Saturday, May 31, 2008

"How to Be Useful"

New from Houghton Mifflin: How to Be Useful: A Beginner's Guide to Not Hating Work by Megan Hustad.

About the book, from the publisher:

There's a lot of career advice out there. Much of it dumb. But what if someone read all the advice books -- over a hundred years' worth -- and put all the good ideas in one place? Could you finally escape the cube? Stop mailing things? Be happier?

In How to Be Useful, Megan Hustad dismantles the myths of getting ahead and helps you navigate the murky waters of office life. Humorous yet wise, irreverent yet marvelously practical, this book will help you learn

Why "just being yourself" is a terrible idea.

How to be smart, but not too smart.

Why you shouldn't be "nice."

When not to be good at your job.

How to screw up with grace and dignity.

Why shoes matter.

The right and wrong ways to talk trash about yourself.

That ambition, practiced wisely, is a noble thing.

Visit Megan Hustad's website.

Linda L. Richards of January Magazine calls How to Be Useful "pretty terrific: a good idea well-executed."

"Killing Rommel"

New from Doubleday: Killing Rommel by Steven Pressfield.

About the book, from the publisher:

Steven Pressfield’s quintet of acclaimed, bestselling novels of ancient warfare— Gates of Fire, Tides of War, Last of the Amazons, The Virtues of Wa,r and The Afghan Campaign— have earned him a reputation as a master chronicler of military history, a supremely literate and engaging storyteller, and an author with acute insight into the minds of men in battle. In Killing Rommel Pressfield extends his talents to the modern world with a WWII tale based on the real-life exploits of the Long Range Desert Group, an elite British special forces unit that took on the German Afrika Korps and its legendary commander, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, "the Desert Fox."

Autumn 1942. Hitler’s legions have swept across Europe; France has fallen; Churchill and the English are isolated on their island. In North Africa, Rommel and his Panzers have routed the British Eighth Army and stand poised to overrun Egypt, Suez, and the oilfields of the Middle East. With the outcome of the war hanging in the balance, the British hatch a desperate plan—send a small, highly mobile, and heavily armed force behind German lines to strike the blow that will stop the Afrika Korps in its tracks. Narrated from the point of view of a young lieutenant, Killing Rommel brings to life the flair, agility, and daring of this extraordinary secret unit, the Long Range Desert Group. Stealthy and lethal as the scorpion that serves as their insignia, they live by their motto: Non Vi Sed ArteNot by Strength, by Guile as they gather intelligence, set up ambushes, and execute raids. Killing Rommel chronicles the tactics, weaponry, and specialized skills needed for combat, under extreme desert conditions. And it captures the camaraderie of this “band of brothers” as they perform the acts of courage and cunning crucial to the Allies’ victory in North Africa.

As in all of his previous novels, Pressfield powerfully renders the drama and intensity of warfare, the bonds of men in close combat, and the surprising human emotions and frailties that come into play on the battlefield. A vivid and authoritative depiction of the desert war, Killing Rommel brilliantly dramatizes an aspect of World War II that hasn’t been in the limelight since Patton. Combining scrupulous historical detail and accuracy with remarkable narrative momentum, this galvanizing novel heralds Pressfield’s gift for bringing more recent history to life.
Visit Steven Pressfield's website.

Friday, May 30, 2008

"Washington: The Making of the American Capital"

New from Amistad and HarperCollins: Washington: The Making of the American Capital by Fergus Bordewich.

About the book, from the publisher:

Washington, D.C., is home to the most influential power brokers in the world. But how did we come to call D.C.—a place one contemporary observer called a mere swamp "producing nothing except myriads of toads and frogs (of enormous size)," a district that was strategically indefensible, captive to the politics of slavery, and a target of unbridled land speculation—our nation's capital? In Washington, acclaimed and award-winning author Fergus M. Bordewich turns his eye to the backroom deal making and shifting alliances between our Founding Fathers and in doing so pulls back the curtain on the lives of slaves who actually built the city. The answers revealed in this eye-opening book are not only surprising and exciting but also illuminate a story of unexpected triumph over a multitude of political and financial obstacles, including fraudulent real estate speculation, overextended financiers, and management more apt for a "banana republic" than an emerging world power.

In this page-turning work that reveals the hidden and somewhat unsavory side of the nation's beginnings, Bordewich, once again, brings his novelist's sensibility to a little-known chapter in American history.
Visit Fergus Bordewich's website.


New from St. Martin's Press: Ambush by Paul Carson.

About the book, from the publisher:

American expat Scott Nolan has recently moved to Ireland and enjoys a flourishing career as a doctor, a rising media profile as a persuasive campaigner against drug abuse, and is very much in love with Laura, his beautiful new wife. But one wintry Dublin morning, Scott’s life is changed forever when a team of contract killers attempts a daring double ambush. Their target: Ireland’s antidrug government minister and his medical spokesman, Dr. Scott Nolan. The attack goes horribly wrong, and in the bloodbath that follows, Laura is killed by a bullet meant for Nolan. Fueled by grief and revenge, and desperate to claim back his life and find the killers, Scott enters into an uneasy alliance with his wife’s brother, police detective Mark Higgins. Together they embark on a highly controversial international covert mission to slowly and systematically infiltrate the drug scene and track down the assassin. Using secret U.S. army interrogation compounds and breaking almost every law in the land, the duo finally close in on their target . . . . This nail biting, heart-pounding blockbuster weaves a tale from the back streets of Dublin to the red-light districts of Amsterdam and the seedy streets of Bangkok, accelerating to a breathtaking climax that will test Nolan’s physical and moral fortitude to the absolute limit.
Visit Paul Carson's website.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"The Spies of Warsaw"

New from Random House: The Spies of Warsaw by Alan Furst.

About the book, from the publisher:

An autumn evening in 1937. A German engineer arrives at the Warsaw railway station. Tonight, he will be with his Polish mistress; tomorrow, at a workers’ bar in the city’s factory district, he will meet with the military attaché from the French embassy. Information will be exchanged for money. So begins The Spies of Warsaw, the brilliant new novel by Alan Furst, lauded by The New York Times as “America’s preeminent spy novelist.”

War is coming to Europe. French and German intelligence operatives are locked in a life-and-death struggle on the espionage battlefield. At the French embassy, the new military attaché, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, a decorated hero of the 1914 war, is drawn into a world of abduction, betrayal, and intrigue in the diplomatic salons and back alleys of Warsaw. At the same time, the handsome aristocrat finds himself in a passionate love affair with a Parisian woman of Polish heritage, a lawyer for the League of Nations.

Colonel Mercier must work in the shadows, amid an extraordinary cast of venal and dangerous characters–Colonel Anton Vyborg of Polish military intelligence; the mysterious and sophisticated Dr. Lapp, senior German Abwehr officer in Warsaw; Malka and Viktor Rozen, at work for the Russian secret service; and Mercier’s brutal and vindictive opponent, Major August Voss of SS counterintelligence. And there are many more, some known to Mercier as spies, some never to be revealed.

The Houston Chronicle has described Furst as “the greatest living writer of espionage fiction.” The Spies of Warsaw is his finest novel to date–the history precise, the writing evocative and powerful, more a novel about spies than a spy novel, exciting, atmospheric, erotic, and impossible to put down.
Visit Alan Furst's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Foreign Correspondent.

Writers Read: Alan Furst

--Marshal Zeringue

"Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp"

New from William Morrow: Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp by Stephanie Klein.

About the book, from the publisher:

With her signature acerbic wit and captivating insight, the author of the wildly popular Straight Up and Dirty offers a powerful and beautifully stark portrait of adolescence.

While she is pregnant with twins, one sentence uttered by her doctor sends Stephanie Klein reeling: "You need to gain fifty pounds." Instantly, an adolescence filled with insecurity and embarrassment comes flooding back. Though she is determined to gain the weight for the health of her babies—even if it means she'll "weigh more than a Honda"—she can only express her deep fear by telling her doctor simply, "I used to be fat."

Klein was an eighth grader with a weight problem. It was a problem at school, where the boys called her "Moose," and it was a problem at home, where her father reminded her, "No one likes fat girls." After many frustrating sessions with a nutritionist known as the fat doctor of Roslyn Heights, Long Island, Klein's parents enrolled her for a summer at fat camp. Determined to return to school thin and popular, without her "lard arms" and "puckered ham," Stephanie embarked on a memorable journey that would shape more than just her body. It would shape her life.

In the ever-shifting terrain between fat and thin, adulthood and childhood, cellulite and starvation, Klein shares the cutting details of what it truly feels like to be an overweight child, from the stinging taunts of classmates, to the off-color remarks of her own father, to her thin mother's compulsive dissatisfaction with her own body. Calling upon her childhood diary entries, Klein reveals her deepest thoughts and feelings from that turbulent, hopeful time, baring her soul and making her heartache palpable.

Whether Klein is describing her life as a chubby adolescent camper—getting weighed on a meat scale, petting past curfew, and "chunky dunking" in the lake—or what it's like now as a fit mother, having one-sided conversations with her newborn twins about the therapy they'll one day need, this hilarious yet grippingly vulnerable book will remind you what it was like to feel like an outsider, to desperately seek the right outfit, the right slang, the best comeback, or whatever that unattainable something was that would finally make you fit in.
Visit Stephanie Klein's website.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"The Fourth Watcher"

New from William Morrow: The Fourth Watcher by Timothy Hallinan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Travel writer Poke Rafferty is ready to let go of his Looking for Trouble series of travel books and the dangerous lifestyle that goes with it, and settle down in Bangkok with his fiancée, Rose, and his newly adopted daughter, Miaow. But trouble isn't ready to let go of Poke. Enter the one person Poke least wants to see in the entire world—a person whose emotional hold on Poke is absolute. With him come a box of rubies, a wad of fraudulent identity papers, and—in pursuit of those things—one of the most dangerous gangsters in China.

Add to that Rose's innocent involvement in a North Korean counterfeiting operation and an off-the-tracks agent of the American Secret Service who's dying to put Poke behind bars, and Poke and his family find themselves in a complicated and potentially deadly situation. Getting them all out alive will take every skill Poke has.

Once again, Hallinan has created a complex, emotionally satisfying thriller with edge-of-your-seat suspense and a cast of characters so real you'll feel you know them. Sharp as a razor and full of heart-pounding surprises, The Fourth Watcher firmly establishes Hallinan as a brilliant new voice in the world of suspense.
A Nail Through the Heart introduced Bangkok-based rough-travel writer Poke Rafferty, who is also the central character of The Fourth Watcher. See, The Page 69 Test: A Nail Through the Heart.

Visit Timothy Hallinan's website.

"Happy Family"

New from Black Cat and Grove/Atlantic: Happy Family by Wendy Lee.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Hua Wu arrives in New York City, her life seems destined to resemble that of countless immigrants before her. She spends her hectic days working in a restaurant in Chinatown, and her lonesome nights in a noisy, crowded tenement, yearning for those she left behind in Fuzhou, China.

But one day in a park in the West Village, a chance encounter alters the course of Hua’s life, as well as the lives of others. She meets Jane Templeton and her daughter, Lily, a two-year-old adopted from China. Eager to expose Lily to the language and culture of the country of her birth, Jane decides to hire Hua to be her nanny.

From the moment she steps into Jane’s brownstone apartment, Hua finds herself in a world far removed from the cramped streets of Chinatown or her grandmother’s home in Fuzhou. Jane, a museum curator of Asian art, and her husband, a theater critic, are cultured and successful. They pull Hua into their circle of family and friends until she is deeply attached to Lily and their way of life. But when cracks show in the family’s perfect façade, what will Hua do to protect the little girl who reminds her so much of her own past?

A beautiful and revelatory novel with a deceptively simple premise, Happy Family is a promising debut from a perceptive and graceful writer.
Visit Wendy Lee's website.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


New from Alfred. A. Knopf: Madapple by Christina Meldrum.

About the book, from the publisher:

THE SECRETS OF the past meet the shocks of the present.

Aslaug is an unusual young woman. Her mother has brought her up in near isolation, teaching her about plants and nature and language—but not about life. Especially not how she came to have her own life, and who her father might be.

When Aslaug’s mother dies unexpectedly, everything changes. For Aslaug is a suspect in her mother’s death. And the more her story unravels, the more questions unfold. About the nature of Aslaug’s birth. About what she should do next.

About whether divine miracles have truly happened. And whether, when all other explanations are impossible, they might still happen this very day.

Addictive, thought-provoking, and shocking, Madapple is a page-turning exploration of human nature and divine intervention—and of the darkest corners of the human soul.
Visit Christina Meldrum's website.

"Chosen Forever"

New from Soho Press: Chosen Forever by Susan Richards.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Susan Richards adopted an abused horse rescued by the local SPCA she didn’t know how Lay Me Down’s loving nature would touch her heart—and change her life.

Susan, a writing teacher, had lost her mother at the age of five and been abandoned by her father to uncaring relatives; she had an unhappy marriage ending in divorce and had self-medicated for anxiety (and grief and repressed anger) with alcohol. For more than a decade she had aspired to be a published writer but it was only with the memoir she wrote to honor Lay Me Down that she achieved this goal.

The book led to a book tour, in the course of which Susan reconnected with family and friends with whom she had severed relations. But even more joyously, at the second reading on her tour she met the man who had sold her his house twenty-four years earlier, a world famous photographer, Dennis Stock. And they fell in love.
Visit Susan Richards' website.

Monday, May 26, 2008

"Promise of the Wolves"

New from Simon & Schuster: Promise of the Wolves by Dorothy Hearst.

About the book, from the author's website.

Never consort with humans. Never kill a human unprovoked. Never allow a mixed-blood wolf to live.

At least that’s what the wolves of the Wide Valley believe. Until a young wolf dares to break the rules—and forever alters the relationship between wolves and the humans who share their world.

Born of a forbidden mixed-blood litter and an outcast after her mother is banished, Kaala is determined to earn a place in the Swift River pack. But her world is turned upside down when she saves a human girl from drowning. Risking expulsion from their pack and banishment from the Wide Valley, Kaala and her young packmates begin to hunt with the humans and thus discover the long-hidden bond between the two clans. But when war between wolves and humans threatens, Kaala learns the lies behind the wolf’s promise. Lies that force her to choose between safety for herself and her friends and the survival of her pack—and perhaps of all wolf- and humankind.


Set 14,000 years ago, Promise of the Wolves takes you to a land where time is counted in phases of the moon, distance is measured in wolflengths, and direction by the scent of the nearest trail. Join Kaala and her pack in a spellbinding adventure set in a fantastical world filled with lore.
Visit Dorothy Hearst's website.

"House Rules"

New from Atlantic Monthly Press: Mike Lawson's House Rules.

About the book, from the publisher:

Mike Lawson’s Joe DeMarco thrillers have drawn praise for their fine-tuned suspense, off-kilter characters, intricate plots, and revealing portrait of Washington, DC behind closed doors. In House Rules, a terrorist bombing of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel is narrowly avoided. Then a private plane headed straight for the White House ignores warnings and is shot down. An atmosphere of fear and panic overruns the country, and when the junior senator from Virginia proposes to deport all noncitizen Muslims and run extensive background checks on all Muslim Americans, his bill gains surprising traction.

Speaker of the House John Mahoney is not pleased. He knows it is the kind of knee-jerk response people will come to regret, like Japanese internment camps, and he needs to find a way to kill the bill before it exposes a secret he wants to keep. So Mahoney calls his man DeMarco. An average guy who struggles with debt, divorce, and an unreasonable boss, DeMarco is an unlikely hero, in over his head, relying on old friends as he attempts to get to the bottom of the attacks in this riveting read, full of suspense, fascinating characters, humor, and timely political intrigue.
The Page 69 Test: House Rules.

Visit Mike Lawson's website.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

"Island of Lost Girls"

New from Harper Paperbacks: Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon.

About the book, from the publisher:

While parked at a gas station, Rhonda sees something so incongruously surreal that at first she hardly recognizes it as a crime in progress. She watches, unmoving, as someone dressed in a rabbit costume kidnaps a young girl. Devastated over having done nothing, Rhonda joins the investigation. But the closer she comes to identifying the abductor, the nearer she gets to the troubling truth about another missing child: her best friend, Lizzy, who vanished years before.

From the author of the acclaimed Promise Not to Tell comes a chilling and mesmerizing tale of shattered innocence, guilt, and ultimate redemption.
Visit Jennifer McMahon's website.

The Page 69 Test: Promise Not to Tell.

"Girl Factory"

New from Tin House Books: Girl Factory by Jim Krusoe.

About the book, from the publisher:

A yogurt parlor in a corner mall somewhere in the city of St. Nils contains a dark secret in its basement, and Jonathan, the mostly clueless clerk who works there, just wants to fix things once and for all. But, beginning with an early encounter in an animal shelter that leaves three dead, things don’t always work out the way they ought to. Or do they? Filled with memorable characters, including two dogs (one too smart for his own good) and a retired sea captain, this unsettling darkly comic novel is an exploration of memory, desire, and the nature of storytelling. More disturbingly, Girl Factory raises questions about the ubiquitous objectification of women, the possibility for change, and the nature of freedom.
Read January Magazine's Author Snapshot: Jim Krusoe.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

"Black Flies"

New from Soft Skull Press: Black Flies by Shannon Burke.

About the book, from the publisher:

Novelist Shannon Burke earned stunning reviews for his debut book, Safelight, and now he returns with the same minimalist intensity in this arresting follow-up. Black Flies is the story of paramedic Ollie Cross and his first year on the job in mid-90s New York. It is a ground's eye view of life on the streets: the shoot-outs, the bad cops, unhinged medics, and hopeless patients, the dark humor in bizarre circumstances, and one medic's struggle to balance his desire to help against his own growing callousness. It is the story of lives that hang in the balance, and of a single job with a misdiagnosed newborn that sends Cross and his partner into a life-changing struggle between good and evil.
Visit Shannon Burke's website.

"The Murder Notebook"

New from William Morrow & Company: The Murder Notebook by Jonathan Santlofer.

About the book, from the publisher:

Jonathan Santlofer once again combines his extraordinary talents as both a writer and an artist in this second chilling thriller featuring NYPD forensic sketch artist Nate Rodriguez. Though plagued by the death of his father years ago, Rodriguez has little time to dwell on the past. A rash of seemingly unrelated murders holds New York City in a gridlock of terror, and with his reputation for having a sixth sense—an uncanny ability to draw things he hasn't even seen—Rodriguez lands a spot on the task force investigating the crimes. But with his mind's eye clouded, he's forced to search for an answer the old-fashioned way: by hitting the streets.

Rodriguez begins to suspect a common thread between the victims, confirmed when more bodies turn up—those of the killers themselves. As the slayings continue, the link between the crimes comes into focus and Rodriguez must convince the NYPD that they are up against something bigger—and more heinous—than anyone ever suspected.

The Murder Notebook is a smart, innovative suspense novel with a terrifying, ripped-from-the-headlines urgency. Where is the line between advancement and criminality in matters of manipulating the human psyche? What would happen if someone were no longer able to feel fear? With his unique blend of gripping prose and original sketches, Jonathan Santlofer has crafted a tale of morality and duty, love and justice, that is as shocking as it is timely.
Read an excerpt from the Murder Notebook.

Visit Jonathan Santlofer's website.

Friday, May 23, 2008


New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Fixation by Mark Schorr.

About the book, from the publisher:

Edgar nominee Mark Schorr introduced detective Brian Hanson to rave reviews in Borderline. Now, in this thrilling follow-up, Hanson is back--risking his reputation and his life.

A Vietnam vet with post-traumatic stress disorder and a history of substance abuse, Brian Hanson has turned his life around working as a counselor with some of Portland, Oregon’s, most troubled citizens.

When an FBI raid goes badly for his girlfriend, Special Agent Louise Parker, Louise comes under investigation by the very agency she is loyal to. Louise turns to Brian for support, but a cunning stalker is deliberately sabotaging all that is precious to her. And as the harasser grows more and more aggressive, there’s no telling who she can trust.

Taking readers from Portland’s mysterious underground tunnels, to computer dives in Seattle, to the back streets and alleyways of the Rose City, Fixation offers gripping characters with a rich sense of place, and the kind of psychological insights that only a counseling professional could bring to a thriller. It is a stunning novel from a multitalented crime star.
Visit Mark Schorr's website.

"Ice, Mud and Blood"

New from Macmillan Science: Ice, Mud and Blood: Lessons from Climates Past by Chris Turney.

About the book, from the publisher:

Imagine a world of wildly escalating temperatures, apocalyptic flooding, devastating storms and catastrophic sea levels. This might sound like a prediction for the future or the storyline of a new Hollywood blockbuster but it’s actually what occurred on earth in the past. In a day and age when worrying forecasts for future climate change are the norm, it seems hard to believe that such things happened regularly over time. Can humankind decipher the past and learn from it?

As science gains new understanding of how the planet works, it’s becoming increasingly clear that no one place is disconnected from anywhere else. From the Alps to the Andes, seemingly unrelated parts of the world are connected in one way or another. By reading this book you’ll realize that we're facing challenges beyond anything our species has had to contend with before.
Visit Chris Turney's website.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Holy Moly"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Holy Moly by Ben Rehder.

About the book, from the publisher:

When televangelist Peter Boothe decides to build a megachurch on the banks of the Pedernales River, he thinks his biggest problem will be a few unhappy neighbors. However, when backhoe operator Hollis Farley unearths a rare fossil on the construction site---a discovery that could lead to plenty of embarrassing Darwinian publicity---the cover-up begins. Soon, Farley is dead, shot in the back with an arrow, and Game Warden John Marlin is asked to help with the case.

What he and the local deputies find is a suspect list of biblical proportions: Could it have been the bitter geology professor? The private fossil collector with a somewhat unusual fetish? The minister’s wife who takes the Commandments rather lightly? Or the geriatric environmentalist with a mean right hook? Nothing is sacred in Rehder’s most laughable satire yet, a twisted tale of greed, corruption, infidelity, and, yes, paleontology.
Visit Ben Rehder's website and his blog.

"A Deadly Paradise"

New from Soho Crime: A Deadly Paradise by Grace Brophy.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the peaceful Umbrian village of Paradiso, the shocking murder and mutilation of an elderly German woman is barely credible. That is, until Inspector Alessandro Cenni of the State Police discovers that this retired cultural attaché was not just a diffi cult tenant, but also a bisexual swinger with an African lover recently in residence, as well as a blackmailer. The dead woman grew up in Occupied Venice, and some of her secrets may have been acquired that long ago, during World War II. And the bucolic village is not that innocent: it was the site of a famous, scandalous murder fi fty years earlier. His boss wants a scapegoat, and the young African lesbian is the obvious target, but Cenni cannot bring himself to close a case without solving the crime and bringing the actual perpetrator to justice.
Visit Grace Brophy's website.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"Mistress of the Sun"

New from Touchstone: Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland.

About the book, from the publisher:

The author of the internationally acclaimed Josephine Bonaparte trilogy returns with another irresistible historical novel, this one based on the life of Louise de la Vallière, who, against all odds, became one of the most mysterious consorts of France's Louis XIV, the charismatic Sun King.

Set against the magnificent decadence of the seventeenth-century French court, Mistress of the Sun begins when an eccentric young Louise falls in love with a wild white stallion and uses ancient magic to tame him. This one desperate action of her youth shadows her throughout her life, changing it in ways she could never imagine.

Unmarriageable, and too poor to join a convent, Louise enters the court of the Sun King, where the king is captivated by her. As their love unfolds, Louise bears Louis four children, is made a duchess, and reigns unrivaled as his official mistress until dangerous intrigue threatens her position at court and in Louis's heart.

A riveting love story with a captivating mystery at its heart, Mistress of the Sun illuminates both the power of true and perfect love and the rash actions we take to capture and tame it.
Visit Sandra Gulland's website and her blog.

"The Actress"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: The Actress by Elizabeth Sims.

About the book, from the publisher:

Aspiring actress and single mother Rita Farmer has gone from struggling to find work to downright desperate. If she doesn’t land a paying job soon---horror movie, soap commercial, anything---she’s afraid her ex-husband will use her dire financial straits to take away Petey, her cherished four-year-old son.

While she’s charming the crowd at storytime at the L.A. public library, a celebrity defense attorney approaches her with an unusual job offer: So long as she’s discreet, Rita can rake in a thousand dollars a day preparing his client for her appearance in court. Easy money? Hardly. His client, Eileen Tenaway, is not only a wealthy heiress and a queen of the tabloids but she’s been charged with the murder of her own child. The attorney needs Rita to coach Eileen secretly to help her seem more sympathetic, more human. He needs the jury to believe not only her words but the subtle cues of body language, facial expressions, even vocal style. Rita knows she can do it, but what she doesn’t know is how determined she’ll become to find out what really happened to Eileen’s family---once her own life and Petey’s life depend on it.

The Actress, Elizabeth Sims’s engrossing new series debuting a spirited sleuth, delivers a fresh, behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood’s high society at its lowest.
Visit Elizabeth Sims' website.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Rabbit in the Moon"

Coming in June from Oceanview Publishing: Rabbit in the Moon by Deborah & Joel Shlian.

About the book, from the publisher:

San Francisco, 1989: Forty years after Mao and his People’s Liberation Army set poised to change China forever, Dr. Lili Quan prepares for a journey that will change her life forever.

In her 27 years, Lili had rarely thought of herself as anything but a perfect American. But to honor her mother’s dying wish that Lili “return home,” Lili reluctantly sets out for China.

For Lili, a passionate idealist, this will be an extraordinary trip filled with remarkable discoveries – from meeting and falling in love with Chi-Wen Zhou, a victim of the Cutural Revolution and zealous Taoist, to finding Dr. Ni-Fu Cheng, the grandfather Lili believed had died years ago. But Dr. Cheng has made the most remarkable discovery of all: he’s discovered the secret to long life.

As Dr. Cheng’s only relative, Lili’s life is in jeopardy. As greedy and unscrupulous men vie for control of the most earth-shattering discovery of the century, Lili Quan could become a pawn in a deadly and dangerous international game.

A rich tapestry of suspense, intrigue, and discovery, Rabbit in the Moon is a moving and miraculous story about finding home – and finding hope.
Visit Deborah & Joel Shlian's website.


New from Harcourt Books: Thomas Perry's Fidelity.

About the book:

When Phil Kramer is shot dead on a deserted suburban street in the middle of the night, his wife, Emily, is left with an emptied bank account and a lot of questions. How could Phil leave her penniless? What was he going to do with the money? And, most of all, who was he if he wasn’t the man she thought she married?

Jerry Hobart has some questions of his own. It’s none of his business why he was hired to kill Phil Kramer. But now that he’s been ordered to take out Kramer’s widow, he figures there’s a bigger secret at work—and maybe a bigger payoff.

As they race to find the secret that Phil Kramer so masterfully hid, both Hobart and Emily must question where their true loyalties lie and how much they owe those who have been unfaithful to them. In Fidelity, Thomas Perry delivers another riveting thriller.
Read an excerpt from Fidelity.

The Page 69 Test: Silence.

The Page 99 Test: Nightlife.

Writers Read: Thomas Perry.

Monday, May 19, 2008

"Scottsboro "

New from W. W. Norton & Company: Scottsboro by Ellen Feldman.

About the book, from the publisher:

A powerful novel about race, class, sex, and a lie that refused to die.

Alabama, 1931. A posse stops a freight train and arrests nine black youths. Their crime: fighting with white boys. Then two white girls emerge from another freight car, and fast as anyone can say Jim Crow, the cry of rape goes up. One of the girls sticks to her story. The other changes her tune, again and again. A young journalist, whose only connection to the incident is her overheated social conscience, fights to save the nine youths from the electric chair, redeem the girl who repents her lie, and make amends for her own past. Intertwining historical actors and fictional characters, stirring racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism into an explosive brew, Scottsboro is a novel of a shocking injustice that convulsed the nation and reverberated around the world, destroyed lives, forged careers, and brought out the worst and the best in the men and women who fought for the cause.
Visit Ellen Feldman's website.

"Clubbed to Death"

New from New American Library: Clubbed to Death: A Dead-End Job Mystery by Elaine Viets.

About the book, from the publisher:

Helen Hawthorne's latest dead-end job is in a country club's complaint department, dealing with the gripes of the rich and spoiled. Then Rob, her deadbeat ex-husband, sails back into her life aboard the yacht of his new lady, Marcella—known as the Black Widow for her string of dead spouses. The next day Rob's reported missing. If the Black Widow has such a murderous reputation, then why is Helen led from the club in handcuffs?

When Marcella helps Helen get released, the two form an uneasy alliance to find out what really happened. Helen's barely begun digging when a club patron is discovered beaten to death with a golf club —his membership permanently expired. Someone got more than a little teed off and it's up to Helen to get to the truth—without getting clubbed herself...
Visit Elaine Viets' website.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"The Battle of the Labyrinth"

New from Hyperion: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan.

About the book, from the publisher:

As an incoming freshman, Percy isn’t expecting his high school orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse. In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop them, Percy and his demigod friends will set out on a quest through the Labyrinth -- a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn. Full of humor and heart-pounding action, this fourth book promises to be their most thrilling adventure yet.
Visit Rick Riordan's website.

"The Reapers"

New from Atria Books: The Reapers by John Connolly.

About the book, from the publisher:

A brilliantly chilling novel by New York Times bestselling author John Connolly about a chain of killings, linked obscurely by great distances and the passage of years, and the settling of their blood-debts -- past, present, and future.

As a small boy, Louis witnesses an unspeakable crime that takes the life of a member of his small, southern community. He grows up and moves on, but he is forever changed by the cruel and brutal nature of the act. It lights a fire deep within him that burns white and cold, a quiet flame just waiting to ignite. Now, years later, the sins of his life are reaching into his present, bringing with them the buried secrets and half-forgotten acts of his past.

Someone is hunting him, targeting his home, his businesses, and his partner, Angel. The instrument of revenge is Bliss, a killer of killers, the most feared of assassins. Bliss is a Reaper, a lethal tool to be applied toward the ultimate end, but he is also a man with a personal vendetta.

Hardened by their pasts, Louis and Angel decide to strike back. While they form a camaraderie that brings them solace, it offers them no shelter from the fate that stalks them. When they mysteriously disappear, their friends are forced to band together to find them. They are led by private detective Charlie Parker, a killer himself, a Reaper in waiting.

Connolly's triumphant prose and unerring rendering of his tortured characters mesmerize and chill. He creates a world where everyone is corrupt, murderers go unpunished, but betrayals are always avenged. Yet another masterpiece from a proven talent, The Reapers will terrify and transfix.
Visit John Connolly's website and his blog.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Ida: A Sword Among Lions"

Recently from Amistad/HarperCollins: Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching by Paula J. Giddings.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the tradition of towering biographies that tell us as much about America as they do about their subject, Ida: A Sword Among Lions is a sweeping narrative about a country and a crusader embroiled in the struggle against lynching: a practice that imperiled not only the lives of black men and women, but also a nation based on law and riven by race.

At the center of the national drama is Ida B. Wells (1862-1931), born to slaves in Mississippi, who began her activist career by refusing to leave a first-class ladies’ car on a Memphis railway and rose to lead the nation’s first campaign against lynching. For Wells the key to the rise in violence was embedded in attitudes not only about black men but about women and sexuality as well. Her independent perspective and percussive personality gained her encomiums as a hero -- as well as aspersions on her character and threats of death. Exiled from the South by 1892, Wells subsequently took her campaign across the country and throughout the British Isles before she married and settled in Chicago, where she continued her activism as a journalist, suffragist, and independent candidate in the rough-and-tumble world of the Windy City’s politics.

In this eagerly awaited biography by Paula J. Giddings, author of the groundbreaking book When and Where I Enter, which traced the activist history of black women in America, the irrepressible personality of Ida B. Wells surges out of the pages. With meticulous research and vivid rendering of her subject, Giddings also provides compelling portraits of twentieth-century progressive luminaries, black and white, with whom Wells worked during some of the most tumultuous periods in American history. Embattled all of her activist life, Wells found herself fighting not only conservative adversaries but icons of the civil rights and women’s suffrage movements who sought to undermine her place in history.

In this definitive biography, which places Ida B. Wells firmly in the context of her times as well as ours, Giddings at long last gives this visionary reformer her due and, in the process, sheds light on an aspect of our history that is often left in the shadows.

"City of Thieves"

New from Viking: City of Thieves by David Benioff.

About the book, from the publisher:

A writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won't talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds. Lev Beniov considers himself “built for deprivation.” He's small, smart, and insecure, a Jewish virgin too young for the army, who spends his nights working as a volunteer firefighter with friends from his building. When a dead German paratrooper lands in his street, Lev is caught looting the body and dragged to jail, fearing for his life. He shares his cell with the charismatic and grandiose Kolya, a handsome young soldier arrested on desertion charges. Instead of the standard bullet in the back of the head, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful colonel to use in his daughter's wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt to find the impossible. A search that takes them through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and the devastated surrounding countryside creates an unlikely bond between this earnest, lust-filled teenager and an endearing lothario with the gifts of a conman. Set within the monumental events of history, City of Thieves is an intimate coming-of-age tale with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.

Friday, May 16, 2008

"Shadow of Power"

New from William Morrow: Shadow of Power by Steve Martini.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Supreme Court is one of our most sacred—and secretive—public institutions. But sometimes secrets can lead to cover-ups with very deadly consequences.

Terry Scarborough is a legal scholar and provocateur who craves headline-making celebrity, but with his latest book he may have gone too far. In it he resurrects forgotten language in the U.S. Constitution—and hints at a missing letter of Thomas Jefferson's—that threatens to divide the nation.

Then, during a publicity tour, Scarborough is brutally murdered in a San Diego hotel room, and a young man with dark connections is charged. What looks like an open-and-shut case to most people doesn't to defense attorney Paul Madriani. He believes that there is much more to the case and that the defendant is a pawn caught in the middle, being scapegoated by circumstance.

As the trial spirals toward its conclusion, Madriani and his partner, Harry Hinds, race to find the missing Jefferson letter—and the secrets it holds about slavery and scandal at the time of our nation's founding and the very reason Scarborough was killed. Madriani's chase takes him from the tension-filled courtroom in California to the trail of a high court justice now suddenly in hiding and lays bare the soaring political stakes for a seat on the highest court, in a country divided, and under the shadow of power.
Visit Steve Martini's website.


New from Scribner: Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

Told with urgency and sharp political insight, Nixonland recaptures America's turbulent 1960s and early 1970s and reveals how Richard Nixon rose from the political grave to seize and hold the presidency.

Perlstein's epic account begins in the blood and fire of the 1965 Watts riots, nine months after Lyndon Johnson's historic landslide victory over Barry Goldwater appeared to herald a permanent liberal consensus in the United States. Yet the next year, scores of liberals were tossed out of Congress, America was more divided than ever, and a disgraced politician was on his way to a shocking comeback: Richard Nixon.

Between 1965 and 1972, America experienced no less than a second civil war. Out of its ashes, the political world we know now was born. It was the era not only of Nixon, Johnson, Spiro Agnew, Hubert H. Humphrey, George McGovern, Richard J. Daley, and George Wallace but Abbie Hoffman, Ronald Reagan, Angela Davis, Ted Kennedy, Charles Manson, John Lindsay, and Jane Fonda. There are tantalizing glimpses of Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Jesse Jackson, John Kerry, and even of two ambitious young men named Karl Rove and William Clinton -- and a not so ambitious young man named George W. Bush.

Cataclysms tell the story of Nixonland:

¥ Angry blacks burning down their neighborhoods in cities across the land as white suburbanites defend home and hearth with shotguns

¥ The student insurgency over the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and the riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention

¥ The fissuring of the Democratic Party into warring factions manipulated by the "dirty tricks" of Nixon and his Committee to Re-Elect the President

¥ Richard Nixon pledging a new dawn of national unity, governing more divisively than any president before him, then directing a criminal conspiracy, the Watergate cover-up, from the Oval Office

Then, in November 1972, Nixon, harvesting the bitterness and resentment born of America's turmoil, was reelected in a landslide even bigger than Johnson's 1964 victory, not only setting the stage for his dramatic 1974 resignation but defining the terms of the ideological divide that characterizes America today.

Filled with prodigious research and driven by a powerful narrative, Rick Perlstein's magisterial account of how America divided confirms his place as one of our country's most celebrated historians.
Visit Rick Perlstein's website.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"The Memory of Water"

Recently from NAL Accent: The Memory of Water by Karen White.

About the book, from the publisher:

On the night their mother drowns, sisters Marnie and Diana Maitland discover there is more than one kind of death. There is the death of innocence, of love, and of hope. Each sister harbors a secret about that night—secrets that will erode their lives as they grow into adulthood.

After ten years of silence between the sisters, Marnie is called back to the South Carolina Lowcountry by Diana's ex-husband, Quinn. His young son has returned from a sailing trip with his emotionally unstable mother, and he is refusing to speak. In order to help the traumatized boy, Marnie must reopen old wounds and bring the darkest memories of their past to the surface. And she must confront Diana, before they all go under.
Visit Karen White's website.

"Waterloo Sunset"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Waterloo Sunset by Martin Edwards.

About the book, from the publisher:

A notice announcing that Harry Devlin died suddenly on Midsummer’s Eve arrives at the office of his law firm one June day. Harry isn’t happy to read it – especially as Midsummer’s Eve is less than a week away. His partner Jim Crusoe treats the message as a joke, but Harry isn’t so sure. From that moment on, his world starts to fall apart. Who is his unknown enemy? The list of people who might want rid of him lengthens, and soon someone close to him is savagely attacked and left for dead. Meanwhile, young women are being murdered in Harry’s home city of Liverpool. When a friend who has asked to meet him becomes the latest victim, Harry is dragged into the investigation and becomes a suspect. He finds himself fighting for survival on two fronts. But even as he unravels the shocking secret behind the murders, the clock keeps ticking. Harry must discover and confront the enemy who wants him dead - if he is to live to see Midsummer’s Day. An atmospheric, fast-moving and intricate thriller, Waterloo Sunset features in Harry Devlin one of modern crime fiction’s most memorable amateur detectives in the deadliest case of his life.
Visit Martin Edwards' website and his blog, 'Do You Write Under Your Own Name?'.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"(Not) Keeping Up with Our Parents"

New from Beacon Press: Not Keeping Up with Our Parents: The Decline of the Professional Middle Class by Nan Mooney.

About the book, from the publisher:

How stagnant wages, debt, and escalating costs for tuition, health care, and home ownership are jeopardizing today's educated middle class

Drawing on more than a hundred interviews with diverse families across America, Nan Mooney explores the financial struggles of today's professional middle class, delving into their sense of economic security and their plans for and fears about the future.

Mooney shows how profoundly middle class expectations and realities have shifted: college tuition has increased 35 percent in the past five years; only 18 percent of middle class families have three months' income saved, and 90 percent of those filing for bankruptcy are middle class. Additionally, the share of family income devoted to "fixed costs"—housing, childcare, health insurance, and taxes—has climbed from 53 percent to 75 percent in the past two decades, and raising one child through age eighteen costs $237,000 for a middle-income family.

Despite this sobering reality, Mooney offers proactive and concrete ideas on how individuals and society can stop this downward spiral. She advocates improving government-backed education, healthcare, and childcare programs as well as drawing on successful models from individual states and other countries.

Facts from (Not) Keeping Up with Our Parents

Ninety percent of those filing for bankruptcy today are middle class.

Average college loan debt is nearly $20,000; average graduate school loan debt is $46,000.

Credit card debt has risen 31 percent in the past five years; middle- and low-income households owe an average of $8,650; a third owe over $10,000.

Health care premiums have increased at five times the rate of inflation since 2000.

Mortgages have now reached 96 percent of disposable income.

The median wealth of white households is $86,100, as opposed to $19,010 for black households and $11,450 for Latino households.

Between 1979 and 2003, income for the middle fifth of the population grew just 9 percent, while the income for the top 1 percent jumped by 111 percent.

Twenty-three percent of public college graduates and 38 percent of private college graduates would have an unmanageable level of debt if they were to live on a teacher's starting salary.
Visit Nan Mooney's website.

"Black Out"

New from Shaye Areheart Books: Lisa Unger's Black Out.

About the book, from the publisher:

When my mother named me Ophelia, she thought she was being literary. She didn’t realize she was being tragic.

On the surface, Annie Powers’s life in a wealthy Floridian suburb is happy and idyllic. Her husband, Gray, loves her fiercely; together, they dote on their beautiful young daughter, Victory. But the bubble surrounding Annie is pricked when she senses that the demons of her past have resurfaced and, to her horror, are now creeping up on her. These are demons she can’t fully recall because of a highly dissociative state that allowed her to forget the tragic and violent episodes of her earlier life as Ophelia March and to start over, under the loving and protective eye of Gray, as Annie Powers. Disturbing events—the appearance of a familiar dark figure on the beach, the mysterious murder of her psychologist—trigger strange and confusing memories for Annie, who realizes she has to quickly piece them together before her past comes to claim her future and her daughter.
Visit the official Black Out website.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


New from G. P. Putnam's Sons: Sepulchre by Kate Mosse.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1891, young Léonie Vernier and her brother Anatole arrive in the beautiful town of Rennes-les-Bains, in the Pyrenees of southwest France. Born and raised in Paris, they’ve come at the invitation of their widowed aunt, whose mountain estate, Domain de la Cade, is famous in the region. But it soon becomes clear that their aunt—and the Domain—are not what Leonie had imagined. For starters, Tante Isolde is no graying dowager—she is young, willowy, and beautiful, but with a melancholy air that suits the strange, slightly sinister Domain de la Cade. Leonie discovers that the house has long been the subject of local superstition. The villager claim that the Devil walks in the forests of the Domain, and that Isolde’s late husband died after summoning a demon from the old Visigoth sepulchre high on the mountainside. A book from the Domain’s cavernous library describes not only the spell used to bring forth the demon, but the strange Tarot pack that is part of the ritual, a set of cards that has mysteriously disappeared following the uncle’s death. But while Leonie delves deeper into the ancient mysteries of the Domain, a different evil stalks her family—one which may explain why Leonie and Anatole were invited to the Domain in the first place.

More than a century later, Meredith Martin, an American graduate student, arrives in France to study the life of Claude Debussy, a 19th century French composer. Meredith finds a letter by Debussy suggesting a connection with the town of Rennes-le-Bains and unable to find any information in Paris, Meredith heads south. In Rennes-le-Bain, she checks into a grand old hotel—the Domain de la Cade—built on the site of a famous mountain estate destroyed by fire in 1896. Something about the hotel feels eerily familiar, and strange dreams and visions begin to haunt Meredith’s waking hours. A chance encounter leads her to a piece of 19th century music known as "the Sepulchre" and pack of Tarot cards painted by Leonie Vernier, which may hold the key to this 21st century American’s fate…just as they did to the fate of Leonie Vernier more than a century earlier. What is the connection between Meredith and Leonie? Do demons really haunt the mountains of the Domain? All will be revealed when the Sepulchre is opened at last...
Visit Kate Mosse's website.

"Another Man's Moccasins"

New from Viking Books: Another Man's Moccasins by Craig Johnson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Walt Longmire unravels a mystery that connects two murders across forty years

When the body of a young Vietnamese woman is found alongside the interstate in Absaroka County, Wyoming, Sheriff Walt Longmire is determined to discover the identity of the victim and is forced to confront the horrible similarities of this murder to that of his first homicide investigation as a marine in Vietnam.

To complicate matters, Virgil White Buffalo, a homeless Crow Indian, is found living in a nearby culvert and in possession of the young woman’s purse. There are only two problems with what appears to be an open-and-shut case. One, the sheriff doesn’t think Virgil White Buffalo—a Vietnam vet with a troubling past—is a murderer. And two, the photo that is found in the woman’s purse looks hauntingly familiar to Walt.

In the fourth book in Craig Johnson’s awardwinning Walt Longmire series, the tough yet tender sheriff solves two murders tied in blood but separated by nearly forty years.
Visit Craig Johnson's website.

See which actor Craig Johnson pictures as Walt Longmire.

Monday, May 12, 2008

"The Wednesday Sisters"

Coming soon from Ballantine Books: The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton.

About the book, from the publisher:

Friendship, loyalty, and love lie at the heart of Meg Waite Clayton’s beautifully written, poignant, and sweeping novel of five women who, over the course of four decades, come to redefine what it means to be family.

For thirty-five years, Frankie, Linda, Kath, Brett, and Ally have met every Wednesday at the park near their homes in Palo Alto, California. Defined when they first meet by what their husbands do, the young homemakers and mothers are far removed from the Summer of Love that has enveloped most of the Bay Area in 1967. These “Wednesday Sisters” seem to have little in common: Frankie is a timid transplant from Chicago, brutally blunt Linda is a remarkable athlete, Kath is a Kentucky debutante, quiet Ally has a secret, and quirky, ultra-intelligent Brett wears little white gloves with her miniskirts. But they are bonded by a shared love of both literature–Fitzgerald, Eliot, Austen, du Maurier, Plath, and Dickens–and the Miss America Pageant, which they watch together every year.

As the years roll on and their children grow, the quintet forms a writers circle to express their hopes and dreams through poems, stories, and, eventually, books. Along the way, they experience history in the making: Vietnam, the race for the moon, and a women’s movement that challenges everything they have ever thought about themselves, while at the same time supporting one another through changes in their personal lives brought on by infidelity, longing, illness, failure, and success.

Humorous and moving, The Wednesday Sisters is a literary feast for book lovers that earns a place among those popular works that honor the joyful, mysterious, unbreakable bonds between friends.
Visit Meg Waite Clayton's website.

"The Crystal Skull"

New from Delacorte Press: The Crystal Skull by Manda Scott.

About the book, from the publisher:

In a spellbinding blend of history, myth, and science, bestselling novelist Manda Scott unleashes a thriller that sweeps from the secrets of the Mayans to the court of a sixteenth-century queen to a shattering end-times prophecy.

It’s a lump of rock, Stella; nothing more. No stone is worth dying for.”

Except it’s not just a lump of rock. It’s a blue crystal skull made by the Maya to save the world from ruin; a sapphire so perfect, so powerful that for centuries men have killed to own or destroy it.

Ancient prophecies say that if the thirteen skulls already in existence are not reunited, the world will end on December 21, 2012. Cedric Owen, the skull’s last Keeper, died so that it might keep its secret for the next four centuries. Now Stella Cody has found it, and someone has already tried to kill her. Like Owen, she’s being hunted—but by whom?

Desperate to unravel the mystery of the crystal skull, Stella must decode Cedric Owen’s coded writings, sketches and ciphers no scholar has been able to unravel. What she discovers is astounding: a shocking secret prophecy…and the staggering puzzle of four terrifying creatures, thirteen precious stones, and what will happen if Cedric Owen’s crystal skull falls into the wrong hands. But time is against Stella. She has only days—hours—left to uncover the only secret that may yet save the world.

The date is set. Time is running out.
The end of the world starts now.
Visit Manda Scott's website.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

"Now the Hell Will Start"

New from Penguin: Now the Hell Will Start: One Soldier's Flight from the Greatest Manhunt of World War II by Brendan I. Koerner.

About the book, from the publisher:

A true story of murder, love, and headhunters, Now the Hell Will Start tells the remarkable tale of Herman Perry, a budding Romeo from the streets of Washington, D.C., who wound up going native in the Indo-Burmese jungle—not because he yearned for adventure, but rather to escape the greatest manhunt conducted by the United States Army during World War II.

An African American G.I. assigned to a segregated labor battalion, Perry was shipped to South Asia in 1943, enduring unspeakable hardships while sailing around the globe. He was one of thousands of black soldiers dispatched to build the Ledo Road, a highway meant to appease China’s conniving dictator, Chiang Kai-shek. Stretching from the thickly forested mountains of northeast India across the tiger-infested vales of Burma, the road was a lethal nightmare, beset by monsoons, malaria, and insects that chewed men’s flesh to pulp.

Perry could not endure the jungle’s brutality, nor the racist treatment meted out by his white officers. He found solace in opium and marijuana, which further warped his fraying psyche. Finally, on March 5, 1944, he broke down—an emotional collapse that ended with him shooting an unarmed white lieutenant.

So began Perry’s flight through the Indo-Burmese wilderness, one of the planet’s most hostile realms. While the military police combed the brothels of Calcutta, Perry trekked through the jungle, eventually stumbling upon a village festooned with polished human skulls. It was here, amid a tribe of elaborately tattooed headhunters, that Herman Perry would find bliss—and would marry the chief ’s fourteen-year-old daughter.

Starting off with nothing more than a ten-word snippet culled from an obscure bibliography, Brendan I. Koerner spent nearly five years chasing Perry’s ghost—a pursuit that eventually led him to the remotest corners of India and Burma, where drug runners and ethnic militias now hold sway. Along the way, Koerner uncovered the forgotten story of the Ledo Road’s black G.I.s, for whom Jim Crow was as virulent an enemy as the Japanese. Many of these troops revered the elusive Perry as a folk hero—whom they named the Jungle King.

Sweeping from North Carolina’s Depression-era cotton fields all the way to the Himalayas, Now the Hell Will Start is an epic saga of hubris, cruelty, and redemption. Yet it is also an exhilarating thriller, a cat-and-mouse yarn that dazzles and haunts.
Visit Brendan I. Koerner's website and the Now the Hell Will Start website.

"American Eve"

New from Riverhead: American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, and the Crime of the Century by Paula Uruburu.

About the book:

The scandalous story of America’s first supermodel, sex goddess, and modern celebrity, Evelyn Nesbit, the temptress at the center of Stanford White’s famous murder, whose iconic life story reflected all the paradoxes of America’s Gilded Age.

Known to millions before her sixteenth birthday in 1900, Evelyn Nesbit was the most photographed woman of her era, an iconic figure who set the standard for female beauty. Women wanted to be her. Men just wanted her. When her life of fantasy became all too real, and her jealous millionaire husband, Harry K. Thaw, killed her lover—celebrity architect Stanford White, builder of the Washington Square Arch and much of New York City—she found herself at the center of the “Crime of the Century” and the popular courtroom drama that followed—a scandal that signaled the beginning of a national obsession with youth, beauty, celebrity, and sex.

The story of Evelyn Nesbit is one of glamour, money, romance, sex, madness, and murder, and Paula Uruburu weaves all of these elements into an elegant narrativethat reads like the best fiction— only it’s all true. American Eve goes far beyond just literary biography; it paints a picture of America as it crossed from the Victorian era into the modern, foreshadowing so much of our contemporary culture today.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


New from from Five Star Mysteries: Marc Paoletti's Scorch.

About the book, from the publisher:

Hollywood special effects pyrotechnician and ex-Navy SEAL David Cole is forced to relive the horror of war when a trained killer from his past, hired by a ruthless film producer, tries to murder him by burning him alive. The killer isn't successful, but the attack does take the life of Cole's beloved son, and leaves Cole horribly burned. Framed for the crime and pursued by police, Cole must endure unspeakable pain while using his knowledge of pyrotechnic effects and urban warfare to hunt the men responsible and fashion his own brand of justice. But time is running out. As Cole's ravaged body deteriorates, so does his grip on reality. Soon, Cole becomes a threat to both friend and foe alike, which is nothing compared to the price he could ultimately pay in this edge-of-your-seat action-thriller.
Visit Marc Paoletti's website.

"Please Excuse My Daughter"

New from Riverhead: Please Excuse My Daughter by Julie Klam.

About the book, from the publisher:

A woman's hilarious, bittersweet account of growing up in a family of career-shunning, dependence-seeking women and her journey to a state of twenty-first-century self-reliance.

Julie Klam was raised as the only daughter of a Jewish family in the exclusive WASP stronghold of Bedford, New York. Her mother was sharp, glamorous, and funny, but did not think that work was a woman's responsibility. Her father was fully supportive, not just of his wife's staying at home, but also of her extravagant lifestyle. Her mother's offbeat parenting style-taking Julie out of school to go to lunch at Bloomingdale's, for example-made her feel well-cared-for (and well-dressed) but left her unprepared for graduating and entering the real world. She had been brought up to look pretty and wait for a rich man to sweep her off her feet. But what happened if he never showed up?

When Julie gets married to a hardworking but not wealthy man-one who expects her to be part of a modern couple and contribute financially to the marriage-she realizes how ambivalent and ill-equipped she is for life. Once she gives birth to a daughter, she knows she must grow up, get to work, and teach her child the self-reliance that she never learned.

Delivered in an uproariously funny, sweet, self-effacing, and utterly memorable voice, Please Excuse My Daughter is a bighearted memoir from an irresistible new writer.
Visit Julie Klam's website.

Friday, May 9, 2008

"The Deal"

New from Oceanview Publishing: The Deal by Adam Gittlin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Everything about Jonah Gray screams success –movie-star good looks, expensive clothes, a Park Avenue penthouse, and a seven-figure income. A cutthroat, rainmaking New York city commercial real estate broker, Jonah craves opulence and power. He beds models, romps the globe on the weekends and sees the world as his for the taking. Jonah Gray has it all. Or at least he had it all.

When a close family friend presents Jonah with the deal of a lifetime, Jonah jumps at the chance. All Jonah has to do is act quickly, invest half a billion dollars in prime NY office buildings, and collect a huge payoff.

But all that glitters is not gold and this golden opportunity is anything but. Within days of signing on, Jonah is mysteriously thrust into the epicenter of an international and personal scandal.

Forced to explore a whole new territory where he can trust no one, and where danger, death and deception lurk at every corner, Jonah will learn some painfully hard lessons about the quest for easy money.

For Jonah, closing this deal could mean losing everything.
Visit Adam Gittlin's website.

"The Hard Way"

New from Forge Books: The Hard Way by Julie Luongo.

About the book, from the publisher:

Lucy Venier changes careers and boyfriends as often as she changes her socks. Although gifted with wit and creativity, the one thing Lucy lacks is focus. While being someone she’s not, be it crime reporter or sleep-deprived law student, Lucy’s one constant is art. Her insatiable desire to create is fueled by her offbeat life experiences. But unfortunately by day Lucy must hide her creativity under her business suit.

As if figuring out her life isn’t hard enough, all of Lucy’s friends are getting married. But Lucy’s not sure if she’s capable of living happily ever after. With a string of loser former flames, giving up seems to be the best option. But then there’s Ben—Lucy’s Mr. Right who comes at completely the wrong time. But is he truly The One? Did Lucy miss her chance?

In the tradition of The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, The Hard Way is a scrapbook of stories from Lucy’s life. As she discovers more about the people around her, will she finally begin to understand herself?
Visit Julie Luongo's blog and her MySpace page.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

"Blue Smoke and Murder"

New from William Morrow: Blue Smoke and Murder by Elizabeth Lowell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Jill Breck was just doing her job as a river guide when she saved the life of Lane Faroe, son of two of St. Kilda Consulting's premier operators. But when a string of ominous events—including a mysterious fire that kills her great-aunt and a furor in the Western art world raised by a dozen Breck family paintings—culminates in a threat to her life, Jill reluctantly calls in a favor.

Zach Balfour works part-time as a consultant for St. Kilda. His expertise is gathering and analyzing information from unlikely and often dangerous sources. Though he's got the skills to be a highly effective bodyguard, being a bullet catcher isn't his preferred way to spend time.

Protecting Jill will take him into familiar territory—among a strange, savagely competitive bunch of collectors who'll do anything to stay at the top. But Jill is in deeper waters than she's ever known; as she soon discovers, the perils of running wild rivers are tame compared with the hidden dangers in the high-stakes game of art collecting.

From the cozy rooms of the Breck homestead cabin to the cold multimillion-dollar galleries of the Western art circuit, Zach and Jill must race against time to unmask a ruthless killer hidden in a blue smoke of money, threats, lies, and death....
Visit Elizabeth Lowell's website.