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Daily Deals: Two freebies and two strong firsts in their respective...

A Drink Before the War Dennis LehaneA Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

As richly complex and brutal as the terrain it depicts, here is the mesmerizing, darkly original novel that heralded the arrival of Dennis Lehane, the master of the new noir — and introduced Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, his smart and tough private investigators weaned on the blue-collar streets of Dorchester.

A cabal of powerful Boston politicians is willing to pay Kenzie and Gennaro big money for a seemingly small job: to find the missing cleaning woman who stole some secret documents. As Kenzie and Gennaro learn, however, this crime is no ordinary theft. It’s about justice. About right and wrong. But in Boston, finding the truth isn’t just a dirty business … it’s deadly.

This is the first in the Kenzi & Gennaro series of crime noir stories. If you like Lehane or crime noir, you’ll probably enjoy this.

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Blood Red Road Moira YoungBlood Red Road by Moira Young. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she’s a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

Winner of the 2011 Costa Children’s Book Award

This is the Young’s debut book and it was immediately optioned by Ridley Scott. Compared to the Hunger Games, Saba appears to be the antithesis of the longsuffering Katniss. However, I strongly recommend you read an excerpt because the narrative voice is quite different than anything you may have read before.

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price of passion susan napier Price of Passion (Pregnant Mistresses) by Susan Napier . $ Free

From the Jacket Copy:

The millionaire’s baby

Kate had learned certain lessons as Drake Daniels’s lover:

Lesson number one: the price of loving Drake was not to love him.

Lesson number two: never give him what he expected.

Discovering she was pregnant certainly fulfilled lesson number two. Drake had made it clear commitment and children were not on his menu. Now Kate must break her news. But when she sees Drake, passion kicks in, begging to be indulged again…

just once!

Reviewed by Robin aka Janet here and said the book was “an entertaining and smart interpretation of the enduring Harlequin Presents equation of plucky but overset heroine + darkly passionate and misunderstood hero = operatic drama and fiery loving. I loved every overwrought page of it.”

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Snowbound Janice Kay JohnsonSnowbound by Janice Kay Johnson. $ Free.

From the Jacket Copy:

When a blizzard strands Fiona MacPherson and her students in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, their only hope of survival is to seek shelter at Thunder Mountain Lodge. Their host is John Fallon, a handsome, enigmatic war veteran haunted by secrets and scars that may never heal.

John Fallon never imagined he’d be playing host to this captivating teacher and her eight teenage charges. But when his solitude is shattered by their arrival, his world shifts on its axis. He needs Fiona-but does she need him? There’s only one way to find out. The ex-soldier must find the courage to reach out to the remarkable woman who has transformed his life….

Wendy, the Superlibrarian, really loves JKJ. From her review here: The first half of this story is pleasant. John and Fiona are immediately attracted to each other and the teenagers provide angst and drama to keep the plot moving along. It’s nice, but nothing to get excited about. Where Snowbound really shines is after the blizzard is over and the Knowledge Champ team leaves the lodge. Fiona and John are left trying to feel their way around their budding attraction, communicating via e-mail, and even seeing each other over the holidays. What is left for conflict is John’s memories of Iraq and his unwillingness/inability to communicate them to Fiona. These are very emotional chapters, and when John finally reveals his feelings of guilt to Fiona it’s heartbreaking stuff. I found this story very topical, and wouldn’t be surprised in the least if the author either 1) knows an Iraq veteran or 2) talked to some. There’s a lot about this aspect of the story that rang true to my ears.

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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

12 Comments

  1. Brie
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 14:06:40

    Snowbound is a great book. And like Wendy said on her review, the emotions felt authentic and the characters real.

  2. Laura Florand
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 14:15:41

    Robin/Janet has summed up Susan Napier perfectly. Is she still writing? I miss her books! I’ve heard rumors that she is, but it’s been years since the last one now.

  3. Carrie G
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 14:41:19

    I read Price of Passion around the same time I read Snowbound and for me the two don’t compare. Snowbound has real emotion and believable characters. I found PoP storyline ridiculous. I will admit, however, that PoP was probably the first HP I ever read, so the whole alpha-male, “discarded” mistress, overblown emotional-ness of it was a deer-in-the-headlights moment for me.

  4. Elyssa Patrick
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 15:28:04

    I love BLOOD RED ROAD. It’s such an amazingly powerful YA. Saba is such an awesome heroine, and the $2.99 pricepoint is a great price to check it out. It does have a really distinctive voice, but that makes it stand out and gives it its own flair. Young goes the Cormac-esque route approach to dialog with no quotation marks, but BRR is so so so good.

  5. KatieF
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 16:10:13

    The Harlequins seem to be a Kindle-only deal; neither is coming up free at BN or ARE or even at the Harlequin ebook Store. I did find free pdf versions on Harlequin’s site:

    http://www.eharlequin.com/images/60th/formats/06Price.pdf
    http://www.eharlequin.com/images/60th/formats/10Snow.pdf

  6. Darlynne
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 16:48:21

    @Elyssa Patrick: I completely agree. Initially, Saba herself was rather off-putting for me–perhaps it was the narrative voice, as Jane suggested–but I could see how she changed as a person, which makes me very eager to finally read the next book. She is an outstanding character, one to be savored and applauded.

    Also, a huge high-five for Dennis Lehane’s early series. It’s been a while and I can’t swear they’ve stood the test of time, but they were a great start to an outstanding PI series. His skill as a writer has grown exponentially. A Drink Before the War is very good, the second–Darkness, Take My Hand–is brilliant (there’s that over-used word again, but it applies here).

  7. carmen webster buxton
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 21:06:52

    Thanks for the advice on checking out the sample for BLOOD RED ROAD. I think I would have liked the voice (it reminded me just a tad of THE COLOR PURPLE) but sure enough, the story is told in present tense! Grr! I can’t present tense, and lately it seems like YA = first person, present tense.

  8. Keishon
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 23:39:21

    @Darlynne: just commenting to say that I agree with you on Darkness Take My Hand. Excellent book. I think I may do a reread.

  9. kamlin
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 23:57:52

    hello.i cant seem to get the dennis lehane’s book at 1.99…..
    is that a mistake or what?
    thanks for your fabulous blog….

  10. cbackson
    Mar 13, 2013 @ 10:01:48

    I just really love the fact that there’s an entire series on “Pregnant Mistresses”. Harlequin, never change!

  11. Brian
    Mar 13, 2013 @ 14:16:44

    @kamlin: Are you in the US? The $1.99 sale is from the US publisher. The publishers from other regions don’t appear to have the book on sale.

  12. Lil
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 14:17:32

    Always a sucker for free books, I got the two Harlequins.

    I loved SNOWBOUND. A truly convincing portrait of a returning vet. Powerful and emotional. What’s more, I can believe the teenagers too.

    I’ve made it through two chapters of PRICE OF PASSION and I doubt I’m going to get any further. I can put up with the idiotic heroine and the rude, arrogant hero, but not with the prose. Does every noun have to come with two adjectives?

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