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Friday, December 12, 2008

December 12, 2008

The following reviews, interviews, and features began running on beginning Friday, December 12th.

Also mentioned in newsletter opener, which can be read here:

NO LIMITS by Michael Phelps
TRUE COLORS by Kristin Hannah
HOW NOT TO LOOK OLD by Charla Krupp
NIGHT KILLS by John Lutz
Francoise Mouly
Wade Rouse
Ad Hudler
Joseph Finder

YOUR HEART BELONGS TO ME by Dean Koontz (Thriller)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense comes a riveting thriller that probes the deepest terrors of the human psyche --- and the ineffable mystery of what truly makes us who we are. In YOUR HEART BELONGS TO ME, a brilliant young man finds himself fighting for his very existence in a battle that starts with the most frightening words of all. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman and excerpted.

AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE: One Family's Struggle with an Agonizing Medical Mystery, by James Patterson and Hal Friedman (Biography)
Cory Friedman woke up one morning when he was five years old with the uncontrollable urge to twitch his neck. From that day forward his life became a nightmare of irrepressible tics and involuntary utterances, and he embarked on an excruciating journey from specialist to specialist to discover the cause of his disease. AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE is the true story of Cory and his family's decades-long battle for survival in the face of extraordinary difficulties and a maddening medical establishment. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.

A CHRISTMAS GRACE by Anne Perry (Mystery)
With Christmas just around the corner, Thomas Pitt's sister-in-law, Emily Radley, is suddenly called from London to be with her dying aunt. Leaving her husband and two children behind, Emily makes the long journey to an all-but-forgotten town in the county of Connemara, on the western coast of Ireland. She soon discovers that a tragic legacy haunts the once close-knit community. Reviewed by Ray Palen and excerpted.

'TIS THE SEASON! by Lorna Landvik (Fiction)
Heiress Caroline Dixon has managed to alienate nearly everyone with her alcohol-fueled antics, which have also provided near-constant fodder for the poison-pen tabloids and their gossip-hungry readers. But like so many girls-behaving-badly, the 26-year-old socialite gets her comeuppance, followed by a newfound attempt to live a saner existence --- or at least one more firmly rooted in the real world. Reviewed by Lourdes Orive and excerpted.

HOME by Marilynne Robinson (Fiction)
In this companion to her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, GILEAD, Marilynne Robinson returns to the town of Gilead, Iowa, to explore the lives of Reverend Robert Boughton and his family. HOME is a moving testament to the power and pain of familial love. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

GREASING THE PINATA: A Cape Weathers Investigation, by Tim Maleeny (Mystery)
A former U.S. Senator vanishes days after his son goes missing. When they're both found dead on a golf course in Mexico, the Senator's estranged daughter, Rebecca, resolves to discover what happened. Private investigator Cape Weathers doesn't really want the case, but when it looks like Rebecca may become the next victim, Weathers crosses the border looking for answers. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

IZZY & LENORE: Two Dogs, an Unexpected Journey, and Me, by Jon Katz (Memoir)
In his previous books, Jon Katz introduced us to the delightful menagerie at Bedlam Farm, including Izzy, the unforgettable border collie rescue. Now, in IZZY & LENORE, Katz delves deeper into his connection with the beautiful, once-abandoned dog, learning yet again about the unexpected places animals can take us. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

WHY WE SUCK: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid, by Dr. Denis Leary (Humor)
In WHY WE SUCK, award-winning actor and comedian Denis Leary explains just why we Americans are reviled the world over in his trademark, pull-no-punches style. Hint: it has to do with our love of all things celebrity, junk food and bad TV in equal amounts. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

O LITTLE TOWN by Don Reid (Fiction)
If you like the music of The Statler Brothers or the fiction of Debbie Macomber, you'll be excited that Don Reid has made his first foray into fiction. The Grammy Award-winning songwriter pens a gentle inspiring story that will encourage readers who have challenges in their marriage, raising their children, or dealing with aging parents. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

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 this means it's time for us to share the spirit of the season with you with our Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest. While you are searching for the perfect gifts, 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!

For the final contest of our Holiday Basket of Cheer feature, we bring you our special End-of-the-Year Celebration. We've gathered together an outstanding collection of 13 books that were published this year --- thrillers, suspense novels, women's fiction and nonfiction titles we love --- as our prize. It's valued at $300, and we will be giving five away!

The selected titles are: THE BOURNE SANCTION by Eric Van Lustbader; THE COMMISSION by Philip Shenon; DEEP DISH by Mary Kay Andrews; FIRST DAUGHTER by Eric Van Lustbader; FIREFLY LANE by Kristin Hannah; THE GATE HOUSE by Nelson DeMille; THE GEOGRAPHY OF BLISS by Eric Weiner; GUILTY by Karen Robards; HOLLYWOOD CROWS by Joseph Wambaugh; HOW NOT TO LOOK OLD by Charla Krupp; A McKETTRICK CHRISTMAS by Linda Lael Miller; THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY AND THE PERILOUS JOURNEY by Trenton Lee Stewart; and OFF SEASON by Anne Rivers Siddons.
-- Click here for all the contest details.

Dean Koontz
In this interview, New York Times bestselling thriller author Dean Koontz recalls the inspiration behind his latest novel, YOUR HEART BELONGS TO ME, and explains how his Internet entrepreneur protagonist differs from the heroes in many of his previous works. He also shares details about his writing process and reveals what his readers can look forward to in the months to come.

ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT: Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight
FINAL BREATH by Kevin O'Brien
On Sale December 30, 2008
At first the deaths seem random: a young Portland couple brutally murdered in a game gone awry, a Chicago woman who plummeted to her death from an office building, an aspiring screenwriter asphyxiated in his New York apartment . . . but the macabre souvenirs television reporter Sydney Jordan receives reveal the connection is both personal and terrifying.
-- Click Here to read an excerpt from FINAL BREATH.

KISS by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy
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.
-- Click here to read an excerpt from KISS

TWO RIVERS by T. Greenwood
On Sale December 30, 2008
A haunting new novel set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and civil rights movement is an examination of the power of grief, and the importance of forgiveness.
-- Click here to read an excerpt

Click here for the full newsletter.

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