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Friday, January 22, 2010

January 22, 2010

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

The titles below are discussed in the Newsletter Opener, which can be read here:

SHELTER ME by Juliette Fay
BRAVA, VALENTINE by Adriana Trigiani
ETERNAL ON THE WATER by Joseph Monninger
LOVE IN MID AIR by Kim Wright
THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin
THE SUMMER GUEST by Justin Cronin
THE CURE: How a Father Raised $100 Million --- and the National Medical Establishment --- In a Quest to Save His Child by Geeta Anand
CHASING MIRACLES: The Crowley Family Journey of Strength, Hope and Joy by John Crowley
The Spenser series by Robert B. Parker
The Jesse Stone series by Robert B. Parker
LOVE STORY by Erich Segal
OLIVER’S STORY by Erich Segal

Reviews and Excerpts
NANNY RETURNS by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus (Fiction)
Nan, the smart, spirited and sympathetic heroine of the #1 New York Times bestseller THE NANNY DIARIES, is back. After living abroad for 12 years, she and her husband, Ryan, have returned to New York to make a life for themselves. In the midst of getting her new business off the ground and fixing up their fixer-upper, Ryan announces his sudden desire to start a family. His timing simply couldn't be worse. Reviewed by Roberta O’Hara.

Marian Keyes’s latest novel follows seven neighbors whose lives become entangled when a sassy and prescient spirit pays a visit to their Dublin townhouse with the intent of changing at least one of their lives. But what will this metamorphosis be and who will the sprite choose? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

SIZZLE by Julie Garwood (Romantic Suspense)
Julie Garwood’s penchant for romantic sizzle does not disappoint in her latest New York Times bestselling novel, SIZZLE. Film student Lyra Prescott has a sexy new bodyguard, Agent Samuel Kincaid. Being the innocent target of a ruthless mob yields Lyra the love of her life and a future full of endless surprises. Reviewed by Hillary Wagy

A WHISPER TO THE LIVING: An Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov Mystery by Stuart M. Kaminsky (Mystery)
In October 2009, award-winning author Stuart M. Kaminsky passed away after three decades of writing mystery novels. His heroes roamed from Moscow to Chicago to Hollywood, but they shared a trait of decency and compassion that made them far more than crime solvers. A WHISPER TO THE LIVING, published posthumously, may be Kaminsky’s final mystery --- and would be a fitting conclusion to an extraordinary career. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

THE GODFATHER OF KATHMANDU by John Burdett (Thriller)
Sonchai Jitpleecheep --- John Burdett’s Royal Thai Police detective with the hard-bitten demeanor and the Buddhist soul --- is summoned to the most shocking and intriguing crime scene of his career. Solving the murder could mean a promotion, but Sonchai, reeling from a personal tragedy, is more interested in Tietsin, an exiled Tibetan lama based in Kathmandu who has become his guru. There are, however, obstacles in Sonchai’s path to nirvana. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

MARRIAGE AND OTHER ACTS OF CHARITY: A Memoir by Kate Braestrup (Memoir)
Kate Braestrup pens a series of graceful essays on love and marriage, fueled by her personal relationships and her counseling experiences. She proves that a minister-penned memoir can be a frequently hilarious, sometimes sorrowful and intensely insightful page-turner. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

WHERE THE GOD OF LOVE HANGS OUT: Fiction by Amy Bloom (Fiction/Short Stories)
Love, in its many forms and complexities, weaves through this collection by Amy Bloom, the New York Times bestselling author of AWAY. Bloom's astonishing and astute new work of interconnected stories illuminates the mysteries of passion, family and friendship. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

DOORS OPEN by Ian Rankin (Thriller)
Three men descend upon an art auction in search of some excitement. After the auction --- and a chance encounter with a crime boss --- art professor Robert Gissing and art-lover Allan Cruickshank suggest the "liberation" of several paintings from the National Gallery, hoping their friend Mike Mackenzie will dissuade them. Instead, he hopes they are serious. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

THE UNNAMED by Joshua Ferris (Fiction)
Tim Farnsworth is a handsome, healthy man, aging with the grace of a matinee idol. He loves his wife, his family, his work and his home. Then one day he stands up and walks out. And keeps walking. Joshua Ferris’s second novel (following his acclaimed debut THEN WE CAME TO THE END) is about a marriage and a family and the unseen forces of nature and desire that seem to threaten them both.

TRUE CONFECTIONS by Katharine Weber
Alice Tatnall Ziplinsky, who embraced the Ziplinsky family heritage when she married into Zip's Candies, delves deeply into the history of that family and of candy manufacturing. Alice also relays her own story in a legal affidavit regarding the business she cares so deeply about. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

GONE ’TIL NOVEMBER by Wallace Stroby
Two of my all-time favorite novels are Wallace Stroby’s THE BARBED-WIRE KISS and THE HEARTBREAK LOUNGE. Both are crime novels as dark and gritty a walk on the wild side that you can get without dirtying your shoes. Stroby has been absent from the literary scene for a while but returns with GONE ’TIL NOVEMBER, which demonstrates that he has not lost one iota of the magic that made his first two books instant classics. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

GALILEO'S DREAM by Kim Stanley Robinson (Historical Science Fiction)
Galileo Galilei is a genius in 17th-century Europe. On the Jovian moon Europa in the year 3020, he is an icon. Transferring between his time and the future, Galileo must battle the powers-that-be in his world while being used as a pawn by renegade powers of future Jupiter to alter history and lead science over religion. And that goal can only be met with the death of Galileo in his own time. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbar.

(Hardboiled Crime Fiction)
In this reprint of the last Sherlock Holmes story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1914 and originally serialized in a magazine called The Strand, Holmes tackles a case with its roots buried deep in the United States. THE VALLEY OF FEAR is the most hardboiled story of the famous sleuth’s career. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.

Valentine’s Day Contest
The countdown to Valentine's Day is on! Stuck on what to buy your Valentine? Our featured titles have the bookish answer. From January 22nd through February 5th, readers will have the chance to win one of our five Valentine's Day Baskets. These heart-adorned baskets are filled with one copy of each of our eight featured books, as well as some irresistible Valentine's Day-themed goodies: a plush pink blanket, Godiva chocolates, a cherry-flavored handmade lollipop, gourmet Valentine cookies and a mesh shower sponge. Whether you are looking for humorous tales, heartwarming love stories, page-turning mysteries or classic works of literature, 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:


BRAVA, VALENTINE by Adriana Trigiani

THE BRONTË SISTERS: Three Novels: JANE EYRE, WUTHERING HEIGHTS and AGNES GREY by Emily Brontë, Charlotte Brontë and Anne Brontë

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Elizabeth Noble

A MATTER OF CLASS by Mary Balogh

O, JULIET by Robin Maxwell

VERY VALENTINE by Adriana Trigiani

WICKED CRAVING: A Savannah Reid Mystery by G.A. McKevett

One to Watch Author Spotlight
ONE AMAZING THING by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Late afternoon in a passport and visa office in an unnamed American city, where only nine people remain. When an earthquake rips through the afternoon lull, trapping them together, their focus first jolts to their collective struggle to survive. There’s little food. The office begins to flood. As the psychological and emotional stress becomes nearly too much for them to bear, one of them suggests that each tell a personal tale, “one amazing thing” from their lives, which they have never told anyone before. As their surprising stories of romance, marriage, family, political upheaval, and self-discovery unfold against the urgency of their life-or-death circumstances, the novel proves the transcendent power of stories and the meaningfulness of human expression itself.
- Click here to read an excerpt from ONE AMAZING THING.
- Click here to read Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s bio.
- Click here to read Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s backlist.

Twelve-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt is in trouble. For years, she has been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille --- the tiara-toting, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town --- a woman trapped in her long-ago moment of glory as the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen. But when Camille is hit by a truck and killed, CeeCee is left to fend for herself. To the rescue comes her previously unknown great-aunt, Tootie Caldwell.
- Click here to read a review of SAVING CEECEE HONEYCUTT.
- Click here to read a second excerpt from SAVING CEECEE HONEYCUTT.
- Click here to read our interview with Beth Hoffman.
- Click here to read Beth Hoffman's bio.

Father Steve Sibille has come home to the bayou to take charge of St. Pete’s church. Among his challenges are teenybopper altar girls, insomnia-curing confessions, and alarmingly alluring congregant Vicky Carrier. Then there’s Miss Rita, an irrepressible centenarian with a taste for whiskey, cracklins, and sticking her nose in other people’s business.
- Click here to read a third excerpt from THE FIRST ANNUAL GRAND PRAIRIE RABBIT FESTIVAL.

Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight
NOT MY DAUGHTER by Barbara Delinsky
Barbara Delinsky explores the bonds between mothers and daughters in this topical, explosive novel as a high school principal struggles with the news that her daughter and friends are pregnant.
- Click here to read a review of NOT MY DAUGHTER.
- Click here to read a third excerpt from NOT MY DAUGHTER.
- Click here to read our interview with Barbara Delinsky.
- Click here to read Barbara Delinsky's bio.
- Click here to see Barbara Delinsky's backlist.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
BURN by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy
The past Janeal thought had burned away is rising from the ashes.

Years ago, the Gypsy Kumpania where Janeal Mikkado lived was attacked by outsiders. With her best friend about to be consumed by a fire, Janeal had two options: try to save her friend --- at serious risk to her own life --- or disappear with the million dollars that she had just discovered...

But the past is quickly coming back to haunt her. Both the best friend and the boyfriend that she was sure were dead have reappeared in her life, as has someone who knows about the money. There's a debt to be paid for the money she found, but there's an even greater debt she must face--and if the chaff isn't burned from her own heart, it will consume her.
- Click here to read a review of BURN.
- Click here to read a third excerpt from BURN.
- Click here to read Ted Dekker's bio.
- Click here to read Erin Healy's bio.
- Click here to see Ted Dekker's backlist.

WATCHLIST: A Serial Thriller by Jeffery Deaver and Others
From International Thriller Writers comes WATCHLIST: two powerful novellas featuring the same thrilling cast of characters in one major suspenseful package. THE CHOPIN MANUSCRIPT and THE COPPER BRACELET are collaborations of some of the world’s greatest thriller writers, including Lee Child, Joseph Finder, Lisa Scottoline, and Jeffery Deaver, who conceived the characters and set the plots in motion. The other authors each wrote a chapter and Deaver then completed what he started, bringing both novellas to their startling conclusions.
- Click here to read Advanced Reader Comments about WATCHLIST.

Debut Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
THE SCULPTOR by Gregory Funaro
Dr. Catherine Hildebrant, professor of art history at Brown University, is trying to get her life back on track. Known in academic circles not only as one of the world’s foremost scholars on Michelangelo, she is also the author of a controversial book on his sculptures. Living alone, counting the days until her divorce is final, Cathy is awakened one morning by FBI agent Sam Markham. It seems someone has murdered missing Boston Rebels wide receiver Tommy Campbell, preserved his body, and painted and posed him in the figure of one of Michelangelo’s statues.
-Click here to read a third excerpt from THE SCULPTOR.

Click here to read the full newsletter.

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