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Daily Deals: YA, Curmudgeonly Detectives, and Learning Hindi in India

Something like summer bellSomething Like Summer by Jay Bell. $ 0.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Love, like everything in the universe, cannot be destroyed. But over time it can change.

The hot Texas nights were lonely for Ben before his heart began beating to the rhythm of two words; Tim Wyman. By all appearances, Tim had the perfect body and ideal life, but when a not-so-accidental collision brings them together, Ben discovers that the truth is rarely so simple. If winning Tim’s heart was an impossible quest, keeping it would prove even harder as family, society, and emotion threaten to tear them apart.

Something Like Summer is a love story spanning a decade and beyond as two boys discover what it means to be friends, lovers, and sometimes even enemies.

I haven’t read this but a lot of my m/m romance reading friends have raved about it since it came out, especially about Bell’s writing. I believe it is angsty but has at least an HFN. It is the first book in a series, but there’s no cliffhanger; the quartet tells the story of two couples from different perspectives and in different eras. I would classify it as a coming of age YA romance, and a movie is in the works.

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stormbringers-gregoryStormbringers by Philippa Gregory. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

The second book in a YA quartet filled with intrigue, mystery, and romance, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory.

The year is 1453, and the end of the world is closer than ever.

As Luca and Isolde continue their journey, their attraction grows with each passing day. Even as they try to remain focused on the mysteries they’ve been ordered to investigate, the tension between them builds.

Their budding, illicit relationship is put on hold when a boy, Johann, and his army of children arrive in town. Johann claims to have divine orders to lead the children across Europe to the Holy Land, and the townspeople readily accept his claims. Luca wants to believe, but his training tells him to question everything…but when Johann’s prophecy begins to come true, Luca wonders if they have finally stumbled upon a real miracle.

Yet even the greatest miracles have the potential for darkness…and the chaos that follows Johann is unlike anything anyone could have imagined.

The second in Philippa Gregory’s four-book series delves further into a forbidden romance and an epic quest as secrets about The Order of Darkness are finally revealed…

I was of two minds whether to post this deal, because it’s the second book in a series. I had no idea Philippa Gregory was writing YA, but I guess everyone is these days. A reviewer who hadn’t read the first book didn’t have any trouble starting here. There is a fair amount of religion in the book, which seemed to surprise some reviewers. However, given that the blurb refers to “divine orders” and the Holy Land, the focus was not exactly a secret.

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last detective loveseyThe Last Detective by Peter Lovesey. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

A nude female corpse has been found floating in a large reservoir just south of Bristol. In order to solve the mystery of the “Lady in the Lake,” Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond must locate two missing letters attributed to Jane Austen and defy his superiors on the force to save a woman unjustly accused of murder. This is the first of the Peter Diamond series; it won the 1992 Anthony Boucher Award for Best Mystery Novel.

I’m sure I’ve read this and it’s on my bookshelf but I don’t remember anything about it. Lovesey is a well-known author of police procedurals and this is the first in a series featuring DS Peter Diamond. Diamond hates computers, which I’m coming to sympathize with more and more. This installment involves Jane Austen letters, which makes it related to romance, right?

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dreaming in hindi richDreaming in Hindi by Katherine Russell Rich. $ 2.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

An eye-opening and courageous memoir that explores what learning a new language can teach us about distant worlds and, ultimately, ourselves.

After miraculously surviving a serious illness, Katherine Rich found herself at an impasse in her career as a magazine editor. She spontaneously accepted a freelance writing assignment to go to India, where she found herself thunderstruck by the place and the language, and before she knew it she was on her way to Udaipur, a city in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, in order to learn Hindi. Rich documents her experiences—ranging from the bizarre to the frightening to the unexpectedly exhilarating—using Hindi as the lens through which she is given a new perspective not only on India, but on the radical way the country and the language itself were changing her. Fascinated by the process, she went on to interview linguistics experts around the world, reporting back from the frontlines of the science wars on what happens in the brain when we learn a new language. She brings both of these experiences together seamlessly in Dreaming in Hindi, a remarkably unique and thoughtful account of self-discovery.

I was intrigued by the title but I was afraid it was going to be another Eat, Pray, Love. But I liked the sample, and it’s hard for me to resist a book about language learning. I especially like that the book focuses on the cognitive processes involved in language acquisition, although a couple of reviewers thought there was too much of that. One person’s stay-away is another person’s one-click, right?

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Sunita has been reading romances since she ran out of Cherry Ames, Student Nurse and Chalet School books and graduated to Mary Stewart and Georgette Heyer. Other old favorites include Mary Burchell, Betty Neels, Elsie Lee, and Edith Layton. Among current writers, she reads and rereads Anne Stuart, Tamara Allen, Sarah Morgan, Marion Lennox, Josh Lanyon, and Susanna Kearsley. She blogs as VacuousMinx and tweets as @sunita_p.

10 Comments

  1. Darlynne
    May 30, 2014 @ 15:43:59

    “… which makes it related to romance, right?”

    I enjoy hearing about all kinds of books, with and without romance. So count me among those who don’t have a strict romance requirement in their reading.

    It’s been so long since I read a Peter Diamond crime novel, but recall really liking the series.

    SOMETHING LIKE SUMMER sounds great. Thanks for pointing it out.

  2. Lorenda Christensen
    May 30, 2014 @ 16:06:54

    As someone who tried and failed to learn Hindi while she lived in Bangalore (I’m not sure what possessed me to try; I’ve had five years of classes and live in close-to-Mexico Oklahoma and I’m still nowhere near fluent in Spanish), the dreaming in Hindi is intriguing. I might need to try it.

  3. cleo
    May 30, 2014 @ 16:40:34

    ARe has a 50% rebate today only – use #SupportIndies at check out

  4. Lindsay
    May 30, 2014 @ 18:09:37

    Dreaming in Hindi sounds really neat. I’ve spent half my life in French-speaking cities (both Parisian and Quebecois, to make it even more fun) and I’ve learned that my brain’s properly switched over when I start dreaming in French and everyday objects are French words, not English. Same thing happens when I go back to an English-speaking city.

    It have tried learning new languages as an adult and I am in despair of ever learning another, but I think I’d really like to read this with someone’s experience learning through immersion, especially the science side.

  5. Monique D
    May 30, 2014 @ 20:07:02

    For once I remembered and I ordered my ebook from your Amazon link.

  6. Melanie
    May 30, 2014 @ 20:59:46

    “The Last Detective” was down to $1.39 on Amazon when I bought it at about 9:30 pm ET. I couldn’t pass it up for that price, especially since a friend whose taste I trust has been telling me for years that this is a good series.

  7. C
    May 30, 2014 @ 21:12:15

    I bought something like summer for its full price recently. what unfortunate timing. its a good book thus far though (I’ve only gotten through the teenage section thus far) The Philippa Gregory sounds interesting, although I’m wary of YA

  8. Sunita
    May 30, 2014 @ 21:48:39

    @Darlynne: I know a lot of DA readers like to mix it up in terms of genre, and I really appreciate the warm welcome from people while I’m filling in for Jane. She makes it look so easy!

    @cleo: Thanks for the reminder, I meant to add a note at the end of the post and I forgot.

    @Monique D: Thank you! I forget quite often myself, I admit.

  9. Sunita
    May 30, 2014 @ 21:51:25

    @Lindsay: @Lorenda Christensen: I’m really intrigued by this one too. I’ll try to get a review up when I finish it.

    @Melanie: Oh, even better! Amazon is frequently lower than the other sites, but I give the highest sale price I see if they vary.

    @C: I thought the Gregory looked a bit out of the ordinary. It’s not much consolation, but I don’t think I’ve seen the Bell book discounted before.

  10. Jayne
    May 31, 2014 @ 04:51:44

    @Sunita: I think you’ve been doing a great job with the daily deals too. And you’re right, Jane does make it look effortless.

    I was interested in the Hindi book too but it’s not discounted at Kobo – more often than not the story of my life with these great sounding books and Kobo.

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