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Joyce Carol Oates is America’s greatest living author

From The New Yorker: In an era that fetishizes form, Joyce Carol Oates has become America’s preëminent fiction writer by doing everything you’re not supposed to do….  Support our news coverage by subscribing to our Kindle Nation Daily Digest. Joining is free!

In Joyce Carol Oates’s novel “Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart” (1990), Jinx Fairchild, a star high-school athlete, is assigned a five-hundred-word paper on the topic “I Believe.” To his surprise, Jinx finds himself endlessly tweaking the essay—“in a ferocity of concentration,” Oates tells us, “as singleminded as his concentration on basketball.” The aim of this “exhausting” process is not to sharpen his syntax or to clarify his thinking but to present the truth as he perceives it and to demonstrate his newfound sense that “words on paper” can be “expressions of the soul.”

It’s hardly a stretch to see an allegory here for his creator’s own methods—his approach to composing a credo emerging as a credo in itself. As far back as the novels in Oates’s Wonderland Quartet, such as “Expensive People” (1968) and “them” (1969), which received the National Book Award fifty years ago this fall, Oates has deployed her zeal for revision to forge a style of rousing roughness. Her dozens of novels and hundreds of short stories, many of them set in western New York, forgo an air of cool mastery in favor of a kind of cultivated vulnerability, an openness to engulfment. Human existence, in her handling, seems a primarily somatic enterprise, and her greedily adjectival prose can sometimes read like a sort of dramatized phenomenology. Even on a bustling city street, her characters can come across as frontierspeople, or toilers on a polar expedition. As she invokes a world of pounding hearts and thumping ears and watering mouths, she exhibits a refreshing freedom from embarrassment, an indifference to the concept of overkill.

Oates’s friend the novelist John Gardner once suggested that she try writing a story “in which things go well, for a change.” That hasn’t happened yet. Her latest book, the enormous and frequently brilliant “Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.” (Ecco)—the forty-ninth novel she has published, if you exclude the ones she has written under pseudonyms—is a characteristic work. It begins with an act of police brutality, and proceeds to document the multifarious consequences for the victim’s wife and children: alcoholism, low-level criminality, marital breakdown, incipient nervous collapse…

Read full post on the New Yorker

Six freebies! Download one or all – for free!

Today’s Sponsor:

Wolf’s Bane (Moon Marked Book 1)

by Aimee Easterling
4.2 stars – 328 reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Secrets are my specialty.I’m Mai Fairchild — fox shifter, sister’s keeper, and bane of the local werewolf pack. In a world where different is dangerous, my sister and I must pretend to be human at all costs. Too bad I just lost the job that lets me live under the radar while putting food on my sister’s plate.Enter an enticing werewolf who offers enough cash to upgrade our diets from ramen noodles to salami if I join him on a magical hunt. But can I afford to accept the opportunity when the risk of working closely with every fox shifter’s sworn enemy is so great?This first book in USA Today bestselling author Aimee Easterling’s newest series dives into a world of magic, danger, and romance.

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The Granite Key (Arkana Archaeology Mystery Thriller Series Book 1)

by N. S. Wikarski
4.2 stars – 141 reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
College freshman Cassie Forsythe wakes from a disturbing nightmare after seeing her sister being murdered by a man in a cowboy hat who demands something called the key. Her dream morphs into frightening reality when her sister is found dead, exactly as her vision foretold.Cassie’s life takes an even more bizarre turn once she learns that her dead sister, an antique dealer, has discovered the location of a cache of priceless Minoan artifacts. A secret society called the Arkana and a fanatical religious cult known as the Blessed Nephilim are each determined to claim the prize.

Caught squarely between these rival factions is Cassie herself after she stumbles across the only known map to the treasure. The girl allies herself with the Arkana in hopes of staying alive. With Nephilim assassins on her trail, that’s easier said than done.

Volume 1 – The Granite Key
In THE GRANITE KEY, an antique dealer is murdered for a mysterious cipher stone that reveals the location of a collection of ancient artifacts. The victim’s sister Cassie is stunned when she learns about her sibling’s double life as an Arkana agent. She’s even more stunned to discover the role she’s about to play in helping the Arkana recover the trove.

Along with two field agents, she travels to Crete to hunt for clues, unaware that ruthless Nephilim operatives are only steps behind. Will Cassie and her new team find what they seek before a Minoan crypt buries them along with their quest? THE GRANITE KEY holds all the answers.

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Swallow Me Whole: A Friends To Lovers Romance

by Gemma James
4.4 stars – 448 reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

Sadie Sawyer wants to learn how to blow a guy.

She’s my sister’s best friend.
The girl I’ve known since grade school.
The girl I’ve always considered off-limits.

She’s the girl that crawled under a table in a bar one night and changed everything between us. Now the brain in my pants is more than willing to step up. The rules are simple.

No kissing.
No screwing.
No falling in love.

But the more I let her use my body in the name of experimentation, the more I know being friends isn’t enough. Is it too much to want it all with her?

The taste of her lips.
The sweetness of her innocence.
The chance to earn her love.

I might have a real shot with her…if her douchebag ex and my past don’t ruin everything.

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The Junkyard Dog (Jimmy Flannery Mysteries Book 1)

by Robert Campbell
3.9 stars – 75 reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
***Edgar Award Winner*** – The Junkyard Dog — Chicago is Jimmy Flannery’s kind of town. A tough Irishman with street smarts, he’s part of a political machine that runs on favors and friendships. Flannery’s particular piece of the patronage is the 27th Ward, and anything that happens there is his business. Even murder.So when an antiabortion demonstration ends with a bomb blast that kills a pretty young girl and an old woman, Flannery takes it personally. But someone’s stonewalling the investigation, and Flannery’s starting to wonder if the bombing was political, or as a cover-up for murder. Something smells rotten — from the Gold Coast to the South Side. And when the killer goes after Flannery’s lady love, Flannery doesn’t just get mad — he gets as mean as a junkyard dog — on the scent of the dirty politics mixed with passion and revenge, a very deadly combination . . .

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Beneath Our Skin: A Romantic Suspense Novel

by Daniel Shahar Szichman
4.7 stars – 21 reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

When boundaries are broken, love is put to the test…Ronny, the owner of a large cosmetics company and student in a course on art, is swept into a serious adventure, when an ordinary tour around Switzerland leads him and another student named Ariella into a global conspiracy that could shatter his world and project of a lifetime to pieces.

While Ronny is far away from home, his wife, Suzy, who misses him terribly, finds herself in a troublesome situation with Shuki, an agent in the cosmetics industry.

Shuki covets Suzy and envies the couple’s success and is willing to go to any lengths to get her. When he realizes his efforts are about to fail, he decides to step up his obsessive pursuit of her by breaking all the limits.

When Ronny returns to Suzy’s arms, himself having gone through a shaking experience with Ariella, it dawns on him things have changed and he must make a difficult decision—is his love for Suzy strong enough to keep them together or perhaps it is time to part and go on new and separate paths?

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Royal Disaster

by Renna Peak, Ember Casey
3.9 stars – 41 reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

Sophia is the youngest daughter of the royal family of Montovia. While her older brothers have found themselves in scandal after scandal over the years, she’s mostly stayed out of trouble.

Until now.

Pax Donovan is a rock god. His band is about to release the riskiest album of their career, and he won’t let anything distract him from taking over the music world.

Until he meets her.

From the moment Sophia and Pax meet, sparks fly. They both know this is a bad idea, but it doesn’t matter.

He’s trouble for her.

She’s trouble for him.

This might end in disaster—but there are some things you just can’t deny.

This is Part One of a six-part contemporary romance serial by bestselling authors Renna Peak and Ember Casey. This episode ends with a cliffhanger.

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#1 New Release on Amazon Charts! Ignorance and prejudice reveal the ugliness of the immigrant experience of Italian Americans confined to internment camps during World War II: ONLY OUR DESTINY by A.G. Russo


by A.G. Russo
Everyday Price: $4.99
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

The Mezzogiorno (Southern Italy). Up to 85 per cent of Italian Americans have their roots in this region. The story of the Coriello family begins in the fictional fishing village of Punto Roccioso along the Amalfi Coast. Alta Italia (Northern Italy) looks down on their southern countrymen as uneducated peasants. With limited opportunities available, many southern Italians dream of escaping poverty by leaving the land they love for a better life in America. But like all dreams, hardships, sacrifices, and realities intrude.

Having lived through World War I, the Spanish Flu, the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini, and racial laws, Raffaela must raise and feed her ten children without any help from her estranged abusive husband Giuseppe, who refuses to give her money. With the support of her two oldest children, Geno, and Luisa, she struggles to survive. World War II devastates Italy and Italian Americans alike when “Il Duce” joins Hitler’s side, leaving Italians vulnerable at home and the object of hatred abroad. Young Italians are sent around the world to fight in a war they don’t believe in. At home Jewish families are under increasing threat. Yet, Italian men and women rebound to fight the Germans and Italian Fascists with a large and fervent partisan guerilla army.

Meanwhile in America, Raffaela’s young Uncle Corrado has struggles of his own. He vows to move from the tenements of New York’s Little Italy, build a business, marry, bring over family members, and make good on his version of the American dream. But America is not so welcoming. Ignorance and prejudice reveal the ugliness of the immigrant experience as numbers of Italian Americans find themselves confined to internment camps during World War II.

Their courage and the ability to survive are a testament to the resilience of the Italian people who left their homeland with little else but a dream and changed America in the process.

(Caution: strong language, domestic violence, war violence.)

The GRAYTEST book ever! This Book Is Gray by Lindsay Ward

Family eBook of The Day

This Book Is Gray

by Lindsay Ward
4.4 stars – 862 reviews
Everyday price: $4.99
FREE with Kindle UnlimitedLearn More
Here’s the set-up:

Gray just wants to be included. But the other colors are always leaving him out. So he decides to create his own project: an all-gray book. Once upon a time, there lived a wolf, a kitten, and a hippo…

Gray just knows it’s going to be perfect. But as he adds page after page, the Primary and Secondary colors show up…and they aren’t quite so complimentary.

A book within a book, this colorful tale explores the ideas of fitting in, appreciating others, and looking at things from another perspective and also uses personality and wit to introduce basic color concepts.

Today’s Family Kindle Deal is sponsored by this week’s Family eBook of The Week:

Snowman Paul Save Kate’s Birthday

by Yossi Lapid
4.7 stars – 18 reviews
FREE with Kindle UnlimitedLearn More
Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

A delightful story of sibling rivalry and love!

Dan gets into deep trouble when he takes a big bite out of his sister’s birthday cake – just before her party! Can Snowman Paul come up with a plan to save Kate’s special day?

“There is something truly magical here, and both my 5-year-old and my 2-year old found it.” Alinka Rutkowska, Award-winning author

This delightful rhyming picture book about sibling rivalry and love teaches your little ones to take responsibility for their blunders and learn from their mistakes.

“Really?” asked Paul. “What did you do?
“It happened – poof! – out of the blue.
Somehow, entirely by mistake,
I ate my sister’s birthday cake.”
“Oh, wow!” gasped Paul, “A HUGE mistake!”

Written in rhyme and featuring stunning watercolor illustrations, this humorous picture book will delight parents, grandparents and children alike. It is a great bedtime story, and it is ideal for beginner readers. It makes a beautiful birthday or holiday gift, and it is fun to read again and again with your entire family.

“A joy to read! The innocence of childhood enveloped within wisdom about life.” Bruce B., Verified Purchase

3 Full Books. 1,000 pages of space opera filled with intrigue, betrayal, and high-octane action! Empire Earth (The Complete Trilogy) by Chris Pourteau and David Bruns

Don’t miss today’s Thriller of The Day

Empire Earth (The Complete Trilogy): A Space Opera Boxed Set

by Chris Pourteau and David Bruns
Everyday price: $4.99
Here’s the set-up:
The Expanse meets The Godfather in Empire Earth (The Complete Trilogy): A Space Opera Boxed Set.

3 Full Books. 1,000 pages of space opera filled with intrigue, betrayal, and high-octane action that will keep you turning pages long into the night.

Book 1: Valhalla Station
Harmony. Security. Obedience. Three decades ago, the Syndicate Corporation saved Earth from climate catastrophe. Now the Company runs the solar system like a well-oiled machine. Its citizens work Sol under rule of corporate law, every aspect of their lives regulated from cradle to grave. Some call that slavery. But does mankind really want to be freed?

Book 2: Masada’s Gate
Cult leader Cassandra Kisaan and her Soldiers of the Solar Revolution claim humanity deserves better than indentured servitude under the Syndicate Corporation. Determined to end SynCorp, she attacks Company assets on multiple fronts across the Sol System. Taking Masada Station, where the Company secures its tech secrets, will ensure her final victory. But Enforcer Stacks Fischer and a band of SynCorp loyalists stand in her way…

Book 3: Serpent’s Fury
The struggle for the Company’s survival comes home to where it all began: Earth. SynCorp and SSR starships prepare for a final, bloody engagement above mankind’s birthplace and the seat of the largest corporate empire in history. Meanwhile, planetside, another fight rages against Cassandra herself. The decisive battle for mankind’s soul has yet to be decided on the ground or among the stars. Who will live? Who will die? What fate awaits humanity when the dust of battle clears?

Buy this Special Edition Boxed Set to experience a Sci-Fi thrill ride that keeps accelerating, right up to the very end.

The devil in her nightmares is the man of her dreams. Will she choose the darkness or escape into the light?
Absolute Power by Jeana E. Mann

❤️ Kindle Nation Daily Romance of the Day ❤️

Absolute Power (Absolute Power Duet Book 1)

by Jeana E. Mann
4.2 stars – 6 reviews
Everyday price: $2.99
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
The devil in my nightmares is the man of my dreams.

For the past three years, I’ve been running from a man I’ve never met. A man who carries a grudge. A man who specializes in revenge. I thought I had it all—a career and a new home in a sleepy small town. My world comes crashing down when a sexy gang member from the city arrives at my job, wrapped in tattoos and sinful smiles. Beneath his flirtatious facade beats the heart of an angry man. I’ve committed the one sin he can never forgive. I stole from him, and he won’t be satisfied until he’s repaid with the money or my life.

They say there are two kinds of power: power derived from fear and power obtained by acts of love. Cash Delacorte holds them both over my head. He’s everything I never wanted: dark, deceptive, and dedicated to a life of crime. He’s determined to pull me into the darkness with him, and the thing is—I want to go. Every kiss, every lie, every punishment propels me into a future I never dreamed possible.

Will I choose the darkness or escape into the light?

Ria receives a gift from a mysterious stranger and it turns her life into a living nightmare… Something New by Andrea Murray

→ Kindle Nation Daily eBook of The Day ←

“A Y/A Horror with Plenty to LOVE!” 5 star review

Something New

by Andrea Murray
5.0 stars – 5 reviews
Everyday Price: $4.99
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

Ria thought it was only a necklace, a gift from a stranger.

Turns out she was wrong.

Now, Ria must break her connection to a vengeful spirit or suffer the same fate.

Seventeen-year-old Ria Gabriel always maintains control. Her life is predictable and organized, just the way she likes it, but receiving a gift from a mysterious stranger  turns her life into a living nightmare.

Her once orderly days plunge into chaos when she begins to see haunting blue eyes in her mirror and hear a voice pleading for her help. Ria is haunted by visions of a girl, begging for release from her tormented past, but the more she sees, the more she questions the spirit’s real motivation as the vengeful apparition reaches into Ria’s very reality.

As her life of order explodes, she doesn’t know how to appease the spirit, and the more she denies the ghostly girl, the more the girl’s torture becomes Ria’s own.

Ria must unravel the mystery of her spirit girl’s tainted past before Ria herself joins her. 

Something New by [Andrea Murray]