Saturday, July 27, 2013

Today's Daily Deals include books by Clive Cussler, Agatha Christie, Stephanie Meyer, Ed McBain, Oliver Potsch, John Irving, Sandra Brown, Diane Setterfield, Dennis LeHane, Hugh Howey, Colleen Cobble, Mary Sharratt, Gregory McGuire (Wicked), L.L. Barlet, Jennifer Chiaverini, James Patterson, Martin Cruz Smith and more! Many as low as $0.99. For the complete list (2 pages in all), click here.  Some of our favorites are shown below.

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

The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel, by Diane Setterfield.


When Margaret Lea opened the door to the past, what she confronted was her destiny.

All children mythologize their birth


...So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's collection of stories, which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist.

The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating various outlandish life histories for herself -- all of them inventions that have brought her fame and fortune but have kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain. Struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter's story and her own, Margaret takes on the commission.

As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good, Margaret is mesmerized. It is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire.

Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida's storytelling but remains suspicious of the author's sincerity. She demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

The Thirteenth Tale is a love letter to reading, a book for the feral reader in all of us, a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and that we loved as children. Diane Setterfield will keep you guessing, make you wonder, move you to tears and laughter and, in the end, deposit you breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of your everyday life.

Settle down to enjoy a rousing good ghost story with Diane Setterfield's debut novel, The Thirteenth Tale. Setterfield has rejuvenated the genre with this closely plotted, clever foray into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths. She never cheats by pulling a rabbit out of a hat; this atmospheric story hangs together perfectly.
There are two heroines here: Vida Winter, a famous author, whose life story is coming to an end, and Margaret Lea, a young, unworldly, bookish girl who is a bookseller in her father's shop. Vida has been confounding her biographers and fans for years by giving everybody a different version of her life, each time swearing it's the truth. Because of a biography that Margaret has written about brothers, Vida chooses Margaret to tell her story, all of it, for the first time. At their initial meeting, the conversation begins:

"You have given nineteen different versions of your life story to journalists in the last two years alone."

She [Vida] shrugged. "It's my profession. I'm a storyteller."

"I am a biographer, I work with facts."
The game is afoot and Margaret must spend some time sorting out whether or not Vida is actually ready to tell the whole truth. There is more here of Margaret discovering than of Vida cooperating wholeheartedly, but that is part of Vida's plan. The transformative power of truth informs the lives of both women by story's end, and The Thirteenth Tale is finally and convincingly told. --Valerie Ryan













416 pages, with a 4.3-star rating from 1216 reviews. X-Ray, enabled. Whispersync for Voice audiobook available for $12.99 if you purchase this book.




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

Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5) (Silo Saga), by Hugh Howey.

This Omnibus Edition collects the five Wool books into a single volume. It is for those who arrived late to the party and who wish to save a dollar or two while picking up the same stories in a single package.

The first Wool story was released as a standalone short in July of 2011. Due to reviewer demand, the rest of the story was released over the next six months. My thanks go out to those reviewers who clamored for more. Without you, none of this would exist. Your demand created this as much as I did.

This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.

550 pages, with a 4.7-star rating from 5770 reviews. Text to Speech, X-Ray, Lending enabled.




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

Blue Gold: A novel from the NUMA Files, by Clive Cussler.

A Kurt Austin Adventure


In Serpent, his New York Times bestseller, Clive Cussler introduced Kurt Austin, a hero for the new millennium, and "created a new bunch of NUMA supersleuths who infused his work with a...jolt of energy" (The Denver Post). Now Austin and his crew slake their thirst for action as they attempt to drown an eco-extortionist's plan to control the world's freshwater supply.


BLUE GOLD

A Novel from the NUMA Files


From deep within the Venezuelan rain forest emanates the legend of a white goddess and a mysterious tribe with startling technical accomplishments. Few believe the tribe exists -- and even fewer suspect its deity may hold knowledge that can change the course of history.


For National Underwater & Marine Agency crew leader Kurt Austin, an investigation into the sudden deaths of rare whales leads him to the Mexican coast, where someone tries to put him and his mini-sub permanently out of commission. Meanwhile, in South America's lush hills, a specially assigned NUMA crew turns up the white-goddess legend -- and a murderous cadre of bio-pirates intent on stealing medicinal secrets worth millions. Soon Austin and his crew realize they're working the opposite ends of the same grand scheme. A billionaire California tycoon is poised to rise to power by monopolizing the earth's vastly depleted freshwater reserves and ultimately dominate the world.


Austin has a hunch Venezuela's mythical tribal goddess has some real roots in science, and may be the key to locating a secret formula that could turn vast amounts of seawater into fresh. But with each step into the bush, he and his NUMA team feel like fish out of water -- and must fight a deadly, twisting trail of enemies through a dense jungle of treachery, blackmail, and murder.
Reading a Clive Cussler novel is like watching several movies at once. He's a master of the jump cut, moving the action from one continent to another with an entirely different cast of characters, good guys and bad, in each place. He always manages to pull the various characters, plots, and counterplots together, though, and the heroes always triumph in the end after saving the world from eco-terrorists, megalomaniacs with their ambitions primed for world domination, and a few regular old criminals thrown in for good measure. In this new adventure from the National Underwater & Marine Agency (NUMA) files, Kurt Austin and his partner Joe Zavala nearly die during a powerboat race when a pod of dead, bloated gray whales bobs to the surface and obstructs the race course. Attempting to discover what killed the whales, Kurt and Joe track their migratory route to a mysterious underwater laboratory on the Baja Peninsula. Once again they narrowly miss death when the lab explodes, destroying their minisubmarine and almost poaching them alive. What seemed like a simple scientific investigation turns into something very different: a confrontation with a 7-foot Valkyrie who's bent on taking over the earth's depleted freshwater reserves. In order to thwart her plans, Austin and Zavala venture deep into the jungle of the Venezuelan rain forest to find a supposedly mythical tribal goddess (one with a Ph.D. in science, of course) whose secret formula to desalinate seawater can put the kibosh on the Valkyrie's plans. Helped by a husband-wife NUMA team who've already made the goddess's acquaintance, plus the always fascinating techno-toys so beloved of superheroes, Kurt and Joe save the day. But before they do, there's plenty of heart-stopping action, random acts of murder and mutilation, and even a little romance. Great pacing, plenty of gadgets, a strong narrative, and bigger-than-life heroes and villains. If you've run out of summer action flicks already, make your own popcorn and curl up with Blue Gold instead. --Jane Adams

416 pages, with a 4.2-star rating from 268 reviews. X-Ray, enabled.




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

The Hangman's Daughter, by Oliver Pötzsch.

Germany, 1660: When a dying boy is pulled from the river with a mark crudely tattooed on his shoulder, hangman Jakob Kuisl is called upon to investigate whether witchcraft is at play. So begins The Hangman's Daughter--the chillingly detailed, fast-paced historical thriller from German television screenwriter, Oliver Pötzsch--a descendent of the Kuisls, a famous Bavarian executioner clan.

Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Author Oliver Pötzsch

Question: What initially inspired you to write this story?

Oliver Pötzsch: As a descendant of the executioner’s dynasty Kuisl, I have been fascinated by their history since my childhood. Engaging myself with the Kuisls makes me feel connected to a greater lineage. In addition, executions are a fascinating topic often treated with undue prejudice. In this respect my books are a defense of my ancestors’ honour.

Question: What authors or books have influenced your writing?

Oliver Pötzsch: Regarding historic novels, my writing has been influenced by Paul Harding, Robert Harris, and the fantastic novel Terror by Dan Simmons. But I also look up to many authors of the fantasy genre such as Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, and the almost forgotten Fritz Leiber.

Question: What research did you do while writing your book?

Oliver Pötzsch: My grandmother’s deceased cousin was a passionate genealogist. In his life he built an enormous archive of information about my ancestors and the hangman profession, and I have been allowed free use of this resource. Also, during my career as a journalist I made several radio programs on this topic, talking to herb women and guardians of cultural heritage and searching in many archives of Bavarian cities for my ancestors.

Question: Is there any character you most identify with? Why?

Oliver Pötzsch: I am a cross between Jakob Kuisl and Simon Fronwieser. I am sometimes ferociously melancholic like Kuisl, and I have his stubbornness and his grumbling taciturnity which can drive my wife crazy. But also, like Simon, I am curious, I can be charming and at times even loquacious, and I love great coffee!

Question: Have you considered trying your hand at other genres?

Oliver Pötzsch: In March 2011, my new book, The Ludwig Conspiracy, will be released. It’s about the mysterious background of the death of King Ludwig II, the Bavarian fairy tale king. The novel is set in the present day; it is a contemporary thriller which I took great pleasure in writing. And one day I want to write a fantasy novel. As a child I couldn’t get enough of them.

Question: Have you always wanted to be an author' What other careers have you pursued?

Oliver Pötzsch: As a child I wanted to become a soccer commentator, actor, and yes, as a matter of fact, I wanted to become a writer. I always made up stories and wasted my youth on never-ending fantasy roleplaying.

Question: What's it like to have a book published for the first time?

Oliver Pötzsch: The first book is like the birth of a child, a long-cherished dream come true. Apart from that, every novel is really hard work! But I can’t think of anything else to do.
Question: What's next for you?

Oliver Pötzsch: After the thriller about Ludwig II, I am writing the fourth novel in the Hangman series. Later I will fulfil another childhood dream of mine and go live in Iceland for a while. Without my mobile or laptop. It is something I promised my family. Well, I might take a big notepad for a few new ideas...
(Photo -- Dominik Parzinger)

448 pages, with a 4.7-star rating from 1793 reviews. Kindle Owner's Lending Library, Text to Speech, X-Ray, Lending enabled. Whispersync for Voice audiobook available for $0.99 if you purchase this book.



Happy Reading!

Betsy

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