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Friday, March 18, 2011

March 18, 2011

The following interviews, reviews and features began running on the website on Friday, March 18th.

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

LOVE YOU MORE by Lisa Gardner

TURN OF MIND by Alice LaPlante

STILL MISSING by Chevy Stevens

NEVER KNOWING by Chevy Stevens

THE NAME OF THE WIND: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One by Patrick Rothfuss


NIGHT ROAD by Kristin Hannah


SAY HER NAME by Francisco Goldman

Reviews and Excerpts

THE WISE MAN’S FEAR: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two by Patrick Rothfuss (Fantasy)

In THE WISE MAN’S FEAR, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, forced to reclaim the honor of his family, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived...until Kvothe. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

-Visit Patrick Rothfuss's official website,

MINDING FRANKIE by Maeve Binchy (Fiction)

Life turns upside down for an alcoholic Irishman who has discovered that he recently fathered a child and will be granted full custody. The arrival of baby Frankie --- who only recently has lost her mother --- brings peace and enrichment to the many cheery and hard-bitten folks of a rural Irish community. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

-Click here to read an excerpt from MINDING FRANKIE.

THE TRINITY SIX by Charles Cumming (Thriller)

At the height of the Cold War, the spy story to end all spy stories was the revelation that five upper-crust Cambridge University graduates were longtime Soviet agents. This clever novel posits a sixth man, and follows a mild-mannered professor of Russian history who becomes embroiled in the risky pursuit of long-buried truths. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE TRINITY SIX.

TIGER HILLS by Sarita Mandanna (Fiction)

Told in rich, lyrical prose and set against the background of a changing society, TIGER HILLS is a sweeping saga about one woman's determination to live life on her own terms --- and a riveting novel about the choices we make in the name of family, nation and love. Reviewed by Usha Rao.

-Click here to read an excerpt from TIGER HILLS.

EMILY, ALONE by Stewart O'Nan (Fiction)

Emily Maxwell is a widow whose grown children have long moved away. She dreams of visits by her grandchildren while mourning the turnover of her neighborhood. But when her sole companion faints at a breakfast buffet, Emily's days change. As she grapples with independence, she discovers a hidden strength and realizes that life always offers new possibilities. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

TOYS by James Patterson and Neil McMahon (Futuristic Thriller)

Hays Baker and his wife, Lizbeth, have it all. Hays is the Agency of Change’s top operative, and as Elites, they’ve been endowed with the best of everything --- including superhuman strength. But then Hays receives a shock that overturns everything he believed. Now a hunted fugitive, he is thrown into the impossible: the fight to save humans from extinction. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from TOYS.

THE JUNGLE: A Novel of the Oregon Files by Clive Cussler with Jack Du Brul (Thriller/Action & Adventure)

A devastating weapon unleashed in 13th-century China. A daring rescue in the mountains along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. A woman who disappeared in the jungles of northern Thailand and Myanmar. For Juan Cabrillo and his crew of the Oregon, all these things will come together, leading to the greatest threat the U.S. has ever known. Reviewed Judy Gigstad.

DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE MURDER: A Hannah Swensen Mystery with Recipes by Joanne Fluke (Mystery)
When visiting minister Reverend Matthew Walters is gunned down in the office of Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church, it's up to cookie expert Hannah Swensen, her family and her friends from The Cookie Jar, to solve the mystery. But that won't be easy to do since the only witness is Jacob, a talking mynah bird. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

THE COMPLAINTS by Ian Rankin (Police Procedural)

Nobody likes The Complaints --- they’re the cops who investigate other cops, and Malcolm Fox is one of them. He’s a serious man with frustrating problems, which he can’t seem to overcome. Then Fox is given a new case. There’s a dirty cop named Jamie Breck, only no one is able to prove it. And as it turns out, there’s more to him than anyone thinks. Reviewed byBarbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

DEVIL RED: A Hap & Leonard Novel by Joe R. Lansdale (Thriller)

When their friend Marvin asks Hap and Leonard to look into a cold-case double homicide, they’re happy to investigate. The more closely they look at the crime-scene photos, the more they see --- including a strange image that turns up in a slew of equally fiendish murders. Could this be the case that sends Hap over the edge? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.


Bruno Littlemore is unlike any other chimpanzee. Precocious and preternaturally gifted, he’s cared for by primatologist Lydia Littlemore. But for all his gifts, Bruno struggles to cage his primal urges. And when he ultimately costs Lydia her job, the pair is sent on the road in what proves to be one of the most unforgettable journeys --- and affecting love stories --- in recent literature. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

THE KING OF DIAMONDS by Simon Tolkien (Historical Thriller)

It’s 1960, and David Swain is serving time for the murder of his ex-girlfriend’s lover, Katya Osman. But David escapes, and Katya is found dead in her uncle’s home on the same night. Inspector Trave heads the manhunt, but his suspicions --- and personal motives --- lead him to Katya’s uncle. And once David is captured, Trave will risk everything for his obsessive belief in Osman’s guilt. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

SO CLOSE THE HAND OF DEATH by J.T. Ellison (Thriller)

Across the country, murders are being committed with all the hallmarks of America’s most infamous killers. Nashville homicide lieutenant Taylor Jackson knows The Pretender is back…and now he has helpers. As his disciples perpetrate their sick homages, the brilliant psychopath who adores her and hates her draws close. Close enough to touch. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Author Talk

Stewart O'Nan

Award-winning author Stewart O’Nan’s latest book, EMILY, ALONE, picks up where WISH YOU WERE HERE left off --- with the story of Emily Maxwell, an elderly widow who is met with an unforeseen epiphany when her sister-in-law faints at a breakfast buffet. In this interview, O’Nan reveals how he was able to get inside the head of his 70-something protagonist, elaborating on how the extensive research he conducted for THE CIRCUS FIRE factored into the novel. He also reflects on the risks --- and the benefits --- of writing character-driven fiction, speculates on the comparisons that have been made between himself and one of America’s greatest literary legends, and philosophizes on the nature of novelistic truth.

Author Interviews

Sarita Mandanna

A former investment banker and a first-time novelist, Sarita Mandanna is the author of TIGER HILLS, a tale of two childhood friends who grow up together in southern India, until their lives are interrupted by an unexpected romance --- and an unforeseen tragedy --- that will affect their families for years to come. In this interview with’s Jamie Layton, Mandanna talks about what inspired her debut, elaborating on her own childhood experiences in Coorg and how a series of short stories eventually evolved into a nearly 500-page novel. She also discusses the role of clan identities in southern Indian history, muses on some of her book’s central themes, and reveals how she found the time to write Devi and Devanna’s incredible story while working at one of New York City’s most prestigious private equity firms.

Sneak Peek: An Early Look at an Upcoming Book

THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Thriller)

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 THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES by Jussi Adler-Olsen --- the suspenseful tale of a down-on-his luck detective trying to heat-up a cold case from one of Denmark’s leading authors --- which releases in October. We have 50 specially formatted early reader editions to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and share their comments about it.

THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES, the first installment of Jussi Adler-Olsen’s international bestselling Department Q series, features the deeply flawed detective Carl Mørck. Carl used to be a good homicide detective --- one of Copenhagen’s best. Then a bullet almost took his life. Two of his colleagues weren’t so lucky, and Carl, who didn’t draw his weapon, blames himself.

So a promotion is the last thing Carl expects.

But it all becomes clear when he sees his new office in the basement. Carl’s been selected to run department Q, a new special investigations division that turns out to be a department of one. With a stack of Copenhagen’s coldest cases to keep him company, Carl has been put out to pasture. He’s as surprised as anyone when a case actually captures his interest. A missing politician vanished without a trace five years earlier. The world assumes she’s dead. His colleagues snicker about the time he’s wasting. But Carl may have the last laugh, and redeem himself in the process.

Because she isn’t dead…yet.

-Click here to read more about THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES.

-Click here to read Jossi Adler-Olsen's bio.

-Click here to read all the details about our Sneak Peek Feature and Contest.

Paperback Spotlight and Contest

THE POSTMISTRESS by Sarah Blake (Fiction)

Sarah Blake's THE POSTMISTRESS was one of the breakout hits of 2010, telling the story of three women separated by an ocean yet linked by the events leading to America's involvement in World War II. Now this bestseller is available in paperback!

It is 1940. Iris James is the postmistress and spinster of Franklin, Massachusetts, a small town on Cape Cod. She firmly believes that her job is to deliver and keep people’s secrets, to pass along the news of love and sorrow that letters carry. Yet one day Iris does the unthinkable: she slips a letter into her pocket. And then she does something even worse --- she reads the letter, then doesn’t deliver it.

-Click here to read a review of THE POSTMISTRESS.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE POSTMISTRESS.

-Click here to read critical praise for THE POSTMISTRESS.

-Click here to read Sarah Blake's bio.

-Click here to read more about THE POSTMISTRESS and our Paperback Spotlight and Contest.

One to Watch Author Spotlight

MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS by Rae Meadows (Fiction)

Samantha is lost in the joys of new motherhood --- the softness of her eight-month-old daughter's skin, the lovely weight of her child in her arms --- but in trading her artistic dreams to care for her child, Sam worries she's lost something of herself. And she is still mourning another loss: her mother, Iris, died just one year ago. When a box of Iris's belongings arrives on Sam's doorstep, she discovers links to pieces of her family history but is puzzled by much of the information the box contains. She learns that her grandmother Violet left New York City as an 11-year-old girl, traveling by herself to the Midwest in search of a better life. But what was Violet's real reason for leaving? And how could she have made that trip alone at such a tender age?

-Click here to read a second excerpt from MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS.

-Click here to read critical praise for MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS.

-Click here to read Rae Meadows's bio.

-Click here to see Rae Meadows's backlist.

-Click here to read more about MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS.

-Visit Rae Meadows's official website,

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

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight

CLOSER THAN BLOOD by Gregg Olsen (Thriller)

The first time was easy. No one ever suspected the victim had been murdered. The crime long buried, the dark passions guiding the killer's hand are still alive. But the need for revenge cannot be denied. Only one person can stop the killing. Only one person can identify the killer. Only one person knows the face of death --- is as close as the face in the mirror…

-Click here to read a second excerpt from CLOSER THAN BLOOD.

-Click here to read critical praise for CLOSER THAN BLOOD.

-Click here to read Gregg Olsen's bio.

-Click here to see Gregg Olsen's backlist.

-Click here to read more about CLOSER THAN BLOOD.

-Visit Gregg Olsen's official website,

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

Southern Writers Author Spotlight

THE DRY GRASS OF AUGUST by Anna Jean Mayhew (Fiction)

On a scorching day in August 1954, 13-year-old Jubie Watts leaves Charlotte, North Carolina, with her family for a Florida vacation. Crammed into the Packard along with Jubie are her three siblings, her mother, and the family’s black maid, Mary Luther. For as long as Jubie can remember, Mary has been there --- cooking, cleaning, compensating for her father’s rages and her mother’s benign neglect, and loving Jubie unconditionally. Bright and curious, Jubie takes note of the anti-integration signs they pass, and of the racial tension that builds as they journey further south. But she could never have predicted the shocking turn their trip will take. Now, in the wake of tragedy, Jubie must confront her parents’ failings and limitations, decide where her own convictions lie, and make the tumultuous leap to independence…

-Click here to read a second excerpt from THE DRY GRASS OF AUGUST.

-Click here to read critical praise for THE DRY GRASS OF AUGUST.

-Click here to read Anna Jean Mayhew's bio.

-Click here to read more about THE DRY GRASS OF AUGUST.

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

Women's Fiction Author Spotlight

THE PEACH KEEPER by Sarah Addison Allen (Fiction)

It’s the dubious distinction of 30-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam --- built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather during Walls of Water’s heyday, and once the town’s grandest home --- has stood for years as a lonely monument to misfortune and scandal. And Willa herself has long strived to build a life beyond the brooding Jackson family shadow. No easy task in a town shaped by years of tradition and the well-marked boundaries of the haves and have-nots.

But Willa has lately learned that an old classmate --- socialite do-gooder Paxton Osgood --- of the very prominent Osgood family, has restored the Blue Ridge Madam to her former glory, with plans to open a top-flight inn. Maybe, at last, the troubled past can be laid to rest while something new and wonderful rises from its ashes. But what rises instead is a skeleton, found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, and certain to drag up dire consequences along with it.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from THE PEACH KEEPER.

-Click here to read critical praise for THE PEACH KEEPER.

-Click here to read Sarah Addison Allen's bio.

-Click here to see Sarah Addison Allen's backlist.

-Click here to read more about THE PEACH KEEPER.

-Visit Sarah Addison Allen's official website,

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

One to Watch Author Spotlight

TIGER HILLS by Sarita Mandanna (Fiction)

As the first girl born to the Nachimada family in over 60 years, the beautiful Devi is the object of adoration of her entire family. Strong-willed and confident, she befriends the shy Devanna, a young boy whose mother has died under tragic circumstances. The two quickly become inseparable, until Devi meets Machu the tiger killer, a hunter of great repute, and a man of much honor and pride. Soon, they fall deeply in love, an attraction that drives a wedge between Devi and Devanna. It is this tangled relationship between the three that leads to a devastating tragedy --- an event that changes their fates forever and has unforeseen and far-reaching consequences for generations to come.

-Click here to read a review of TIGER HILLS.

-Click here to read an excerpt from TIGER HILLS.

-Click here to read critical praise for TIGER HILLS.

-Click here to read an interview with Sarita Mandanna.

-Click here to read Sarita Mandanna's bio.

-Click here to read more about TIGER HILLS.

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

New in Paperback

March's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes INDULGENCE IN DEATH by J.D. Robb, which finds Lieutenant Eve Dallas pitted against a killer who's preying on those catering to New York City's elite; THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE, Mary Higgins Clark's thriller about an 82-year-old woman who must divulge a long-held family secret or take it with her to the grave; HELL GATE by Linda Fairstein, in which ADA Alexandra Cooper unearths the most disturbing --- and deadly --- revelation of her career; WHITER THAN SNOW, a historical novel from Sandra Dallas about an unforeseen tragedy that threatens to shatter a small town in Colorado; LAST SNOW, Eric Van Lustbader's sequel to FIRST DAUGHTER, which follows former ATF agent Jack McClure as he tries to track down those responsible for the death of an American senator; and HEART OF THE MATTER by Emily Giffin, a moving tale of two strangers connected by a terrible accident.

Among our nonfiction highlights are HAVE A LITTLE FAITH, in which Mitch Albom reflects on his Jewish roots after receiving an unexpected and incredibly touching request from his childhood rabbi; A TICKET TO THE CIRCUS by Norris Church Mailer, a revealing account of the author's 33-year marriage to one of America's most famous 20th-century novelists; and TO TIMBUKTU, Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg's illustrated memoir about their travels through Morocco and Southeast Asia --- and the story of how they fell in love.

-Click here to see our New in Paperback feature for March.

Click here to read the full newsletter.

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