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Friday, November 21, 2008

November 21, 2008

The following reviews, interviews and features are running on beginning Friday, November 21st.

Also mentioned in newsletter opener, which can be read here:
THE HOUR I FIRST BELIEVED by Wally Lamb and THE GATE HOUSE by Nelson DeMille.

Reviews and Excerpts
DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark (Mystery)
In the picturesque village of Branscombe, New Hampshire, the townsfolk are all pitching in to prepare for the first (and many hope annual) Festival of Joy. Unfortunately, a lottery scam threatens to cheat several of its citizens out of their rightful money --- and three people of their very lives. Reviewed by Amie Taylor and excerpted.

SALVATION IN DEATH by J. D. Robb (Thriller)
When Detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas confirms that the consecrated wine drunk by a priest at a Catholic funeral mass contained potassium cyanide, she's determined to solve the murder of Father Miguel Flores, despite her discomfort with her surroundings. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.

THE BODIES LEFT BEHIND by Jeffery Deaver (Thriller)
When a night-time call to 911 from a secluded Wisconsin vacation house is cut short, off-duty deputy Brynn McKenzie drives up to Lake Mondac to investigate. Brynn stumbles onto a scene of true horror and narrowly escapes from two professional criminals. She and a terrified visitor to the weekend house flee into the woods in a race for their lives. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.

GRACE by Richard Paul Evans (Fiction)
Fourteen-year-old Eric Welch, with some help from his younger brother, hides a runaway girl named Grace in the clubhouse in their backyard for two months. In due time Grace's secret is revealed, and Eric grows up all too quickly while trying to protect her. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

THE DRACULA DOSSIER by James Reese (Suspense)
In late 1880s London, a slasher stalked women in Whitechapel. Could it be that this Dossier sent just this year to a publisher makes a good case against the author of DRACULA, Bram Stoker? From his own journal and letters, some might come to that conclusion. How about you? Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

TRAITOR TO HIS CLASS: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, by H. W. Brands (Biography)
Historian H. W. Brands has produced a nuanced portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, detailing his accomplishments in fighting first the Great Depression and then World War II, but also noting the dangerously devious means he often used to get things done. Reviewed by Robert Finn.

DON'T SLEEP, THERE ARE SNAKES: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle, by Daniel L. Everett (Linguistics/Anthropology)
Daniel L. Everett is a linguist who first visited the Pirahã tribe as a family man and missionary. His experiences over the next 30 years broke up his family, put him at odds with the linguistic establishment, turned him into an atheist --- and have provided us with a fascinating book, which is part Boy Scout adventure, part reality TV, part crisis of faith, part anthropological study and part linguistic treatise. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

THE GHOST IN LOVE by Jonathan Carroll (Fiction)
A master of the surreal takes on death, love, talking dogs and the afterlife in a daft (the Angel of Death manifests itself as a plate of bacon and eggs?!) and brilliant comedy that occasionally has the power to pierce the reader right in the heart. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

THE ACTIVIST: John Marshall, Marbury v. Madison, and the Myth of Judicial Review, by Lawrence Goldstone (History)
Lawrence Goldstone's compelling narrative underscores the drama that occurred in 1803 --- when Chief Justice John Marshall delivered his verdict in the case of Marbury v. Madison --- by examining the debates that took place during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 over the formation and structure of our judicial system. Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds.

SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North, by Thomas J. Sugrue (History)
Slavery was a Southern phenomenon, and the civil rights movement, in its most public aspect, focused on the South, a myopic viewpoint that ignored the very real battles that were being fought in the North. There is also a common myth that civil rights as a whole ceased to be a movement of any consequence after the 1960s. SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY addresses both misconceptions. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

Graphic Novels
RASL: THE DRIFT by Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith (creator of Bone) returns with a new venture into science fiction that meshes compelling physics with sly thrills. RASL is the story of an art thief who travels to alternate worlds --- and whose actions have drawn the attention of someone very powerful and very dangerous. Reviewed by John Hogan.

WELCOME TO TRANQUILITY by Gail Simone and Neil Googe
A superhuman murder mystery takes over a small town of retired heroes and sometime villains in WELCOME TO TRANQUILITY. Mixing in some humor with the suspense, writer Gail Simone imbues her work with a wonderfully human element. Reviewed by John Hogan.

There's one gift that's perfect for everyone on your holiday list --- a book! Yes, everyone has people who are readers on their lists, which makes shopping for them easy. But beyond these kindred spirits, there's a book that can match just about any recipient's interests, even if reading is not their true passion. That is why we are going to be sharing 45 reasons why a book makes a perfect gift, counting down from today until Christmas Day, December 25th. Check back and see why we think this is the gift you want to give --- and, oh yes, receive!

Need ideas for holiday gift-giving (and getting)? Check out these "reader perfect" suggestions in 13 categories. There's something for everyone on your list. Let the shopping begin!

The holiday season is upon us! At it's time for us to share the spirit of the season with our Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest. As you begin your holiday shopping, we want to remind you that books make affordable, personal and wonderful gifts for EVERYONE on your list --- and are a nice way to treat yourself as well!

From November 7th through January 5th we will spotlight a different title or collection of titles, and readers will have the chance to win one of five holiday baskets filled with winter-themed items as well as two copies of the featured book(s). Why two? One is to keep, of course, and one is for someone on your holiday gift list. We will also include festive wrapping paper to make the gift-giving hassle-free. Click here for all the contest details.

This Week's Basket:
SILVER BELLS by Fern Michaels, JoAnn Ross, Mary Burton and Judy Duarte (Romance)
In this holiday collection featuring New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Fern Michaels, the perfect holiday recipe includes two parts rekindled romance, one part danger and a pinch of renewal that yields renewed holiday spirit for all. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

CANDY CANE MURDER by Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine and Leslie Meier (Mystery)
Now Available in Paperback
The holidays can be murder. CANDY CANE MURDER, a festive collection of three mystery novellas by some of the top cozy writers, is as comforting as a steaming cup of hot chocolate on a bitter cold day. So pour yourself a cup, sit down by the fire and try to solve these holiday-themed whodunits. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

CHRISTMAS AT SEA PINES COTTAGE by Sally Smith O'Rourke (Fiction)
An introverted young man and his Golden Retriever puppy lead a solitary life in a small cottage on Cape Fear, North Carolina, until the day they rescue a young woman from the raging sea and their lives are forever changed. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

A CHRISTMAS PASSAGE by David Saperstein and George Samerjan (Fiction)
After their Christmas Eve flight to Asheville, North Carolina is grounded due to snow, a group of strangers join together for an incredible and harrowing ride through the Great Smoky Mountains that will change their lives forever. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

Marie Bostwick
Marie Bostwick is the New York Times bestselling author of four novels: FIELDS OF GOLD, RIVER'S EDGE, ON WINGS OF THE MORNING and the newly released A SINGLE THREAD. In this interview with's Jennifer McCord, Bostwick explains why she decided to focus on a contemporary storyline in this latest book after publishing three historical works of fiction and talks about how her heroic characters were inspired by the strong women in her life. She also recalls how she first began writing, discusses her fascination with quilting --- including its history and cultural value --- and shares details about the next two installments in her Cobbled Court series.

Suspense/Thriller Feature
Ted Dekker and Erin Healy
We have 20 advance reading copies of KISS by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. A description can be found by clicking the link below. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, November 28th.

KISS by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy (Suspense)
On Sale January 7, 2009
After a car accident puts Shauna McAllister in a coma and wipes out six months of her memory, she returns to her childhood home to recover, but her arrival is fraught with confusion. Her estranged father, a senator bidding on the White House, and her abusive stepmother blame Shauna for the tragedy, which has left her beloved brother severely brain damaged.

Advance Reader Comments:
NIGHT KILLS by John Lutz
A SINGLE THREAD by Marie Bostwick
COLD PURSUIT by Carla Neggers

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