingly, the original deed for the cemetery’s land was granted not by a white plantation owner, but by Della Love Walker, the niece of the famous African-American cowboy Deadwood Dick. Through another member of the Love Cemetery committee, Galland discovers a connection to Marshall’s native son, James L. Farmer, a founder of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and organizer of the 1961 Freedom Riders. In researching local history, Galland also learns of the Colored Farmers’ Alliance, a statewide group formed in the 19th century that took up issues ranging from low wages paid to cotton pickers to emigration to Liberia.By telling this one story of ultimate interracial and intergenerational cooperation, Galland provides a model of the kind of communal remembering and reconciliation that can begin to heal the deep racial scars of an entire nation.

One reviewer said that the narrative was repetitive and the PW review that called it fresh but not always coherent was right on.

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After All Mia JosephsAfter All by Mia Josephs. $ .99.

From the Jacket Copy:

In Ashley’s mind, her new neighbor Brandt is definitely a “Clive Owen” – one of the few perks of her move halfway through law school. The other perk is getting as far away from where she grew up as possible.

With a best friends’ ashes in a jar in her room, and a million reasons she’s determined to finish law school and put bad guys in jail, she’s also decided she wants to get to know this “Clive Owen” neighbor better.

Brandt is just trying to stay afloat as a single father of two teens—both of which he had when a teen himself. The last thing he’s looking for is to fall in love, but when his new neighbor, Ashley, finds her way into his life, it’s as if they’ve found their missing piece. But Brandt knows he doesn’t deserve this kind of happiness. Not after the way he let his family shatter.

Just when Brandt and Ashley find some common footing in the way they feel, Ashley goes to her internship, opens a file, and it destroys everything she’s learned about the family next door.

Both Brandt and Ashley are in a fight to forgive their pasts, navigate the present, and to find a way to hold on to the future they started together. But with everything on the line, and so much to overcome, they begin to wonder if their happily ever after is worth the struggle.

There aren’t many reviews for this book and it’s hard to say whether the three are from friends and family. It’s not a book I’d buy because of the law school angle but it might be intriguing.

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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. leftcoaster
    Aug 30, 2013 @ 16:26:24

    I think the Jenkins was a SBTB bookclub pick a while ago.

  2. SAO
    Aug 31, 2013 @ 00:45:52

    Were the repeated sentences in the Love Cemetery review and the missingspaces in the Jenkins review deliberate illustrations of the books’ flaws? If so, brilliantly done.

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