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Friday, April 17, 2009

April 17, 2009

The following reviews, interviews and features began running on on Friday, April 17th.

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


Reviews and Excerpts
LOOK AGAIN by Lisa Scottoline (Thriller)
When reporter Ellen Gleeson gets a “Have You Seen This Child?” flyer in the mail, she almost throws it away. But something about it makes her look again, and her heart stops --- the child in the photo is identical to her adopted son, Will. Everything inside her tells her to deny the similarity between the boys, because she knows her adoption was lawful. But she’s a journalist and won't be able to stop thinking about the photo until she figures out the truth. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.
- Click here to read an excerpt from LOOK AGAIN.

PRAYERS FOR SALE by Sandra Dallas (Fiction)
In 1936, two women form a friendship in the Colorado mining town of Middle Swan. Hennie Comfort is 86, and reluctantly facing a move to live with her daughter in Iowa. But in the meantime, she shares her amazing life stories with a newcomer, 17-year-old bride Nit Spindle. The result: a warm and luminous patchwork quilt of a book that readers will not soon forget. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
- Click here to read an excerpt from PRAYERS FOR SALE.

PLEA OF INSANITY by Jilliane Hoffman (Legal Thriller)
A prominent citizen murders his family and then enters a plea of insanity. Can attorney Julia Vacanti effectively prosecute the case against this man for his heinous crimes? First, she may have to put aside her personal demons coming back after half a lifetime to haunt her. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.
- Click here to read an excerpt from PLEA OF INSANITY.

BONEMAN’S DAUGHTERS by Ted Dekker (Thriller)
Sent to Fallujah and captured by insurgents, military intelligence officer Ryan Evans is asked to kill children not unlike his own. The method: a meticulous, excruciating death by broken bones that his captor has forced him to learn. Returning home after the ordeal, a new crisis awaits. A serial killer is on the loose, and his method of killing is the same. Ryan becomes a prime suspect, which isn't even the worst of his problems: Ryan's daughter is BoneMan's latest desire. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

CURSED: A Regan Reilly Mystery by Carol Higgins Clark (Mystery)
Regan Reilly leaves her home in New York City and heads back to her old stomping grounds in Los Angeles to help her friend and former neighbor, Abigail, track down a wayward boyfriend who has absconded with Abigail's heart and, more importantly, $100,000 of Abigail’s money. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

TRIPLE CROSS by Mark T. Sullivan (Thriller)
It’s New Year’s Eve at the Jefferson Club, a luxurious private ski resort in the mountains of southwestern Montana. Seven of the world’s wealthiest men and a U.S. Senator are among the guests gathered in the ballroom of the club’s spectacular main lodge for a private party. At the stroke of midnight, a ruthless and well-armed militia attacks the club. These self-described anti-globalists intend to put the wealthy patrons of the club on trial for crimes against humanity, live on the Internet for all the world to see. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

I LOVE YOU, MISS HUDDLESTON: And Other Inappropriate Longings of My Indiana Childhood by Philip Gulley (Memoir)
In I LOVE YOU, MISS HUDDLESTON, readers are transported to 1970s Danville, Indiana, the everyone-knows-your-business town where Philip Gulley still lives today, to witness the uproarious story of Gulley's young life, including his infatuation with his sixth-grade teacher, his dalliance with sin --- eating meat on Friday and inappropriate activities with a mannequin named Ginger --- and his checkered start with organized religion. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

CLOSING TIME: A Memoir by Joe Queenan (Memoir)
This is the kind of memoir only a critic and humorist with the skill of a Joe Queenan could write. CLOSING TIME is a painfully honest, savagely funny, wise and ultimately moving story of growing up in Philadelphia in the 1950s and ’60s while outgrowing life in the home of a brutal, alcoholic father. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

GENGHIS: BONES OF THE HILLS by Conn Iggulden (Historical Fiction)
In the third installment of Conn Iggulden’s Genghis Khan series, the Mongol conqueror, stalked by enemies seen and unseen and plagued by a divided family, leads a sprawling force of horsemen beyond the realm of their known world. He will bring a storm to Arab lands and face the armies of the shah in all their strength. Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds.

NIGHTWALKER by Heather Graham (Paranormal Romantic Suspense)
Jessy Sparhawk is a Vegas showgirl, but doesn't spend much time on the casino floor. The night she decides to play becomes one she won't soon forget. She finds herself under a dead man, dodging a ghost, and trying not to fall in love with a private investigator. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

FLIPPING OUT: A Lomax & Biggs Mystery by Marshall Karp (Mystery)
Homicide detectives Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs return in their third outing, following THE RABBIT FACTORY and BLOODTHIRSTY. This time, the wise guy detectives find themselves in the cut-throat world of high-end Los Angeles real estate with a multiple murder that hits close to home (pun completely intended). Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE HORSE BOY: A Father’s Quest to Heal His Son by Rupert Isaacson (Memoir)
When his son Rowan was diagnosed with autism, Rupert Isaacson was afraid he might never be able to communicate with his child. But when he rode their neighbor's horse with Rowan, Rowan improved immeasurably. He was struck with a crazy idea: why not take Rowan to Mongolia, the one place in the world where horses and shamanic healing intersected? THE HORSE BOY is the dramatic and heartwarming story of that impossible adventure. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

Author Interviews
Lisa Scottoline
Lisa Scottoline, best known for her series featuring attorney Benedetta Rosato, ventures outside of the courtroom in her most recent release, LOOK AGAIN. In this interview with's Kate Ayers, Scottoline recalls an experience with her daughter that inspired the plot of her latest book, and expresses her hesitation over labeling her novels as legal thrillers. She also discusses how writing a weekly newspaper column has affected her approach to long fiction, muses on the roles women play in mysteries and thrillers, and gives details about her next installment in the Bennie Rosato series.

Sandra Dallas
Sandra Dallas's eighth and most recent novel, PRAYERS FOR SALE, chronicles the unlikely friendship between an 86-year-old woman and a 17-year-old girl in 1930s Colorado. In this interview with's Terry Miller Shannon, Dallas traces the book's origin from a collection of short stories and likens writing books to patching together quilts. She also recalls her earliest attempt at writing fiction, shares details about her creative process, and discusses her next book, WHITER THAN SNOW.

Jilliane Hoffman
As the bestselling author of the legal thrillers RETRIBUTION, LAST WITNESS and the newly released PLEA OF INSANITY, former state attorney and legal advisor Jilliane Hoffman has put her previous career to good use. In this interview with's Kate Ayers, Hoffman recalls what prompted her to write this latest novel about a man suffering from schizophrenia, and elaborates on court procedures and the difficulties of trying cases in which the defendant pleads not guilty by reason of insanity. She also gives insight into some of her main characters’ actions, shares her thoughts on why American legal thrillers are hugely popular overseas, and discusses her next release, THE PORTRAIT PAINTER.

Author Talk
Mark T. Sullivan
Inspired by both a ski vacation and the earliest indicators of the current U.S. economic crisis, Mark T. Sullivan's TRIPLE CROSS centers on the wealthy patrons of an exclusive resort who are taken hostage by terrorists and put on trial for crimes against humanity. In this interview, Sullivan discusses the kind of research he performed to create the very realistic financial scenarios portrayed in the book, and sheds light on his decision to make three teenage triplets the heroes of the story. He also describes how his previous career as an investigative reporter helped to hone his skills as a novelist, explains why mysteries and thrillers are his genre of choice, and shares details about two projects currently in the works.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
WICKED PREY by John Sandford
The Republicans are coming to St. Paul for their convention. Throwing a big party is supposed to be fun, but crashing the party are a few hard cases the police would rather stayed away. Chief among them is a crew of professional stickup men who’ve spotted several lucrative opportunities, ranging from political moneymen with briefcases full of cash to that armored-car warehouse with the weakness in its security system. All that’s headache enough for Lucas Davenport --- but what’s about to hit him is even worse.
- Click here to read John Sandford’s bio.
- Click here to read John Sandford’s bibliography.
- Click here to read more about WICKED PREY.

Romantic Suspense Author Spotlight
UNSEEN by Nancy Bush
Gemma La Porte wakes up in a hospital and knows her name and where she lives, but there are blank spaces in her memory. When released, she senses she’s being watched but thinks she's overreacting. As the days pass, Gemma begins having blackouts, waking up and having no idea where she's been or what she's done, especially when she finds blood on her hands. Has she committed murder?
- Click here to read a second excerpt from UNSEEN.

Debut Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
Two decades ago, at a private women’s college in upstate New York, a student was brutally attacked in her dorm room, but her assailant was never found. Sue Barlow arrives at Wilbourne College twenty years later. When a classmate disappears, Sue thinks it’s an isolated incident until two other girls vanish. As fear grows on campus, Sue begins to sense she’s being watched, and as the body count rises, she soon realizes that a twisted psychopath is summoning her to play a wicked game.
- Click here to read a second excerpt from ALL THE PRETTY DEAD GIRLS.

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