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Friday, March 4, 2011

March 4, 2011

The following interviews, reviews and features began running on the website on Friday, March 4th.

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

SOLAR by Ian McEwan


THE LINCOLN LAWYER by Michael Connelly


HEARTSICK by Chelsea Cain

LOVE YOU MORE by Lisa Gardner

SILENT MERCY by Linda Fairstein

Reviews and Excerpts

SING YOU HOME by Jodi Picoult (Fiction)
In the aftermath of a series of personal tragedies, Zoe throws herself into her career as a music therapist. When an unexpected friendship slowly blossoms into love, she makes plans for a new life. But to her shock and inevitable rage, some people --- even those she loves and trusts most --- don’t want that to happen. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SING YOU HOME.

WHEN THE KILLING’S DONE by T.C. Boyle (Fiction)

Alma Boyd Takesue is a National Park Service biologist trying to save the endangered creatures on California’s Channel Islands, who thinks invasive species must be eliminated. Dave LaJoy is a local businessman opposed to killing animals. Over time, their hostility will escalate to violent confrontation --- and tempt the awesome power of nature itself. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an excerpt from WHEN THE KILLING'S DONE.

NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU by Max Allan Collins and Matthew Clemens (Thriller)
An unidentified man and a naked woman, her scream caught in the frame. The producers of “Crime Seen!” can’t believe what they’re seeing: a sadist auditioning for a role on reality TV. To meet his demands, host J.C. Harrow must spotlight him alongside another ruthless maniac. Now two killers are locked in a deadly competition for fame…and for victims. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

THE NIGHT SEASON by Chelsea Cain (Thriller)
With Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell behind bars, Portland police detective Archie Sheridan can rest a little easier. But the city is flooding, and several have drowned --- or that’s what everyone thought. Soon Portland has a new serial killer on its hands. And reporter Susan Ward has unearthed another set of skeletons from the last time Portland flooded, leaving at least 15 dead. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE NIGHT SEASON.

BRINGING ADAM HOME: The Abduction That Changed America by Les Standiford, with Det. Sgt. Joe Matthews (True Crime)
Before Adam Walsh, there were no faces on milk cartons, no Amber Alerts, no federal databases of crimes against children. His 1981 abduction and murder went unsolved for over 27 years, and forever changed America. BRINGING ADAM HOME is the definitive account of this terrible crime. It’s a story of pain, police failures and determination, but also one of enduring love. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

EMILY AND EINSTEIN by Linda Francis Lee (Fiction)
Emily Barlow believes that her marriage to Sandy Portman is a happy one. But when Sandy dies in a car accident, she finds out that the fairy tale she let herself believe in was far from the truth. While working through her grief, she learns that the man she loved was not even someone she knew. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

-Click here to read an excerpt from EMILY AND EINSTEIN.

-Visit Linda Francis Lee's official website,

WHEN YOU WERE MINE by Elizabeth Noble (Fiction)
With her 40th birthday staring her in the face, an unsatisfactory live-in relationship with her boyfriend, Doug, and a failed marriage behind her, Susannah is less than impressed with the course her life is on --- and even moreso when she crosses paths with Rob, her first true love. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

-Visit Elizabeth Noble's official website,

TO TIMBUKTU: Nine Countries, Two People, One True Story written by Casey Scieszka and illustrated by Steven Weinberg (Travel Memoir)
Two young adults meet while studying abroad in Morocco. They fall in love and decide to travel some more…and their adventures begin. For the next year-and-a-half, they teach English in China, wander Southeast Asia, and do research in Mali. TO TIMBUKTU is a fully illustrated chronicle of their illuminating time abroad --- and what they learned there. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

GIDEON’S SWORD by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Thriller)
At the age of 12, Gideon Crew watched as his father was accused of treason and gunned down. At 24, he learned that his father was framed and deliberately slaughtered. His dying mother begs Gideon to avenge him…and his spectacular plan is successful. But someone is watching from the shadows. For Gideon, his one-time mission is only the beginning… Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

ROCK BOTTOM by Erin Brockovich with CJ Lyons (Thriller)

A young woman returns to her hometown with her son, hoping to make amends with her parents and the father of her child, even as she takes a job fighting the town’s biggest industry. But upon her arrival, she learns that her prospective employer is dead. As she forges ahead with the battle, she begins to suspect that he didn’t die of natural causes. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

WEST OF HERE by Jonathan Evison (Fiction)

Set in the fictional town of Port Bonita on Washington’s Pacific coast, WEST OF HERE is storytelling on its grandest scale. With one segment focused on the town’s founding and another on the lives of their descendants in 2006, the novel develops as a conversation between two epochs --- one rushing blindly toward the future, and the other struggling to undo the past. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol.

MADAME TUSSAUD: A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran (Historical Fiction)

Marie Tussaud has learned the secrets of wax sculpting by working alongside her uncle in their celebrated Salon de Cire. Her greatest dream, though, is to gain the approval of the royal family, and one day her wish comes true. But will Marie be able to hold on to their friendship --- and meet the demands of powerful revolutionaries --- as France approaches civil war? Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

THE REVENGE OF THE RADIOACTIVE LADY by Elizabeth Stuckey-French (Fiction)

Seventy-seven-year-old Marylou Ahearn is going to kill Dr. Wilson Spriggs, come hell or high water. In 1953, he gave her a radioactive cocktail without her consent --- and it had horrible consequences. Marylou has been plotting for 50 years, and when she accidentally discovers his whereabouts, her plans snap into action. But Marylou has no idea what she’s walking into. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

-Click here to see the reading group guide for THE REVENGE OF THE RADIOACTIVE LADY.

THE GOSPEL OF ANARCHY by Justin Taylor (Fiction)

In Gainesville, Florida, in the summer of 1999, a college dropout sleepwalks through his life --- until a lost friend jolts him from his torpor. He’s drawn into the grimy world of Fishgut, a loose collective outside the law. There they watch for the return of a mysterious hobo who will transform their oasis into the Bethlehem of a strange new creed. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

THE CURSE-MAKER by Kelli Stanley (Historical Mystery)

When Roman physician Arcturus and his wife arrive at Bath for a holiday, a body is floating in the sacred spring. The dead man is a curse-maker whose invocations actually come true. And as murder follows murder, it looks like there's a curse on Arcturus. Now the doctor-investigator must travel down a dark road as he tries to comprehend a killer bent on revenge. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Author Talk

T.C. Boyle

Prolific author T.C. Boyle is challenging readers with his latest literary masterpiece, WHEN THE KILLING’S DONE, which charts the mounting confrontation between a National Park Service biologist and a local businessman, as each does what they deem necessary to preserve the rare --- and increasingly endangered --- wildlife on California’s fabled Channel Islands. In this interview, Boyle discusses his lifelong interest in environmental issues, reflecting on the now-destroyed New York forest where he spent much of his childhood. He also addresses the real-life crisis that inspired his new novel, speculates on the effectiveness of radical activism, and reveals why, in his mind, policy and prose should always remain separate matters.

Author Interviews

Max Allan Collins and Matthew Clemens

Max Allan Collins and Matthew Clemens have teamed up once again for NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU, the sequel to last year’s YOU CAN’T STOP ME, which follows sheriff turned reality television host J.C. Harrow as he tries to track down two ruthless killers, who have locked themselves in a relentless battle for notoriety by sending videos of their latest victims to Harrow’s true crime TV show. In this interview with’s Joe Hartlaub, Collins and Clemens discuss the ideas that inform their latest novel, elaborating on how they came up with the concept of a “killer” TV series and the real-life reality show that helped inspire it. They also share a few of their favorite unsolved mysteries, give the scoop on the years they spent behind the scenes of “CSI” and unveil their plans for the cast of “Crime Seen!”

Sneak Peek: An Early Look at an Upcoming Book

THE KINGDOM OF CHILDHOOD by Rebecca Coleman (Fiction)

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 KINGDOM OF CHILDHOOD by Rebecca Coleman --- about a teenager and a teacher who find comfort in each other until their relationship edges toward dangerous territory --- 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 KINGDOM OF CHILDHOOD is the story of a boy and a woman: 16-year-old Zach Patterson, uprooted and struggling to reconcile his knowledge of his mother's extramarital affair, and Judy McFarland, a kindergarten teacher watching her family unravel before her eyes. Thrown together to organize a fundraiser for their failing private school and bonded by loneliness, they begin an affair that at first thrills, then corrupts each of them. Judy sees in Zach the elements of a young man she loved as a child, but what Zach does not realize is that their relationship is --- for Judy --- only the latest in a lifetime of disturbing secrets. As the walls close in, Zach finds himself needing to disentangle himself from premature adulthood. But the lines between adult and child have blurred, and life and sanity are unraveling faster and further than anyone could ever have imagined.

-Click here to read more about THE KINGDOM OF CHILDHOOD.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE KINGDOM OF CHILDHOOD.

-Click here to read Rebecca Coleman's bio.

-Click here to read all the details about our Sneak Peek Feature and 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 an 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,

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 third excerpt from TIGER HILLS.

-Click here to read critical praise for TIGER HILLS.

-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.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight

NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU by Max Allan Collins and Matthew Clemens (Thriller)

The first video arrives by email. An unidentifed man. A naked woman. Her scream caught in a freeze-frame. The producers of TV’s “Crime Seen!” can’t believe what they’re witnessing --- an all-out sadist “auditioning” for a starring role in reality television. And if he doesn’t get it, he’ll kill again. To meet the demented demands of the self-proclaimed “Don Juan,” former sheriff and TV host J.C. Harrow has no choice but to spotlight him along with another ruthless maniac who has captivated millions of viewers. Now two killers are locked in a bloodthirsty competition. For fame. For notoriety. For victims.

-Click here to read a review of NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

-Click here to read critical praise for NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

-Click here to read an interview with Max Allan Collins and Matthew Clemens.

-Click here to read Max Allan Collins's bio.

-Click here to read Matthew Clemens's bio.

-Click here to read more about NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

-Visit Max Allan Collins's official website,

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

Click here to read the full newsletter.

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