White Pumpkin Seed, by Annie Wang. (Still 0.99?)

"An unusual journey of a girl born in Australia and grew up in Taiwan. Through the story of Vanessa's life, it revealed love, death, and friendship. The author filled every chapter with interesting stories and emotions. You can also feel like traveling to the country side of Taiwan through the author's eyes. The ending is a pleasant surprise which made it a complete story. I believe this one is equally enjoyable for young kids and adults. It was an awesome book that I would recommend to anybody." -- Amazon Reviewer

Vanessa, the daughter of white Australian parents, grows up in Taiwan adopted by local farmers. The story follows her journey from 1978 to '89. She experiences a childhood surrounded by love, death, poverty, and beautiful nature. Vanessa discovers music to express her joy and grief. She puts her soul into the music notes melting her listeners' hearts. Music brings her into the larger world and on a journey to discover her real parents.

Discover the Taiwanese culture in this heart touching and uplifting story.

83 pages, with a 4.8-star rating from 6 reviews.

Allies and Enemies: Fallen, by Amy J. Murphy. (Still 0.99?)

"Wow - this was an awesome, un-put-downable read that had me engrossed from the first pages. Allies and Enemies was well-plotted, had a fantastic setting and brilliantly vibrant characters. The setting was a rich tapestry of lore, tech and legend - the story of the Fates (near the beginning of the book) gives you an insight into the war between the Eugene peoples and the Sceeloid and why Humans were exterminated when found by the Eugene. The main characters literally jump from the pages and you can't help wanting things to work out for each. There is plenty of action, drama, romance, tragedy and mystery in this complex, layered story. A highly recommended read from new author Amy Murphy." -- Amazon Reviewer

A new science fiction action/adventure launches with Allies and Enemies: Fallen. Purpose-bred soldier of the Regime, Commander Sela Tyron is as subtle as a hammer. To hammers, any problem can look like a nail, but the solutions aren't always that easy. When Sela encounters a son she is forbidden to know, falls in love with a man who is clearly off-limits, and is abandoned with her team on a planet full of insurrectionists, things get complicated...

367 pages, with a 5-star rating from 6 reviews.

The Vast Unknown: America's First Ascent of Everest, by Broughton Coburn. (Still 1.99?)

"It has been a long time since an author has made me feel so completely taken with people in a historical documentary like this one. Coburn captured me so completely with his insightful narrative that it was deeply affecting to "know" these brave men and to travel with them through their ordeals, their triumphs, their love for each other, the melancholy moments, the terrifying and sobering moments, laughing, suffering, and then come to such a wonderful postlude that walked one through to the present day of those still with us." -- Amazon Reviewer

By the author of the New York Times bestselling Everest: Mountain Without Mercy, this chronicle of the iconic first American expedition to Mt. Everest in May 1963 - published to coincide with the climb's 50th anniversary­ - combines riveting adventure, a perceptive analysis of its dark and terrifying historical context, and revelations about a secret mission that followed.
In the midst of the Cold War, against the backdrop of the Bay of Pigs fiasco, the space race with the Soviet Union, and the quagmire of the Vietnam War, a band of iconoclastic, independent-minded American mountaineers set off for Mt. Everest, aiming to restore America's confidence and optimism. Their objective is to reach the summit while conducting scientific research, but which route will they take? Might the Chinese, in a public relations coup, have reached the top ahead of them? And what about another American team, led by the grandson of a President, that nearly bagged the peak in a bootleg attempt a year earlier?

The Vast Unknown is, on one level, a harrowing, character-driven account of the climb itself and its legendary team of alternately inspiring, troubled, and tragic climbers who suffered injuries, a near mutiny, and death on the mountain. It is also an examination of the profound sway the expedition had over the American consciousness and sense of identity during a time when the country was floundering. And it is an investigation of the expedition's little-known outcome: the selection of a team to plant a CIA surveillance device on the Himalayan peak of Nanda Devi, to spy into China where Defense Intelligence learned that nuclear missile testing was underway.

From the Hardcover edition.

Sample Photos from The Vast Unknown
The White House

President John F. Kennedy awarded the team members
and five Sherpas the National Geographic Hubbard Medal.
[Credit: Abby Rowe/National Park Service]
Click here for a larger image
On Tour

The U.S. State Department sent five Sherpas on a
goodwill tour of America-partly to cultivate their
assistance with a clandestine, CIA-funded operation
in the Indian Himalaya, designed to spy into China.
[Credit: Jim Lester]
Click here for a larger image
The Reunion

In 2003, the survivors of the expedition gathered
at the Colorado home of expert climber and skier
Barry Corbet. [Credit: Muffy Moore]
Click here for a larger image

320 pages, with a 4.5-star rating from 75 reviews.

My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley (French Illusions Book 1), by Linda Kovic-Skow. (Still 3.99?)

"I was riveted to read this story and once I started reading it, I could not put it down. The author takes us through the painstaking process of facing the haughty, overbearing Madame Dubois, the matriarch of the family, immediately setting the tone of the main obstacle and challenge she has to deal with-proving herself and maintaining her job. Kovic-Skow's writing is descriptive and engaging as she weaves in details of the culture and environment in a way that brings the reader right into the scene. Interspersing French phrases, she gives the reader the sense of alienation she experiences. The characters are well-developed and multi-dimensional. The conflict and tension between her and Madame Dubois and her children, especially her petulant and disrespectful seven-year-old daughter are palpable and real. A captivating memoir filled with challenges, adventure and romance. I feel like I took a trip to France and lived through her experience." -- Amazon Reviewer

"This is a wonderful debut memoir, made much more appealing because it is true. A well written, fast-paced book enhanced by sprinkles of French..."

Most lies are told with the expectation that no one will uncover them. When Linda Kovic was twenty-one, she told a monumental, regrettable lie, fully aware hers would be discovered.

"French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley," is the first of two books based on the author's diaries. It's 1979 and Linda needs to learn a language fast in order to fulfill her dream of becoming a flight attendant. Broke yet determined, she chooses French immersion and contracts to become an au pair for a wealthy family in the Loire Valley. Yielding to poor judgment, she lies on her application and claims to speak basic French, confident she'll be forgiven once she arrives at the Château de Montclair. As she struggles to adapt to her challenging new environment with the hard-to-please Madame Dubois and her two incomprehensible children, Linda signs up and attends language classes at the local university. When she encounters, Adam, a handsome young student, her life becomes more complicated-much more complicated-adding fuel to her internal battle for independence.

275 pages, with a 4.2-star rating from 199 reviews.

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