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Friday, April 23, 2010

April 23, 2010

The following reviews, interviews and features began running on on Friday, April 23rd.

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

THE DAY THE WORLD CAME TO TOWN: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim Defede
BROKEN by Karin Slaughter
FRAGILE by Lisa Unger
WAR by Sebastian Unger
JULIET by Anne Fortier
RICH BOY by Sharon Pmerantz
THE LANGUAGE GOD TALKS: On Science and Religion by Herman Wouk

Reviews and Excerpts
SUCCUBUS SHADOWS by Richelle Mead (Urban Fantasy)
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. Helping to plan her ex-boyfriend’s wedding is a different story. Reviewed by Usha Reynolds and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from SUCCUBUS SHADOWS.

THE DOUBLE COMFORT SAFARI CLUB: The New No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Novel, by Alexander McCall Smith (Mystery)
Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi head to a safari camp to carry out a delicate mission on behalf of a former guest who has left one of the guides a large sum of money. But once they find their man, Precious begins to sense that something is not right. Reviewed by Roz Shea and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE DOUBLE COMFORT SAFARI CLUB.

PARROT AND OLIVIER IN AMERICA by Peter Carey (Historical Fiction)
Olivier is the traumatized child of aristocratic survivors of the French Revolution. Parrot is the motherless son of an itinerant English printer. They are born on different sides of history, but their lives will be connected by an enigmatic one-armed marquis. Reviewed by Norah Piehl and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from PARROT AND OLIVIER IN AMERICA.

The lives of four people intersect through a play loosely based on the 9/11 death of a man named Gus. Leslie, Gus's sister, believes she knows how his lover Billy grieves for her brother, but Billy holds tight to a dark secret. When Leslie's friend Sam meets Billy, his feelings are complicated, while Rafe, an actor in Billy's play, experiences devastating revelations about his own life. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE LAKE SHORE LIMITED.

ELEGY FOR APRIL by Benjamin Black (Mystery)
April Latimer has vanished. A junior doctor at a local hospital, she is something of a scandal in the conservative and highly patriarchal society of 1950s Dublin. Though her family is one of the most respected in the city, she is known for being independent-minded. Now April has disappeared, and her friend, Phoebe Griffin, suspects the worst. Frantic, Phoebe seeks out Quirke, her brilliant but erratic father, and asks him for help. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

INFAMOUS by Ace Atkins (Historical Thriller)
In July 1933, the gangster known as George "Machine Gun" Kelly staged the kidnapping-for-ransom of an Oklahoma oilman. He would live to regret it. Kelly was never the sharpest knife in the drawer, and what started clean soon became messy, as two of his partners cut themselves into the action; a determined former Texas Ranger makes tracking Kelly his mission; and Kelly's wife, ever alert to her own self-interest, starts playing both ends against the middle.Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

BITE ME by Christopher Moore (Fiction)
BITE ME takes readers down the same bloody path of carnage as all the other vampire stories --- complete with deranged vampiric animals, idolatrous human minions, snarling nosferatu killers and the humans who hunt them --- all while making you laugh raucously at the ridiculousness of it. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

MEN AND DOGS by Katie Crouch (Fiction)
When Hannah, drunk and spurned, falls from a three-story balcony in an attempt to visit her recently departed husband, she impales a nail in her skull. She must return home to Charleston --- the place that has haunted her since childhood when her father vanished. That disappearance has twisted Hannah's existence into knots. Can she solve the mystery and repair her life? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

A MURDEROUS PROCESSION: A Mistress of the Art of Death Novel, by Ariana Franklin
(Historical Mystery)
In 1176, King Henry II sends his daughter Joanna to Palermo to marry his cousin, the king of Sicily. Henry chooses Adelia Aguilar, his Mistress of the Art of Death, to travel with the princess and safeguard her health. But when people in the wedding procession are murdered, Adelia and Rowley must discover the killer's identity…and whether he is stalking the princess or Adelia herself. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

HAUNT ME STILL by Jennifer Lee Carrell
A deleted scene from Macbeth is said to describe a rite of black magic. Now practitioners of the dark arts are trying to get their hands on it, as is Shakespearean scholar Kate Stanley. The superstitions surrounding the play wreak havoc on the lives of those involved. There was a reason the scene was deleted, and Kate is about to find out why. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

CITY OF LOST GIRLS by Declan Hughes
After flamboyant Irish film director Jack Donovan receives threatening letters while making a movie in Dublin, he hires PI Ed Loy to investigate. But the disturbing letters aren’t Donovan’s only problem. Soon after they arrive, beautiful young women hired by Donovan as extras go missing. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

IMPERFECT ENDINGS: A Daughter's Tale of Life and Death, by Zoe FitzGerald Carter
Author Zoe FitzGerald Carter has had a different experience from many. Her mother had advanced Parkinson's Disease and sought assistance to end her own life. This extraordinary memoir acquaints us with the person who was Margaret Draper, recounting past experiences and telling about the realities --- and the tenderness and agony --- of witnessing her death. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

THE TALE OF HALCYON CRANE by Wendy Webb (Horror)
One day, Hallie James receives a letter telling her that her mother has passed away --- a woman who Hallie thought had died years ago in a fire. It turns out her entire life has been a lie, and who she is will change dramatically when she finds her past waiting for her. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

Author Interview

Richelle Mead
Richelle Mead --- author of the bestselling YA Vampire Academy novels --- recently published SUCCUBUS SHADOWS, the fifth installment in her acclaimed series featuring “reluctant” female demon Georgina Kincaid. In this interview with’s Usha Reynolds, Mead explains what initially inspired the concept behind this paranormal urban fantasy, and elaborates on the books’ underlying messages regarding the ambiguity of good and evil. She also shares her thoughts on the concept of soulmates, recommends some of her favorite authors in the urban fantasy genre, and hints at what is next in store for Georgina.

Author Talk
Sue Miller
Sue Miller is the bestselling author of 11 books, including THE SENATOR’S WIFE, LOST IN THE FOREST and THE WORLD BELOW. Her latest work, THE LAKE SHORE LIMITED, is a story within a story that examines the feelings of trauma and loss experienced by four people after the death of a loved one on 9/11. In this interview, Miller discusses what initially inspired the plot of this novel, and explains the role each of the four characters plays in the book’s theme of understanding the transformative power of art. She also gives us insight into her lengthy writing process and shares details about a few upcoming projects in the works.'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.

Special Contest
Win a copy of THE HYPNOTIST by M. J. Rose
We are celebrating the release of THE HYPNOTIST --- the latest thrilling, inventive volume in M. J. Rose’s bestselling Reincarnationist series --- with a special contest. 20 readers will have the opportunity to each win one copy of THE HYPNOTIST, which will be in stores on April 28th. To enter, fill out the form below by Friday, May 7th at noon ET.

THE HYPNOTIST: The Reincarnationist, Book 3 by M. J. Rose (Suspense)
An FBI agent, tormented by a death he wasn't able to prevent, a crime he's never been able to solve and a love he's never forgotten, discovers that his true conflict resides not in his past, but in a … Past Life. International bestselling author M. J. Rose's THE HYPNOTIST is her most mesmerizing novel yet. An adventure, a love story, a clash of cultures, a spiritual quest, it is above all a thrilling capstone to her unique Reincarnation novels, THE REINCARNATIONIST and THE MEMORIST.

Women's Fiction Author Spotlight
Tessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Despite her mother’s warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life.
- Click here to read an excerpt from HEART OF THE MATTER.
- Click here to read Emily Giffin's bio.
- Click here to see Emily Giffin's backlist.
- Click here to read critical praise for HEART OF THE MATTER.
- Click here to read more about HEART OF THE MATTER.

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 a second excerpt from 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 a second excerpt from INDIVISIBLE.

Click here to read the full newsletter.

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