RECOMMENDED: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is one of the KDD books today priced at $2.99 – and hot damnation, the price is being matched!. If you missed the weird sale where this book was $1.40, grab it now. This is easily one of the best YA books of the year, and worth reading, gifting, and gifting again.
When I collected recommendations for the best YA of 2013, this book was mentioned constantly. NPR's Linda Holmes wrote, “Ultimately, Eleanor & Park is an enormously optimistic book about love and connection, and about the capacity of people to be powerfully consoling and healing to each other, even when they're 16. And for that healing to be meaningful, there has to be some honesty about the injury.
Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.
Season for Temptation by Theresa Romain is $1.99 right now. This is the first book in Romain's Holiday Pleasures series. I love Romain's writing, and she is particularly good at holiday house party mayhem during the Regency. Season for Surrender was a Sizzling Book Club pick in November 2012, and RedHeadedGirl gave Season for Scandal an A+:
“As someone who also has difficulty relationshipping, I really, really liked this. There are a lot of well-drawn side characters, and an entertainingly evil bad guy, and (quelle surprise) actual learning. I wasn’t even 1/4 done before I was emailing Sarah going “WE NEED EVERYONE TO READ THIS” because I was getting super emotional over everybody and everything. Read the book! You'll be happy you did.”
Mistletoe can lead to more than kissing…
Julia Herington is overjoyed when her stepsister, Louisa, becomes engaged—to a viscount, no less. Louisa's only hesitation is living a life under the ton's critical gaze. But with his wry wit and unconventional ideas, Julia feels James is perfect for Louisa. She can only hope to find a man like him for herself. Exactly like him, in fact…
As the new Viscount Matheson, James wished to marry quickly and secure his title. Kind, intelligent Louisa seemed a suitable bride…until he met her stepsister. Julia is impetuous—and irresistible. Pledged to one sister, yet captivated by another, what is he to do? As Christmas and the whirl of the London season approach, James may be caught in a most scandalous conundrum, one that only true love, a bit of spiritous punch—and a twist of fate—will solve…
Days of Blood and Starlight by Rae Carson is book 2 in the “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” series, and it's $2.99 as a KDD today only. This is a YA fantasy novel, and it was part of the 2013 DABWAHA in the Strong Romantic Elements category.
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
This is not that world.
Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.
While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.
But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?
Welcome to Valentine Valley, where tongues are wagging now that the town bad boy is back—and rumor has it the lean, mean ex-Marine is about to lose his heart! But like it or not, in a town like Valentine, love happens . . .
Adam Desantis is back—bruised, battle-weary and sexier than ever! Not that Brooke Thalberg is in the market. The beautiful cowgirl of Silver Creek Ranch needs a cowboy for hire, not a boyfriend—though the gaggle of grandmas at the Widows' Boardinghouse thinks otherwise. But from the moment she finds herself in Adam's arms, she's shocked to discover she may just want more.
Adam knows it's crazy to tangle with Brooke, especially with the memories that still haunt him, and the warm welcome her family has given him. But he finds himself in a fix, because tender-loving Brooke is so much more woman than he ever imagined. Can a soldier battling demons give her the love she clearly deserves?
Just about everybody in Valentine thinks so!
Cookie Craft Christmas, a cookbook of holiday cookie recipes and decoration techniques, is $2.99 at all vendors. Cookie time!
Make every Christmas a cookie craft Christmas! The holidays offer just the right combination of cold weather and family togetherness for cookie crafters to elevate their skills to showstopping new heights. With more than 60 new Christmas cookie designs, along with festive New Year’s cookies and lovely Hanukkah treats, Cookie Craft Christmas delivers colorful inspiration to cookie decorators just when they need it most.
Each spread features a full-page, close-up photograph of one cookie cutter shape with detailed decorating instructions on the facing page. Some pages feature one gloriously decorated cookie, while others might feature two or three interpretations of the same shape — ornaments in complementary colors, Christmas trees decorated in varying styles, or gingerbread men wearing a rainbow of colors and patterns.
Decorating instructions are as simple as tinting cookie dough green before baking Christmas trees or as intricate as piping hair on a gingerbread grandma, creating a frilly pattern for her apron, and decorating her dress using a pretty feathering technique. Techniques are described in full in a Decorating Glossary, and cookie and icing recipes are included.
Fresh inspiration and fabulous decorating ideas fill the pages of this handy little sourcebook. It’s the perfect gift for anyone who has ever picked up a pastry bag.