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Friday, June 11, 2010

June 11, 2010

The following reviews, interviews and features began running on on Friday, June 11th.

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

HEALER by Carol Cassella
POINT DUME by Katie Arnoldi
THE HOLY THIEF by William Ryan
GORKY PARK by Martin Cruz Smith
CHILD 44 by Tom Rob Smith
THE LION'S GAME by Nelson DeMille
COLD DAWN by Carla Neggers
THE MIST by Carla Neggers
COUNCIL OF DADS by Bruce Feiler
THE RED TENT by Anita Diamant
PEOPLE OF THE BOOK by Geraldine Brooks
CUM LAUDE by Cecily Von Ziegesar

Reviews and Excerpts
THE LION by Nelson DeMille (Thriller)
What began years ago in Nelson DeMille’s THE LION’S GAME now comes to a smashing end in THE LION. This is the long-awaited rematch between ex-NYPD officer John Corey and Libyan terrorist Asad Khalil. And the consequences of losing are far greater than the death of one man. Reviewed by Kate Ayers and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE LION.

THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin (Thriller)
THE PASSAGE is a grimly impressing vampire story that will force the hordes of vampire fans to reconsider their stance on the desirability of having the monsters around. Here, unleashing a virus causes a mutation that results in a worldwide apocalypse, and one isolated colony of human survivors struggles to avoid extinction. Reviewed by Melanie Smith and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt of THE PASSAGE.

ANTHROPOLOGY OF AN AMERICAN GIRL by Hilary Thayer Hamann (Fiction)
Self-published in 2003, ANTHROPOLOGY OF AN AMERICAN GIRL touched a nerve among readers, who identified with the sexual and intellectual awakening of its heroine, a young woman on the brink of adulthood. Hilary Thayer Hamann’s first novel follows Eveline Auerbach from her high school years in East Hampton, New York, in the 1970s through her early adulthood in the moneyed, high-pressured Manhattan of the 1980s. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

New York Times bestselling YA author Darren Shan makes his adult fiction debut with this first book in a new series set in a darkly imagined world called the City. Young, quick-witted and cocky, Capac Raimi arrives in the City determined to make his mark in a world of sweet, sinister sin. But soon he crosses paths with The Cardinal, and his life changes forever. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

THE NEAREST EXIT by Olen Steinhauer (Thriller)
Now faced with the end of his quiet, settled life, reluctant spy Milo Weaver has no choice but to turn back to his old job as a “tourist.” Before he can get back to the CIA’s dirty work, he has to prove his loyalty to his new bosses. Milo is suddenly in a dangerous position, between right and wrong, between powerful self-interested men, between patriots and traitor --- especially as a man who has nothing left to lose. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE BIG BANG: The Lost Mike Hammer Sixties Novel, by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins (Hard-boiled Mystery)
The toughest private eye in fiction takes on the Swinging Sixties. Originally begun and outlined by Spillane in the mid-1960s, and expertly completed by his longtime collaborator Max Allan Collins, THE BIG BANG is vintage Mike Hammer on acid --- literally. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

BACKSEAT SAINTS by Joshilyn Jackson (Fiction)
Ro Grandee is an abused wife working at her father-in-law’s Texas gun store alongside her former college football-playing husband, Thom. After dropping off an elderly neighbor at the airport one day, a tarot card-reading gypsy warns Ro that if she does not kill her husband, he will murder her. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

SHAKESPEARE UNDEAD by Lori Handeland (Historical Fantasy)
William Shakespeare is considered to be one of the greatest writers to put pen to paper. Did you ever wonder how he found the time and inspiration to write all those plays? Well, imagine him a vampire with the ability to speak to ghosts who like to tell stories. And throw in a few zombies for action, too. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

WILLIAM GOLDING: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies by John Carey
Drawing almost entirely on materials that have never before been made public, John Carey sheds new light on LORD OF THE FLIES author William Golding. Through his exclusive access to Golding’s family, Carey uses hundreds of letters, unpublished works and Golding’s intimate journals to draw a revelatory and definitive portrait. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

PUTTING AWAY CHILDISH THINGS: A Tale of Modern Faith, by Marcus J. Borg
Kate Riley is a popular religion professor at a liberal arts college in a small midwestern town who thinks her life is right on track. She loves her job, is happy with her personal and spiritual life, and her guilty pleasure consists of passing her afternoons at the local pub with a pint of Guinness and a cigarette. Kate is up for tenure when it all starts to go wrong. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

Haunted by his own daughter's unsolved disappearance, Detective John Stallings is committed to finding runaways and busting their abductors. When a series of girls is found dead and stuffed into duffle bags, he's consumed with capturing "The Bagman" --- at the risk of his marriage, his career, and possibly his tough-as-nails partner, Patty Levine. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

NOBODY’S ANGEL by Jack Clark (Mystery)
Two serial killers stalk the nighttime streets of Chicago in this gritty, realistic thriller written by real-life Chicago cabbie Jack Clark. One killer attacks streetwalkers while the other targets cab drivers. And driver Eddie Miles just might be next. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.

PHOTO, SNAP, SHOT: A Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-N-Craft Mystery, by Joanna Campbell Slan
Old money and tradition are the hallmarks of the St. Louis prep school that Kiki Lowenstein's daughter Anya attends. But the elite academy is stamped with scandal when Anya finds the dead body of teacher Sissy Gilchrist in its elegant theatre. Even worse, Anya might have seen the killer. Reviewed by Amy Alessio. Beach Bag of Books Contest
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 Sixth Annual feature and contests.

During select weeks from May 28th through September 3rd, we will highlight a different book or collection of books from these featured titles 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.

Our current featured Beach Bag titles are:
THE ANGEL'S GAME by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
THE BEST OF TIMES by Penny Vincenzi
COMMENCEMENT by J. Courtney Sullivan
THAT OLD CAPE MAGIC by Richard Russo

Fifth Annual Father's Day Contest
Father’s Day is a time to celebrate the men in our lives who have raised and inspired us. Why not show him your appreciation by inspiring him with a great book? From May 28th through June 14th, readers will have the chance to win one of our five Father’s Day Cooler Tote Bags. Each gray cooler tote bag is filled with a copy of our 12 featured titles, giving dad a book to read each month and making Father’s Day truly a yearlong celebration. Also included are a variety of handy and fun items that we know he’ll love.

Our featured Father’s Day titles are:

- COOP: A Family, a Farm, and the Pursuit of One Good Egg by Michael Perry
- CRAZY FOR THE STORM: A Memoir of Survival by Norman Ollestad
- DON'T LET ME GO: What My Daughter Taught Me About the Journey Every Parent Must Make by David W. Pierce
- LOSING MY COOL: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture by Thomas Chatterton Williams
- MANHOOD FOR AMATEURS: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Father, Husband and Son by Michael Chabon
- NORTH BY NORTHWESTERN: A Seafaring Family on Deadly Alaskan Waters by Captain Sig Hansen and Mark Sundeen
- THE PACIFIC by Hugh Ambrose
- RAIDERS FROM THE NORTH: Empire of the Moghul by Alex Rutherford
- SHOP CLASS AS SOULCRAFT: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford
- UNFINISHED BUSINESS: One Man’s Extraordinary Year of Trying to Do the Right Things by Lee Kravitz

2010 Summer Golf Books Roundup
Golf’s popularity comes in many forms. Chronicling the game has produced a plethora of books that cover not only the contemporary golf world, but also events from past decades that helped shape the modern game. In addition, golf instruction books are always a major commodity of the publishing industry. Golfers are constantly searching for the Holy Grail that they pray will turn them from hackers to par shooters. They seek out self-help books for some elusive tidbit of information to cut strokes from their score. Just in time for the 110th U.S. Open Championship,’s Stuart Shiffman takes a look at six books that are sure to be a hit with fans of the game. These titles also make great gifts for dads as they get ready to celebrate their special day on June 20th.

The titles included in the 2010 Summer Golf Books Roundup include:
MOMENT OF GLORY: The Year Underdogs Ruled Golf by John Feinstein
THE LAST PUTT: 2 Teams, One Dream and a Freshman Named Tiger by Neil Hayes and Brian Murphy
CHASING GREATNESS: Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer, and the Miracle at Oakmont by Adam Lazarus and Steve Schlossman
TO WIN AND DIE IN DIXIE by Steve Eubanks

Books into Movies
June 30th can’t come soon enough for fans of the epic paranormal romance Twilight, when the next installment of the saga, Eclipse, hits theaters nationwide in all its angst-ridden, sparkly-vampire-versus-ripped-werewolf glory. This third chapter promises to be the most exciting yet, as our heroes and heroine band together to stave off a pack of dangerous vampires bent on revenge, all the while confronting their own love triangles, personal dramas and inevitable futures.

To tide you over until then, you can catch up on some of this past winter’s biggest blockbusters now out on DVD, like Alice in Wonderland, Shutter Island, Youth in Revolt, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

New in Paperback
June’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes ROBERT LUDLUM’S™ THE BOURNE DECEPTION by Eric Van Lustbader, in which Jason Bourne fakes his death to find out who is trying to assassinate him; John Irving’s LAST NIGHT IN TWISTED RIVER, the story of a cook and his 12-year-old son who flee a logging camp the night the boy accidentally kills his father’s girlfriend; HER FEARFUL SYMMETRY, Audrey Niffenegger’s highly anticipated second novel (following her successful debut, THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE) set in and around Highgate Cemetery in London; FINGER LICKIN’ FIFTEEN, Janet Evanovich’s 19th mystery featuring New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum; THE FIXER UPPER, a hilarious novel from Mary Kay Andrews about one woman's quest to redo an old house…and her life; THE LATE LAMENTED MOLLY MARX, Sally Koslow’s second work of fiction that revolves around a woman coming to terms with decisions she can never reverse; and Wade Rouse’s memoir, AT LEAST IN THE CITY SOMEONE WOULD HEAR ME SCREAM, a memorable story about living your dreams and in the process discovering a new life.

Romantic Suspense Author Spotlight

THE WHISPER by Carla Neggers
Boston detective Cyrus “Scoop” Wisdom is after a bomber until archaeologist Sophie Malone unknowingly leads him to a retired officer’s body and symbols of ritual sacrifice, possibly linked to priceless artifacts she uncovered in Ireland a year ago. Tough and stubborn, Scoop is the best on the force at detecting lies…except maybe those of Sophie Malone. Together Sophie and Scoop face the greatest challenge of their lives: Someone is using ancient rituals to commit modern-day murder --- and the killing has only just begun.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE WHISPER.
- Click here to read Carla Neggers's bio.
- Click here to see Carla Neggers's backlist.
- Click here to read critical praise for THE WHISPER.
- Click here to read more about THE WHISPER.

Historical Fiction Author Spotlight
In 1935, when Erma Morton, a beautiful young woman with a teaching degree, is charged with the murder of her father in a remote Virginia mountain community, the case becomes a cause célèbre for the national press. A stunning return to the lands, ballads and characters upon which she made her name, THE DEVIL AMONGST THE LAWYERS is a testament to Sharyn McCrumb’s lyrical and evocative writing.
- Click here to read a second excerpt from THE DEVIL AMONGST THE LAWYERS.

BY FIRE, BY WATER by Mitchell James Kaplan
Luis de Santángel, chancellor to the court and longtime friend of the lusty King Ferdinand, has had enough of the Spanish Inquisition. Santángel is from a family of conversos, and his Jewish heritage makes him a target of the brutal Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada. When a dear friend’s demise brings the violence close to home, Santángel takes retribution into his own hands, simultaneously growing ever closer to a beautiful Jewish silversmith, Judith Migdal.
- Click here to see Reader Comments for BY FIRE, BY WATER.

Debut Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight

CRASHERS by Dana Haynes
Whenever a plane goes down in the USA, a "Go Team" made up of experts is assembled by the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate. Those people --- each of them a leading expert in a specific area --- are known informally as "Crashers." CRASHERS is a fresh and utterly compelling thriller, an original mix of action, investigation and a brilliant cast of characters that grabs the reader in a way few novels can and fewer do.
- Click here to read a second excerpt from CRASHERS.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight

PRAY FOR SILENCE by Linda Castillo
New York Times bestselling author Linda Castillo delivers an electrifying thriller in which Chief of Police Kate Burkholder must confront a dark evil to solve the mysterious murders of an entire Amish family. Topping her own bestselling debut, Castillo once again immerses us in the world of the Amish with a chilling story that is both a fast-paced thriller and an intriguing psychological puzzle.
- Click here to read a second excerpt from PRAY FOR SILENCE.

THE EXILE by Andrew Britton

For the President of the United States, the horror of life in West Darfur just hit too close to home. His niece Lily, a nurse caring for Sudanese refugees, has been murdered by a corps of fearsome government-backed militia. Any response will destabilize the region and threaten the security of the world. America is out of options. Except one: Ryan Kealey.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE EXILE.

VICIOUS by Kevin O’Brien
Susan Blanchette is looking forward to a relaxing weekend getaway with her fiancé, Allen, and young son Matthew. But something about the remote lake house doesn’t feel right. A woman vanished from the area a year ago, and now Susan thinks she’s spotted someone lurking around the property. And when Allen disappears, her fear grows… Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read a review of VICIOUS.
- Click here to read a second excerpt from VICIOUS.
- Click here to read our interview with Kevin O’Brien.
- Click here to read Kevin O'Brien's bio.
- Click here to see Kevin O'Brien's backlist.
- Click here to read critical praise for VICIOUS.
- Click here to read Kevin O'Brien's blog post about his mother, Adele.

One to Watch Author Spotlight
THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US by Charles Martin (Fiction)
On a stormy winter night, two strangers wait for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport. Ashley Knox is an attractive, successful writer, who is flying East for her much-anticipated wedding. Dr. Ben Payne has just wrapped up a medical conference and is also eager to get back East for a slate of surgeries he has scheduled for the following day. When the last outgoing flight is cancelled due to a broken de-icer and a forthcoming storm, Ben finds a charter plane that can take him around the storm and drop him in Denver to catch a connection. And when the pilot says the single engine prop plane can fit one more, if barely, Ben offers the seat to Ashley knowing that she needs to get back just as urgently. And then the unthinkable happens. The pilot has a heart attack mid-flight and the plane crashes into the High Uintas Wilderness --- one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States.
- Click here to read a review of THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US.
- Click here to read our interview with Charles Martin.
- Click here to read Charles Martin's bio.
- Click here to see Charles Martin's backlist.
- Click here to read critical praise for THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US.

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