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Friday, June 24, 2011

The titles below are discussed in the June 24th Newsletter Opener, which can be read here:

IRON HOUSE by John Hart
PIG KAHUNA by Jennifer Sattler

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

Reviews and Excerpts
FALLEN by Karin Slaughter (Thriller)
When a hostage situation turns deadly, Faith Mitchell is left with too many questions and not enough answers. But Faith isn't just a cop anymore --- she's a witness too, and also a suspect. Faith will have to go up against the people she respects most in order to find her mother and bring the truth to light --- or bury it forever. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

BURIED SECRETS: A Nick Heller Novel by Joseph Finder (Thriller)
Private spy Nick Heller is urgently summoned by an old family friend whose teenage daughter has just been kidnapped. Alexa’s abduction was clearly a sophisticated job as she is now buried alive, held prisoner in an underground crypt. To find out who’s holding Alexa hostage, Nick needs to know why. Once he does, he will uncover an astonishing conspiracy that reaches far beyond anything he could have imagined. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE DARK ENQUIRY: A Lady Julia Grey Novel by Deanna Raybourn (Romantic Suspense)
Lady Julia Grey is once again hot on the heels of a ruthless killer as she and her husband, private enquiry agent Nicholas Brisbane, attempt to settle back into what was supposed to be an ordinary life in Victorian England, after their return from numerous close calls and exotic adventures abroad. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

THE HYPNOTIST by Lars Kepler (Thriller)
In the frigid clime of Tumba, Sweden, a gruesome triple homicide attracts the interest of Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate. The killer is still at large, and there’s only one surviving witness --- the boy whose family was killed before his eyes. Desperate for information, Linna sees only one option: hypnotism. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE DOG WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD: A Corduroy Mansions Novel by Alexander McCall Smith (Fiction)
In the elegantly crumbling mansion block called Corduroy Mansions, the comings and goings of the motley crew of residents continue apace. Our small, furry, endlessly surprising canine hero, Freddie de la Hay, has just been recruited by MI6 to infiltrate a Russian spy ring. Needless to say, the other denizens of Corduroy Mansions have issues of their own. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

SILVER GIRL by Elin Hilderbrand (Fiction)
Meredith Martin Delinn just lost everything --- her friends, her homes, her social standing --- because her husband cheated rich investors out of billions. Desperate and facing homelessness, Meredith and an old friend depart for a summer on Nantucket in an attempt to heal. But the island can't offer complete escape, as they're plagued by new and old troubles alike. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

WITCHES OF EAST END by Melissa de la Cruz (Urban Fantasy)
The three Beauchamp women --- Joanna and her daughters, Freya and Ingrid --- live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three ladies lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret --- they are powerful witches banned from using magic. Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell.

HEAT WAVE by Nancy Thayer (Fiction)
In this charming page-turner, Carley Winsted's husband dies suddenly, leaving her and their two young daughters heartsick. Now Carley faces the question of financial survival: Can she manage to keep their huge Nantucket home and also support her family, even though she's never had interest in a career? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

THE PROFESSION by Steven Pressfield (Thriller)
The year is 2032. The third Iran-Iraq war is over, and the 11/11 dirty bomb attack on the port of Long Beach, California is receding into memory. Everywhere, military force is for hire. Even nation states enlist mercenary forces to suppress internal insurrections, hunt terrorists, and maintain the new New World Order. As THE PROFESSION builds to its heart-stopping climax, its narrator launches his most desperate mission. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

STRONG AT THE BREAK: A Caitlin Strong Novel by Jon Land (Thriller)
Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong and her notorious friend, Cort Wesley Masters, reunite to rescue Masters’s son, Dylan Torres --- and wipe out a radical militia movement bent on destroying the fabric of America. The movement is headed by Malcolm Arno, a ruthless and soulless man capable of the most vile crimes. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

FORT FREAK: A Wild Cards Novel edited by George R. R. Martin (Science Fiction)
In 1946, an alien virus that rewrites human DNA was accidentally unleashed in the skies over New York City. It killed 90 percent of those it infected, while nine percent mutated into tragically deformed creatures and one percent gained superpowers. The Wild Cards shared-universe series is the tale of the history of the world since then --- and of the heroes among the one percent. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

TUNNEL VISION by Gary Braver (Thriller)
Following a biking accident on icy Boston streets, grad student Zack Kashian lapses into a coma. When he wakes up on Easter muttering the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic, the media is set abuzz about the “Miracle Man.” Religious fanatics flock to the hospital, and a small team of neuroscientists use Zack to secretly research near-death experiences. But sinister forces have taken an interest too --- forces to whom near-death experiences are deceptions by Satan himself. Reviewed by Roberta O’Hara.

THE BONES OF AVALON by Phil Rickman (Historical Mystery)
Some say that Glastonbury held the bones of King Arthur, for once it was called the Isle of Avalon. Now, in 16th-century England, Queen Elizabeth dispatches her consultant Dr. John Dee, along with her rumored lover Lord Dudley, to find the bones and prove her legitimacy to rule once and for all. But a nasty murder sidetracks them in their efforts. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

John A. Farrell draws on previously unpublished correspondence and memoirs to offer a candid account of America’s legendary defense attorney, touching on Clarence Darrow’s divorce, affairs and disastrous finances; new details of his feud with his law partner, the famous poet Edgar Lee Masters; a shocking disclosure about one of his most controversial cases; and explosive revelations of shady tactics he used in his own trial for bribery. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

NOBODY’S PERFECT: Two Men, One Call, and a Game for Baseball History by Armando Galarraga and Jim Joyce, with Daniel Paisner (Sports)
The perfect game is one of the rarest accomplishments in sports. No hits, no walks, no men reaching base. In more than 130 years of Major League Baseball, it has only happened 20 times. On June 2, 2010, Armando Galarraga threw baseball’s 21st perfect game. Except that’s not how it entered the record books. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

Although Joseph Finder’s original plan was to become a spy, lucky for us he became an award-winning author of thrillers instead. BURIED SECRETS marks the return of private spy Nick Heller, who was introduced to the world two years ago in VANISHED. Heller now finds himself in the middle of a life-or-death situation when a friend’s teenage daughter is abducted and held prisoner in an underground crypt.’s Joe Hartlaub spoke with Finder about the creation of his protagonist and his ability to reward followers of the series and newcomers alike. He reveals his keen interest in weapons, his knowledge of the CIA, his Batphone, and a recent brush with claustrophobia --- as well as allowing himself to be buried alive.

Deanna Raybourn’s romantic Lady Julia Grey series has garnered loyal readers, along with a RITA Award. To the delight of her fans, Lady Julia returns in THE DARK ENQUIRY. In the first installment, SILENT IN THE GRAVE, Julia was investigating the mysterious death of her husband with the help of a private enquiry agent named Nicholas Brisbane. Four books later, Julia and Nicholas are newlyweds, but all is not happily ever after as their latest investigation stirs a pot of tension between them.’s Amie Taylor spoke with Raybourn about her unique take on the Victorian era and how Victorian women were not as proper as history makes them seem. She also discusses the Spiritualist movement, séances, Gypsies, Transylvania, and sniffing moors.

Summer is upon us! At, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contests and Features. 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 27th 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.

Now In Stores
by Karin Slaughter
There’s no police training stronger than a cop’s instinct. Faith Mitchell’s mother isn’t answering her phone. Her front door is open. There’s a bloodstain above the knob. Her infant daughter is hidden in a shed behind the house. All that the Georgia Bureau of Investigations taught Faith Mitchell goes out the window when she charges into her mother’s house, gun drawn. She sees a man dead in the laundry room. She sees a hostage situation in the bedroom. What she doesn’t see is her mother...
“You know what we’re here for. Hand it over, and we’ll let her go.”

When the hostage situation turns deadly, Faith is left with too many questions, not enough answers. To find her mother, she’ll need the help of her partner, Will Trent, and they’ll both need the help of trauma doctor Sara Linton. But Faith isn’t just a cop anymore --- she’s a witness. She’s also a suspect. The thin blue line hides police corruption, bribery, even murder. Faith will have to go up against the people she respects the most in order to find her mother and bring the truth to light --- or bury it forever.

Karin Slaughter’s most exhilarating novel yet is a thrilling journey through the heart and soul, where the personal and the criminal collide, and conflicted loyalties threaten to destroy reputations and ruin lives. It is the work of a master of the thriller at the top of her game, and a whirlwind of unrelenting suspense.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to enter to win a copy.

THE AMERICAN HEIRESS by Daisy Goodwin (Historical Fiction)
THE AMERICAN HEIRESS, Daisy Goodwin’s debut novel, opens in Newport, Rhode Island, in its glory days when the Astors ruled the social scene and midnight balls were all the rage. But money is not everything, and Cora Cash’s mother wants what many mothers of the day want for their society daughters --- a royal title. Thus they travel to England in search of one, and they learn that this is a time when money really does buy anything. These lush times set the scene for a look at the steamy and darker sides of this world. The fashions, customs and other historical details are just pitch perfect. Goodwin’s spirited and upbeat writing style is completely entertaining.

For humor, I actually read this book in manuscript form last summer, and along the way I misplaced the last few pages. When I realized they were missing, I flew up from the hammock and dashed into the house to find them as I HAD to know how it ended. The suspense is there right to the end. Doubt me? Get to the last few pages! And may I say I have looked forward to sharing this one with readers for months.

It’s a perfect read for those who enjoyed “Downton Abbey,” the PBS Masterpiece Theatre series, and anyone who enjoyed all the details of the Royal Wedding. There’s a treasure trove of discussion material for book clubs who enjoy historical fiction.

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?

-Click here to read a second excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Alice LaPlante’s bio.
-Click here to see the 20 winners.

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.

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.

-Click here to read a second 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,
-Click here to see the 20 winners.

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.”

-Click here to read a second 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,
-Click here to see the 20 winners.

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 for bothGray 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 third 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.

THE CANARY LIST by Sigmund Brouwer (Suspense)
Protected by the dark of night, Jaimie Piper runs. But is anywhere safe when Evil is hunting you?

She’s just a 12-year-old girl, bumped around between foster homes and relegated to school classes for challenged kids, those lagging in their test scores or with behavioral issues. But her real problem is that she can sense something the other kids can’t --- something dark. Something compelling her to run for her life.

All Crockett Grey wants is to mark the anniversary of his daughter’s death alone. But when his student Jaimie comes to him, terrified, her need for protection collides with his grief, and a tangled web of bizarre events sends them both spiraling toward destruction.

Crockett’s one hope of getting his life back is to uncover the mysterious secrets of Jaimie’s past and her strange gift. It isn’t long before his discoveries lead him to a darker conspiracy, secrets guarded by the highest seat of power in the world --- the Vatican.

-Click here to read more.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Sigmund Brouwer’s bio.
-Click here to read critical praise for Sigmund Brouwer.

THE BELLS by Richard Harvell (Fiction)
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’s 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 third 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.

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