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Friday, June 17, 2011

The titles below are discussed in the June 17th Newsletter Opener, which can be read here:

TIGHTER by Adele Griffin
GO THE F--K TO SLEEP by Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortès

SUMMER RENTAL by Mary Kay Andrews
FRENCH LESSONS by Ellen Sussman
IRON HOUSE by John Hart

The following are reviews, excerpts, interviews and features that currently appear on the homepage:

Reviews and Excerpts

AGAINST ALL ENEMIES by Tom Clancy with Peter Telep (Thriller)
A terrorist bombing in Pakistan wipes out ex-Navy SEAL Max Moore’s entire CIA team. As the only survivor, he plunges deeper into the treacherous tribal lands to find the terrorist cell. But what he discovers there leads him to a much darker conspiracy in an unexpected part of the globe --- the US/Mexico border, where a drug war rages. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

CARTE BLANCHE: The New James Bond Novel by Jeffery Deaver (Thriller)
James Bond, in his early 30s and already a veteran of the Afghan war, has been recruited to a new organization. Conceived in the post-9/11 world, its aim is to protect the Realm by any means necessary. Headquarters has decrypted an electronic whisper about a scheduled attack. And Agent 007 has been given carte blanche to do whatever it takes to fulfill his mission. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

ONE SUMMER by David Baldacci (Fiction)
The tables are turned when a man with a terminal illness loses his healthy wife just days before entering hospice himself. On death’s doorstep, Jack says his goodbyes, but then something happens to bring him back. He sees a spark of life and spirit in his defiant teenage daughter, a girl who has just lost everything but lets down her guard long enough to let her dad really see her and to show that she still needs him --- and always will. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

THE GREATER JOURNEY: Americans in Paris by David McCullough (History)
As David McCullough writes, “Not all pioneers went west.” Those who instead traveled to Paris included Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America; Charles Sumner, who would become the most powerful voice for abolition in the U.S. Senate; Samuel F. B. Morse; and writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain and Henry James. Nearly all of these Americans, whatever their troubles, spent many of their happiest days and nights in the City of Lights. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

SISTERHOOD EVERLASTING by Ann Brashares (Fiction)
Ten years after THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS, Tibby, Lena, Carmen and Bridget have started separate lives on their own. Despite having jobs and men they love, each knows something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Tibby reaches out to arrange a reunion. Indeed, it will change their lives forever --- but in ways none of them could have ever expected. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

FOLLY BEACH: A Lowcountry Tale by Dorothea Benton Frank (Romance)
With its sandy beaches and bohemian charms, surfers and suits alike consider Folly Beach one of South Carolina's most historic and romantic spots. It’s also the land of Cate Cooper's childhood, the place where all the ghosts of her past roam. Yet Folly Beach holds more than just memories. For Cate, Folly also holds the promise of unexpected fulfillment when she is forced to look at her life. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP by S. J. Watson (Psychological Thriller)
Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love --- all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story. Welcome to Christine Lucas's terrifying life. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

TRADER OF SECRETS: A Paul Madriani Novel by Steve Martini (Legal Thriller)
Defense attorney Paul Madriani is embroiled in a case as perilous as any he has ever faced: one that involves an angry killer who will stop at nothing short of vengeance, and two missing NASA scientists who are holding secrets that a hostile government desperately wants to purchase --- in blood if they must. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

MISERY BAY: An Alex McKnight Novel by Steve Hamilton (Thriller)
Alex McKnight knows all about evil, having faced down a madman who killed his partner and left a bullet next to his heart. But nothing could have prepared him for the darkness he’s about to face, when a simple quest to find a few answers about a suicide turn into a nightmare of sudden violence, bloody revenge, and a race against time to catch a ruthless killer. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

CHILDREN AND FIRE by Ursula Hegi (Historical Fiction)
So much has changed for teacher Thekla Jansen and the people of Burgdorf, Germany in the year since the parliament building burned. Thekla’s lover, Emil Hesping, is sure the Nazis did it to frame the communists. But Thekla believes that the communists set the fire, and she encourages her 10-year-old students to join the “Hitler-Jugend” with its hikes, songs and bonfires. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

NOW YOU SEE ME by S. J. Bolton (Mystery)
One night, Lacey Flint, a young detective constable, stumbles onto a woman brutally stabbed in a building’s darkened parking lot. Within 24 hours, a reporter receives an anonymous letter that points out alarming similarities between the murder and Jack the Ripper’s first murder. If the connection is real, history shows they have just five days until the next attempt. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

EAST ON SUNSET: A Crime Novel by Ken Mercer (Mystery)
Will Magowan, the ex-narcotics detective introduced to readers in SLOW FIRE, has decided to retire from law enforcement and start a new life. Things are looking up, until a figure from the past appears and makes a mysterious demand. Will must risk everything as he uncovers long-buried secrets and discovers that almost nothing in his life is what it seems. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

In Stores June 21st
THE AMERICAN HEIRESS by Daisy Goodwin (Historical Fiction)
Be careful what you wish for. Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the 20th century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts', suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage.

Witty, moving and brilliantly entertaining, Cora's story marks the debut of a glorious storyteller who brings a fresh new spirit to the world of Edith Wharton and Henry James.

-Visit Daisy Goodwin's official website,

Summer is upon us! At, 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.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, June 20th at noon ET.

-Click here to see this year's featured titles.
-Click here to receive our special newsletter announcing each day’s prize book.

TURN OF MIND by Alice LaPlante (Fiction)
A stunning first novel, both literary and thriller, about a retired orthopedic surgeon with dementia, TURN OF MIND has already received worldwide attention. With unmatched patience and a pulsating intensity, Alice LaPlante brings us deep into a brilliant woman’s deteriorating mind, where the impossibility of recognizing reality can be both a blessing and a curse.

As the book opens, Dr. Jennifer White’s best friend, Amanda, who lived down the block, has been killed, and four fingers surgically removed from her hand. Dr. White is the prime suspect, and she herself doesn’t know whether she did it. Told in White’s own voice, fractured and eloquent, a picture emerges of the surprisingly intimate, complex alliance between these life-long friends --- two proud, forceful women who were at times each other’s most formidable adversaries.

As the investigation into the murder deepens and White’s relationships with her live-in caretaker and two grown children intensify, a chilling question lingers: Is White’s shattered memory preventing her from revealing the truth or helping her to hide it?

We have 20 copies of TURN OF MIND, which will be in stores July 5th, 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 24th at noon ET.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Alice LaPlante’s bio.

THE SOLDIER'S WIFE by Margaret Leroy (Historical Fiction)
As World War II draws closer and closer to Guernsey, Vivienne de la Mare knows that there will be sacrifices to be made. Not just for herself, but for her two young daughters and for her mother-in-law, for whom she cares while her husband is away fighting. What she does not expect is that she will fall in love with one of the enigmatic German soldiers who take up residence in the house next door to her home. As their relationship intensifies, so do the pressures on Vivienne. Food and resources grow scant, and the restrictions placed upon the residents of the island grow with each passing week. Though Vivienne knows the perils of her love affair with Gunther, she believes that she can keep their relationship --- and her family --- safe. But when she becomes aware of the full brutality of the Occupation, she must decide if she is willing to risk her personal happiness for the life of a stranger.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Margaret Leroy's bio.
-Click here to see Margaret Leroy's backlist.
-Visit Margaret Leroy's official website,
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read and comment on THE SOLDIER’S WIFE.

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight
NEVER KNOWING by Chevy Stevens (Thriller)
From the acclaimed author of STILL MISSING comes a psychological thriller about one woman’s search into her past and the deadly truth she uncovers. All her life, Sara Gallagher has wondered about her birth parents. As an adopted child with two sisters who were born naturally to her parents, Sara did not have an ideal home life. The question of why she was given up for adoption has always haunted her. Finally, she is ready to take steps and find closure. But some questions are better left unanswered.

We have 20 copies of NEVER KNOWING, which will be in stores July 5th, 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 24th at noon ET.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Chevy Stevens’s bio.
-Click here to see Chevy Stevens’s backlist.
-Visit Chevy Stevens’s official website,

YOU'RE NEXT by Gregg Hurwitz (Thriller)
Mike Wingate, abandoned by his father at four and raised in foster care, is finally living the life he always dreamed of --- he’s happily married with a precocious eight-year-old daughter, and his construction company is about to finish a “green” housing development that will secure a solid future for them all.

But then something from his own past, a past he doesn’t even remember, comes back to visit terror upon him and his family. Shady characters begin threatening Mike, and when he reports them, the police seem more interested in Mike’s murky past than in protecting him.

Now, with Mike, his wife Annabel and daughter Kat suddenly under attack from all sides, Mike turns to Shep, a dangerous man --- and Mike’s only true friend --- from his childhood days in foster care. Together they will do whatever it takes to protect Mike’s family against the hidden men behind the terrifying warning, “You’re Next.”

We have 20 copies of YOU'RE NEXT, which will be in stores July 5th, 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 24th at noon ET.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Gregg Hurwitz’s bio.
-Click here to see Gregg Hurwitz’s backlist.
-Visit Gregg Hurwitz’s official website,

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.

-Click here to read a third 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,
-Click here
to see the 20 winners selected to read and comment on BURIED SECRETS.

Former socialite Tracy Deloche has nothing to her name but five ramshackle beach cottages and the unlikely friendships she's formed with her tenants. Wanda, wise waitress turned popular pie-shop owner. Janya, the young Indian wife whose arranged marriage surprises her every day. Alice, a widow raising her complex tween-age granddaughter. And Maggie, Wanda's daughter, a former Miami cop with a love life as complicated as Tracy's own.The new man in Tracy's life hasn't mentioned love or commitment --- and Tracy has just discovered she's pregnant. Janya longs to be a mother --- and suddenly has two young siblings in her care. Maggie helps out at Wanda's Wonderful Pies…but is the kitchen big enough forbothGray women? And Alice may lose her beloved granddaughter to someone no one expected. As a tropical storm brews, the wind carries surprises and secrets over the bridge to Happiness Key. Now, more than ever, five friends will discover just how much they need one another.

-Click here to read a second excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Emilie Richards’s bio.
-Visit Emilie Richards’s official website,
-Click here
to see the 20 winners selected to read and comment on SUNSET BRIDGE.

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.

-Click here to read a third 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,
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read and comment on THE DARK ENQUIRY.

Paperback Spotlight
THE BELLS by Richard Harvell
Born in a belfry high in the Swiss Alps, Moses Froben and his deaf and mute mother ring the beautiful church bells each day. The townspeople assume Moses is also deaf, but shaped by the glorious music of the bells, he actually possesses a singular sense of hearing that makes him privy to any number of sins --- and puts him in grave danger. Moses finds refuge in a monastery’s choir and becomes its star singer, but he falls under the power of a man who will do anything to preserve Moses’ angelic voice forever. In this letter to his son, Moses recounts his life as a novice monk, the power and beauty of the music he loves, and a story of forbidden love.

-Click here to read a second excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Richard Harvell’s bio.
-Visit Richard Harvell’s official website,
-Click here
to see the 20 winners of THE BELLS.

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