Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Kindle Daily Deals: A classic about our natural world, a romance, Terry Pritchard, and a fun picture book!

Today's Daily Deals include a classic about the natural world, a romance, Terry Pritchard and a charming kid's picture book!

Here's today's Kindle Daily Deal, available for $1.99 today!

Desert Solitaire (Edward Abbey Series ), by Edward Abbey.

First published in 1968, Desert Solitaire is one of Edward Abbey's most critically acclaimed works and marks his first foray into the world of nonfiction writing. Written while Abbey was working as a ranger at Arches National Park outside of Moab, Utah, Desert Solitaire is a rare view of one man's quest to experience nature in its purest form.

Through prose that is by turns passionate and poetic, Abbey reflects on the condition of our remaining wilderness and the future of a civilization that cannot reconcile itself to living in the natural world as well as his own internal struggle with morality. As the world continues its rapid development, Abbey's cry to maintain the natural beauty of the West remains just as relevant today as when this book was written.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Edward Abbey was born in Home, Pennsylvania in 1927. In 1944, at the age of 17, Abbey set out to explore the American Southwest, bumming around the country by hitchhiking and hopping freight trains. It was during this time that Abbey developed a love of the desert, which would shape his life and his art for the next forty years. After a brief stint in the military, Abbey completed his education at the University of New Mexico and later, at the University of Edinburgh. He took employment as a park ranger and fire lookout at several different National Parks throughout his life, experiences from which he drew for his many books. Abbey died at his home in Oracle, Arizona in 1989.

With language as colorful as a Canyonlands sunset and a perspective as pointed as a prickly pear, Cactus Ed captures the heat, mystery, and surprising bounty of desert life. Desert Solitaire is a meditation on the stark landscapes of the red-rock West, a passionate vote for wilderness, and a howling lament for the commercialization of the American outback.

354 pages, with a 4.6-star rating from 192 reviews. Text to Speech, X-Ray, Lending enabled. Whispersync for Voice audiobook available for $3.49 if you purchase this book.




Here's today's Daily Romance Deal, available for $1.99 today!

Promise Me A Rainbow, by Cheryl Reavis.

“ . . . a delicately crafted, eminently satisfying romantic fiction. Reavis works magic . . . ” – Publishers WeeklyTwo lonely people, scarred by betrayal and tragedy, believe that love is lost to them forever…Deserted by her husband because she couldn’t have children, Catherine Holben has thrown herself into her job counseling pregnant teens. Catherine is still recovering from the pain of her divorce, but her life is changed forever when she makes a purchase in a quaint curio shop. She meets handsome, hardworking Joe D’Amaro, a widower and father of three, and his daughter, Fritz. But Joe needs help with Fritz, a seven-year-old dynamo. She’s a precocious but headstrong little girl who’s impossible to resist., and he is too proud to admit it.

Joe and Catherine are cautious about making a commitment to each other. They both know the joy and heartache of falling in love, but are they willing to risk being together despite their misgivings' Neither can ignore the love that quickly blossoms between them. Maybe they can have a wonderful life together . . . if only Joe’s still-grieving older daughter, Della, will accept a new woman in her father’s life. True love versus reality. Can Catherine handle his ready-made family? Or is there more in store for her than she thinks'A four-time RITA winner and a three-time RITA finalist, Cheryl Reavis is the author of acclaimed romance novels including A Crime of the Heart, which was condensed in Good Housekeeping magazine. Visit her on Facebook, read her blog, Writing Life, www.cherylreavis.blogspot.com, and follow her on Twitter @sCRibblercheryl.

274 pages, with a 4.4-star rating from 16 reviews. Text to Speech, X-Ray, enabled.




Here's today's Daily Science Fiction/Fantasy Deal, available for $1.99 today!

Snuff (Discworld), by Terry Pratchett.

“Pratchett . . . has a satirist's instinct for the absurd and a cartoonist's eye for the telling detail."
Daily Telegraph (London)
“The purely funniest English writer since Wodehouse.”
Washington Post Book World

Sam Vimes, watch commander of Ankh-Morpork, is at long last taking a much-needed (and well deserved) vacation. But, of course, this is Discworld, where nothing goes as planned—and before Vimes can even change his cardboard-soled boots for vacationer’s slippers, the gruff watch commander soon finds himself enmeshed in a fresh fiasco fraught with magic, cunning, daring, and (for the reader more than for poor Vimes) endless hilarity. Did he really expect time off? As Vimes himself says in Feet of Clay, “there’s some magical creature called ‘overtime,’ only no one’s even seen its footprints.” Following the New York Times bestselling Unseen Academichals, Terry Pratchett delivers an enthralling new tale from a place of insuperable adventure: Discworld.  Discworld is a registered trademark.

Author One-to-One: Neil Gaiman Interviews Terry Pratchett

Neil Gaiman’s best-selling novels include Neverwhere, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, and Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett). He is the creator of the Sandman series of graphic novels and author of the short-fiction collections Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things.

Neil Gaiman: Where did the idea for Snuff originate?
Terry Pratchett: I haven’t a clue, but I think I started out by considering the character of Sir Samuel Vimes, as he now is, and since I find his inner monologue interesting I decided to use the old and well-tried plot device of sending a policeman on holiday somewhere he can relax, because we all know the way this one is supposed to go. And then I realised that moving Vimes out of his city element and away from his comfort zone was going to be a sheer treat to write.
Gaiman: The Watch fascinate me. You get to do hardboiled police procedurals while still writing funny smart books set in a fantastic world.
Pratchett: On a point of order, Mister Gaiman, the world in which Sam Vimes finds himself is hardly fantastic. Okay, there are goblins, but the overall ambience is that of the shires of Middle England. It’s all about the commonality of humankind. Shove Sam Vimes into a situation that has gone toxic and away he goes, as realistic as any other policeman and thinking in the very same ways and being Sam Vimes, questioning his motives and procedures all the way through.
Gaiman: Did you really say in a previous interview that you’d like to be like Sam Vines? Why?
Pratchett: I don’t think I actually said that, but you know how it is and ‘how it is’ changes as you get older. The author can always delve into his own personality and find aspects of himself with which he can dress his characters. If you pushed me I would say that ever since I stood up and talked about my Alzheimer’s I have been a public figure; I visited Downing Street twice, wrote angry letters to the Times, got into debates in the House of Commons, and generally became a geezer to the extent that I sit here sometimes bewildered and think to myself, “Actually, your job is to sit here writing another book. Changing the world is for other people...” and then I come back to myself with, “No it isn’t!” And so, bearing in mind that these days, people call a kid from the council houses “Sir” allows me to create a mindset for Vimes.
Gaiman: On a piece about writing in the New York Times, Carl Hiaasen (a writer you started me reading on the Good Omens tour), wrote, “Every writer scrounges for inspiration in different places, and there's no shame in raiding the headlines. It's necessary, in fact, when attempting contemporary satire. Sharp-edged humor relies on topical reference points... Unfortunately for novelists, real life is getting way too funny and far-fetched.” Does the Discworld as a setting allow you to escape from that? Or is it a tool that lets you raid the headlines in ways people might not expect?

Pratchett: I think that’s the commonality of humankind again. I hope that everyone in Discworld is a recognisable and understandable character and so sometimes I can present them with modern and contemporary problems, such as Mustrum Ridcully getting his head around homosexuality.
In truth, I never have to go looking for this stuff; I turn to find it smacking me in the face. I was very pleased when Making Money came out just before the banking crisis and everyone said I had predicted it. It was hardly difficult.
Gaiman: How has the Discworld changed over the years?
Pratchett: I suppose the simple answer is that there is still humour, but the gags are no longer set up; they are derived from characters’ personalities and situations. These days the humour seems to arrive of its own accord.
Gaiman: How has writing the Discworld novels changed how you see the world?
Pratchett: I think it more true that getting older changes how you see the world. There is stuff in Snuff, for example, that I couldn’t have written at 25. Although I had written things before Discworld, I really leaned writing, on the job as it were, on Discworld. I think that the books are, if not serious, dealing with more serious subjects. These days it’s not just for laughs. My world view had changed; sometimes I feel that the world is made up of sensible people who know that plot and bloody idiots who don’t. Of course, all Discworld fans know the plot by heart!
Gaiman: How has writing the Discworld novels changed how the world sees you?
Pratchett: Has it? My agent pointed out one day that I had been quoted by a columnist in some American newspaper, and he noted with some glee that they simply identified me by name without reminding people who I was, apparently in the clear expectation that their readers would know who I am. I have quite a large number of honorary doctorates; I am a professor of English at Trinity College Dublin and a fellow of King’s College London, on top of all the other stuff, including the knighthood. However, when it gets to the sub-editors I am always going to be that writer of wacky fantasy, though I have to say that dismissiveness is getting rarer and rarer.
Gaiman: Are you respectable?
Pratchett: Is this a trick question? If so, then I shall say yes. Generally speaking I try to obey the law, pay my taxes (of which there are an enormous lot), give to charity, and write letters to the Times that they print.
It’s a weird term, respectable; isn’t ‘respek’ what every street kid wants and might possibly expect at the point of a knife? I certainly get involved with things and shortly after finishing this interview will be annoying my local MP. It’s fun. Discworld and the Alzheimer’s together have given me a platform.

423 pages, with a 4.1-star rating from 281 reviews. X-Ray, Lending enabled.



Here's today's Kindle Daily Deal, available for $0.99 today!

Spring Is Here, by Taro Gomi.

A winsome calf provides the backdrop--literally--for this charming story. With each turn of the page, the young animal is imaginatively transformed to reflect some activity of the four seasons: snow melting, seedlings springing up, harvest, all the way to the snow melting again and revealing that--the calf has grown. The story line follows the cycle of the seasons from one spring to the next, and its spare, fluid text--wedded to the vigorous graphics--vividly conveys the underlying themes of renewal and growth. The colors are joyful and fresh, and the artist's playful approach to perspective makes this a lovely picture book. Plus, this is a fixed- format version of the book, which looks nearly identical to the print version.

"Spring is here. / The snow melts. / The earth is fresh. / The grass sprouts." Taro Gomi's picture book about the change of seasons couldn't be simpler. The first spread shows a white calf against a hot-pink background. "Spring is here," it says. In the next spread "the snow melts." And indeed, the once snow-white calf is now spotted black and white! Gomi walks toddlers through harvest, more snowfall, and comes full-circle back to spring, only this time "the calf has grown." Publishers Weekly calls Spring Is Here "the perfect picture book," and now, in its latest ultra-sturdy board-book incarnation, it may last a few more seasons! (Baby to preschool) --Karin Snelson

Note that this book is available only for the Kindle Cloud Reader, the Kindle Fire and the iPad.

33 pages, with a 4.8-star rating from 13 reviews. Lending enabled.

Happy Reading!

Betsy

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