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Friday, July 2, 2010

July 2, 2010

The following reviews, interviews and features began running on on Friday, July 2nd.

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

RECKLESS by Cornelia Funke
DON'T SING AT THE TABLE: Life Lessons from My Grandmother by Adriana Trigani
I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE by Laura Lippman
MOONLIGHT MILE by Dennis Lehane
GONE, BABY, GONE by Dennis Lehane
GIRLS LIKE US by Sheila Weiler

Reviews and Excerpts
THE EXILE by Andrew Britton (Thriller)
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. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE EXILE.
- Click here to read Andrew Britton's bio.
- Click here to see Andrew Britton's backlist.
- Visit Andrew Britton's official website,

SIZZLING SIXTEEN: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich (Mystery)
Vinnie, of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, has run up a gambling debt of $786,000 with mobster Bobby Sunflower and is being held until the cash can be produced. Nobody else will pay to get Vinnie back, leaving it up to bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, office manager Connie, and file clerk Lula to raise the money if they want to save their jobs. Reviewed by Roz Shea.
- Click here to read an excerpt from SIZZLING SIXTEEN.

ICE COLD: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel by Tess Gerritsen (Thriller)
New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen’s relentless, inventive novels take readers on pulse-racing thrill rides that are as satisfying as they are heart-stopping. Now, in this edge-of-your-seat suspense novel, a mysteriously isolated town stands abandoned as a silent watcher waits. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read an excerpt from ICE COLD.

THE WHISPER by Carla Neggers (Romantic Suspense)
When archaeologist Sophie Malone meets Detective Scoop Wisdom in Ireland, the attraction is instantaneous. But there is no time to explore it as they each race to get to the bottom of a mystery that could literally mean life and death to themselves and those they love. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.
- 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.
- Visit Carla Neggers's official website,

BLIND SPOT by Nancy Bush (Romantic Suspense)
Psychologist Claire Norris is assigned to treat an unidentified woman, the survivor of a horrendous assault, at a private mental hospital. Also involved in investigating the murder of the girl's boyfriend is Detective Langdon Stone, who holds a grudge against Claire from a previous, very personal case. Can the two put aside their animosities and capture a brutal killer before he strikes again? Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.
- Click here to read a third excerpt from BLIND SPOT.
- Click here to read Nancy Bush’s bio.
- Click here to see Nancy Bush’s backlist.
- Click here to read critical praise for BLIND SPOT.
- Visit Nancy Bush’s official website,

NEVER LESS THAN A LADY by Mary Jo Putney (Historical Romance)
As the sole remaining heir to the Earl of Daventry, Alexander Randall knows his duty: find a wife and sire a son of his own. The perfect bride for a man in his position would be a biddable young girl of good breeding. But the woman who haunts his imagination is Julia Bancroft --- a village midwife with a dark secret that thrusts her into Randall's protection. Reviewed by Jennifer McCord.
- Click here to read a review of NEVER LESS THAN A LADY.
- Click here to read an excerpt from NEVER LESS THAN A LADY.
- Click here to read Mary Jo Putney's bio.
- Click here to see Mary Jo Putney's backlist.
- Click here to read critical praise for NEVER LESS THAN A LADY.

FOREIGN INFLUENCE by Brad Thor (Political Thriller)
Navy SEAL turned covert operative Scot Harvath has just returned from his first assignment abroad when a bombing in Rome kills a group of American college students. The evidence points to a dangerous colleague from Harvath’s past and a plan for further attacks on an unimaginable scale. Harvath is tasked with leveraging his relationship to lure the man out of hiding and kill him on the spot. But what if it’s the wrong man? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

INSIDE OUT by Barry Eisler (Thriller)
Marooned in a Manila jail after a bar fight fatality, black ops soldier Ben Treven gets a visit from his former commander, Colonel Scott Horton, who explains the price of Ben’s release: Find and eliminate Daniel Larison, a rogue operator from Ben’s unit who has stolen 92 torture tapes from the CIA and is using them to blackmail the U.S. government. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read an excerpt from INSIDE OUT.

PROMISES TO KEEP by Jane Green (Fiction)
The lives of three colorful characters intersect when they each receive a shocking note that summons them together for one extraordinary summer in Maine and changes their lives forever. Jane Green’s latest novel is about the hard choices we have to face, about having to be your parents' child long after you've grown up, and about the enduring nature of love. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

In Aimee Bender’s second novel, a young girl discovers a strange power that helps her cope with the secrets of her troubled family. THE PARTICULAR SADNESS OF LEMON CAKE is an affecting story of the ties that bind us and the stresses that drive us apart. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

HOW DID YOU GET THIS NUMBER: Essays by Sloane Crosley (Nonfiction/Essays)
In I WAS TOLD THERE’D BE CAKE, readers were introduced to the foibles of Sloane Crosley's life in New York City --- always teetering between the glamour of Manhattan parties, the indignity of entry-level work, and the special joy of suburban nostalgia. Crosley still lives and works in the Big Apple, but she's no longer the newcomer for whom a trip beyond the Upper West Side is a big adventure. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

Millions of readers have fallen in love with LITTLE WOMEN. But how could Louisa May Alcott --- who never had a romance --- write so convincingly of love and heartbreak without experiencing it herself? In her debut novel, Kelly O'Connor McNees imagines a love affair that would threaten Louisa's writing career --- and inspire the story of Jo and Laurie in LITTLE WOMEN. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

Author Interviews
Carla Neggers
Carla Neggers is the bestselling author of over 50 books, including THE RAPIDS, DARK SKY, ABANDON, and the newly released THE WHISPER. In this interview with’s Amie Taylor, Neggers talks about what first inspired her to write this follow-up to her previous works THE WIDOW, THE ANGEL and THE MIST, and explains how she first became interested in Celtic history, which figures greatly in the novel. She also gives insight into how she plots her narratives, shares a useful writing tip from writer Gary Provost, and hints at what readers can expect from her next book, which releases in November.

Nancy Bush’s Stephen Hubbard recently spoke to Nancy Bush, author of numerous mysteries and romantic suspense thrillers, including the newly released BLIND SPOT. In this interview, Bush talks about the real-life crimes that inspired the book’s premise and gives readers insight into how she plots her novels. She also discusses her fascination with cults, contrasts her “wimpy” personality with that of her heroic protagonist, and shares details about her next co-writing project with her sister, Lisa Jackson.

Mary Jo Putney
NEVER LESS THAN A LADY is Mary Jo Putney’s latest historical romance and the second installment in her Lost Lords series, which centers on a group of troublesome childhood friends in Regency England and the women who capture their hearts. In this interview with’s Jennifer McCord, Putney describes the various elements she combined to create her perfect romantic hero, and discusses the research she performed on the time period and culture. She also explains her interest in the assortment of relationships outside of the romantic variety, reveals why she chooses to address important social issues in her work, and shares details about several upcoming projects currently in the works. 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 Beach Bag of Books 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:
- LIGHT BOXES by Shane Jones
- THE SLAP by Christos Tsiolkas

Debut Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
STILL MISSING by Chevy Stevens
On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old realtor, had three goals --- sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all. Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent as the captive of a psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events following her escape.
- Click here to read a third excerpt from STILL MISSING.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
THEY'RE WATCHING by Gregg Hurwitz
Patrick Davis is a man with troubles. First his Hollywood dreams crumble and then his storybook marriage hits a snag. Now, DVDs start being delivered to his house --- DVDs that show someone is watching him and his wife, that the two of them are being stalked and recorded by cameras hidden in their house. Then the e-mails start, and someone offers to fix everything, to take the mess his life has become and make it all right. Patrick figures it’s the offer of a lifetime, but he couldn't be more wrong.
- Click here to read a third excerpt of THEY'RE WATCHING.

HOSTAGE ZERO by John Gilstrap
Hostage rescue expert Jonathan Grave is used to working alone, and this time he’ll have to go where even the government won’t. An innocent man has been shot and two young people are missing. But tracking them down is just the beginning. To keep them and his covert team alive, Jonathan must plunge into the heart of an ugly secret whose insidious path reaches from one of the world’s most remote places into the highest corridors of power --- and he must defeat enemies who are willing to kill again and again to keep the truth from being revealed.
- Click here to read a third excerpt from HOSTAGE ZERO.

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.

Women's Fiction Author Spotlight
Former Navy SEAL Sax Douchett has returned home to the small coastal town of Shelter Bay, Oregon, determined to put war behind him and get on with his life --- which is easier said than done when everyone is hailing the former bad boy as a local hero. Adjusting to a new beginning becomes even more difficult when he unearths a long-buried secret that reunites him with a cherished part of his past that he’s never forgotten.
- Click here to read a third excerpt from THE HOMECOMING.

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 view Reader Comments about THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US.

Click here to read the full newsletter.

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