Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Kindle Daily Deals (July 15, 2014): Mysteries set in the art world, a bestselling romance, a book about social media, dystopian fiction and a teen novel of love and grief.

The first two books in the Alix London series by the Elkins are on sale today for $1.99 each!

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

A Dangerous Talent (An Alix London Mystery), by Aaron Elkins.

Alix London has a promising career as an art consultant, a sumptuous condo in Seattle’s toniest neighborhood, a gorgeous figure, and a presence that exudes Ivy League breeding and old money. She has it all…or does she? Only Alix knows that the image she presents to the world is a carefully constructed mirage that veils an embarrassing truth.

A brilliant, once-promising art student, the daughter of a prominent New York art conservator, her world was left in ruins when her father went to prison for art forgery. Now a Harvard dropout with an emptied bank account, she is languishing in a career that has produced little more than a lucky house-sitting gig. But all of that changes when Alix meets Christine Lemay, a novice art collector with money to burn and a hot tip on a recently discovered painting by American master Georgia O’Keeffe. Chris hires Alix to perform the authentication, an assignment that finally could launch Alix into the big leagues. But soon after her arrival in Santa Fe, she finds herself tangled up in a web of forgery, deceit—and murder. Anxious to avoid becoming the next victim, she teams up with FBI Special Agent Ted Ellesworth—and gets a little unlikely help from her roguish father—to uncover the truth behind the painting and those who would kill to have it. Sharp, witty, and devilishly fun, A Dangerous Talent offers an insider’s look into the surprisingly treacherous contemporary art world.

Q&A with Charlotte and Aaron Elkins, authors of A Dangerous Talent



Question: A Dangerous Talent is a fast-paced mystery set in the high end Art world. Alix London is the daughter of an infamous art forger who is called upon to help verify the authenticity of nothing less than a Georgia O'Keeffe, and things go south from there. Can you tell us about the inspiration for this story? Was there a reason that you chose Georgia O'Keefe specifically?
Charlotte: In casting around for a background for a character, I remembered a fundraiser I'd attended when we were living back East. The celebrity guest was high up in the New York art scene, and the society scene as well. Not long afterwards, this glamorous person was convicted in a price-fixing scandal that destroyed her career and her reputation, and barely missed earning her jail time. Since there have been similar profile cases, and I became intrigued with the idea of developing a character, not based one of these high-society felons, but about the daughter of one, whose life had been turned down upside down by the scandal. And Alix London was born.
Question: There is a lot of great and in-depth art information in A Dangerous Talent. Can you tell us about some of the research you did?
Charlotte and Aaron: We never write about a place we haven't been to and researched. We based ourselves in Santa Fe (wonderful restaurants!) where there is a new Georgia O'Keeffe museum and also a research center dedicated to her. We toured the museum, of course, and applied for and were given permission to do some work in the research center. We'd also made an appointment to tour her studio in the tiny village of Abiquiu, 50 miles north of Santa Fe, in glorious red-rock country.
In Taos, we spent a night in the house of O'Keeffe's friend, art patron and local doyenne Mabel Dodge Luhan. Now a conference center, this was the house in which O'Keeffe spent her first summer in New Mexico, so there are many memories of her. There, you can brush your teeth or take a morning bath in the only bathroom in the world with windows personally painted by DH Lawrence, another friend of Mabel's who spent a lot of time in the house.
Question: A Dangerous Talent isn't all art authentication; there are a few explosions, white-knuckle car chase scenes, a Lamborghini, and even a bit of romance, but at its heart it's a true mystery with a great heroine. Will Alix London fans see her again? Can you tell us a little more about what in store for her next?
Charlotte and Aaron: Not only will Alix's fans see her again, but they'll see many of the characters they meet in A Dangerous Talent. Her roguish forger-father, now gone straight (or has he?), along with his band of ex-con art forgery experts, her new, rich, ex-techie friend Chris with her snazzy wine bar, and, of course, undercover art-squad FBI agent Ted Ellesworth all will be showing up again in the next Alix London mystery, when Alix gets her first consulting assignment from the squad.


271 pages, with a 4.1-star rating from 301 reviews

The first one is shown above, the second one, A Cruise to Die For, is shown below left. The third book in the series, The Art Whisperer, also shown below, is $4.99 right now but is shown for your convenience.





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

Destiny: A Novel, by Sally Beauman.

Sally Beauman’s international bestseller sweeps across decades and continents to tell a spellbinding story of star-crossed love

Edouard’s story begins in London in 1940. At fourteen, he’s the son of a baron and second in line to a dazzling jewelry dynasty.

Hélène’s story begins in Alabama in 1950. An only child, she lives with her mother in a trailer park and dreams of escaping her hardscrabble life.

Their paths cross in France, and a brief, passionate affair follows. They are separated by fate, and that seems to be the end. But Edouard cannot devote his life to business . . . not before finding Hélène again.

Destiny
is Sally Beauman’s masterpiece about a man and a woman and their once-in-a-lifetime love.  

848 pages, with a 4.4-star rating from 28 reviews

I'd not heard of this book before, but apparently it was first published in the 1980's--it only has 28 reviews on Amazon, but 452 reviews on Goodreads, with a 3.9 overall rating.




Here's today's Daily Non-Fiction Deal, available for $1.99!

Writing on the Wall: Social Media - The First 2,000 Years, by Tom Standage.

From the bestselling author of A History of the World in 6 Glasses, the story of social media from ancient Rome to the Arab Spring and beyond.


Social media is anything but a new phenomenon. From the papyrus letters that Cicero and other Roman statesmen used to exchange news, to the hand-printed tracts of the Reformation and the pamphlets that spread propaganda during the American and French revolutions, the ways people shared information with their peers in the past are echoed in the present. After decades of newspapers, radio, and television dominating in dissemination of information, the Internet has spawned a reemergence of social media as a powerful new way for individuals to share information with their friends, driving public discourse in new ways.

Standage reminds us how historical social networks have much in common with modern social media. The Catholic Church’s dilemmas in responding to Martin Luther’s attacks are similar to those of today’s large institutions in responding to criticism on the Internet, for example, and seventeenth-century complaints about the distractions of coffeehouses mirror modern concerns about social media. Invoking figures from Thomas Paine to Vinton Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet, Standage explores themes that have long been debated, from the tension between freedom of expression and censorship to social media’s role in spurring innovation and fomenting revolution. Writing on the Wall draws on history to cast provocative new light on today’s social media and encourages debate and discussion about how we’ll communicate in the future.

288 pages, with a 4.4-star rating from 51 reviews




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

Breakdown, by Katherine Amt Hanna.

An influenza plague decimates humanity...
A man loses his wife and baby daughter...
Six years after a pandemic devastates the human population, former rock star Chris Price finally makes it from New York to Britain to reunite with his brother. His passage leaves him scarred, in body and mind, by exposure to humankind at its most desperate and dangerous. But another ordeal awaits him beyond the urban ruins, in an idyllic country refuge where Chris meets a woman, Pauline, who is largely untouched by the world’s horrors. Together, Chris and Pauline undertake the most difficult facet of Chris’s journey: confronting grief, violence, and the man Chris has become. They will discover whether the human spirit is capable of surviving and loving again in this darker, harder world.


363 pages, with a 4.1-star rating from 403 reviews



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

Boys Like You, by Juliana Stone.

IF

If I hadn't fallen asleep.
If I hadn't gotten behind the wheel.
If I hadn't made a mistake.

One mistake. And everything changes.

For Monroe Blackwell, one small mistake has torn her family apart –leaving her empty and broken. There's a hole in her heart that nothing can fill –that no one can fill. And a summer in Louisiana with her Grandma isn't going to change that...

Nathan Everets knows heartache first-hand when a car accident leaves his best friend in a coma. And it's his fault. He should be the one lying in the hospital. The one who will never play guitar again. He doesn't deserve forgiveness, and a court-appointed job at the Blackwell B&B isn't going to change that...

Captivating and hopeful, this achingly poignant novel brings together two lost souls struggling with grief and guilt – looking for acceptance, so they can find forgiveness.
283 pages, with a 4.1-star rating from 17 reviews



Happy Reading!

Betsy

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