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Friday, January 30, 2009

January 30, 2009

The following reviews, interviews and features began running on beginning Friday, January 30th:

Also mentioned in the Newsletter Opener, which can be read here:

KILL ME by Stephen White
THE FIRM by John Grisham
PARANOIA by Joseph Finder

Reviews and Excerpts
WICKED GAME by Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush (Romantic Suspense)
Twenty years ago, wayward teen Jessie Brentwood disappeared without a trace, leaving her friends to deal with the aftermath and carry the mystery of her disappearance with them for years to come. Now the remains of a young female have been found buried in the maze on the school campus, and old ghosts are coming back to haunt the survivors. Reviewed by Amie Taylor and excerpted.
-- Click here to read an excerpt of WICKED GAME.

IN THE SHADOW OF THE MASTER: Classic Tales by Edgar Allan Poe edited by Michael Connelly (Mystery Anthology)
Few have crafted stories as haunting as those by Edgar Allan Poe. To commemorate the 200th anniversary of Poe's birth, the Mystery Writers of America presents a collection of 16 of his best tales accompanied by 20 essays from beloved authors, including Nelson DeMille, Lawrence Block, Sara Paretsky and Joseph Wambaugh, on how Poe has changed their life and work. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.
-- Click here to read an excerpt from IN THE SHADOW OF THE MASTER.

NEMESIS: The Final Case of Eliot Ness by William Bernhardt (Suspense)
Eliot Ness’s final case turns out to be his toughest. Catching the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run ends up being more difficult than capturing Al Capone. Is Ness up to the challenge this time? Based on true events and new discoveries about Eliot Ness, NEMESIS features this legendary lawman’s fateful duel with America’s first serial killer. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.
-- Click here to read an excerpt from NEMESIS: The Final Case of Eliot Ness.

BREAKNECK by Erica Spindler (Thriller)
As Mary Catherine Riggio --- a detective in the police department's Violent Crimes Bureau --- prepares for her wedding, she and her partner, Kitt Lundgren, become embroiled in a race against time as a merciless killer is executing young adults with few ties to one another. What possible motive can there be? Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

A JOURNAL FOR JORDAN: A Story of Love and Honor by Dana Canedy (Memoir)
A JOURNAL FOR JORDAN is the story of a couple whose time together was all too short. Dana Canedy, a senior editor at The New York Times and First Sergeant Charles King, a career soldier, shared a love that, under normal circumstances, would have lasted several decades. But Charles died in Iraq, and Dana was left alone to raise their son, Jordan. Charles left behind a unique journal, a 200-page love letter to Jordan, and some of those very personal entries are included throughout the book. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

ANGELS AND AGES: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln and Modern Life by Adam Gopnik (Biography)
Born on the same date in 1809, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin are both world historical figures. In this thoughtful and elegant joint portrait, Adam Gopnik skillfully sketches the impact of these two great men on the development of modern liberal thought. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

Nine months after bringing home their adopted daughter, Angelina, Jack and Melissa McGuane receive a devastating phone call from the adoption agency: Angelina’s birth father never signed away his parental rights, and he wants her back. Worse, his dad, a powerful Denver judge, wants him to own up to this responsibility and will use every advantage his position of power affords him to make sure it happens. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

DAEMON by Daniel Suarez (Thriller)
Thousands of autonomous computer programs called daemons make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money and monitoring power grids. When legendary computer game designer Matthew Sobol’s obituary is posted online, a previously dormant daemon activates, initiating a chain of events intended to unravel the fabric of our hyper-efficient, interconnected world. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

HAUNTED HEART: The Life and Times of Stephen King by Lisa Rogak (Biography)
Who is the man behind those tales of horror, grief and the supernatural? Where do these ideas come from? And what drives him to keep writing at a breakneck pace after a 30-year career? In this unauthorized biography of Stephen King, Lisa Rogak reveals the troubled background and lifelong fears that inspire one of the 20th century's most influential authors. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

A DARKER DOMAIN by Val McDermid (Mystery)
In this stand-alone novel, Val McDermid weaves two stories of murder into a tale of social commentary, historical significance and truly mesmerizing suspense. Two cold cases come together and the heat rises, as each one is slowly re-examined and new details come to light. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

HE IS...I SAY: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Neil Diamond by David Wild (Biography)
HE IS...I SAY examines Neil Diamond’s singular place in the pantheon of popular music. David Wild --- who has interviewed Diamond for Rolling Stone, penned the liner notes to a number of Diamond’s anthologies and produced Diamond’s scandal-free episode of “Behind the Music,” offers a moving and often hilarious salute to his own Jewish Elvis, based on his interviews from over the years with the Solitary Man himself. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

About the Book / Excerpt
THE ASSOCIATE by John Grisham (Legal Thriller)
Kyle McAvoy grew up in his father’s small-town law office in York, Pennsylvania. He excelled in college, was elected editor-in-chief of The Yale Law Journal, and his future has limitless potential. But Kyle has a secret, a dark one, an episode from college that he has tried to forget. The secret, though, falls into the hands of the wrong people, and Kyle is forced to take a job he doesn’t want --- even though it’s a job most law students can only dream about.
-- Click here to read an excerpt from THE ASSOCIATE.

Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush
Sisters Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush, who have written over 120 books between them, recently teamed up to pen the romantic suspense novel WICKED GAME. In this interview with's Amie Taylor, Bush discusses how they created the book's backstory and setting and recounts their first disastrous attempt at co-authorship almost 30 years ago, while Jackson credits her sister for giving her the initial push to start writing and muses on the difficulties of turning ideas into full-length novels. They also describe the positive aspects of working together and share details about their follow-up title to WICKED GAME, tentatively called WICKED LIES.

Author Talk
Jamie Ford
Jamie Ford's debut novel, HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, is both a love story and a cultural examination that is set against the backdrop of Japanese internment during World War II. In this interview, Ford explains how true events from his father's childhood initially inspired him to write this story and traces its slow evolution from a vignette to a full-length work of fiction over the course of several years. He also discusses similarities between himself and his protagonist, talks a bit about his fascination with Seattle's history and its role in the 1940s jazz scene, and shares his thoughts on possible parallels between the treatment of Japanese Americans during the war and attitudes toward people of Middle-Eastern descent during this current political climate.

4th Annual Valentine’s Day Contest – Books to Fall in Love With
The countdown to Valentine's Day is on! Stuck on what to buy your Valentine? Our featured titles have the bookish answer. From January 23rd through February 6th, readers will have the chance to win one of our five Valentine's Day baskets. They are filled with one copy of each of our featured books. Whether you are looking for a humorous tale, a heartwarming love story or an escape into the world of paranormal romance, our Valentine's Day suggestions are sure to satisfy whatever you're craving to give on this holiday.

Our featured Valentine's Day titles are:

NIGHT’S PLEASURE by Amanda Ashley
Savanah Gentry's life was much simpler as a reporter for the local newspaper --- before her father's sudden death bequeathed her the family trade --- vampire hunting. Entrusted with a legacy, Savannah enters a mysterious new world that puts everyone she cares for in danger... including the seductive Vampire, Rane.

Rane Cordova has always been alone, half hating himself for his dark gift yet savoring its extraordinary power. But one look at Savanah fills him with the need to take everything she has to give, and carry her to heights of unimagined ecstasy. He never intended their relationship to go this far, and now she's in incredible danger: a relentless enemy is determined to eliminate Rane and all of his kind. Desire casts a dark spell, but will their love be enough to save them...

ONE TRUE THEORY OF LOVE by Laura Fitzgerald
Since the love of her life betrayed her, Meg has had a hard time putting into practice her Hokey-Pokey Theory of Life, which demands that you put your whole self in. What's the point of opening yourself up if your heart comes back a little more broken each time? These days, Meg and her nine-year-old son Henry are taking on the world in their own lively way, and it's enough.

Then Meg unexpectedly finds love in the form of an exotically handsome Iranian-American who befriends her and Henry over a game of chess in a coffee shop. When Meg takes another leap of faith, she begins to discover that in order to heal you have to hurt, but most of all you have to live your life and put your whole self in.

VERY VALENTINE by Adriana Trigiani
In this luscious, contemporary family saga, the Angelini Shoe Company, makers of exquisite wedding shoes since 1903, is one of the last family-owned businesses in Greenwich Village. The company is on the verge of financial collapse. It falls to thirty-three-year-old Valentine Roncalli, the talented and determined apprentice to her grandmother, the master artisan Teodora Angelini, to bring the family's old-world craftsmanship into the twenty-first century and save the company from ruin.

While juggling a budding romance with dashing chef Roman Falconi, her duty to her family, and a design challenge presented by a prestigious department store, Valentine returns to Italy with her grandmother to learn new techniques and seek one-of-a-kind materials for building a pair of glorious shoes to beat their rivals. There, in Tuscany, Naples, and on the Isle of Capri, a family secret is revealed as Valentine discovers her artistic voice and much more, turning her life and the family business upside down in ways she never expected.

VERY VALENTINE is a sumptuous treat, a journey of dreams fulfilled, a celebration of love and loss filled with Trigiani's trademark heart and humor.

Jason F. Wright's THE WEDNESDAY LETTERS is a heartwarming novel that begins with an extraordinary promise: a husband will write his new bride a love letter every week of their married lives. Thirty-nine years later, Jack and Laurel Cooper pass on, and it's not long before their adult children stumble upon a trunk filled with the Wednesday Letters and begin to read. They learn of previously undisclosed joys and pains in their parents' marriage, but in the letters they also find clues to a family secret that will bring the Cooper children face-to-face with a life-changing moment of truth.

THE WEDNESDAY LETTERS is a story with huge heart that speaks to family, hope and the importance of forgiveness. Readers across the country have not only embraced the book, they've been inspired to write their own Wednesday Letters to loved ones. Bets On…:
HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET is a love story about two people who come from totally different worlds. Their story is about the conflicts between generations and cultures and how decades later they can heal the barriers and betrayals that separate them.

Inspired by history and his own family story, Jamie Ford’s debut novel is a perfect read for book clubs and introduces a talented new literary voice.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
LETHAL LEGACY by Linda Fairstein (Suspense)
When Assistant District Attorney Alex Cooper is summoned to Tina Barr’s apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, she finds a neighbor convinced that the young woman was assaulted. But the terrified victim, a conservator of rare books and maps, refuses to cooperate with investigators. Then another woman is found murdered in that same apartment with an extremely valuable book, believed to have been stolen. As Alex pursues the murderer, she is drawn into the strange and privileged world of the Hunt family, major benefactors of the New York Public Library and passionate rare book collectors.
-- Click here to read a second excerpt from LETHAL LEGACY.

KISS by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy
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 Ted Dekker and Erin Healy’s answers to Reader Questions.

One to Watch Author Spotlight
TWO RIVERS by T. Greenwood
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 T. Greenwood’s answers to Reader Questions.

Click here to read the full newsletter.

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