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Friday, May 22, 2009

May 22, 2009

The following reviews, interviews and features began running on on Friday, May 22nd.

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

THE PHOTOGRAPHER by Emmanuel Guibert
THE LAST TEMPLAR by Raymond Khoury
THE SANCTUARY by Raymond Khoury

Reviews and Excerpts
THE SIGN by Raymond Khoury (Thriller)
Across the Internet and around the globe, a stunning controversy threatens to consume the world: Has God finally decided to reveal himself? Or is something more sinister at hand? THE SIGN deftly and expertly switches among three different locales --- Antarctica, Egypt, and Boston, Massachusetts --- drawing seemingly disparate events closer together while slowly revealing their common threads. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE SIGN.

GONE TOMORROW: A Reacher Novel by Lee Child (Thriller)
When Jack Reacher witnesses up close and personal a suicide on a Manhattan subway, he knows that there is more than meets the eye. Now he’s in deep, trying to detonate a shocking secret for which both the feds and Al-Qaeda are willing to kill to keep from being revealed. Soon, Reacher is being hunted down from all sides --- which is exactly how Reacher wants it… Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read an excerpt from GONE TOMORROW.

THE LAST CHILD by John Hart (Thriller)
THE LAST CHILD is a tale of boundaries: county borders and circles on a map, the hard edge between good and evil, life and death, hopelessness and faith. Perfectly blending character and plot, emotion and action, John Hart again transcends the barrier between thriller and literature to craft a story as heartrending as it is redemptive. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE LAST CHILD.

LOITERING WITH INTENT: A Stone Barrington Novel by Stuart Woods (Mystery)
LOITERING WITH INTENT takes Stone Barrington to Key West and gives him access to classy hotels, million-dollar yachts and a beautiful Swedish doctor who has no known inhibitions. And all he has to do is get the millionaire son of Warren Keating to sign an agreement that would sell the family enterprise and make everyone involved a ton of money. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

BAD MOTHER: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace by Ayelet Waldman (Memoir)
Covering topics as diverse as the hysteria of competitive parenting, the relentless pursuits of the Bad Mother police, balancing the work-family dynamic, and the bane of every mother’s existence, BAD MOTHER illuminates the anxieties that riddle motherhood today, while providing women with the encouragement they need to give themselves a break. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

PYGMY by Chuck Palahniuk (Fiction)
Chuck Palahniuk’s newest novel is perhaps his most straightforwardly satirical, as readers are given an outsiders’-eye-view into the most classic of targets: Wal-Mart, the decaying family, high school and religion. PYGMY continues his tradition of protagonists designed to make us feel worse about ourselves while not entirely fitting the bill of the contrarian ideals they supposedly uphold. Reviewed by Max Falkowitz.

THE FAMILY MAN by Elinor Lipman (Fiction)
In this warm-hearted comedy, Henry Archer reunites with Thalia, the stepdaughter he adopted and then lost 25 years before during his divorce. Henry is delighted to assist his newfound, highly cherished daughter as she negotiates love interests --- both genuine and false, complete with tabloid appearances and paparazzi. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

BAD THINGS by Michael Marshall (Thriller)
On a beautiful summer afternoon, four-year-old Scott Henderson walked onto a jetty over a lake in Black Ridge, WA, and never came back. His father’s world changed --- horribly, irrevocably --- that day. Now, three years later, John’s fragile new life is shaken once again when he receives an email from a stranger claiming to know the truth. Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy.

THE DEVLIN DIARY by Christi Phillips (Historical Fiction)
London, 1672. Physician Hannah Devlin is ministering to the sick when she is summoned by a court official to care for King Charles's favorite mistress. Over 300 years later, an historian uncovers a decades-old diary belonging to Hannah that chronicles a fascinating tale of murder and deceit at court. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

SECRETS TO HAPPINESS by Sarah Dunn (Fiction)
In her heartfelt, funny second novel (following THE BIG LOVE), Sarah Dunn uncovers urban foibles, bizarre relationships and the ongoing quest for love, even if her characters can’t quite unlock the elusive secret to happiness. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

Author Talk
Raymond Khoury
In this interview, Raymond Khoury --- author of the bestsellers THE LAST TEMPLAR and THE SANCTUARY --- discusses what inspired his latest thriller, THE SIGN, and explains how he researched specific types of technology in order to portray it in a realistic and feasible manner. He also comments on the muddled line that separates religion and politics in today's society, and shares his thoughts on movie and mini-series adaptations of his books.

Beach Bag of Books
Whether your "beach" is on sand, your backyard deck or a grassy meadow in the country, the summer months mean it's time for "beach reading." is celebrating the lazy days of summer reading with our Fifth Annual Beach Bag of Books feature and contests.

During select weeks from May 22nd through September 4th, a different title or collection of titles will be featured with a contest prize --- a beach bag stocked with the featured book(s) and summertime essentials. Five FABULOUS beach bags will be given away each week, as well as five copies of the featured book(s) to additional winners.

THE LATE, LAMENTED MOLLY MARX by Sally Koslow (Fiction)
Ever wonder who would attend your funeral? Newly deceased Molly Marx gets to see that and more as she tries to decipher her past mistakes in life and the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death. Sally Koslow’s second book is a hilarious, deeply moving, and thought-provoking novel that is part mystery, part love story, and all heart. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

One to Watch Author Spotlight
CRAZY FOR THE STORM by Norman Ollestad (Memoir)
From the age of three, Norman Ollestad was thrust into the world of surfing and competitive downhill skiing by the intense, charismatic father he both idolized and resented. While his friends were riding bikes, playing ball, and going to birthday parties, young Norman was whisked away in pursuit of wild and demanding adventures. Yet it were these exhilarating tests of skill that prepared “Boy Wonder,” as his father called him, to become a fearless champion --- and ultimately saved his life.
- Click here to read Advance Readers’ Comments for CRAZY FOR THE STORM.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
PEOPLE DIE by Kevin Wignall
Fast, efficient, and deadly… JJ is the best hit man money can buy. His clients are international. His targets never see it coming. His only rule: never get emotionally involved. But in the assassination game, everything can change with a single bullet. When a hit goes down in a Moscow hotel and JJ lets a beautiful young woman walk away carrying her clothes and a package, he knows he’s broken his ultimate rule…
- Click here to read a third excerpt from PEOPLE DIE.

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 Advance Readers’ Comments for WICKED PREY.

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