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Daily Deals: Who runs the world? DNA runs the world!

Promise by May McGoldrickPromise by May McGoldrick. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:


On a desperate journey to America, Rebecca Neville promises the dying wife of the Earl of Stanmore to raise and care for her newborn son, James. Once in the New World, Rebecca begins her new life—as a mother…


Ten years later, the Earl of Stanmore learns of the fate of his family. He sends to the colonies for his young heir so he can raise him as a peer of the realm. With no intention of forsaking her vow, Rebecca returns to England with James to face a future without her beloved charge. But she must also face her tumultuous past…


At first glance, the formidable Stanmore sends Rebecca reeling. But beneath his coldly attractive façade and seeming indifference to his son’s plight, emotions roil. For there is more to Stanmore and his motives than meets the eye. The enigmatic lord has his own promise to keep—and a passion for Rebecca that cannot be denied…

This was originally published in 2001 and the authors are a husband and wife writing duo. “Jim and Nikoo have written twenty-seven novels and a work of nonfiction.
They write under the pseudonyms of May McGoldrick, Jan Coffey, and Nicole Cody.”

John Charles for Booklist wrote “This vibrant Georgian historical is perfect for readers who like a nice mix of history and passion.”

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Embattled Hearts by J. M. MaddenEmbattled Hearts by J. M. Madden. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

John Palmer hasn’t felt like a real man since he was injured during combat in Iraq. Though not content with his new life, he is mostly adapting, just like the other vets at the Lost ‘N’ Found Investigative Service. When Shannon Murphy is hired on as the new office manager, life suddenly gets a lot more interesting. Before long, John finds himself wondering if he could ever be the kind of man Shannon needs.

Shannon Murphy wasn’t really looking for love when she hired on at LNF, but finds herself hopelessly attracted to the sex-on-wheels former Marine, John Palmer. The man is grumpy and nearly impossible to work with, but his brand of masculinity appeals to her on a basic level. Soon Shannon is wondering just what it would take for John to want her the way she wants him.

When an old enemy tries to settle a vendetta against Shannon, John insists on protecting her. He moves into her house, fanning the spark of attraction into a blaze. But the danger continues to escalate. Will the connection that they’ve found survive when they’re thrust into a fight for their lives?

This is one of those “it didn’t work for me but it might work for you because it’s only 99c” sort of books. I liked the idea and the promise in the prologue novella than I did the actual full length book which I found rather dull.

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Arranged: A Novel by Catherine McKenzieArranged: A Novel by Catherine McKenzie. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, close friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share her life with, however, she just can’t seem to get it right. When her latest relationship implodes, and her best friend announces she’s engaged, Anne impulsively calls what she thinks is a dating service—only to discover that it’s actually an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. Anne initially rejects the idea, but the more she learns about the service, the more she thinks: Why not? After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world; maybe it could work for her.

A few months later, Anne is traveling to a Mexican resort, where, over the course of a weekend, she meets and then marries Jack. And initially, everything seems to be working out. . . .

PW writes ” With good dialogue, three-dimensional characters, and page-turning scenes, McKenzie expertly explores what makes a successful marriage work and the lengths to which some people will go to find true love.”

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The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code by Sam KeanThe Violinist’s Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code by Sam Kean. $ 2.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

rom New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes more incredible stories of science, history, language, and music, as told by our own DNA.
In The Disappearing Spoon, bestselling author Sam Kean unlocked the mysteries of the periodic table. In THE VIOLINIST’S THUMB, he explores the wonders of the magical building block of life: DNA.

There are genes to explain crazy cat ladies, why other people have no fingerprints, and why some people survive nuclear bombs. Genes illuminate everything from JFK’s bronze skin (it wasn’t a tan) to Einstein’s genius. They prove that Neanderthals and humans bred thousands of years more recently than any of us would feel comfortable thinking. They can even allow some people, because of the exceptional flexibility of their thumbs and fingers, to become truly singular violinists.

Kean’s vibrant storytelling once again makes science entertaining, explaining human history and whimsy while showing how DNA will influence our species’ future.

Vi Dao brought this to my attention because I’d featured the The Disappearing Spoon, a very cool story about the creation of the periodic table of elements. BN says “Sam Kean, definitely a talented author (The Disappearing Species) and not an anaerobic bacteria, demonstrates that point with example after example of not only how genetic codes function, but also what they can show us about the footprints they have left us about our history and even about how great music is sometimes made. A fascinating read about DNA and its connection to science, culture, language, and the Neanderthals still lurking in our genes.”

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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. SusanS
    Apr 24, 2014 @ 14:13:15

    Catherine McKenzie writes humorous but also slightly thought-provoking chick lit novels that feature smart but down on their luck heroines. I enjoyed her first three novels, Spin, Arranged and Forgotten, but her latest novel, Hidden, didn’t work for me because it was much darker. I’d definitely recommend Arranged at that price.

  2. Lindsay
    Apr 24, 2014 @ 15:28:35

    I apparently bought Arranged two years ago on sale — whoops! I know it came highly recommended, but I think I need to go through my TBR pile a bit more…

    That said, I loved The Disappearing Spoon, so no question on The Violinist’s Thumb!

  3. Polly
    Apr 24, 2014 @ 15:53:55

    I haven’t read Arranged, but I can’t get over the name of the main character–Anne Blythe! I don’t think I could get beyond the Anne of Green Gables-ness of it.

  4. Janine
    Apr 24, 2014 @ 17:47:10

    @Polly: According to one of the Amazon reviews, this is deliberate. I gather there are multiple Anne of Green Gables references, though that reviewer isn’t impressed with how they’re integrated into the book.

  5. Maite
    Apr 24, 2014 @ 18:02:00

    Got “The Disappearing Spoon” when it was featured here, and it turned out to be one of those books I’d wanted my entire life but didn’t know it existed. Off to buy The Violinist’s Thumb and hope I like it half as much.

  6. Nicole
    Apr 24, 2014 @ 22:08:39

    I really like Catherine McKenzie’s first three books, but Hidden just didn’t work for me. I read the first couple of chapters and wondered what I’d wandered into. I may go back to it some day, but it’s not a priority. I feel like I really got Anne in Arranged, although the ending felt a bit abrupt and didn’t entirely satisfy me.

  7. batgrl
    Apr 25, 2014 @ 20:15:53

    Daily Deals has helped me discover many books, but I think I enjoy it most when you pop something unexpected in the mix – like The Violinist’s Thumb! And of course I had to grab it, can’t resist at that price!

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