Thursday, July 31, 2008

"Bitten to Death"

New from Orbit Books: Bitten to Death by Jennifer Rardin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Jaz Parks and her vampire boss, Vayl, have already fought demons, vampires, and reavers. Now, juggling work and family takes on a new dimension as she tackles her latest challenge: nail the Raptor before he can reduce her to Jaz-bits, survive a head-on crash with Vayl’s violent past, and lever her twin’s military career back on track before a dishonorable discharge ruins his life. To top it off, she must also contend with her father’s issues. Is he losing his mind? Or is someone really trying to kill him— from beyond the grave?
Visit Jennifer Rardin's website.

"Ask for a Convertible: Stories"

New from Pantheon Books: Ask for a Convertible: Stories by Danit Brown.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ask for a Convertible is a wonderfully assured debut that ponders what it means to be Israeli, to be American, or to be a little bit of both. In there connected stories, Danit Brown introduces Osnat Greenberg: a slightly fatalistic, darkly funny, and utterly winning heroine who is struggling to find her place in the world.

In the 1980s, Osnat moves with her American father and Israeli mother from Tel Aviv to Michigan. She's leaving behind security threats and a crazy grandmother, but entering a world where she seems doomed never to fit in. Her father hated absolutely everything about life in Israel; her mother hates absolutely everything about life in America.

Osnat's best friend and sort-of-boyfriend, Sanjay, Indian by birth, instructs her on the "arts" of assimilation; later, as Osnat moves into her twenties, a series of boyfriends all named Chris misguidedly attempt to instill her with holiday cheer. An Israeli soldier visiting the United States makes Osnat realize that it's time to face what she believes is her cowardly past. But it's her friend Harrier, an American who as a child practiced holding her breath just in case Nazis took over the Midwest, who somehow manages to show Osnat the meaning of home.

As the perspective shifts among the characters--spanning fifteen years, returning to Tel Aviv and then going back again to Michigan--Osnat tries (and often fails) to belong. Danit Brown gives is an irreverent portrait of a young woman for whom finding a foothold in the world is an obsession, a challenge, and a great adventure.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


New from Chronicle Books: Intercourse by Robert Olen Butler.

About the book, from the publisher.

Intercourse -- A provocative new short-story collection from Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler, Intercourse delightfully reveals what goes through a person's mind at a crucial moment—during sex. Smart, provocative, subtle, and erotic, each story is a many faceted gem. Butler dazzles and entertains as he channels the most intimate thoughts of 50 couples, including:
Adam & Eve
Bonnie & Clyde
Pocahontas & John Smith
Richard Milhous Nixon & Pat Nixon
Walt Whitman & Oscar Wilde
Elvis Presley & Holly Singleton (admirer)
Princess Diana & Prince Charles
William Jefferson Clinton & Hillary Diane Rodham
Santa Claus & Ingebirgitta (elf)
Read Steven Wingate's take on Intercourse.


New in the U.S. from Berkley: Undertow by Sydney Bauer.

About the book:

A girl is dead…and not just any girl.

Christina Haynes is the teenage daughter of a popular US Senator, and when she drowns moments after a conversation at sea with her best friend’s mother, Boston Lawyer David Cavanaugh faces his toughest case to date.

What appears to be a straightforward, tragic accident in the waters off Cape Ann Massachusetts, turns into something else entirely as Rayna Martin, a respected African-American attorney, is charged with her murder.

With the victim’s father one of the most powerful politicians in the country and the Assistant District Attorney prepared to put his personal ambition ahead of legal justice, David soon discovers that his most dangerous battle is taking place outside the court room.

Lies, deception, blackmail, threats…and finally the precision of an assassin’s bullet combine to create a shocking finale in this exciting debut from Australian author Sydney Bauer.

Visit Sydney Bauer's website.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"The Agitator's Daughter"

New from PublicAffairs: The Agitator's Daughter: A Memoir of Four Generations of One Extraordinary African-American Family by Sheryll Cashin.

About the book, from the publisher:

A renowned law professor's intimate chronicle of her family's history as pioneers of social justice, and the price her father paid for their achievements

During Reconstruction, Herschel V. Cashin was a radical republican legislator who championed black political enfranchisement throughout the South. His grandson, Dr. John L. Cashin, Jr., inherited that passion for social justice and formed an independent Democratic party to counter George Wallace's Dixiecrats, electing more blacks to office than in any Southern state. His "uppity" ways attracted many enemies. Twice the private plane Cashin owned and piloted was sabotaged. His dental office and boyhood home were taken by eminent domain. The IRS pursued him, as did the FBI. Ultimately his passions would lead to ruin and leave his daughter, Sheryll, wondering why he would risk so much.

In following generations of Cashins through the eras of slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, civil rights, and post-civil rights political struggles, Sheryll Cashin conveys how she came to embrace being an agitator's daughter with humor, honesty, and love.
Read an excerpt from The Agitator's Daughter.

"Evening Is the Whole Day"

New from Houghton Mifflin: Evening Is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set in Malaysia, this spellbinding and already internationally acclaimed debut introduces us to the prosperous Rajasekharan family as its closely guarded secrets are slowly peeled away.

When Chellam, the family's rubber-plantation-bred servant girl, is dismissed for unnamed crimes, her banishment is the latest in a series of recent, precipitous losses that have shaken six-year-old Aasha's life. A few short weeks before, Aasha's grandmother Paati passed away under mysterious circumstances and her older sister, Uma, departed for Columbia University--leaving Aasha alone to cope with her mostly absent father, her bitter mother, and her imperturbable older brother.

Beginning with Aasha's grandfather's ascension from Indian coolie to illustrious resident of the Big House on Kingfisher Lane, and going on to tell the story of how Appa, the family's Oxford-educated patriarch, courted Amma, the humble girl next door, Evening Is the Whole Day moves gracefully backward and forward in time to answer the many questions that haunt the family: What was Chellam's unforgivable crime? Why was Uma so intent on leaving? How and why did Paati die? What did Aasha see? And, underscoring all of these mysteries: What ultimately became of Appa's once-grand dreams for his family and his country? Sweeping in scope, sumptuously lyrical, and masterfully constructed, Evening Is the Whole Day offers an unflinching look at relationships between parents and children, brothers and sisters, the wealthy and the poor, a country and its citizens--and the ways in which each sometimes fails the other. Illuminating in heartbreaking detail one Indian immigrant family's secrets and lies while exposing the complex underbelly of Malaysia itself, Preeta Samarasan's debut is a mesmerizing and vital achievement sure to earn her a place alongside Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai, and Zadie Smith.
Visit Preeta Samarasan's website.

Monday, July 28, 2008

"Buying In"

New from Random House: Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are by Rob Walker.

About the book, from the publisher:

Brands are dead. Advertising no longer works. Weaned on TiVo, the Internet, and other emerging technologies, the short-attention-span generation has become immune to marketing. Consumers are “in control.” Or so we’re told.

In Buying In, New York Times Magazine “Consumed” columnist Rob Walker argues that this accepted wisdom misses a much more important and lasting cultural shift. As technology has created avenues for advertising anywhere and everywhere, people are embracing brands more than ever before–creating brands of their own and participating in marketing campaigns for their favorite brands in unprecedented ways. Increasingly, motivated consumers are pitching in to spread the gospel virally, whether by creating Internet video ads for Converse All Stars or becoming word-of-mouth “agents” touting products to friends and family on behalf of huge corporations. In the process, they–we–have begun to funnel cultural, political, and community activities through connections with brands.

Walker explores this changing cultural landscape–including a practice he calls “murketing,” blending the terms murky and marketing–by introducing us to the creative marketers, entrepreneurs, artists, and community organizers who have found a way to thrive within it. Using profiles of brands old and new, including Timberland, American Apparel, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Red Bull, iPod, and Livestrong, Walker demonstrates the ways in which buyers adopt products, not just as consumer choices, but as conscious expressions of their identities.

Part marketing primer, part work of cultural anthropology, Buying In reveals why now, more than ever, we are what we buy–and vice versa.
Visit Rob Walker's website.

"The Likeness"

New from Viking Books: The Likeness by Tana French.

About the book, from the publisher:

The eagerly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestselling psychological thriller In the Woods.

Six months after the events of In the Woods, Detective Cassie Maddox is still trying to recover. She’s transferred out of the murder squad and started a relationship with Detective Sam O’Neill, but she’s too badly shaken to make a commitment to him or to her career. Then Sam calls her to the scene of his new case: a young woman found stabbed to death in a small town outside Dublin. The dead girl’s ID says her name is Lexie Madison – the identity Cassie used years ago as an undercover detective – and she looks exactly like Cassie.

With no leads, no suspects, and no clue to Lexie’s real identity, Cassie’s old undercover boss, Frank Mackey, spots the opportunity of a lifetime. They can say that the stab wound wasn’t fatal and send Cassie undercover in her place to find out information that the police never would and to tempt the killer out of hiding. At first Cassie thinks the idea is crazy, but she is seduced by the prospect of working on a murder investigation again and by the idea of assuming the victim’s identity as a graduate student with a cozy group of friends.

As she is drawn into Lexie’s world, Cassie realizes that the girl’s secrets run deeper than anyone imagined. Her friends are becoming suspicious, Sam has discovered a generations-old feud involving the old house the students lived in, and Frank is starting to suspect that Cassie’s growing emotional involvement could put the whole investigation at risk. Another gripping psychological thriller featuring the headstrong protagonist we’ve come to love, from an author who has proven that she can deliver.
Read a brief excerpt from Tana French's In the Woods, and learn more about the novel and author at Tana French's website.

In the Woods won the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for Best First Novel.

The Page 69 Test: In the Woods.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"The Wishing Year"

New from Random House: The Wishing Year: A House, a Man, My Soul - A Memoir of Fulfilled Desire by Noelle Oxenhandler.

About the book, from the publisher:

One New Year’s Day, Noelle Oxenhandler took stock of her life and found that she was alone after a long marriage, seemingly doomed to perpetual house rental and separated from the spiritual community that once had sustained her. With little left to lose, she launched a year’s experiment in desire, forcing herself to take the plunge and try the path of Putting It Out There. It wasn’t easy. A skeptic at heart, and a practicing Buddhist as well, Oxenhandler had grown up with a strong aversion to mixing spiritual and earthly matters. Still, she suspended her doubts and went for it all: a new love, a healed soul, and the 2RBD/1.5 BA of her dreams. Thus began her initiation into the art of wishing brazenly.

In this charming, compelling, and ultimately joyful book, Oxenhandler records a journey that is at once comic and poignant, light and dark, earthy and spiritual. Along the way she wonders: Does wishing have power? Is there danger in wishing? Are some wishes more worthy than others? And what about the ancient link between suffering and desire? To answer her questions, she delves into the history of wishing, from the rain dance and deer song of primeval magic to modern beliefs about mind over matter, prosperity consciousness, and the law of attraction.

As the months go by, Oxenhandler is humbled to discover the courage it takes to make a wish and thus open oneself to the unknown. She is surprised when her experiment expands to include other people and other places in ways she never imagined. But most of all, she is amazed to find that there is, indeed, both power and danger in the act of wishing. For soon her wishes begin to come true–in ways that meet, subvert, and overflow her expectations. And what started as a year’s dare turns into a way of life.

A delightfully candid memoir, unfettered, poetic, and ripe with discovery, Oxenhandler’s journey into the art and soul of wishing will inspire even the most skeptical reader to search the skies for the next shooting star.
Read an excerpt from The Wishing Year.

"The Dark Side"

New from Doubleday: The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals by Jane Mayer.

About the book, from the publisher:

A dramatic and damning narrative account of how America has fought the "War on Terror"

In the days immediately following September 11th, the most powerful people in the country were panic-stricken. The radical decisions about how to combat terrorists and strengthen national security were made in a state of utter chaos and fear, but the key players, Vice President Dick Cheney and his powerful, secretive adviser David Addington, used the crisis to further a long held agenda to enhance Presidential powers to a degree never known in U.S. history, and obliterate Constitutional protections that define the very essence of the American experiment.

THE DARK SIDE is a dramatic, riveting, and definitive narrative account of how the United States made terrible decisions in the pursuit of terrorists around the world-- decisions that not only violated the Constitution to which White House officials took an oath to uphold, but also hampered the pursuit of Al Qaeda. In gripping detail, acclaimed New Yorker writer and bestselling author, Jane Mayer, relates the impact of these decisions—U.S.-held prisoners, some of them completely innocent, were subjected to treatment more reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition than the twenty-first century.

THE DARK SIDE will chronicle real, specific cases, shown in real time against the larger tableau of what was happening in Washington, looking at the intelligence gained—or not—and the price paid. In some instances, torture worked. In many more, it led to false information, sometimes with devastating results. For instance, there is the stunning admission of one of the detainees, Sheikh Ibn al-Libi, that the confession he gave under duress—which provided a key piece of evidence buttressing congressional support of going to war against Iraq--was in fact fabricated, to make the torture stop.

In all cases, whatever the short term gains, there were incalculable losses in terms of moral standing, and our country's place in the world, and its sense of itself. THE DARK SIDE chronicles one of the most disturbing chapters in American history, one that will serve as the lasting legacy of the George W. Bush presidency.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

"Deception's Daughter"

Coming soon from St. Martin's Minotaur: Deception's Daughter by Cordelia Frances Biddle.

About the book, from the publisher:

Critics raved about The Conjurer, the first in Cordelia Frances Biddle’s superb historical mystery series. Now Philadelphian heiress Martha Beale is back in a second thrilling installment laced with fast-paced intrigue and exquisite period detail.

When the daughter of one of Philadelphia’s finest families disappears, Martha Beale becomes the unwilling liaison between the girl’s aloof and aristocratic parents and Thomas Kelman, Martha’s secret beau, who is overseeing the investigation.

What appears to be a kidnapping, however, takes a darker turn, and complex clues implicate rich and poor alike. It is up to Martha and Kelman to unravel the diabolical plot--and the painful disparity of their social classes--as they struggle to unmask the killer.

As in The Conjurer, Cordelia Frances Biddle’s elegant and evocative prose brings to vibrant life mid-nineteenth-century Philadelphia. Deception’s Daughter is a stunning sequel from a multitalented crime writer.
Visit Cordelia Frances Biddle's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Conjurer.

"Unlucky Lucky Days"

New from BOA Editions: Unlucky Lucky Days by Daniel Grandbois.

About the book, from the publisher:

Inventive, disconcerting, and hilarious, these 73 tales of our Unlucky Lucky Days might well be termed Dr. Seuss for adults. They call to mind Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories as readily as they do Italo Calvino's Cosmicomics, Rikki Ducornet's Butcher's Tales and Woody Allen's most literary writing. Braced on the shoulders of the fabulists, fantasists, absurdists, surrealists and satirists who came before him, Daniel Grandbois dredges up impossible meanings from the mineral and plant kingdoms, as well as the animal, and serves them to us as if they were nothing more fantastic than a plate of eggs and ham.
Visit Daniel Grandbois' website.

Friday, July 25, 2008

"The Ashes of Worlds"

New from Orbit Books: Kevin J. Anderson's The Ashes of Worlds.

About the book, from the publisher:

The culminating volume in Kevin J. Anderson's Saga of Seven Suns weaves together the myriad storylines into a spectacular grand finale.

Galactic empires clash, elemental beings devastate whole planetary systems, and the factions of humanity are pitted against each other. Heroes rise and enemies make their last stands in the climax of an epic tale seven years in the making. The Saga of Seven Suns is one of the most colorful and spectacular science fiction epics of the last decade.
Read "Kevin J. Anderson on The Saga of Seven Suns."

Visit Kevin J. Anderson's website.

"We All Fall Down"

New from Leisure/Dorchester: We All Fall Down by Simon Wood.

About the book, from the publisher:

Hayden Duke is a young man on the fast track. He’s just signed on with Marin Design Engineering to work on a very high-level government project. But just before Hayden started, one of MDE’s employees committed suicide. And he’s not the only one. Is it the pressure? Or is there some other connection? Has Hayden Duke just put himself on the fast track to an early death?
Read an excerpt from We All Fall Down.

Visit Simon Wood's website.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Night Shift"

New from Orbit Books: Night Shift by Lilith Saintcrow.

About the book, from the publisher:

Not everyone can take on the things that go bump in the night.

Not everyone tries.

But Jill Kismet is not just anyone.

She's a Hunter, trained by the best - and in over her head.

Welcome to the night shift...
Visit Lilith Saintcrow's website.


New from Hyperion: Schooled by Anisha Lakhani.

About the book, from the publisher:

“You’re making how much an hour?”
“Two hundred dollars.”
“Do you ride in on a pony?”

All she wants to do is teach. For Anna Taggert, an earnest Ivy League graduate, pursuing her passion as a teacher means engaging young hearts and minds. She longs to be in a place where she can be her best self, and give that best to her students.

Turns out it isn’t that easy.

Landing a job at an elite private school in Manhattan, Anna finds her dreams of chalk boards and lesson plans replaced with board families, learning specialists, and benefit-planning mothers. Not to mention the grim realities of her small paycheck.

And then comes the realization that the papers she grades are not the work of her students, but of their high-priced, college-educated tutors. After uncovering this underground economy where a teacher can make the same hourly rate as a Manhattan attorney, Anna herself is seduced by lucrative offers—one after another. Teacher by day, tutor by night, she starts to sample the good life her students enjoy: binges at Barneys, dinners at the Waverly Inn, and a new address on Madison Avenue.

Until, that is, the truth sets in.
Visit Anisha Lakhani's website.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


New from Tachyon Publications: Dogs by Nancy Kress.

About the book, from the publisher:

The treat of terrorism and biological warfare becomes all too real when the danger comes from a family's most cherished pets. Tessa Sanderson, ex-FBI agent, has moved to a sleepy Maryland town in order to escape her tragic past. When the town's beloved dogs begin viciously attacking pet owners and their children, federal CDC agents determine that the dogs are carrying a mutated flu affecting the aggression center of their brains, for which there is no known cure. Tessa offers her unofficial assistance to Animal Control Officer Jess Langstrom, who has been ordered to round up all of the dogs and quarantine them. Meanwhile some of the locals, unconvinced of the threat, are preparing to protect their pets by any means necessary. But Tessa, the widow of an Arab who roused the suspicions of her FBI colleagues, has another secret: someone is sending her threatening emails in Arabic claiming responsibility for the virus, and she resolves to go deep undercover in order to expose a deadly conspiracy.

Dogs is a topical, fast-paced, biological thriller that will scare you while it makes you think.
Visit Nancy Kress' website and blog.

"For the Love of Animals"

New from Henry Holt & Company: For the Love of Animals: The Rise of the Animal Protection Movement by Kathryn Shevelow.

About the book, from the publisher:

The engaging story of how an unlikely group of extraordinary people laid the foundation for the legal protection of animals

In eighteenth-century England—where cockfighting and bullbaiting drew large crowds, and the abuse of animals was routine—the idea of animal protection was dismissed as laughably radical. But as pets became more common, human attitudes toward animals evolved steadily. An unconventional duchess defended their intellect in her writings. A gentleman scientist believed that animals should be treated with compassion. And with the concentrated efforts of an eccentric Scots barrister and a flamboyant Irishman, the lives of beasts—and, correspondingly, men and women—began to change.

Kathryn Shevelow, a respected eighteenth-century scholar, gives us the dramatic story of the bold reformers who braved attacks because they sympathized with the plight of creatures everywhere. More than just a history, this is an eye-opening exploration into how our feelings toward animals reveal our ideas about ourselves, God, mercy, and nature. Accessible and lively, For the Love of Animals is a captivating cultural narrative that takes us into the lives of animals—and into the minds of humans—during some of history’s most fascinating times.
Visit Kathryn Shevelow's website.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Matters of Faith"

Coming in August from Berkley Publishing Group: Matters of Faith by Kristy Kiernan.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of Catching Genius, a novel of a young man’s search for faith—and its unintended consequences.

At age twelve, Marshall Tobias saw his best friend killed by a train. It was then that he began his search for faith—delving into one tradition, then discarding it for another. His parents, however, have little time for spiritual contemplation. Their focus has been on his little sister Megan, who suffers from severe food allergies. Now Marshall is home from college with his first real girlfriend, but there is more to Ada than meets the eye—including her beliefs about the evils of medical intervention. What follows is a crisis that tests not only faith, but the limits of family, forgiveness, and our need to believe.
Visit Kristy Kiernan's website.

The Page 69 Test: Catching Genius.

My Book, The Movie: Catching Genius.

"My Mercedes Is Not for Sale"

New from Broadway Books: Jeroen van Bergeijk's My Mercedes Is Not for Sale: From Amsterdam to Auto-Misadventure Across the Sahara.

About the book, from the publisher:

“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?”
—Janis Joplin

A journalist’s intrepid endeavor to sell his used car abroad results in a high-spirited and revealing look at West Africa.

“Look, there’s my car,” I say, pointing at my Mercedes in the parking lot.
“Where?” a fellow desert traveler asks.
“There, that Mercedes,” I say.
He looks at me, questioning. “You want to drive that through the Sahara?”

Jeroen van Bergeijk came up with what seemed like a great scheme for making a quick profit: buy a clunker of a car in his native Amsterdam and resell it in the Third World, where a market even for jalopies still thrives. His chariot of choice is a rusted-out 1988 Mercedes 190D with 220,000 kilometers on its odometer; his route will take him from Holland through Morocco, across the Sahara, and into some of the least trodden parts of Africa.

My Mercedes Is Not for Sale is a rollicking tale of an innocent abroad. The author finds himself facing a driving challenge akin to the Dakar Rally but encounters obstacles never dreamed of by race-car drivers: active minefields, occasional banditry—mostly by the border guards—and a teenage, chain-smoking desert guide with a fondness for Tupac lyrics. Food and water are scarce, sandstorms are frequent, and all he has to patch up his many car breakdowns thousands of miles from civilization is a bar of soap, some duct tape, and a pair of women’s nylons. Then there’s the coup he survived.

My Mercedes Is Not for Sale captures more than the adventure—it vividly portrays the impact of globalization on Africa through a surprise-filled journey into its thriving car culture, while asking the question: is the white man’s burden really a used car?
Visit Jeroen van Bergeijk's website.

Monday, July 21, 2008

"Everybody Knows this is Nowhere"

New from Harcourt: Everybody Knows this is Nowhere by John McFetridge.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sharon MacDonald has a problem. It’s not being under house arrest. It’s not the Iranian guy who just fell from the twenty-fifth floor of her apartment building. It’s not even the police surveillance that’s preventing her from getting to her marijuana grow rooms. Sharon’s problem is a stranger named Ray: He’s too good looking, and his business proposal sounds too good to be true.

Detective Gord Bergeron has problems, too. There’s his new, hard-to-read partner, Detective Armstrong; a missing ten-year-old girl; an unidentified torso dumped in an alley; and what looks like corruption deep within the police force.

In a city where the drug, immigration, and sex industries are all inextricably intertwined, it’s only a matter of time until Sharon’s and Gord’s paths cross and all hell breaks loose in this pitch-perfect second installment of John McFetridge’s rollicking noir series.
Visit John McFetridge's website.

"It Only Takes a Moment"

New from William Morrow: It Only Takes a Moment by Mary Jane Clark.

About the book, from the publisher:

Eliza Blake, host of the top-rated KEY News morning show, has witnessed tragedy and danger in her career. But nothing the accomplished professional has experienced has prepared her for when her seven-year-old daughter, Janie, is snatched from summer camp. The country's viewers are glued to their television sets, anxiously awaiting the news that their favorite morning-television personality's little girl has been found.

With each passing day, the FBI and local authorities track down every lead: A profile of the kidnapper's most likely characteristics is developed, every fan letter written to Eliza over the last six months is scrutinized, every sex offender registered within a fifty-mile radius is interviewed, and psychics from around the country appear on Eliza's doorstep offering their help.

But Eliza isn't going to sit around and wait for answers. She and the rest of the Sunrise Suspense Society—brilliant producer Annabelle Murphy, cameraman extraordinaire B.J. D'Elia, and psychiatrist Dr. Margo Gonzalez—will band together to outwit a cunning criminal whose shocking motives threaten to snuff out a terrified little girl's life.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"The Last Centurion"

New from Baen Books: The Last Centurion by John Ringo.

About the book, from the publisher:

Centurions were the guardians of Rome. At the height of the Roman Republic there were over five thousand qualified Roman Centurions in the Legions. To be a Centurion required that, in a mostly illiterate society, one be able to read and write clearly, to be able to convey and create orders, to be capable of not only performing every skill of a Roman soldier but teach every skill of a Roman soldier.

Becoming a Centurion required intense physical ability, courage beyond the norm, years of sacrifice and a total devotion to the philosophy which was Rome. When Rome fell to barbarian invaders, there were less than five hundred qualified Centurions. Not because Rome had fewer people but because it had fewer willing to make the sacrifices. And the last Centurions left their shields in the heather and took a barbarian bride...
Visit John Ringo's website.

"Death of a Cozy Writer"

New from Midnight Ink: Death of a Cozy Writer by G. M. Malliet.

About the book, from the publisher:

From deep in the heart of his eighteenth century English manor, millionaire Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk writes mystery novels and torments his four spoiled children with threats of disinheritance. Tiring of this device, the portly patriarch decides to weave a malicious twist into his well-worn plot. Gathering them all together for a family dinner, he announces his latest blow – a secret elopement with the beautiful Violet... who was once suspected of murdering her husband.

Within hours, eldest son and appointed heir Ruthven is found cleaved to death by a medieval mace. Since Ruthven is generally hated, no one seems too surprised or upset – least of all his cold-blooded wife Lillian. When Detective Chief Inspector St. Just is brought in to investigate, he meets with a deadly calm that goes beyond the usual English reserve. And soon Sir Adrian himself is found slumped over his writing desk – an ornate knife thrust into his heart. Trapped amid leering gargoyles and stone walls, every member of the family is a likely suspect. Using a little Cornish brusqueness and brawn, can St. Just find the killer before the next-in-line to the family fortune ends up dead?
Visit G. M. Malliet's website.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Occupational Hazards"

New from Simon & Schuster: Occupational Hazards by Jonathan Segura.

About the book, from the publisher:

Bernard Cockburn is a beat reporter for the Omaha Weekly News-Telegraph. His boss has him chasing dead-end stories on real estate and county funding irregularities when he'd rather be working on that handful of neglected exposés in his bottom desk drawer -- or self-medicating in the apartment he shares with an on-again, off-again girlfriend.

Then Cockburn finds himself at a bloody crime scene in downtown Omaha and uncovers a lead in what soon becomes the only story worth pursuing, one that just might pull him down and keep him there for good. From street level to small-town bureaucracy, and even the staff at the paper, a vigilante league is intent on cleaning up the ghetto for profit, even if it means killing a few people to get it done -- an elaborate conspiracy too unbelievable for newsprint.

Like the detectives of all great noir, Cockburn's got a past that threatens to invade his present at any moment. Work has become a diversion from his personal life; but almost no one knew about his connection to the death of his best friend's little sister, and now he's begun receiving disconcerting blackmail threats.

Debut novelist Jonathan Segura has all the right instincts when it comes to plotting a relentless and tightly packed story. Darkly funny at times, and even wryly emotional, Occupational Hazards is a sharply observant, suspenseful read from a new and worthy writing talent.

"A Gentleman’s Guide to Graceful Living"

New from W.W. Norton: A Gentleman's Guide to Graceful Living by Michael Dahlie.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this darkly hilarious and moving novel, a bumbling Manhattan blueblood must rebuild his life after his marriage and business fail.

Arthur Camden’s greatest talents are for packing and unpacking suitcases, making coleslaw, and second-guessing every decision in his life. When his business fails and his wife leaves him—to pursue more aggressive men—Arthur finds that he has none of the talents and finesse that everyone else seems to possess for navigating New York society.

Arthur tries to reinvigorate his life with comic and tragic results: He dates women with no interest in him, burns down his Catskills fly-fishing club, runs afoul of the law in France, and disgraces himself before family members. Just when Arthur hits the depths of despair, an eccentric suitor (a woman who happens to resemble the model on Arthur’s vitamin bottles) helps him take a leap into a wonderful unknown.

Michael Dahlie’s novel digs into the consciousness of a self-doubting everyman—a man who, with a little inspiration, just might become something of a brilliant success.
Visit Michael Dahlie's website.

Friday, July 18, 2008

"The Garden of Evil"

New from Delacorte Press: The Garden of Evil by David Hewson.

About the book, from the publisher:

In a deserted artist’s studio in the heart of Rome, detectives stumble upon a scene of shocking brutality: two bodies, freshly killed. Looming over them is a painting that bears all the hallmarks of a Caravaggio: a brilliantly colored canvas depicting a violent tableau of beauty and depravity.... In David Hewson’s bold new novel of suspense, this grisly discovery sends Detective Nic Costa on a desperate chase through the streets of his city. The consequences are devastating. And for Nic, the case has only just begun.

At the crime scene, detectives find a treasure trove of evidence—from fresh blood to lurid photos of dead prostitutes. For Costa, finding the killer who escaped him is intensely personal. But his prime suspect arrogantly hides in plain sight behind a fortress of money, power, and the law.

Teaming with an art expert, Costa follows clues hidden in the mysterious Caravaggio canvas. As he moves through a maze of history, he begins to make stunning connections to the present case. And each discovery brings him closer and closer to a secret buried in a priceless work of art, a conspiracy dating back four hundred years—and men who will stop at nothing to protect their own private garden of evil.

From modern forensics to the realm of the Medicis, from the force of faith to the corruption of power, The Garden of Evil is a novel steeped in Roman history—and an unforgettable experience in richly atmospheric, modern-day suspense.
Visit David Hewson's website.

David Hewson is the author of the Nic Costa series of novels set in contemporary Rome. A former journalist with the London Times and Sunday Times, his work has been translated into many language, including Chinese, Japanese, Thai ... and Italian.

The Page 69 Test: The Seventh Sacrament.

"Collections of Nothing"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Collections of Nothing by William Davies King.

About the book, from the publisher:

Nearly everyone collects something, even those who don’t think of themselves as collectors. William Davies King, on the other hand, has devoted decades to collecting nothing—and a lot of it. Captivated by the detritus of everyday life, King has spent a lifetime gathering a monumental mass of miscellany, from cereal boxes to boulders to broken folding chairs. Junk, you might call it—and so might King, at times. With Collections of Nothing, he takes a hard look at this habitual hoarding to see what truths it can reveal about the impulse to accumulate.

Part memoir, part reflection on the mania of acquisition, Collections of Nothing begins with the stamp collection that King was given as a boy. Philatelism’s long-standing rules governing the care and display of collections soon proved an oppressive burden in the midst of the family chaos generated by his sister’s growing mental illness; choosing to ignore the rules, King began to handle and display his collection according to his own desires—the first step in his search for an unexplored, individual meaning in collecting. In the following years, rather than rarity or pedigree, he found himself searching out the lowly and the lost, the cast-off and the undesired: objects that, merely by gathering and retaining them, he could imbue with meaning, even value.

As he relates the story of his burgeoning collections, King also offers a fascinating meditation on the human urge to collect. Whether it’s nondescript loops of wire and old food labels or more commonly prized objects like first editions or baseball cards, our collections define us at least as much as we define them. This wry, funny, even touching appreciation and dissection of the collector’s art as seen through the life of a most unusual specimen will appeal to anyone who has ever felt the unappeasable power of that acquisitive fever.
Read an excerpt from Collections of Nothing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Fuzzy Navel"

New from Hyperion: Fuzzy Navel by J.A. Konrath.

About the book, from the publisher:

Anthony and Macavity Award finalist J.A. Konrath returns with the latest gripping—and hilarious—Jack Daniels mystery.

Things are going well for Lieutenant Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels of the Chicago Police Department. She has solved some of the city’s toughest and most high-profile homicides. Her personal life is finally in order. Her friends and family are safe and happy. And she just got a call that eased her mind like nothing else could: Alex Kork, one of the most dangerous criminals Jack ever arrested, killed herself while in jail.

But things sour quickly when a group of vigilantes on a murderous spree decide to take down a cop and the people she cares about … and they turn downright awful when Jack discovers that Kork may not be dead after all.

The next eight hours will be the worst of Jack’s life. And that’s saying something.

Fuzzy Navel is perfect for readers who like their mysteries with a shot of humor.
Visit J.A. Konrath's website.

"The Lace Reader"

New from William Morrow: The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry.

About the book, from the publisher.

Every gift has a price . . . Every piece of lace has a secret . . . My name is Towner Whitney. No, that's not exactly true. My real first name is Sophya. Never believe me. I lie all the time. . . .

Towner Whitney, the self-confessed unreliable narrator of The Lace Reader, hails from a family of Salem women who can read the future in the patterns in lace, and who have guarded a history of secrets going back generations, but the disappearance of two women brings Towner home to Salem and the truth about the death of her twin sister to light.

The Lace Reader is a mesmerizing tale that spirals into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths in which the reader quickly finds it's nearly impossible to separate fact from fiction, but as Towner Whitney points out early on in the novel, "There are no accidents."
Visit Brunonia Barry's website.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"The September Society"

New from St. Martins Minotaur: The September Society by Charles Finch.

About the book, from the publisher:

The sitting room looked as familiar as the back of his hand, and immediately Lenox took a liking to the young man who inhabited it. He saw several small artifacts of the missing student’s life---a frayed piece of string about two feet long of the sort you might bind a package with, half of a pulpy fried tomato, which was too far from the breakfast table to have been dropped, a fountain pen, and lastly, a card which said on the front The September Society....

In the small hours of the morning one fall day in 1866, a frantic widow visits detective Charles Lenox. Lady Annabelle’s problem is simple: her beloved son, George, has vanished from his room at Oxford. When Lenox visits his alma mater to investigate, he discovers a series of bizarre clues, including a murdered cat and a card cryptically referring to the September Society.

Then, just as Lenox realizes that the case may be deeper than it appears, a student dies, the victim of foul play.

What could the September Society have to do with it? What specter, returned from the past, is haunting gentle Oxford? Lenox, with the support of his devoted friends in London’s upper crust, must race to discover the truth before it comes searching for him, and dangerously close to home.
Visit Charles Finch's website and blog.

"Envy the Night"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Envy the Night by Michael Koryta.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this first stand-alone novel from the critically acclaimed Edgar Award-finalist, Michael Koryta fulfills his early promise with a dark and mature novel of a young man trying to escape his past.

It has been seven years since Frank Temple III joined the rest of the world in learning his father's bloody secret: The U.S. marshal maintained a covert career as a contract killer, a double-life that ended in suicide to avoid prosecution and prison.

The shocking revelation triggered years of anonymous drifting for Frank, time spent running from his legacy and struggling to believe that the father he’d loved so dearly was entirely in the wrong. After all, the victims hadn't been innocents. And Devin Matteson, the man who’d lured his father into the killing game only to later give him up to the FBI, is probably the darkest of the lot. Those are troubling thoughts, and Frank tries to stay away from them. But when an old family friend calls to say that Matteson is returning to the isolated Wisconsin lake that was once sacred ground for their families, it’s a homecoming Frank knows he can’t allow.

His arrival in town reveals a situation far from the expected, though.

While Matteson is nowhere to be found, his old cabin is indeed occupied---by a strange, beautiful woman and a nervous man with a gun. When a pair of assassins from Miami arrive on their heels, Frank knows Matteson can’t be far behind. And while the wise move would be to call in the police and get out of town fast, that just doesn't feel right. After all, contract killer or not, Frank’s father was at heart a teacher. And his son excelled at the lessons.

Family secrets, mob hitmen, and a father’s shadowy legacy combine to make this Koryta’s most compelling thriller yet.
Visit Michael Koryta's website.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"Say You're One of Them"

New from Little Brown: Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan.

About the book, from the official website.

Uwem Akpan's stunning stories humanize the perils of poverty and violence so piercingly that few readers will feel they've ever encountered Africa so immediately.

The eight-year-old narrator of "An Ex-Mas Feast" needs only enough money to buy books and pay fees in order to attend school. Even when his twelve-year-old sister takes to the streets to raise these meager funds, his dream can't be granted. Food comes first. His family lives in a street shanty in Nairobi, Kenya, but their way of both loving and taking advantage of each other strikes a universal chord.

In the second of his stories published in a New Yorker special fiction issue, Akpan takes us far beyond what we thought we knew about the tribal conflict in Rwanda. The story is told by a young girl, who, with her little brother, witnesses the worst possible scenario between parents. They are asked to do the previously unimaginable in order to protect their children. This singular collection will also take the reader inside Nigeria, Benin, and Ethiopia, revealing in beautiful prose the harsh consequences for children of life in Africa.

Akpan's voice is a literary miracle, rendering lives of almost unimaginable deprivation and terror into stories that are nothing short of transcendent.
Read an excerpt from Say You're One of Them.

Monday, July 14, 2008

"Rules of Deception"

New from Doubleday: Rules of Deception by Christopher Reich.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dr. Jonathan Ransom, world-class mountaineer and surgeon for Doctors Without Borders, is climbing in the Swiss Alps with his beautiful wife, Emma, when a blizzard sets in. In their bid to escape the storm, Emma is killed when she falls into a hidden crevasse.

Twenty-four hours later, Jonathan receives an envelope addressed to his wife containing two baggage-claim tickets. Puzzled, he journeys to a remote railway station only to find himself in a life-and-death struggle for his wife’s possessions. In the aftermath of the assault, he discovers that his attackers—one dead, the other mortally wounded—were, in fact, Swiss police officers. More frightening still is evidence of an extraordinary act of betrayal that leaves Jonathan stunned.

Suddenly the subject of an international manhunt and the target of a master assassin, Jonathan is forced on the run. His only chance at survival lies in uncovering the devastating truth behind the secret his wife kept from him and in stopping the terrifying conspiracy that threatens to bring the world to the brink of annihilation. Step by step, he is drawn deeper into a world of spies, high-tech weaponry, and global terrorism—a world where no one is whom they appear to be and where the end always justifies the means.

Rules of Deception is a brilliantly conceived, twisting tale of intrigue and deceit written by the master of the espionage thriller for the twenty-first century.
Visit Christopher Reich's website.

"The Gaudi Key"

New from William Morrow: The Gaudi Key by Esteban Martin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Their name was only spoken in hushed tones. They were cloaked in anonymity, a legend thought to belong to the distant past.

In the early twentieth century, Barcelona basks as the center of the high-spirited Modernist movement that has captivated Western thought, art, and architecture. Yet while the city's surface is aglow with creativity, its darker underworld hides a multitude of secret societies—those that support and those that seek to undermine the architects of the city's newfound splendor.

When the death of the Grand Master of an ancient religious brotherhood seems imminent, a decision must be made as to the fate of a sacred object whose existence has been a guarded secret since the early Christian era. The Grand Master passes on the relic to a prominent member of his order, a man named Antonio Gaudí—already a celebrity in his own right. The great architect thus inherits a dual mission: to do all he can to protect the artifact from the covetous hands of those who seek to do evil and to preserve its secrecy by passing it on to a worthy person of his choosing—in this case, his young apprentice.

In honoring his pledge to forever keep the secret from dangerous hands, Gaudí hides the relic in the heart of his most precious work, in a place he believes will never be discovered.

Almost a century later, María, the granddaughter of the apprentice to whom Gaudí passed along his secret, is charged with finding the relic. But after the mysterious death of her grandfather, María doesn't know what the relic is, where it is located, or what she needs to do with it after she finds it.

With the help of her mathematician boyfriend, she begins to trace the clues that Gaudí hid in the symbolism of his sculptures, designs, and, most important, his architecture—racing against time and the evil forces aligning against her to unravel the true meaning of Gaudí's monuments and their mysterious legacy. And to finally uncover the whereabouts and importance of the sacred relic Gaudí was dedicated to protect...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Alive in Necropolis"

New from Riverhead: Alive in Necropolis by Doug Dorst.

About the book, according to its citation as an Amazon Best of the Month book for July 2008:

Mix one part gritty police procedural with one part ghost story, add a splash of teen angst and a hefty dose of black humor, and you have Doug Dorst's brilliant debut novel--a delicious blend of Paul Auster, Kevin Brockmeier, and Joss Whedon. In Colma, California, where the dead outnumber the living, a rookie cop who saves the life of a troubled teenager is either the savior of the city, or a man on the brink of losing his mind. Alive in Necropolis is brimming with fascinating characters (both the living and the dead), none more so than the young cop trying to get a handle on his place in the world. Dorst defies conventional storytelling--at once grim and playful (his two epigraphs quote Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim and Hanson's "MmmBop"), he weaves the supernatural seamlessly into this "straight" story and the result is effortlessly imaginative, funny, and poignant. Fans of Auster, Jonathan Carroll, and Haruki Murakami will want to make room on their nightstand for their next new favorite.
Visit Doug Dorst's website.

"Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique"

New from Ecco: Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique by Michael S. Gazzaniga.

About the book, from the publisher:

One of the world's leading neuroscientists explores how best to understand the human condition by examining the biological, psychological, and highly social nature of our species within the social context of our lives.

What happened along the evolutionary trail that made humans so unique? In his widely accessible style, Michael Gazzaniga looks to a broad range of studies to pinpoint the change that made us thinking, sentient humans, different from our predecessors.

Neuroscience has been fixated on the life of the psychological self for the past fifty years, focusing on the brain systems underlying language, memory, emotion, and perception. What it has not done is consider the stark reality that most of the time we humans are thinking about social processes, comparing ourselves to and estimating the intentions of others. In Human, Gazzaniga explores a number of related issues, including what makes human brains unique, the importance of language and art in defining the human condition, the nature of human consciousness, and even artificial intelligence.
Read an excerpt from Human, The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


New from Da Capo Press: Slackonomics: Generation X in the Age of Creative Destruction by Lisa Chamberlain.

About the book, from the publisher:

Generation X grew up in the 1980s, when Alex P. Keaton was going to be a millionaire by the time he was thirty, greed was good, and social activism was deader than disco. Then globalization and the technological revolution came along, changing everything for a generation faced with bridging the analog and digital worlds. Living in a time of “creative destruction” – when an old economic order is upended by a new one – has deeply affected everyday life for this generation; from how they work, where they live, how they play, when they marry and have children to their attitudes about love, humor, happiness, and personal fulfillment. Through a sharp and entertaining mix of pop and alt-culture, personal narrative, and economic analysis, author Lisa Chamberlain shows how Generation X has survived and even thrived in the era of creative destruction, but will now be faced with solving economic and environmental problems on a global scale.
Visit the Slackonomics website.

"Damage Control"

Coming soon from William Morrow: Damage Control by J. A. Jance.

About the book, from the publisher:

On a beautiful sunny day in the Coronado National Monument, an elderly couple's car goes off the side of a mountain and into oblivion. The terrain is so rocky that a helicopter must be flown in to retrieve the bodies, and to make matters worse, a thunder-storm is looming on the horizon. Hours later and miles away, the subsiding rain reveals gruesome evidence: two trash bags containing human remains.

It's just another day in the life of Cochise County sheriff Joanna Brady.

Back at home, Joanna has a newborn baby, a teenage daughter, a writer husband, and a difficult mother to deal with. But in the field, it turns out that she has much more on her hands. The remains are those of a handicapped woman who had wandered away from a care facility with a suspicious track record. Another resident, with whom the woman may have been involved, has also been reported missing.

Meanwhile, a note is found in the glove compartment of the car lying twisted down the mountainside, stating that its occupants intended to take their own lives. Yet a contradictory autopsy report surfaces, and when the deceased's two daughters show up to feud over their inheritance, Joanna knows there is more to this case than just a suicide pact.

And she will go all out to find the truth—no matter where it leads.
Visit J. A. Jance's website.

Friday, July 11, 2008

"The Last Embrace"

New from Scribner: The Last Embrace by Denise Hamilton.

About the book, from the publisher:

From Denise Hamilton, who has been hailed as "one of today's must-read writers" (Lee Child), comes a sexy, atmospheric, and seductive thriller set in 1949 Los Angeles, inspired by classic noir literature and a true unsolved crime.

Lily Kessler, a former stenographer and spy for the OSS, is asked by her late fiancé's mother to find out what happened to his sister Kitty, an actress who is missing from her Hollywood boardinghouse. Although the aspiring starlets at the house insist that Kitty is off somewhere furthering her career, her body is found the next day in a ravine below the Hollywood sign. Unimpressed by the local police, Lily investigates on her own.

As Lily delves further into Kitty's life, she encounters fiercely competitive actors, gangsters, an eccentric special-effects genius, exotic denizens of Hollywood's nightclubs, and a homicide detective who might distract her from her quest for justice. But the landscape in burgeoning postwar Los Angeles can shift kaleidoscopically, and Lily begins to see how easily a young woman can lose her balance and fall prey to the alluring city's dangers....

With a vibrant cast of memorable characters, unerring insight into the desires and dark impulses that can flare between men and women, and a riveting narrative that builds to a stunning conclusion, The Last Embrace showcases Denise Hamilton at the height of her storytelling powers as she transports readers to a fascinating, transitional time in one of America's most beguiling cities.
Visit Denise Hamilton's website.

"Hell Hole"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Hell Hole by Chris Grabenstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

Hell Hole is the fourth book in the mystery series featuring former hardened military PD and current Sea Haven, NJ police officer John Ceepak and his partner, wise-cracking Danny Boyle. In Hell Hole, Ceepak is confronted with his most personal case yet when he must investigate the alleged suicide of a military corporal who recently returned from Iraq. When it turns out that this "locked stall" rest stop suicide is anything but an open-and-shut case, Ceepak and Boyle realize that the corporal might have been privvy to information that opens up a much larger conspiracy that strikes at the heart of our involvement in the Middle East, and puts them on the wrong side of some very unpleasant people...
Visit Chris Grabenstein's website.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Breaking Cover"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Breaking Cover by J. D. Rhoades.

About the book
, from the publisher:

From the Shamus Award-nominated author of the critically-acclaimed Jack Keller southern crime series comes an explosive stand-alone thriller about an undercover federal agent, a chameleon whose specialty is assaulting criminal organizations from within.

He was the most talented undercover agent in FBI history, until he dropped completely off the grid, and hasn't been heard from in years. Did he go native, or was he discovered and killed? When Tony Wolf is finally driven out into the open, torn from deep cover during the rescue of two kidnapped children, he becomes the number one target of both the vicious biker gang he double-crossed and a massive Federal manhunt.

But Tony’s tired of being the hunted, and as both the gang and a traitorous FBI agent converge on a small southern town, they’re all about to learn a hard lesson: When the Wolf breaks cover, he doesn’t always run away.

Sometimes he comes straight at your throat.

Critically acclaimed author J.D. Rhoades has written his most compelling thriller to date--a pulse-pounding novel that leaps off the page and will leave readers begging for more.
Visit J. D. Rhoades' website and blog.

"Reading the Wind"

New from Tor Books: Reading the Wind by Brenda Cooper.

About the book, from the publisher:

The colony planet of Fremont was supposed to be free of all genetically altered beings--a new home for a pure race. So when Chelo and her brother Joseph, along with two other genetically altered teenagers, were abandoned on Fremont, they were not welcome. They vowed to get off the planet by any means necessary. Joseph and the others managed to escape, but Chelo was left behind with her new found love, forced to live underground.

Joseph and the others find that their homeworld is full of vengeance. Believing that the people of Fremont killed the teenaged castaways, they sent a technologically advanced mercenary team to Fremont to eliminate the entire planet's population. With the help of Joseph's father, the youngsters head back to Fremont to try to save Chelo.
Reading the Wind is the second book in The Silver Ship trilogy.

Visit Brenda Cooper's website and her LiveJournal; read an excerpt from The Silver Ship and the Sea, and learn more about Reading the Wind.

The Page 99 Test: The Silver Ship and the Sea.

Writers Read: Brenda Cooper.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"An Autumn War"

New from Tor Books: An Autumn War by Daniel Abraham.

About the book, from the publisher:

Daniel Abraham delighted fantasy readers with his brilliantly original and engaging first novel, and in his second penned a tragedy as darkly personal and violent as Shakespeare’s King Lear. Now he has written an epic fantasy of much wider scope and appeal that will thrill his fans and enthrall legions of new readers.

Otah Machi, ruler of the city of Machi, has tried for years to prepare his people for a future in which the magical andat, entities that support their commerce and intimidate all foes, can no longer be safely harnessed. But his efforts are too little, too late. The Galts, an expansionist empire from across the sea, have tired of games of political espionage and low-stakes sabotage. Their general, a ruthless veteran, has found a way to do what was thought impossible: neutralize the andat.

As the Galtic army advances, the Poets who control the andat wage their own battle to save their loved-ones and their nation. Failure seems inevitable, but success would end the Galtic threat.

With wonderful storytelling skill, Abraham has wedded the unique magic, high-stakes betrayal and political intrigue of his previous works with a broad tapestry of action in a spectacular fantasy epic.
Visit Daniel Abraham's website.

"Prodigal Son"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Prodigal Son by Thomas B. Cavanagh.

About the book, from the publisher:

Three months after he’s undergone surgery to remove a brain tumor, retired police detective Mike Garrity’s cancer is in remission. It’s great news, but when you’ve been planning to only live for a few months, you don’t normally worry about savings. A return to health also means a return to the workforce, and whether he likes it or not, Mike’s going to have to adjust to the role of private investigator.

He's also bounced back into a romance with a member of his cancer support group, Debbie Watson. But while Mike may be celebrating his victory over cancer, Debbie’s just been handed a grim prognosis. Desperate, she asks him for help with what might be her last request: tracking down the son she put up for adoption twenty years ago.

Debbie’s son is not the only lost child Mike has been asked to trace. A high school friend of his daughter has died of an overdose. The boy’s father is convinced that the death was not a suicide and, though the case is officially closed, the officer in charge has his own doubts about its conclusion.

Back at work and stumbling headlong into a new relationship, Mike should have a lot to look forward to. But all is not as it seems, and he’s about to find out that cancer isn’t the only thing trying to kill him.
Visit Thomas B. Cavanagh's website.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"Plague War"

New from Ace/Penguin: Plague War by Jeff Carlson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Researcher Ruth Goldman has developed a vaccine with the potential to inoculate the world’s survivors against the nanotech plague that devastated humanity. But the fractured U.S. government will stop at nothing to keep it for themselves.
Read an excerpt from Plague War.

Visit Jeff Carlson's website.

The Page 69 Test: Plague Year.

"Stop Me If You’ve Heard This"

New from W.W. Norton: Stop Me If You’ve Heard This: A History and Philosophy of Jokes by Jim Holt.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the fine tradition of On Bullshit comes this outrageous, uproarious compendium of absurdity, filth, racy paradox, and mature philosophical reflection.

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This is the first book to trace the evolution of the joke from the stand-up comics of ancient Athens to the comedy-club Seinfelds of today. Cropping up en route are such unforgettable figures as Poggio, a Renaissance papal secretary and sexual adventurer; and Gershon Legman, the FBI-hounded psychoanalyst of dirty jokes. Having explored humor’s history in part one, Jim Holt then delves into philosophy in part two. Jewish jokes; Wall Street jokes; jokes about rednecks and atheists, bulimics and politicians; jokes that you missed if you didn’t go to a Catholic girls’ school; jokes about language and logic itself—all become fodder for the grand theories of Aristotle, Kant, Freud, and Wittgenstein. A heady mix of the high and the low, of the ribald and the profound, this handsomely illustrated volume demands to be read by anyone who has ever peered into the abyss and asked: What’s so funny?

Monday, July 7, 2008


New from Mariner/Houghton Mifflin: Wifeshopping by Steven Wingate.

About the book, from the publisher:

An honest, absorbing debut fiction collection, Wifeshopping centers on the ultimate human quest: the search for companionship, love, and understanding. These captivating stories feature American men, love-starved and striving, who try and often fail to connect with the women they imagine could be their wives. Some of the women are fiancées, some are new girlfriends, some are strangers who cross the men’s paths for only a few hours or moments.

In “Beaching It,” an artist traveling on the summer circuit begins an affair with a rich, married local. In “Me and Paul,” a lonely traveler adopts an alter ego to help him impress a single mother. In “Bill,” a trip to a flea market highlights the essential differences between a man and his fiancée. Throughout this thoroughly entertaining read, Wingate’s sympathetic characterizations reveal both the hopefulness and the heartache behind our earnest but sometimes misguided attempts at intimacy.
Visit Steven Wingate's website.

"Loose Girl"

New from Hyperion: Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen.

About the book, from the publisher:

For everyone who was that girl. For everyone who knew that girl. For everyone who wondered who that girl was.

Kerry Cohen is eleven years old when she recognizes the power of her body in the leer of a grown man. Her parents are recently divorced and it doesn’t take long before their lassitude and Kerry’s desire to stand out—to be memorable in some way—combine to lead her down a path she knows she shouldn’t take. Kerry wanted attention. She wanted love. But not really understanding what love was, not really knowing how to get it, she reached for sex instead.

Loose Girl is Kerry Cohen’s captivating memoir about her descent into promiscuity and how she gradually found her way toward real intimacy. The story of addiction—not just to sex, but to male attention—Loose Girl is also the story of a young girl who came to believe that boys and men could give her life meaning. It didn’t matter who he was. It was their movement that mattered, their being together. And for a while, that was enough.

From the early rush of exploration to the day she learned to quiet the desperation and allow herself to love and be loved, Kerry’s story is never less than riveting. In rich and immediate detail, Loose Girl re-creates what it feels like to be in that desperate moment, when a girl tries to control a boy by handing over her body, when the touch of that boy seems to offer proof of something, but ultimately delivers little more than emptiness.

Kerry Cohen’s journey from that hopeless place to her current confident and fulfilled existence is a cautionary tale and a revelation for girls young and old. The unforgettable memoir of one young woman who desperately wanted to matter, Loose Girl will speak to countless others with its compassion, understanding, and love.
Visit Kerry Cohen's website.