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Daily Deals: Two gift books and two recommendations

Truman by David McCulloughTruman by David McCullough. $ 3.99

From the Jacket Copy:

The life of Harry S. Truman is one of the greatest of American stories, filled with vivid characters — Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, George Marshall, Joe McCarthy, and Dean Acheson — and dramatic events. In this riveting biography, acclaimed historian David McCullough not only captures the man — a more complex, informed, and determined man than ever before imagined — but also the turbulent times in which he rose, boldly, to meet unprecedented challenges. The last president to serve as a living link between the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, Truman’s story spans the raw world of the Missouri frontier, World War I, the powerful Pendergast machine of Kansas City, the legendary Whistle-Stop Campaign of 1948, and the decisions to drop the atomic bomb, confront Stalin at Potsdam, send troops to Korea, and fire General MacArthur. Drawing on newly discovered archival material and extensive interviews with Truman’s own family, friends, and Washington colleagues, McCullough tells the deeply moving story of the seemingly ordinary “man from Missouri” who was perhaps the most courageous president in our history.

David McCullough has won the Pulitzer Prize twice and the well reviewed biography would make a great gift.

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My Steadfast Heart (The Thorne Brothers Trilogy, Book 1) Jo GoodmanMy Steadfast Heart (The Thorne Brothers Trilogy, Book 1) by Jo Goodman. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

Colin Thorne finds his way out of a London workhouse but at the cost of losing his two younger brothers. With an uncertain future ahead of him, Colin makes seafaring his life until the inexorable pull of revenge draws him back to London. The debt owed to him by the Earl of Weybourne will be paid.

Weybourne Park has been Mercedes Leydon’s home her entire life. Now serving as the estate’s manager and caretaker of her uncle’s two children, Mercedes knows the earl’s frequent absences are what make Weybourne Park a home.

But the earl’s gaming has taken its toll and she and her young cousins are faced with losing everything to a devil-of-a-stranger calling in a debt that can’t be paid.

We’ve featured this deal before but the price was $2.99. Goodman is one of my favorite authors and her early works are some of the best.

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Simple Jess by Pamela MorsiSimple Jess by Pamela Morsi. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

Given an ultimatum by her interfering neighbors–to find a husband by Christmas or have one selected for her–reluctant widow Althea Winsloe searches for a possible mate and finds herself drawn to Simple Jess, a sweet and gentle man of less-than-average intelligence.

The last thing widow Althea Winsloe wanted to do was remarry. Unfortunately, her meddlesome mountain neighbors had other plans. So, one autumn night they banded together and gave Althea a shocking ultimatum: She was to find herself a husband by Christmas…or the town would do it for her! Althea knew she had her choice of any single man in Marrying Stone, Arkansas. Yet the only one she felt truly comfortable with was Simple Jess. Sweet, gentle, Jess wasn’t as smart as your average man. But his tender manner stirred Althea’s heart in ways she had never dreamed possible.
It would take a miracle to find a husband in Marrying Stone. But sometimes miracles are right under your nose …
Proclaimed “a refreshing new voice in romance” by Jude Deveraux, award-winning author Pamela Morsi has charmed millions with her touching stories of simple pleasures and heartfelt romances. Her novels, including Garters, Wild Oats and Something Shady, have won her rave reviews and loyal fans. Now, she presents an endearing story about what can happen when love turns up in the most unlikely place…

A very sweet romance. Highly recommend at this price.

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Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. GwynneEmpire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne. $ 3.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

In the tradition of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, a stunningly vivid historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West, centering on Quanah, the greatest Comanche chief of them all.

S. C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches.

Although readers may be more familiar with the tribal names Apache and Sioux, it was in fact the legendary fighting ability of the Comanches that determined just how and when the American West opened up. Comanche boys became adept bareback riders by age six; full Comanche braves were considered the best horsemen who ever rode. They were so masterful at war and so skillful with their arrows and lances that they stopped the northern drive of colonial Spain from Mexico and halted the French expansion westward from Louisiana. White settlers arriving in Texas from the eastern United States were surprised to find the frontier being rolled backward by Comanches incensed by the invasion of their tribal lands. So effective were the Comanches that they forced the creation of the Texas Rangers and account for the advent of the new weapon specifically designed to fight them: the six-gun.

The war with the Comanches lasted four decades, in effect holding up the development of the new American nation. Gwynne’s exhilarating account delivers a sweeping narrative that encompasses Spanish colonialism, the Civil War, the destruction of the buffalo herds, and the arrival of the railroads—a historical feast for anyone interested in how the United States came into being.

Against this backdrop Gwynne presents the compelling drama of Cynthia Ann Parker, a lovely nine-year-old girl with cornflower-blue eyes who was kidnapped by Comanches from the far Texas frontier in 1836. She grew to love her captors and became infamous as the “White Squaw” who refused to return until her tragic capture by Texas Rangers in 1860. More famous still was her son Quanah, a warrior who was never defeated and whose guerrilla wars in the Texas Panhandle made him a legend.

S. C. Gwynne’s account of these events is meticulously researched, intellectually provocative, and, above all, thrillingly told. Empire of the Summer Moon announces him as a major new writer of American history.

This book was a Pulitizer Prize finalist and would be another great gift book, for yourself or for a history buff.

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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. Elyssa Patrick
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 14:09:33

    I really hope Jo Goodman digitalizes the Compass books soon. I can’t find my print copies anywhere.

    But bought Simple Jess and the Goodman.

  2. leslie
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 14:50:16

    Jo Goodman is one of my favorite authors too. I love The Compass Club and would be so happy to have them in e-book, my paperbacks are very tattered. The audio books are terrific, they’re on Recorded Books and can be downloaded for free from your local library.

    I have given David McCullough’s books as gifts for years, he’s a national treasure and a very good writer of American History. The Truman book is huge, but worth the time. We read it a few years ago as a family, because my son was given an assignment to write a report on Harry Truman. We learned a lot about the man and the era and my son got an A which was pretty wonderful.

  3. DS
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 14:55:57

    If you have an Audible Account the Daily Deal is very good. Courtny Milan’s Unraveled for $3.95 as well as a few by Lorrain Heath, a Deborah Smith and one by Bella Andre for the same price each. I’m going to check out a few new to me authors as well as get Wool. If I keep buying Wool in enough versions I may actually get around to reading it.

  4. MaryK
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 15:20:30

    I read Simple Jess ages ago and loved it.

  5. Isobel Carr
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 15:49:28

    Quanah has a pretty amazing story. One of my great aunts (oddly, on the Caucasian side, not the Native American side, of my family) was named in his honor.

  6. Bella
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 15:50:50

    Empire of the Summer Moon is great read, way worth the amazing price here!

  7. Jayne
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 17:23:18

    @MaryK: Agree! This is a lovely story.

  8. Dabney
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 17:27:33

    @Elyssa Patrick: @leslie: I check regularly for the Compass books. I have two in paperback I bought on the Amazon used book mart several years ago. In fact, after Gaffney’s To Have and to Hold, the Compass books are the romance (s) I’d most like to see digitally released.

  9. Rosie
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 17:53:47

    Simple Jess is a favorite of mine. I definitely recommend snatching it up at the current low price! When Morsi is good, she is damn good.

  10. Brian
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 22:43:33

    Just a warning to anyone thinking of getting Truman from Books on Board because it’s cheaper there. I just did and got a 44 page excerpt and not the whole book.

  11. Brian
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 23:14:57

    The Truman excerpt is now properly labeled as such at BoB thanks to their quick customer service.

  12. Sandy James
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 07:19:46

    As a history teacher, I read anything I can written by David McCullough. His work is extraordinary!! Getting Truman for $3.99 is a steal!! :)

  13. SandyH
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 08:13:12

    I read Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne and it is an excellent book.

  14. Carolyne
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 16:04:50

    I’m only a few chapters into Simple Jess, but I’m enjoying the unconventional situation and am absolutely fascinated to see how it plays out. A lot of the descriptions remind me of how my grandmother kept her kitchen (albeit with fewer hog-butcherings).

    BUT the formatting of the eBook is downright atrocious. No paragraph indents or spacing, mid-sentence line breaks everywhere, extra characters, word substitutions (from scanning? my fave so far are the multiple times “die” randomly and Germanically replaces “the”). It’s down to the power of the author that I’m sticking with something this terribly converted to digital.

    I’m debating returning it just to make a point, but I don’t want to stop reading.

  15. Carolyne
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 16:08:28

    I should specify: the eBook purchased from Amazon for Kindle. Maybe the other conversions fared better. (Alas, can’t edit my previous post when using this browser!)

  16. Camila
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 20:51:41

    @Dabney: TO HAVE AND TO HOLD will be on Kindle on June 18, 2013.

    Just downloaded SIMPLE JESS and MY STEADFAST HEART.

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