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Daily Deals: Wide open spaces, NA, real life apocalypse and a...

Texas Wide Open by KC KleinTexas Wide Open by KC Klein. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

Katie Harris loved growing up on a ranch. She had her horse, the beautiful Texas prairie, and Cole Logan, the cowboy next door. But there are a lot of secrets hidden under a Texas sky. . .
Katie was always sure she’d marry Cole Logan someday–until he kicked away her pretty dreams like so much horse pucky. So she wised up and moved to the big city. And she was happy there. That is, until her daddy got sick, and she found herself back on the wrong side of Cole’s corral.

Cole knows Katie doesn’t want anything to do with him. But after so many years, he can’t pretend she’s no more than a neighbor. Not when thinking about her cherry lip gloss and hell-for-leather passion is keeping him up all night. Holding his ground was hard enough when she was seventeen. Now that she’s her own woman, Cole’s heart doesn’t stand a chance. . .

I chose to include this book so we could talk about the cover and the title. There’s the intentionally dirty gifs where people pixelate something to make it really dirty? I feel like that’s kind of what this cover is doing.  She’s sitting there with her legs splayed and her hands dangling down and the title “Wide Open” above them.  Imaginary dialogue:

Katie: “I’m not going to suffer your inattention anymore.”
Cole: “Texas, you ain’t suffering nothing from me.”
Kate: “I wouldn’t have you if paid me.”
Cole” Texas, you’re so wide open a cattle drive could get lost under your skirt.”
Kate slaps Cole and storms off.

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The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy EganThe Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

In a tour de force of historical reportage, Timothy Egan’s National Book Award–winning story rescues an iconic chapter of American history from the shadows.

The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since. Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, Timothy Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. Brilliantly capturing the terrifying drama of catastrophe, he does equal justice to the human characters who become his heroes, “the stoic, long-suffering men and women whose lives he opens up with urgency and respect” (New York Times). In an era that promises ever-greater natural disasters, The Worst Hard Time is “arguably the best nonfiction book yet” (Austin Statesman Journal) on the greatest environmental disaster ever to be visited upon our land and a powerful reminder about the dangers of trifling with nature.

This e-book includes a sample chapter of SHORT NIGHTS OF THE SHADOW CATCHER.

Winner of the 2006 National Book Award for Nonfiction

This is the darkest period in the dark days of the dark duration of the worst moments of the Depression. Dark, bleak, harsh, worsest ever in life. Period. Prepare to read with a cocktail of quaaludes and Red Bull.

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Keep Me Still Caisey QuinnKeep Me Still by Caisey Quinn. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

Layla Flaherty had the perfect life, or close to it. Until a stranger gunned her parents down right in front of her, leaving her with seizure inducing PTSD. After years of trying to pass as normal and failing miserably, she resigns herself to being invisible. But new to town Landen O’Brien sees her, and he likes what he sees. Much to Layla’s surprise, he doesn’t freak out when she has a seizure in front of him. He does the exact opposite, calming her until the tremors subside. But Landen has secrets of his own. Secrets that both bind them together and tear them apart.

Scarred by loss, Layla leaves her hometown of Hope Springs, Georgia, hoping to put her painful past behind her and start over in college in California. When she runs into Landen at freshmen orientation, she has a choice to make. Reinforce those steel walls she’s built up around herself or give the only boy who can keep her still a second chance.

Landen’s more than ready to tear down those walls but this time when they come crashing down, they might bury her.

My summary of the blurb: Landen O’Brien sees some girl have a seizure on a sidewalk. They fall in love but then something goes awry. So Layla goes across the country to go to college and who should she see there but Landen. So either Landen is a stalker or he’s a stalker and according to the blurb, he’s ready to bury her but they’ll be together in his heart and that is all that matters.

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Alas, Babylon by Pat FrankAlas, Babylon by Pat Frank. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

“Alas, Babylon.” Those fateful words heralded the end. When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness.

This cover says we had a big fight in the art department as to whether we were going to have a plane or a bridge. Each night the competing artists would go in and change the cover until the cover images became so degraded that only have of each was able to be used. It seemed fitting, thought the art director, given that this was a post apocalyptic book that the cover looked like a hot mess as well.

And like the cover, the people in the book survive even if they are an almagamation of our ideals.

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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. Corina
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 11:09:04

    I read Alas, Babylon maybe 20 years ago and there are scenes that still haunt me.

  2. Darlynne
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 12:14:59

    Keep those comments coming, Jane. You’re brilliant.

  3. Susan
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 13:31:36

    Jane’s still sick! Feel better soon, Jane–but keep the snark coming.

    Alas, Babylon was assigned reading back in my high school days (looong time ago). It traumatized me so badly that my dad had to have a talk with me about it to calm me down. I haven’t reread it since then, but seriously doubt I’d have the same reaction–cuz, you know, the trauma of real life has toughened me up.

    Speaking of being tough, I had bought The Worst Hard Time a week or so ago hoping it would be like the PBS show on the Dust Bowl. I haven’t read it yet, but think I’m up to the challenge when I get around to it.

  4. katleap
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 14:59:26

    I adore your commentary on the books. Its hilarious. ;)

  5. cleo
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 16:04:40

    OMG – that first cover.

  6. Kaetrin
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 17:55:43

    @cleo: her hands are so red – like she has a major circulatory problem. Perhaps it is a BDSM book gone wrong? What you can’t see is that her wrists are tied with rope.

  7. Lindsay
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 19:54:31

    Oh my goodness, I usually prefer your comments to the blurb, but I am enjoying them 1000% more right now.

  8. Erin Satie
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 20:08:48

    I’ve read two of Timothy Egan’s books. Both were excellent. Beautifully written, but always giving contemporary voices center stage.

    The Worst Hard Time is aptly named. Everything starts out fine & gets worse and worse until every last bit of hope and life has been crushed into the dust.

  9. Kate L
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 20:25:05

    you funny Jane.

  10. cleo
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 21:30:42

    @ Kaetrin – I barely noticed the color of her hands. I feel kind of pervy looking that closely.

    I’m so disturbed by this cover trend. First we had headless torsos, now bodiless legs ands hands. What’s next? Disembodied feet? Crotch shots?

  11. Melisse Aires
    Nov 24, 2013 @ 08:50:40

    Alas Babylon– read it in Jr high. Had nuclear war nightmares for years, though not due to that book. I lived in Montana, which is lined with nuclear missiles, a first strike state in the old USSR days. Really memorable book of small town survival.

    It is also a movie and play.(We did it in High School).

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