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Bookreporter.com Updates

Friday, June 3, 2011

The following interviews, reviews and features began running on the Bookreporter.com website on Friday, June 3rd.

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

ROOM by Emma Donoghue


DREAMS OF JOY by Lisa See (Historical Fiction)
In SNOWFLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN, PEONY IN LOVE and SHANGHAI GIRLS, Lisa See has illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in DREAMS OF JOY, she returns to these timeless themes, continuing the story of sisters Pearl and May from SHANGHAI GIRLS, and Pearl’s strong-willed 19-year-old daughter, Joy. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

In 1933, William Dodd, the new American ambassador, arrives in Berlin, just as Hitler has been appointed chancellor. Dodd and his family watch as Germany falls under Hitler’s spell and the country is transformed. Why did the U.S. dismiss its ambassador’s warnings? It might have been politics, or personalities, or maybe disbelief. Author Erik Larson takes a cold, hard look at this deplorable period in history. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

WICKED LIES by Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush (Romantic Suspense)
Nurse Laura Adderley has the amazing ability to diagnose her patients' illnesses simply by touching them. But it's this same second sense that allows her to receive maniacal death threats against herself and her unborn baby when a madman begins communicating with her in a terrifyingly telepathic manner. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

CITY OF THE SNAKES by Darren Shan (Horror/Urban Fantasy)
CITY OF THE SNAKES brings a worthy horror/fantasy series to a close with a final installment that is more repulsive and shocking than ever. Thus far, these books have been crime mysteries focusing on the supernatural, but the last installment is the darkest, tending toward pure horror and giving readers a better glimpse of the serial killer Paucar Wami --- maybe a closer view than you’d bargained on. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

THE INFORMANT: A Butcher’s Boy Novel by Thomas Perry (Thriller)
In THE BUTCHER’S BOY, a professional killer betrayed by the Mafia leaves countless mobsters dead and then disappears. Justice Department official Elizabeth Waring is the only one who believes he ever existed. THE INFORMANT returns to the Butcher's Boy many years later as a Mafia hit team finally catches up with him. The Butcher’s Boy knows they won't stop coming and decides to take the fight to their door. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE LONDON TRAIN by Tessa Hadley (Fiction)
Two for the price of one: This subtle, original novel by a gifted Welsh writer is like a sophisticated jigsaw puzzle. At first you think it is a pair of independent novellas, only to discover, little by little, how the two sections --- one with a male protagonist, the other in a woman’s voice --- entwine with and echo one another. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.

THE NINTH WIFE by Amy Stolls (Fiction)
Bess is turning 35 on the day she meets the man of her dreams. Rory is an adorable and charming musician with a lilting Irish accent and a few (well, eight) ex-wives. The question is: Does this eliminate him from Bess's fantasy of happily-ever-after marriage? She hits the road hoping to find the answer she seeks from his previous brides. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

CENTURIES OF JUNE by Keith Donohue (Fiction)
In the bathroom of an old house just before dawn, a man tries to tell the story of how he ended up on the floor with a hole in his head. But he keeps getting interrupted by a series of suspects --- eight women lying in the bedroom just down the hall. Each tells a story drawn from five centuries of American myth and legend. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

MY DEAR I WANTED TO TELL YOU by Louisa Young (Fiction)
Only 18 years old at the outbreak of World War I, Nadine and Riley --- lovers from different social classes --- want to make promises to each other. But how can they when their future is out of their hands? Youthful passion is on their side, but loyalty is tested by terrible injury and rehabilitation. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

THE QUANTUM THIEF by Hannu Rajaniemi (Science Fiction)
This debut novel is a crazy joyride through the solar system several centuries hence, a world of marching cities, ubiquitous public-key encryption, people communicating by sharing memories, and a race of hyper-advanced humans who originated as MMORPG guild members. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

When a college student is found murdered in the catacombs beneath a monastery in Naples, Captain Natalia Monte is assigned to investigate. Could the killer be a professor the student had been sleeping with? A blind monk who loved her? Or perhaps a member of the brutal Napali criminal organization, theCamorra? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Sisters Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush have teamed up to write WICKED LIES, a sequel to their 2009 romantic suspense novel, WICKED GAME. Their latest is a paranormal thriller in which a psychopath is hell-bent on destroying a newly pregnant woman who has the psychic ability to sense evil approaching. In this interview, conducted by Bookreporter.com’s Amie Taylor, Jackson and Bush discuss their collaboration, musing on their characters --- both villainous and heroic --- as well as why readers and writers enjoy edgy tales of serial killers. They also offer glimpses into their future projects, both individually and as a team.

Summer is upon us! At Bookreporter.com, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contest and Feature. We will be spotlighting a different title or two on select days from Tuesday, May 31st through Wednesday, July 27th, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book(s) and enter. Some days may even feature special bonus prizes, including beach items, a beach tote stocked with goodies, and additional books. We also will be sending a special daily newsletter to announce the day's title(s), which you can sign up for here.

Father’s Day is a time to celebrate the men in our lives who have raised and inspired us. Why not show him your appreciation by inspiring him with a great book? From May 27th through June 13th, readers will have the chance to win one of our five Bookreporter.com Father’s Day Backpacks. Each hunter green backpack is filled with a copy of our seven featured titles, keeping dad busy through the rest of the year. Also included are a red-striped beach towel and a pack of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

Our featured Father’s Day titles are:
-FORCED TO KILL (Audible Audio Edition) written by Andrew Peterson, narrated by Dick Hill
-MURDER ONE by Robert Dugoni

SILVER SPARROW by Tayari Jones (Fiction)
The opening line of SILVER SPARROW by Tayari Jones is seven words: “My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist.” Ponder it for a moment and think what those words mean for the person who wrote them, and then think about how that scenario can envelop a whole group of people who are caught up in knowing --- and not knowing --- secrets, lies and the truth that is somewhere between.

Written in two parts that then collide, you first hear the voice and story of Dana, who is the secret child. Her dad is a dad only once in a while. She knows about the other girl and realizes that that girl has the “real life,” while hers is the shadow one. The second story is that of Bunny, who has her dad full time but knows nothing of the full world in which he lives. The story arcs wonderfully so both stories come together, and there’s a lot to think about and talk about.

Set in Atlanta in the 1980s, the city is a character as well, as it sets the stage for the two different worlds in which the Witherspoons live. It’s a look at cause and effect of actions --- and inactions --- and leaves a lot to discuss once you finish it.

FRAGILE by Lisa Unger (Mystery)
Everybody knows everybody in The Hollows, a quaint, charming town outside of New York City. It’s a place where neighbors keep an eye on one another’s kids, where people say hello in the grocery store, and where high school cliques and antics are never quite forgotten. As a child, Maggie found living under the microscope of small-town life stifling. But as a wife and mother, she has happily returned to The Hollows’s insular embrace. As a psychologist, her knowledge of family histories provides powerful insights into her patients’ lives. So when the girlfriend of her teenage son, Rick, disappears, Maggie’s intuitive gift proves useful to the case --- and also dangerous.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Lisa Unger’s bio.
-Click here to see Lisa Unger’s backlist.
-Visit Lisa Unger’s official website, www.LisaUnger.com.

BURIED SECRETS by Joseph Finder (Thriller)
Nick Heller, "private spy," has returned to his old home town of Boston to set up his own shop. There he’s urgently summoned by an old family friend. Hedge fund titan Marshall Marcus desperately needs Nick’s help. His teenaged daughter, Alexa, has just been kidnapped. Her abduction was clearly a sophisticated professional job, done with extraordinary precision. Alexa, whom Nick has known since she was young, is now buried alive, held prisoner in an underground crypt, a camera trained on her, her suffering streaming live over the internet. She’s been left with a limited supply of food and water and, if her father doesn’t meet the demands of her shadowy kidnappers, she’ll die. And as Nick begins to probe, he discovers that all is not quite right with Marshall Marcus’s business. He’s being investigated by the FBI, he has a lot of shady investors, his fund is in danger and now he has a lot of powerful enemies who may have the motivation to go after Marcus’s daughter. But to find out who’s holding Alexa Marcus hostage, Nick has to find out why.

We have 20 copies of BURIED SECRETS, which will be in stores June 21st, to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, June 10th at noon ET.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Joseph Finder's bio.
-Click here to see Joseph Finder's backlist.
-Visit Joseph Finder's official website, www.JosephFinder.com.

MURDER ONE by Robert Dugoni (Legal Thriller)
Attorney David Sloane has returned to Seattle after three months in Mexico mourning the loss of his wife. At a black-tie dinner where he’s been persuaded to give the keynote ad-dress, Sloane reconnects with Barclay Reid, opposing counsel in his most prominent case. Barclay is suffering from her own personal tragedy --- the death of her teenage daughter from a drug overdose. In the aftermath, Barclay has begun an intense crusade against the Russian drug traffickers she holds responsible for her daughter’s death, pursuing them with a righteousness that matches Sloane’s own zeal for justice. Despite their adversarial past, Sloane is drawn to Barclay and for the first time since his wife died, he finds himself beginning to have romantic feelings again.

But when Barclay’s crusade stalls and a Russian drug dealer turns up dead, she stands accused of murder, and Sloane is her chosen defender. Amid the swirling media frenzy, in his first criminal case, Sloane finds himself once again in harm’s way, while mounting evidence suggests that Barclay is a wom hilarating plot twists, Robert Dugoni once again proves why he’s so often been named the heir to Grisham’s literary throne.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Robert Dugoni’s bio.
-Click here to see Robert Dugoni’s backlist.
-Visit Robert Dugoni’s official website, www.RobertDugoni.com

THE DARK ENQUIRY by Deanna Raybourn (Romantic Suspense)
Partners now in marriage and in trade, Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have finally returned from abroad to set up housekeeping in London. But merging their respective collections of gadgets, pets and servants leaves little room for the harried newlyweds themselves, let alone Brisbane's private enquiry business.Among the more unlikely clients: Julia's very proper brother, Lord Bellmont, who swears Brisbane to secrecy about his case. Not about to be left out of anything concerning her beloved --- if eccentric --- family, spirited Julia soon picks up the trail of the investigation. It leads to the exclusive Ghost Club, where the alluring Madame Séraphine holds evening séances…and not a few powerful gentlemen in thrall. From this eerie enclave unfolds a lurid tangle of dark deeds, whose tendrils crush reputations and throttle trust.

We have 20 copies of THE DARK ENQUIRY, which will be in stores June 7th, to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, June 10th at noon ET.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Deanna Raybourn's bio.
-Click here to see Deanna Raybourn's backlist.
-Visit Deanna Raybourn's official website, www.DeannaRaybourn.com.

WICKED LIES by Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush (Romantic Suspense)
Nurse Laura Adderley has the amazing ability to diagnose her patients' illnesses simply by touching them. But it's this same second sense that allows her to receive maniacal death threats against herself and her unborn baby when a madman begins communicating with her in a terrifyingly telepathic manner. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to watch a special trailer.
-Read bios of Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush.
-See the backlists of Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush.
-Visit the official websites of Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush.
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read and comment on WICKED LIES.

SUMMER RENTAL by Mary Kay Andrews
Ellis, Julia and Dorie. Best friends since Catholic grade school, they now find themselves, in their mid-30s, at the crossroads of life and love. Ellis, recently fired from a job she gave everything to, is rudderless and now beginning to question the choices she's made over the past decade of her life. Julia --- whose caustic wit covers up her wounds --- has a man who loves her and is offering her the world, but she can't hide from how deeply insecure she feels about her looks, her brains, her life. And Dorie has just been shockingly betrayed by the man she loved and trusted the most in the world…though this is just the tip of the iceberg of her problems and secrets. A month in North Carolina's Outer Banks is just what each of them needs.

-Click here to read a third excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Mary Kay Andrews’s bio.
-Click here to see Mary Kay Andrews’s backlist.
-Visit Mary Kay Andrews’s official website, www.MaryKayAndrews.com.
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read and comment on SUMMER RENTAL.

Summer is almost here, and you know what that means: beach books, suntans, and blockbusters! Bookreporter.com's Books into Movies feature is spotlighting six flicks to kick off summertime, for book and movie lovers alike.

When it comes to blockbusters, nothing beats the superhero film --- it’s practically a summer staple. So prepare yourself for X-Men: First Class, a series prequel that sees archenemies Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) as friends! It’s true: the two were once young men discovering their powers together until a rift between them opened. Also in theaters will be The Green Lantern, which reveals a small but powerful force of warriors trying to keep the universe peaceful --- until a new enemy threatens the planet and they must call upon their newest recruit, a mere human who now wears the Lantern’s ring.

If you’re looking for something less fantastical, there’s Submarine --- based on a book by Joe Dunthorne --- which is the coming-of-tale of 15-year-old Oliver Tate, who has two big ambitions: save his parents' marriage and lose his virginity. The Tree is another indie gem --- adapted from Judy Pascoe’s OUR FATHER WHO ART IN THE TREE --- about eight-year-old Simone, who believes that her deceased father speaks to her through the leaves of her favorite tree.

Another young character takes center stage in the sunshiny Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summe­r, the first time Megan McDonald’s Judy Moody has graced the big screen. Starring Heather Graham and newcomer Jordana Beatty, third grader Judy will spend her summer not with her two best friends, as she had planned, but with her wacky Aunt Opal, who is full of surprises. Another family flick, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, sees Jim Carrey trying to train a group of penguins for a circus act. Funny and uplifting, the film is based on Richard and Florence Atwater’s children’s book, which was originally published in 1938.

If you’d rather spend your summer nights inside your (hopefully) air-conditioned abode, be sure to check out our Books into Movies on DVD feature, where we’re spotlighting seven films: The Adjustment Bureau, Barney’s Version, Beastly, The Eagle, Kill the Irishman, Red Riding Hood,True Grit (which received 10 Oscar nominations) and Unknown.

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