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Friday, April 16, 2010

April 16, 2010

The following reviews, interviews and features began running on on Friday, April 16th.

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

TRAVELING POMEGRANATES: A Mother-Daughter Story by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor
RICH BOY by Sharon Pomerantz
BROKEN by Karin Slaughter

Reviews and Excerpts

THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE by Mary Higgins Clark (Thriller)
In THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE, Mary Higgins Clark weaves a spellbinding thriller revolving around a long-held family secret that threatens to emerge and take the life of an unsuspecting heiress. The novel explores the juxtaposition of medical science and religious faith, and the search for identity by the daughter of a man adopted at birth. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE.

WRECKED: A Regan Reilly Mystery by Carol Higgins Clark (Mystery)
Crime-solving couple Regan and Jack Reilly wants nothing more than to celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary alone in romantic Cape Cod. But a missing woman with a mysterious past and a quirky bunch of townspeople make privacy and romance nigh on impossible --- until and unless they can get to the bottom of the malice that lurks nearby. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.
- Click here to read an excerpt from WRECKED.

EVERY LAST ONE by Anna Quindlen (Fiction)
Mary Beth Latham is first and foremost a mother. Caring for her family and preserving their everyday life is paramount. So when one of her sons becomes depressed, Mary Beth turns her focus to him and is blindsided by a shocking act of violence. What happens afterwards is a testament to the power of a woman’s love and determination, and to the invisible line of hope and healing that connects one human being with another. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol.
- Click here to read an excerpt from EVERY LAST ONE.

BEATRICE AND VIRGIL by Yann Martel (Fiction)
When Henry receives a letter from an elderly taxidermist, it poses a puzzle that he cannot resist. As he is pulled further into the world of this strange and calculating man, Henry becomes increasingly involved with the lives of a donkey and a howler monkey --- named Beatrice and Virgil --- and the epic journey they undertake together. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

THE BRIDE COLLECTOR by Ted Dekker (Thriller)
FBI Special Agent Brad Raines is facing his toughest case yet. A Denver serial killer has killed four beautiful young women, leaving a bridal veil at each crime scene, and he's picking up his pace. Unable to crack the case, Raines appeals for help from a most unusual source: residents of the Center for Wellness and Intelligence, a private psychiatric institution for mentally ill individuals who are extraordinarily gifted. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE BRIDE COLLECTOR.

MATTERHORN: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes (Historical Fiction)
As ancient as THE ILIAD and as contemporary as the latest dispatch from Afghanistan, stories of war will continue to absorb and repel us. Karl Marlantes’s novel is a worthy addition to that body of literature, rising above the particularities of the conflict it describes to achieve a firm handhold on universal truth. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.
- Click here to read an excerpt from MATTERHORN.

THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE by Maggie O’Farrell (Fiction)
Two women --- a fresh-from-the-country girl who becomes a London journalist during the 1950s and ’60s, and a Finnish émigré living in the same city today --- find their histories linked. From the author of THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX, here is a thrillingly vivid novel that evokes the most intimate textures of motherhood and the perils of family secrets. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.
- Click here to see the reading group guide for THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE.

CAPITOL BETRAYAL by William Bernhardt (Legal Thriller)
William Bernhardt’s bestselling novels explore politics, power, ambition, crime and the law. Now he scales new heights of suspense as, in one harrowing day, lawyer and former senator Ben Kincaid enters the eye of an international storm, a crisis with consequences beyond calculation. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

DEEP SHADOW by Randy Wayne White (Thriller)
Thirty minutes into what should have been an easy, beginner-level dive in a remote Florida lake, the rim of a cave collapses, trapping two of Doc Ford's friends. Ford himself manages to escape and quickly surfaces to find help --- but that's when his troubles only begin. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE INHERITANCE by Simon Tolkien (Historical Thriller)
Simon Tolkien, J. R. R. Tolkien’s grandson, turns out his second legal thriller with THE INHERITANCE --- a tale that involves a tragic event from World War II, a falsely accused man fighting for his life in the British courts, and the deadly hunt for a priceless relic. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

Roxy Abruzzo gets more than she bargains for after “rescuing” an ancient Greek statue from the grounds of a burnt-out mansion that is about to be demolished. Roxy is one of the last people seen talking to the multi-millionaire owner before his murder, and the police --- and others --- have her in their crosshairs. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING: Katharine Hepburn, A Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler (Biography)
In this new biography of the legendary Katharine Hepburn, esteemed biographer Charlotte Chandler draws on a series of recordings made over many years, beginning in the mid-1970s, and paints a candid portrait of the actress and the amazing life she led --- always on her own terms. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

DEAD HEAD: A Dirty Business Mystery by Rosemary Harris (Mystery)
Fugitive Mom. That’s the tabloid headline that rocks Springfield, Connecticut, when one of the town’s favorite ladies is discovered to be an escaped convict. With a little help from Lucy Cavanaugh, Paula is hired to find out which of her neighbors is a fugitive from the law and why the long-kept secret has finally come out. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

HUNT BEYOND THE FROZEN FIRE by Gabriel Hunt as told to Christa Faust (Fiction/Action & Adventure)
Edgar Award-nominated author Christa Faust pens the fourth Gabriel Hunt adventure story and records his incredible journey beneath the frozen world of Antarctica. Hunt sets off to locate a missing research scientist and finds much more than he bargained for. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.

TO HELL ON A FAST HORSE: Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett and the Epic Chase to Justice in the Old West by Mark Lee Gardener (Biography)
TO HELL ON A FAST HORSE recreates the thrilling manhunt for the Wild West's most iconic outlaw. It is also the first dual biography of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, each a larger-than-life figure who would not have become legendary without the other. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

Author Talks
Yann Martel
Amidst themes of truth, deception, life and art, the Holocaust takes center stage in Yann Martel’s latest novel, BEATRICE AND VIRGIL. In this interview, Martel traces his fascination with this tragic historical event back to his childhood in France, and describes how he was able to artistically approach such challenging subject matter. He also discusses the allegorical use of animals in his novels, reflects on the freedoms of utilizing fiction to portray emotional and psychological truth, and shares what he hopes his audience will gain from reading this book.

Ted Dekker
In this interview, bestselling author Ted Dekker discusses what went into creating the antagonist of his latest thriller, THE BRIDE COLLECTOR, and contrasts the amount of effort it takes to write about evil characters with that of good ones. He also explains how his upbringing in Indonesia has influenced his views of societal behavior --- as well as his approach to writing in general --- reflects on the need to place labels on authors, and shares details about his next book, THE PRIEST’S GRAVEYARD, due out in April 2011.'s Fifth Annual Mother's Day Contest: Books Mom Will Love
Mother’s Day is a time to recognize the woman who raised and nurtured you. Why not brighten her special day with some great books? From April 16th through May 3rd, readers will have the chance to win one of our 15 Mother’s Day Gift Baskets. Each basket is filled with a selection of 12 books from our 36 featured titles, giving Mom a book to read each month and making Mother’s Day truly a yearlong celebration. Also included are a variety of gifts to treat her: a plush blanket, a Crabtree & Evelyn Shower Flower, H2O+ Body Butter, a Jane Sun Tea soothing mask, Rose Garden Sachets, garden gloves, and, of course, some chocolates. Please note: Colors may vary on items.

Our featured Mother’s Day titles can be found here. With books that are moving, uplifting, humorous and informative, look no further than for the perfect gift for Mom.

Mother's Day Author Blogs: Celebrating Authors and Their Mothers

Here at Mother’s Day will be a month-long celebration with the help of some of our author friends and their mothers. During the next few weeks we will be featuring daily blog posts from mother/daughter writing teams like Mary and Carol Higgins Clark; author moms and their author children like Sandra Brown and her son, Ryan; mothers sharing what it was like raising a future author; and authors paying tribute to their moms.

Reading these pieces will give you a new understanding and insight into the role mom played as authors got their start or followed into the literary world. Those scheduled to participate include Sue Monk Kidd, Lisa Gardner, Francine Rivers, Susan Wiggs, Cathleen Schine, Amanda Eyre Ward, Ad Hudler, Wade Rouse and many more!

We suggest you bookmark this page or set up an RSS feed so you can read these pieces every day!

One to Watch Author Spotlight
EVANGELINE by Ben Farmer
EVANGELINE is both a sweeping love story and harrowing journey from Nova Scotia to New Orleans in pre-revolutionary America. As the British drove the French out of mid-18th century Acadia (present-day Nova Scotia), the beautiful 17-year-old Evangeline Bellefontaine is torn by British soldiers from her fiance, Gabriel Lajeunesse, on the eve of their wedding. Heartbroken but determined, Evangeline --- along with illegal trapper Bernard Arseneau and priest Felician Abadie --- sets out on an extraordinary 10-year journey to the French-Spanish colony of Louisiana to seek her long-lost love.
- Click here to read an excerpt from EVANGELINE.
- Click here to read Ben Farmer's bio.
- Click here to read critical praise for EVANGELINE.
- Click here to read more about EVANGELINE.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
INDIVISIBLE by Kristen Heitzmann
Police Chief Jonah Westfall knows the dark side of life and has committed himself to eradicating it. When a pair of raccoons are found mutilated in Redford, Colorado, Jonah investigates the gruesome act, knowing the strange event could escalate and destroy the tranquility of his small mountain town. With never-ending conflict with Tia Manning, a formidable childhood friend with whom he has more than a passing history, Jonah fights for answers --- and his fragile sobriety.
- Click here to read an excerpt from INDIVISIBLE.
- Click here to read Kristen Heitzmann's bio.
- Click here to read critical praise for INDIVISIBLE.
- Click here for more information about INDIVISIBLE.

Fantasy Author Spotlight
Georgina Kincaid has formidable powers. Immortality, seduction, shape-shifting into any human form she desires, walking in heels that would cripple mere mortals --- all child’s play to a succubus like her.
- Click here to read a third excerpt from SUCCUBUS SHADOWS.

Click here to read the full newsletter.

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