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Friday, August 27, 2010

August 27, 2010

The following reviews, interviews and features began running on on Friday, August 27th.

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

TOUGH CUSTOMER by Sandra Brown
ONE FLIGHT UP by Susana Fales-Hill
THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini
FIREFLY LANE by Kristin Hannah
TRUE COLORS by Kristin Hannah
WINTER GARDEN by Kristin Hannah

Reviews and Excerpts
JULIET by Anne Fortier (Fiction)
When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena. Reviewed by Norah Piehl and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt of JULIET.

SPIDER BONES by Kathy Reichs (Thriller)
Kathy Reichs’s 13th novel in her Temperance Brennan series finds the forensic anthropologist traveling between Canada, North Carolina and Hawaii in an effort to uncover the intriguing mystery linking three different corpses found at each respective location. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

HOLLYWOOD: A Third Memoir, by Larry McMurtry (Memoir)
This final installment of the memoir trilogy that includes BOOKS and LITERARY LIFE is Larry McMurtry’s account of the foibles and eccentricities of the movie industry as seen through the eyes of a man who enjoyed the work and the paychecks but never allowed himself to be overcome by the glitz and glamour of the industry. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

THE GOOD DAUGHTERS by Joyce Maynard (Fiction)
On the strength of novels like LABOR DAY, Joyce Maynard has earned a well-deserved reputation as a keen observer of the intimate spaces of family life. In her new novel, Maynard sticks to that turf to tell a story of two women whose lives intertwine in unanticipated ways over the course of the 20th century’s second half. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

BAD BOY: An Inspector Banks Novel, by Peter Robinson (Mystery)
When the Eastvale police break into a house to confiscate a weapon, a routine procedure turns into Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks’s most terrifying case yet. The house belongs to his daughter’s roommate, and Banks has reason to believe that she’s run off with a psychopath. This time, it’s not just his career that’s at stake --- it’s also his daughter’s life. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE MURDER ROOM: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World's Most Perplexing Cold Cases, by Michael Capuzzo (True Crime)
The Vidocq Society has been billed as Crime and Cuisine: “The menu was chicken, steamed vegetables, and a corpse with a small and unforgettable face.” The world’s greatest legal minds gather once a month to eat lunch and solve murders. Presented here, on the Society’s 20th anniversary, are some of the toughest and oddest cases history has ever seen. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

SHE’S GONE COUNTRY by Jane Porter (Fiction)
Shey Darcy had a good life in New York with her husband, three sons, and plenty of modeling work. After her husband leaves her for a man, she moves back to the family ranch where she grieves not only for her marriage but also for her brother, who has recently died. Her life is further complicated by worries for a vulnerable son --- and the reappearance of a lost love. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
- Click here to see the reading group guide for SHE’S GONE COUNTRY.

CURE by Robin Cook (Medical Thriller)
With her young son's potentially fatal neuroblastoma in complete remission, New York City medical examiner Laurie Montgomery returns to work, only to face the case of her career. The investigation into the death of CIA agent Kevin Markham is a professional challenge --- and has Laurie's colleagues wondering if she still has what it takes after so much time away. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

SCARLET NIGHTS by Jude Deveraux (Romance)
Sara Shaw is just weeks away from her wedding when her fiancé, Greg Anders, suddenly leaves town without explanation, leaving her to wonder about the intentions of the man who swept her off her feet but who she actually knows very little about. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

DOG TAGS by David Rosenfelt (Mystery)
Andy Carpenter is as crazy about dogs as he is not crazy about working. An inheritance has put him in the enviable position of being able to pick and choose the cases he will accept. Defending a German Shepherd against being put down is just the kind of case he can't refuse. Thus begins David Rosenfelt’s latest adventure, DOG TAGS. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

AGENTS OF TREACHERY edited by Otto Penzler
(Spy Fiction/Short Stories)
For the first time ever, legendary editor Otto Penzler has handpicked some of the most respected and bestselling thriller writers working today for a riveting collection of spy fiction. From first to last, this stellar collection signals mission accomplished. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

DANCING BACKWARDS by Salley Vickers (Fiction)
In this quietly compelling novel, a recent widow takes a sea journey into a different time zone, literally and figuratively --- diving into memories of a complicated past while fox-trotting her way (courtesy of a shipboard dance instructor) into the future. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.

Author Talks
Anne Fortier
Writing for the first time in English, Danish author Anne Fortier brings Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy to life in her debut novel, JULIET, which follows a young American as she journeys to Siena, only to discover that she’s a direct descendent of the woman who inspired ROMEO AND JULIET. In this interview, Fortier discusses the challenge of taking on Shakespeare and the difficulty of writing a historical novel, elaborating on the differences between the past and the present and how she managed to weave the two together. She also sheds light on how she was able to write about Siena from the other side of the Atlantic and reflects on the childhood experiences that moved her to master the English language and submit her first manuscript at the age of 13.

Suzanne Collins
Suzanne Collins’s newly released MOCKINGJAY is the third and final installment in the hit series The Hunger Games, and follows reluctant revolutionary Katniss Everdeen in her fight against the ruthless Capitol. In this updated interview, Collins talks about how easy it was to return to the dystopian setting of Panem and describes her involvement with the screenplay for an upcoming big-screen adaptation of the first book in the series. She also explains what prompted her to take on weighty topics in the books, like poverty and oppression, speculates on the current fascination with reality TV, and muses on what’s next for her now that the trilogy has come to a close.

Beach Bag of Books
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.

We are currently spotlighting five works of literary fiction:

CHEF by Jaspreet Singh (Fiction)
Mesmeric, mournful and intensely lyrical, CHEF is a brave and compassionate debut about hope, love and memory set against the devastatingly beautiful, war-scarred backdrop of occupied Kashmir.

THE FAMILY MAN by Elinor Lipman (Fiction)
In this warm-hearted comedy, Henry Archer reunites with Thalia, the stepdaughter he adopted and then lost 25 years before during his divorce. Henry is delighted to assist his newfound, highly cherished daughter as she negotiates love interests --- both genuine and false, complete with tabloid appearances and paparazzi.

THE GO-BETWEEN: A Novel of the Kennedy Years by Frederick Turner (Fiction)
One day, a faded newspaperman finds the scoop of a lifetime in a Chicago basement: diaries belonging to the infamous Judith Campbell Exner. As our Narrator pieces the notebooks into a coherent story, he finds mob connections, rigged primaries, assassination plots and trysts.

THE LIES WE TOLD by Diane Chamberlain (Fiction)
When they were teenagers, Rebecca and Maya’s parents were murdered. That incident --- and the lies each of them told about what happened --- will always haunt them. Now, while working as part of a medical aide team after a hurricane destroys part of Wilmington, North Carolina, Maya is in a helicopter crash. Rebecca and Maya’s husband, Adam, believe she is dead, but Maya is actually trapped in an area with a few people who, for some reason, seem intent on keeping her there.
OUTSIDE THE ORDINARY WORLD reveals what lies beneath the surface of infidelity. But at its heart, it is the story of the powerful, sometimes disturbing bond between mothers and daughters, and the shimmering line between self-revelation and self-destruction.'s Sneak Peak
At, we have the opportunity to read many great books well in advance of their release dates. Now, with our Sneak Peek Feature/Contest, we are offering our readers the chance to preview select early picks --- and share feedback on them. We know that readers champion books that they love, and we want you to be part of the excitement of upcoming releases as early as possible.

Our latest Sneak Peek Feature spotlights NIGHT ROAD by Kristin Hannah, a novel that raises profound questions about motherhood, loss, identity and forgiveness, which releases in March 2011. We have 100 specially formatted early reader editions to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and share their comments about it.

More about NIGHT ROAD:
Jude Farraday is a happily married, stay-at-home mom who puts everyone’s needs above her own. Her twins, Mia and Zach, are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill enters their lives, no one is more supportive than Jude. A former foster child with a dark past, Lexi quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable. But senior year of high school brings unexpected dangers, and one night Jude’s worst fears are confirmed: there is an accident. In an instant, her idyllic life is shattered and her close-knit community is torn apart. People --- and Jude --- demand justice, and when the finger of blame is pointed, it lands solely on 18-year-old Lexi Baill.

Women's Fiction Author Spotlight
MAYBE THIS TIME by Jennifer Crusie
Andie Miller is ready to move on in life. She wants to marry her fiancé and leave behind everything in her past, especially her ex-husband, North Archer. But when Andie tries to gain closure with him, he asks one final favor of her before they go their separate ways forever. A very distant cousin of his has died and left North as the guardian of two orphans who have driven out three nannies already, and things are getting worse. He needs a very special person to take care of the situation and he knows Andie can handle anything.
- Click here to read an excerpt from MAYBE THIS TIME.
- Click here to read Jennifer Crusie’s bio.
- Click here to see Jennifer Crusie’s backlist.
- Click here to read critical praise for MAYBE THIS TIME.
- Click here to read more about MAYBE THIS TIME.

Mystery Mayhem Author Spotlight
VERMILLION DRIFT by William Kent Krueger
William Kent Krueger’s gripping tale of suspense begins with a recurring nightmare, a gun, and a wound in the earth so deep and horrific that it has a name: Vermilion Drift. When the Department of Energy puts an underground iron mine on its short list of potential sites for storage of nuclear waste, a barrage of protest erupts in Tamarack County, Minnesota, and Cork is hired as a security consultant. Deep in the mine during his first day on the job, Cork stumbles across a secret room that contains the remains of six murder victims.
- Click here to read an excerpt from VERMILION DRIFT.
- Click here to read William Kent Krueger’s bio.
- Click here to see William Kent Krueger’s backlist.
- Click here to read critical praise for VERMILION DRIFT.
- Click here to read more about VERMILLION DRIFT.

Romantic Suspense Author Spotlight
DON'T CRY by Beverly Barton
The crime scenes are horrifying: the victims arranged with deliberate care, posed to appear alive despite their agonized last moments and the shocking nature of their deaths. Chattanooga grief counselor Audrey Sherrod moonlights for the local police. It’s clear to her, and to Special Agent J.D. Cass, that the murders are the work of a deranged serial killer. At first, the only link is the victims’ similar physical appearance. But then another connection emerges, tying them to a long-ago series of horrifying crimes Audrey hoped would never resurface --- crimes that hit all too close to home. Each grisly new discovery proves the past has not been forgotten, and the worst is yet to come. Audrey went looking for the truth and she’s about to find it…and it will be more twisted and more terrifying than she ever imagined.
- Click here to read an excerpt from DON’T CRY.
- Click here to watch a book trailer for DON’T CRY.
- Click here to watch an interview with Beverly Barton.
- Click here to read Beverly Barton’s bio.
- Click here to see Beverly Barton’s backlist.
- Click here to read more about DON'T CRY.

Historical Fiction Author Spotlight
HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM by Francine Rivers
Growing up isn’t easy for little Carolyn Arundel. With her mother, Hildemara, quarantined to her room with tuberculosis, Carolyn forms a special bond with her oma, Marta, who moves in to care for the household. But as tensions between Hildie and Marta escalate, Carolyn believes she is to blame. When Hildie returns to work and Marta leaves, Carolyn and her brother grow up as latchkey kids in a world gripped by the fear of the Cold War. College offers Carolyn the chance to find herself, but a family tragedy shatters her newfound independence. Rather than return home, she cuts all ties and disappears into the heady counterculture of San Francisco. When she reemerges two years later, more lost than ever, she reluctantly turns to her family to help rebuild a life for her and her own daughter, May Flower Dawn.
- Click here to read an excerpt from HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM.

One to Watch Author Spotlight
A SECRET KEPT by Tatiana de Rosnay
This stunning new novel from Tatiana de Rosnay, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller SARAH’S KEY, plumbs the depths of complex family relationships and the power of a past secret to change everything in the present. It all began with a simple seaside vacation, a brother and sister recapturing their childhood. Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island, where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach. But on the drive home to Paris, Mélanie finally summons the courage to reveal a dark secret to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car.
- Click here to read a second excerpt from A SECRET KEPT.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
EARLY WARNING by Michael Walsh
"All Enemies Foreign And Domestic" is the National Security Agency's motto. The NSA's most lethal weapon is back. Codenamed Devlin, he operates in the darkest recesses of the US government. When international cyber-terrorists allow a deadly and cunning band of radical insurgents to breach the highest levels of national security, Devlin must take down an enemy bent on destroying America --- an enemy more violent and ruthless than the world has ever known.
- Click here to read a second excerpt from EARLY WARNING.

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