Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Planet iPad Free Book Alert: Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery Is Free Again---Grab It!, plus, an authentic, nuanced author's voice from a former Miss Massachusetts in Girl on Fire (Erotica/Today's Sponsor), and over 100 more fully updated and category-sorted free Kindle book listings

If you love a great detective story that's beautifully written, full of suspense and keeps you guessing and turning pages ... we've got a suggestion ....

But first ... a word from our sponsor....

A few words from the latest customer review:
Enticing plot dynamics and authentic voiceOctober 4, 2010
By Respin Destu "P Diamo" (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Girl on Fire (Kindle Edition)
I read this book on a friend's suggestion; available information causing me to wonder what a former Miss Massachusetts might have to say about the esoteric subject matter as a young girl and as an older woman. The writer's voice comes across as authentic and nuanced in both ages; something difficult to pull off for a new writer.

She developed several dynamic plots within the book, each pulling the reader into a desire to find out more about the lives of the characters. I notice other reviewers commenting about the central plot. Having been a blogger for more than ten years and in touch with numerous "crazies" with all sorts of improbable realities, the story line does not seem so difficult to believe as some might think.

At any rate, her writing served to draw and keep my interest effectively as the story unfolded and that's how I measure any book's worth. Definitely an inventive and surprising set of turns.

I'm not a routine reader of erotica because the genre can be a haven for those who can only turn out "shock and flaw" work. But I do feel this writer did quite well with this first effort and will find an eager audience in erotica and any other area of fiction she chooses.

If I'm not mistaken, I believe Ms. Walmsley won the Miss America Talent competition with an acting effort. The empathy and observation required by such talent serves her well as this book demonstrates a solid ability to build imaginative plots and characters the reader can care about. 

Looking for love in all the right places? Not Alicia Wentworth, the enchantingly frisky teenaged heiress at the heart of Rena Diane Walmsley's debut memoir-as-novel. Alicia escapes from her privileged, sheltered life at an elite Concord, Massachusetts boarding school and pulls a "visiting room switch" to break in to a nearby state prison so she can rendezvous with Teddy Lake, an exquisitely chiseled 21-year-old Native American convict for whom she has fallen hard while volunteering in a creative writing class for inmates. But Alicia is left alone and vulnerable when Teddy is hauled off to solitary, and she must reach deep within herself to concoct a gritty and initially degrading scheme to blackmail the prison system into freeing them both.  This deliciously literate debut is framed by Alicia's present-day perspective as "a respectable thirty-something Unitarian minister" in a suburb west of Boston: while she is cognizant of the scars she wears from her early experiences, she is also engaged by a sense of something sacred therein that informs her daily life years later.  

Not all coming-of-age novels are alike, and not every thirty-something narrator is able to cast an unflinching eye on the choices she made and the chances she took at the cusp of adulthood. But Walmsley's unique novel-as-memoir never blinks, and her stunning sexual description breaks new narrative ground on age-old but ever-engaging terrain. Women and men alike will be enchanted and enriched by their journeys through her ultimately cautionary web of words.   

About the Author  Rena Diane Walmsley lives with her family in Massachusetts, the state that she represented in the Miss America pageant when she was nineteen. Girl on Fire is her first novel. 
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The 25 Newest Free Book Titles in the Kindle Store 

By Tom Dulaney
Editor, Planet iPad

If you love a great detective story that's beautifully written, full of suspense and keeps you guessing and turning pages ... we've got a suggestion .... grab "Billy Boyle:  A World War II Mystery" right now.  It cost over $9 the other day and I felt smug because I had gotten it free two weeks ago.  But it's free again, for the moment.  Grab it now, then come back and read the rest of this later.

If you are also intrigued by by what it must have been like in London during World War II, you have twice the reason to enlist in author James R. Benn's platoon of happy readers.

Billy is a young Boston flatfoot just promoted to detective when the draft catches up with him.  His all-cop family calls in a favor from Uncle Ike--Dwight Eisenhower to the rest of us.  The Boyles, ardent Irishmen with little love for the British, hope to wangle Billy a desk job in safe Washington DC for the duration.  Billy gets the new job, but so does Ike:  Commander of allied forces, headquartered in London.  Just in time for the Nazi bombing Blitz, Billy arrives in wartime London, where the steadfast British stiffen their upper lips, race into the subways to ride out each bombing run, and emerge to heroically bury the dead and stack the bricks of bombed out homes neatly for rebuilding when the war is over.

Uncle Ike quickly puts Billy on the job to find a spy who is trying to undermine Allied plans to invade Nazi-occupied Norway.  Billy, an untried detective, rises to the challenge and sweeps the reader along for the adventure.  Especially satisfying are Benn's descriptions of London under the gun.  This historical backdrop is accurate, and a surprise awaits readers who don't know just how tricky Winston Churchill could be in confounding the Nazi's wth amazing--and totally true--ploys.

You won't pay a dime for this book for now, but it'll still cost you.  "Billy Boyle" is only the first of five books in the series,  so far.  The series takes Billy to all fronts--Africa, Ireland, Sicily-- all WWII detective stories by James. R Benn.  I was captured by the freebie, marched as happy prisoner back to Amazon again and again, and bought the lot of them.

Benn and character Billy make a team who will have me running back if and when the sixth book in the series is ever written.  I am hopeful, because there were strong hints in the fifth book that Billy would take me inside the Vatican.

In reviews stuck on the book's Amazon page, Publisher's Weekly sniffed that the book isn't "fully realized" and Booklist chides Benn for "wartime cliches."  I humbly but rigorously disagree with both.

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