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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November 24, 2010

The following interviews, reviews and features began running on the website on Wednesday, November 24th.

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

RUSSIAN WINTER by Daphne Kalotay
STILTSVILLE by Susanna Daniel

THE EMPEROR’S TOMB by Steve Berry (Thriller)

Ex-Justice Department operative Cotton Malone’s life is shattered when he receives a message carrying an unknown Web address…and logs on to find his old friend Cassiopeia Vitt being tortured by a mysterious man whose only demand is to “Bring me the artifact she’s asked you to keep safe.” But Malone doesn’t know what he’s talking about. And his search will send him around the world on his most harrowing adventure yet. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE EMPEROR'S TOMB.

THE ATHENA PROJECT by Brad Thor (Thriller)

Just as skilled, fearsome and deadly as their colleagues, the only thing setting Delta Force’s new members apart is their gender. When an attack in Rome kills over 20 Americans, four women from Athena Team must find out who’s responsible. But that’s only the surface. While a discovery in South Africa confirms one of America’s greatest fears, a foreign spy closes in on a U.S. secret. And it might be the biggest threat of all. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE ATHENA PROJECT.

CALL ME MRS. MIRACLE by Debbie Macomber (Romance)

Emily Merkle --- call her Mrs. Miracle --- is working at Finley’s for the holidays, the last family-owned department store in New York City. But for Jake Finley, Christmas means profit --- and only a miracle will keep the business afloat. And if Holly Larson wants to give her nephew everything he deserves, she’ll need some holiday magic, too. With Mrs. Miracle to the rescue, this Christmas will be different. For everyone. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

-Click here to an excerpt from CALL ME MRS. MIRACLE.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Nora Roberts (Romance)

As the face of Vows wedding planning company, Parker Brown has a knack for making dreams come true, but she can't see where her own life is headed. Mechanic Malcomb Kavanaugh loves figuring out how things work --- and Parker is no exception. Both know that a major hook-up would be serious, and Parker's business risks have always paid off. But now she’s taking the chance of a lifetime --- with her heart. Reviewed by Jennifer McCord.

-Click here to read an excerpt from HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

BUFFALO UNBOUND: A Celebration by Laura Pedersen (Memoir/History)

With a pitch-perfect deadpan delivery, author and former New York Times columnist Laura Pedersen --- spurred by Forbes magazine's two-time ranking of Buffalo on its list of America's Ten Most Miserable Cities --- defends her beloved hometown while also acknowledging just a few (dozen) of its quirks and flaws. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read an excerpt from BUFFALO UNBOUND.

A CHRISTMAS ODYSSEY by Anne Perry (Mystery)

It’s 10 days until Christmas, and James Wentworth feels nothing but grief. His son has been lured into a deadly world of drugs and passion, and his only hope is his old friend Harry Rathbone. But Rathbone knows nothing about Lucien Wentworth’s underworld…until he meets a reformed brothel-keeper and a mysterious slum doctor. As the trio starts to gather clues, they find themselves on a mission whose outcome they can only guess. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

I STILL DREAM ABOUT YOU by Fannie Flagg (Fiction)

Maggie Fortenberry is a still-beautiful former Miss Alabama. To others, her life seems perfect, but Maggie can’t help but wonder how she wound up where she is. She was on her way to becoming Miss America…until an unexpected event changed everything. Maggie has heartbreaking secrets, but as she tries to solve her problems, she accidentally discovers that everyone --- whether dead or alive --- has something to hide. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

AN OBJECT OF BEAUTY by Steve Martin (Fiction)

Lacey Yeager is young, captivating and ambitious enough to take New York City’s art world by storm. Groomed at Sotheby's and hungry to climb the social and career ladders ahead of her, Lacey charms men and women, the rich, and the even richer with her magnetic personality. And her ascension parallels the soaring heights --- and the darkest lows --- of the country’s art world from the late 1990s through today. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol.

THE SHADOW WAR by Glen Scott Allen (Thriller)

Colonial historian Benjamin Wainwright arrives at a secretive think tank --- only to discover that the friend who summoned him is dead and might have been leaking information. When the case’s investigator is targeted for assassination, Benjamin wonders if it was really an accident. Everything points towards a centuries-old conspiracy. And as Benjamin and a beautiful Russian attaché start to unravel the truth, what they find questions the entire course of American history. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

COMPASS ROSE by John Casey (Fiction)

A sequel to the 1989 National Book Award winner SPARTINA, COMPASS ROSE tells the story of the inevitable fallout from a married man's sordid affair, resulting in a daughter who becomes the unifying force for her family. The land is as important as any character here, and the living creatures of the Salt Marshes --- both hunters and prey --- form the heart of this fishing community. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

ABSOLUTE RISK by Steven Gore (Thriller)

Days after failing to arrive at a secret meeting, an FBI agent’s body is found at the base of a cliff --- and Graham Gage is sent to uncover the truth. As an ill U.S. president transfers power to his alarmingly religious VP, Gage uncovers a conspiracy that could turn the world into chaos. And there’s even more at stake. His wife is trapped in China, and unless he exposes history’s greatest treachery, she’ll die. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

KIDNAP & RANSOM by Michelle Gagnon (Thriller)

When a drug cartel snatches the world’s best ransom negotiator, Jake Riley has to save him. But he’s up against an elite paramilitary group and must navigate Mexico’s dark underbelly to find him. After a mission nearly kills her, FBI Agent Kelly Jones joins Jake to boost her confidence…and quickly realizes she’s over her head. She has one shot to prove herself --- by taking down a killer. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Author Talk

Steve Berry

Hold on to your seatbelts, because international bestselling author Steve Berry is back with THE EMPEROR’S TOMB. This latest installment in his Cotton Malone series follows the former Justice Department operative around the world as he embarks on a harrowing search for Cassiopeia Vitt, a woman from his past who has saved him more than once…and is now being tortured by a mysterious man on the Internet. In this interview, Berry’s elusive hero gives the scoop on his most recent adventure, sharing his impressions of the People’s Republic of China and details about the covert agents who have helped him on the ground. He also offers insight into China’s alarming child trafficking epidemic, reveals his knowledge of Chinese culture and the brutal, secret brotherhood known as the Ba, and talks about his plans for the future --- including a possible return to the United States.

What to Give, What to Get knows that readers crave ideas for gift-giving --- and getting --- at the holidays. With this in mind, we’re offering a What to Give, What to Get Guide with “Reader Perfect” suggestions in 14 categories. We have book ideas for everyone on your holiday list. And while you're looking for gifts for others, may we suggest you jot down notes for books YOU want?

Let the shopping begin!

Holiday Cheer Daily Contest

The holiday season is upon us! At, this means it's time for us to share the spirit of the season with you with our Holiday Cheer Contest and Feature. This year, we will spotlight a different title on select days from November 22nd through December 23rd, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter. We also will be sending a special daily newsletter to announce the day's title, which you can sign up for here. Some days may feature special bonus prizes, including gourmet treats, holiday items, or even some of Carol Fitzgerald’s Bets On picks from this year.

-Click here to enter today's contest.

-Click here to see this year's featured titles.

-Click here to receive our special newsletter announcing each day's prize book.'s Holiday Author Blogs

Between now and New Year's Day, more than 40 authors will be sharing their favorite memories of giving or receiving a book at the holidays. They include Sarah Blake, Nelson DeMille, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Heidi W. Durrow, Margaret George, Patti Callahan Henry, Beth Hoffman, Raymond Khoury, William Kent Krueger, Anne Perry, Deanna Raybourn, Francine Rivers, Lisa Scottoline, Helen Simonson and Donna VanLiere.

You can read Susan Mallery's post, Books Can Be the Best of Friends, now.

The following authors have already shared their stories.

-William Kent Krueger on Shared Lives and Shared Poems

-Sarah Blake on the Gifts of Good Books and Bad Weather

-Francesca Serritella on Second Families

-Lisa Scottoline: Big Pimpin' on Thanksgivin'

-Beth Hoffman: An Early Christmas Memory

-Antoinette van Heugten on Holidays with Special Needs Children

-Christopher Rice on Buying Books for Your Loved Ones

-Francine Rivers on THE ONE YEAR BIBLE

-Patti Callahan Henry: A Christmas Story

-Deanna Raybourn on Seasonal Must-Reads

-Click here to subscribe to the Holiday Author Blogs.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight

SILENT VICTIM by C.E. Lawrence (Thriller)

At first, they look like suicides. Two bodies within a week --- one found floating in New York’s East River, another electrocuted in the bathtub. But forensics show that the victims were drugged, then killed. As the death toll grows, so does the brutality of the murders --- and the killer dubbed the Flesh Collector continues to prey. NYPD profiler Lee Campbell joins the frantic pursuit of a murderous madman who delights in taunting police with gruesome messages. Somewhere in the killer’s terrifying handiwork lie the clues to his twisted psyche. But the case is growing disturbingly personal. Getting close enough to stop the monster means getting close enough --- to die…

-Click here to read a second excerpt from SILENT VICTIM.

-Click here to read C.E. Lawrence's bio.

-Click here to see C.E. Lawrence's backlist.

-Click here to read critical praise for SILENT VICTIM.

-Click here to read more about SILENT VICTIM.

-Visit C.E. Lawrence's official website,

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 even 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 a third 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.

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

Books into Movies

Following up on the enormous success of last year’s made-for-TV movie, Mrs. Miracle, the sequel, Call Me Mrs. Miracle, will be airing on the Hallmark Channel on Saturday, November 27th at 8:00pm ET. Based on bestselling author Debbie Macomber’s novel of the same name, this heartwarming movie marks the return of a miracle-working woman who somehow manages to save the holiday season for everyone.

No one celebrates the holidays like Emily Merkle (played once again by Doris Roberts of “Everybody Loves Raymond” fame) --- Mrs. Miracle as she is known by some --- who is back to ensure that this Christmas is the most magical and meaningful of all. When Mrs. Miracle appears as a seasonal employee in the toy department at the financially troubled Finley’s Department Store, neither the store’s owners nor the customers have any idea of the saintly events that are about to unfold.

-Click here to read a review of CALL ME MRS. MIRACLE.

-Click here for more details about the movie.

Click here to read the full newsletter.

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