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Friday, November 12, 2010

November 12, 2010

The following interviews, reviews and features began running on the website on Friday, November 12th.

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

THE CRUELEST CUT by Rick Reed (Thriller)

The first victim is attacked in her home, tied to her bed and forced to watch everything, but unable to scream. The second is more twisted, with a message for the police stuffed in the victim's throat: a fractured nursery rhyme with the warning “There will be more.” For detective Jack Murphy, it's an invitation to play. And no one plays rougher than Jack --- especially when the killer's pawns are the people he loves. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE CRUELEST CUT.

FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King (Horror/Suspense)

A riveting confession. A plot for revenge. A deal with the devil. Hidden strangers and horrifying discoveries. Like DIFFERENT SEASONS and FOUR PAST MIDNIGHT, which generated enduring films like The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me, FULL DARK, NO STARS proves Stephen King a master of the long story form. Reviewed by Roz Shea and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt from FULL DARK, NO STARS.

HELL’S CORNER by David Baldacci (Thriller)

Oliver Stone and the Camel Club return for their fifth appearance in bestselling author David Baldacci’s most stunning adventure yet. This time, Stone is pulled back into service by the President to help uncover an alleged terrorist attack that occurs in the shadow of the White House at the place known as Hell’s Corner. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

DON’T SING AT THE TABLE: Life Lessons from My Grandmothers by Adriana Trigiani (Inspiration)

Beloved author Adriana Trigiani gets personal with these appealing stories about her grandmothers: Lucy (Lucia Spada Bonicelli) and Viola (Yolanda Perin Trigiani). These hard-working women are irresistibly inspiring, not only to their granddaughter --- who writes so lovingly about them --- but also to readers. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

LIPSTICK IN AFGHANISTAN by Roberta Gately (Fiction)

Elsa has dreamed of becoming a nurse since she was a teenager and of helping those with lives more difficult than her own. With lipstick on, she can do anything --- even travel to Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11. But not even the violence of the ER can prepare her for what she is about to witness in Bamiyan. And if she hopes to survive, she’ll have to unveil the warrior within. Reviewed by Norah Piehl and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt from LIPSTICK IN AFGHANISTAN.

THE DINOSAUR HUNTER by Homer Hickam (Mystery)

Montana ranches come with more than their share of trouble. The people who live there expect it, and some --- like ex-homicide detective Mike Wire --- even enjoy it. So when a paleontologist comes to dig for dinosaur bones that might be worth a fortune, Mike senses trouble. Because once those bones are discovered, they won’t stay buried. And with a murderer on the loose, he’ll have to fight to save the land he loves. Reviewed by Roz Shea and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE DINOSAUR HUNTER.

SUNSET PARK by Paul Auster (Fiction)

Readers accustomed to Paul Auster’s complex narrative puzzles in novels like ORACLE NIGHT and MAN IN THE DARK will need to put aside their preconceptions when they pick up his latest work, a quiet, deceptively simple tale of a small group of damaged souls “hanging on by a thread,” as Auster described them in a recent interview. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

SCORPIONS: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices by Noah Feldman (History)

They began as close allies and friends of FDR, but the quest to shape a new Constitution led them to competition and sometimes outright warfare. SCORPIONS tells the story of Justices Felix Frankfurter, William O. Douglas, Hugo Black and Robert Jackson --- their relationship with Roosevelt, with each other, and with the turbulent world of the Great Depression, World War II and the Cold War. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

BLOODY CRIMES: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse by James Swanson (History)

The months of April and May in 1865 were certainly one of the most eventful and important periods in American history. The capture of Richmond by the Union army, Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, the surrender at Appomattox, the captures of Jefferson Davis and John Wilkes Booth, the final collapse of the Confederacy, and the 13-day journey of Lincoln’s funeral train still resonate in our national consciousness. Historian James Swanson brings it all to vivid life in this fascinating study. Reviewed by Robert Finn.

THE NEXT QUEEN OF HEAVEN by Gregory Maguire (Fiction)

The author of WICKED and SON OF A WITCH takes a departure from the dark side of fairy tales to visit a small town’s more colorful, albeit less normal, characters. There’s a religious mom whose teenagers are among the least likely to succeed, a gay choir leader with a big heart, and a group of ancient nuns hungry for entertainment. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

-Click here to see the reading group guide for THE NEXT QUEEN OF HEAVEN.

BEFORE YOU SUFFOCATE YOUR OWN FOOL SELF by Danielle Evans (Fiction/Short Stories)

Striking in their emotional immediacy, the stories in BEFORE YOU SUFFOCATE YOUR OWN FOOL SELF are based on a world of inequalities --- where adolescent insecurities and community tensions complicate people’s identities and the choices they make. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.

MR. TOPPIT by Charles Elton (Fiction)

When an unsuccessful screenwriter-turned-author gets hit by a cement truck in London, it seems like everything is over…until an American tourist brings posthumous fame to his obscure children’s series, The Hayseed Chronicles. While Arthur Hayman’s family reaps the benefits of his success, a host of others seek their share in the Hayseed phenomenon --- including Laurie, a mysterious girl with a hidden agenda of her own. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

NASHVILLE CHROME by Rick Bass (Fiction)

In 1959, the Brown siblings enjoyed unprecedented success. Their only rival was Elvis, and the Beatles even tried to learn their secret --- a harmony achievable only through shared blood and a perfect pitch honed by the blade at their parents’ sawmill. But the bonds of family began to fray with fame. As her world narrows, Maxine Brown is left ailing and alone --- and looking for a last chance to secure her legacy. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE HILLIKER CURSE: My Pursuit of Women by James Ellroy (Memoir)

The year was 1958, and Jean Hilliker had divorced her hustler husband, resurrecting her maiden name. Ten-year-old James hated his mother and “summoned her dead”… and she was murdered three months later. In THE HILLIKER CURSE, James Ellroy unsparingly describes his shattered childhood, detailing everything from his delinquent teens to his brilliant writing career --- even his relationship with an extraordinary woman who might be the long-sought Her. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

HYPOTHERMIA: A Reykjavík Thriller by Arnaldur Indridason (Thriller)

Inspector Erlendur has spent his entire career evading ghosts. But now they’re visiting him: in a séance attended by a dead woman and in the puzzle of two people who’ve been missing for years. Then there’s the ghost of his disastrous marriage, and the brother who vanished when they were children. When they finally catch up with him, he’ll have to face the truth to his past. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Author Talk

Roberta Gately

Humanitarian aid worker Roberta Gately has set her sights on writing novels, impressing critics and authors alike with her spellbinding debut, LIPSTICK IN AFGHANISTAN. In the book, a young nurse named Elsa leaves behind the violent streets of South Boston to run a medical clinic in Afghanistan, armed with only her courage and a lucky tube of lipstick. In this interview, Gately talks about the real-life experiences that inspired her to write her first novel, elaborating on the courage of the Afghan people and the time she spent as a relief worker in the country’s remotest regions. She also muses on the magic of lipstick, speculates on the future of Elsa’s budding but forbidden romance with a charming American soldier, and shares plans for her next work of fiction.

Author Interviews

Rick Reed

Retired Sergeant Rick Reed is reminding readers to shut their windows and secure their doors with his chilling debut novel, THE CRUELEST CUT, which follows Detective Jack Murphy as he tries to stop a cold-blooded and sadistic killer, who’s been leaving fragmented Mother Goose rhymes next to the bodies of his brutally murdered victims. In this interview with’s Joe Hartlaub, Reed talks about his former life as a police officer, elaborating on the dynamics between real-life detectives and the experiences that led him to join the force in the first place. He also speculates on the nature of serial killers --- and why the world will never be without them --- shares a few of his favorite authors, and sheds light on his plans for Jack’s future.

Mystery Mayhem Author Spotlight

KILLER ON A HOT TIN ROOF by Livia J. Washburn (Mystery)

Delilah Dickinson is finally looking forward to a nice, relaxing time leading her literary travel agency's latest tour at the annual Tennessee Williams Literary Festival in New Orleans. After all, a group of intelligent, low-key English professors can't be too much trouble, right?

Wrong, as it turns out. These academics don't waste any time showing their claws, especially when one of the professors claims he can prove Williams didn't write "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." But when the supposed real author --- Howard Burleson, apparently once a very close friend of Tennessee's --- turns up dead, Delilah knows she's got to get to the bottom of things...even if the truth is as dirty as all them lies!

-Click here to read an excerpt from KILLER ON A HOT TIN ROOF.

-Click here to read Livia J. Washburn's bio.

-Click here to see Livia J. Washburn's backlist.

-Click here to read critical praise for KILLER ON A HOT TIN ROOF.

-Click here to read more about KILLER ON A HOT TIN ROOF.

Romantic Suspense Author Spotlight

DEADLY INTENT: The Mindhunters, Book 4 by Kylie Brant (Romantic Suspense)

No one knows the patterns and nuances of communication like forensic linguist Macy Reid. She is also an expert on kidnapping, having experienced firsthand the stark terror of being abducted when she was a child. So she is the perfect investigator to be called in when a Denver tycoon's eleven-year-old daughter is abducted --- for the second time.

The biggest stumbling block for Macy may be a member of her own team: Kellan Burke, the wisecracking, rule-breaking investigator who relishes getting under Macy's skin. Their styles couldn't be more different; the attraction between them, more explosive. And when it becomes apparent that Macy can't solve this case without confronting the demons from her past, Kell is just the man to take her there --- and back.

-Click here to read a review of DEADLY INTENT.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from DEADLY INTENT.

-Click here to read Kylie Brant's bio.

-Click here to see Kylie Brant's backlist.

-Click here to read critical praise for DEADLY INTENT.

-Click here to read more about DEADLY INENT.

-Click here to see the winners of the ARC mailing contest.

Debut Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight

THE CRUELEST CUT by Rick Reed (Thriller)

The first victim is attacked in her home. Tied to her bed. Forced to watch every unspeakable act of cruelty --- but unable to scream. The second murder is even more twisted. Signed, sealed, and delivered with a message for the police, stuffed in the victim’s throat. A fractured nursery rhyme that ends with a warning: “There will be more.” For detective Jack Murphy, it’s more than a threat. It’s a personal invitation to play. And no one plays rougher than Jack. Especially when the killer’s pawns are the people he loves…

-Click here to read a review of THE CRUELEST CUT.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from THE CRUELEST CUT.

-Click here to read an interview with Rick Reed.

-Click here to read Rick Reed's bio.

-Click here to see Rick Reed's backlist.

-Click here to read critical praise for THE CRUELEST CUT.

-Click here to read more about THE CRUELEST CUT.

-Click here to see the winners of the ARC mailing contest.

-Visit Rick Reed's official website,

Click here to read the full newsletter.

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