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Friday, December 10, 2010

December 10, 2010

The following interviews, reviews and features began running on the website on Friday, December 10th.

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







Reviews and Excerpts

SILENT VICTIM by C. E. Lawrence (Thriller)

At first, they look like suicides. But as the death toll grows, so does the brutality of the murders --- and the Flesh Collector continues to prey. As NYPD profiler Lee Campbell joins the pursuit, the case grows disturbingly personal. For him, getting close enough to stop the monster means getting close enough --- to die… Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SILENT VICTIM.

DEAD OR ALIVE by Tom Clancy with Grant Blackwood (Thriller)

For years, Jack Ryan, Jr. and his colleagues at the Campus have waged a campaign against the terrorists who threaten western civilization. The most dangerous is the Emir, a sadistic killer…and now the Campus is on his trail. Joined by their new recruits, Ryan and his cousins are determined to catch the Emir and bring him in --- dead or alive. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from DEAD OR ALIVE.

THE CHRISTMAS JOURNEY by Donna VanLiere (Fiction)

The 80-mile journey of a common carpenter and a peasant girl is one of the most powerful stories in history. As books go out of print and stories fade from memory, Mary’s delivery inside a barn continues to bless people and inspire hope around the world. Accompanied by moving and beautifully rendered illustrations throughout, Donna VanLiere’s retelling of the Nativity shows that it is still alive today. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE CHRISTMAS JOURNEY.

-Click here to read Donna VanLiere's Holiday Blog post, "Autumn at Christmas."

I REMEMBER NOTHING: And Other Reflections by Nora Ephron (Humor/Essays)

In her first book since I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK, Nora Ephron returns to take a hard, hilarious look at life. Giving an edgy voice to everything women of a certain age are thinking, Ephron bemoans the vicissitudes of the modern world --- and recalls with clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

THE WAR FOR LATE NIGHT: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy by Bill Carter (Arts & Entertainment)

Fifteen years after THE LATE SHIFT, his chronicle of the bloody cage match between Jay Leno and David Letterman to succeed Johnny Carson, New York Times reporter Bill Carter returns with this workmanlike insider’s story of the debacle that marked NBC’s feckless attempt to make the transition to the next generation of “The Tonight Show.” Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

THE FORT: A Novel of the Revolutionary War by Bernard Cornwell (Historical Fiction)

When the major fighting of the Revolutionary War moved to the South in 1779, a British force of fewer than a thousand Scottish infantry were sent to defend all of New England. Massachusetts responded with a fleet of more than 40 vessels --- and orders to “captivate, kill or destroy” the invaders. Their mortifying defeat had stunning repercussions for two men on each side: an untested lieutenant named John Moore and a patriot named Paul Revere. Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds.

GINGERBREAD COOKIE MURDER by Joanne Fluke, Leslie Meier and Laura Levine (Mystery)

Christmas is coming, and the cookies --- and bodies --- are piling up across the country in this smorgasbord of murder mysteries. No mystery fan can resist a treat this delicious, as New York Times bestselling author Joanne Fluke teams up with cozy favorites Laura Levine and Leslie Meier for a merry collection of holiday stories.Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.


A six-year-old girl who hasn’t spoken since her mother died. A single man who’s forced to love her. And a toy shop owner who can’t believe in love again. All of their lives are at a crossroads, but they’re about to discover that anything is possible. Because at Christmas, dreams come true --- and wishes always find their way home. Reviewed by Hillary Wagy.


In November 1960, Frank Sinatra gave Marilyn Monroe a dog. His name was Mafia Honey (Maf, for short), and he was with Marilyn for the last two years of her life. Through the eyes of this canine hero, Andrew O’Hagan offers insight into Hollywood’s greatest star. His is an altogether original portrait of the woman behind the icon --- and of the dog behind the woman. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

QUEEN HEREAFTER: A Novel of Margaret of Scotland by Susan Fraser King (Historical Fiction)

Long ago, in a faraway land, Hungary-born Margaret was crowned Queen of Scots. Nearly a thousand years have passed, and her memory has survived a millennium. And no wonder; Margaret’s story is a true-life fairy tale full of princes, kings, loves found and loves lost. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

A STRANGER IN MAYFAIR by Charles Finch (Historical Mystery)

After a honeymoon with his new wife, Lady Jane Grey, Charles Lenox is called to consult in the murder of a footman. His investigation uncovers unsettling facts --- and he fears an old friend is implicated. But when the wrong man is arrested, Lenox discovers that the real culprit might kill again…perhaps even a detective. Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy.

THE BEST AMERICAN NOIR OF THE CENTURY edited by James Ellroy and Otto Penzler (Mystery/Noir)

The best example of literary sure things gone bad, this collection is the darkest distillation of American noir fiction. Mining 100 years of writing, James Ellroy and Otto Penzler have pulled together an anthology of 39 tales that packs an undeniable punch --- and includes every author from Evan Hunter to Dennis Lehane. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE FINAL RECKONING by Sam Bourne (Thriller)

A suspected suicide bomber is killed by a security guard just outside of the United Nations main building. When the suspect turns out to be an elderly man, the UN hires attorney Tom Byrne to meet with his family and try to placate them over this tragic mistake. Byrne ends up discovering that the victim may have been seeking final retribution for crimes committed over 60 years earlier. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

Author Interviews

C. E. Lawrence

C. E. Lawrence is a performer, playwright, and the author of the pulse-racing thriller SILENT VICTIM, which follows NYPD profiler Lee Campbell as he tries to track down an elusive and cold-blooded killer and stop him before he falls prey to his twisted crimes. In this interview with’s Joe Hartlaub, Lawrence gives the scoop on her second novel, shedding light on how she was able to create such a terrifying and compelling serial killer and why she chose to juxtapose the grimy streets of New York City with the resort towns of south and central New Jersey. She also speculates on the most important psychological development of the 21st century and talks about a few of her forthcoming projects, including her plans for the rest of what promises to be an unforgettable series.'s Book of the Year...and the Series of the Decade

THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST, the third volume in Stieg Larsson’s international bestselling Millennium series, is’s Book of the Year. This is just as much a celebration of the book as it is Larsson’s trilogy, which includes THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE. There was no denying the series’ global impact upon the release of THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST. A copy of one of Larsson’s books seemed to be everywhere you turned --- in cafès, trains, buses, airports, pools, parks, and so on.

We hope you enjoy this special feature and tribute to the crusading journalist and his cyberhacking sidekick who have captivated readers and book lovers all over the globe. Here you will find information about all three novels, as well as the special deluxe boxed set, including reviews, reading guides, the official film trailers, and links to articles and information of interest to fans of the series.

-Click here to see our special feature for The Millennium Trilogy.

Sneak Peak: An Early Look at an Upcoming Book

ORIGINAL SIN: A Sally Sin Adventure by Beth McMullen

At, we have the opportunity to read many great books well in advance of their release dates. Now, with our Sneak Peek Feature and 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 ORIGINAL SIN: A Sally Sin Adventure --- about a former U.S. spy turned stay-at-home mother of a toddler who is called back into the field --- which releases in July 2011. We have 50 specially formatted early reader editions of Beth McMullen’s debut novel to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and share their comments about it.

More about ORIGINAL SIN: A Sally Sin Adventure:

Seeing Lucy Hamilton, you would think she is just like any other stay-at-home San Francisco mom. She takes her three-year-old son Theo to the beach, playground, and the zoo. She makes organic applesauce, folds laundry, and plays on the floor with Matchbox cars until her knees ache. What no one knows about Lucy, not even her adoring husband Will, is that for nine years she was known as Sally Sin, a spy for the USAWMD (United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction). And that’s just the way Lucy wants to keep it --- a secret.

-Click here to read an excerpt from ORIGINAL SIN.

-Click here to read all the details of our Sneak Peak Feature and Contest.

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 or two 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. Holiday Author Blogs

Between now and New Year's Day, 50 authors will be sharing their favorite memories of giving or receiving a book at the holidays.

You can read M.L. Malcolm's post on Fake Trees and Real Writers now.

The following authors have recently shared their stories:

C.J. Box: Christmas Uncles

Margaret George: The Ebenezer Scrooge Fan Club

Wade Rouse: Father Christmas

Elizabeth Rosner: Books That Saved Me

Kelly Simmons on Being Spoiled

Katherine Howe on Presents and Self-Presentation

Helen Simonson: The Rituals of Christmas

Anne Perry on the Book That's Changed Her for the Better

Anne Fortier on Holiday Magic

Donna VanLiere: Autumn at Christmas

A Radio Romance: Ken Harmon on Garrison Keillor's WLT

Melissa Clark on the Holiday Cookbook That Changed Her Life

-Click here to subscribe to the Holiday Author Blogs.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight

WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS by Dean Koontz (Thriller)

In the late summer of a long ago year, a killer arrived in a small city. His name was Alton Turner Blackwood, and in the space of a few months he brutally murdered four families. His savage spree ended only when he himself was killed by the last survivor of the last family, a 14-year-old boy.

Half a continent away and two decades later, someone is murdering families again, recreating in detail Blackwood’s crimes. Homicide detective John Calvino is certain that his own family --- his wife and three children --- will be targets in the fourth crime, just as his parents and sisters were victims on that distant night when he was 14 and killed their slayer.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS.

-Click here to watch a trailer for WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS.

-Click here to read Dean Koontz's bio.

-Click here to see Dean Koontz's backlist.

-Click here to read more about WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS.

-Visit Dean Koontz's official website,

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

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 review of SILENT VICTIM.

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

-Click here to read an interview with C. E. Lawrence.

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

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

-Click here to read more about SILENT VICTIM.

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

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

New in Paperback

December’s roundup of New in Paperback fiction titles includes ALICE I HAVE BEEN by Melanie Benjamin, the part love story, part mystery of the 80-year-old woman who made literary history by journeying down a rabbit hole; ONE AMAZING THING, Chitra Divakaruni’s account of a catastrophic earthquake that brings nine strangers together in a moving struggle for survival; Lisa Gardner’s LIVE TO TELL, in which Detective D.D. Warren finds herself inexplicably connected to the lives of two seemingly disparate women as she tries to solve a brutal slaying; FRANKENSTEIN: LOST SOULS by Dean Koontz, a terrifying modern take on Mary Shelley’s timeless classic; and WATCHLIST, which features two powerful novellas and one cast of characters from some of the world’s greatest thriller writers, including Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, Joseph Finder and Lisa Scottoline.

Among our nonfiction highlights are THE SHAKING WOMAN OR A HISTORY OF MY NERVES, Siri Hustvedt’s harrowing account of the violent seizure that struck her at her father’s funeral and her quest to find out what was wrong when her attacks happened again and again; and YOURS EVER, Thomas Mallon’s fascinating investigation into the art of letter writing, which includes the musings of Flannery O’Connor and the tormented thoughts of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and covers every agent of self-expression from the courier to the BlackBerry.

Click here to read the full newsletter.

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