Monday, December 31, 2012


New from Harper: Jungleland: A Mysterious Lost City, a WWII Spy, and a True Story of Deadly Adventure by Christopher S. Stewart.

About the book, from the publisher:

"I began to daydream about the jungle...."

On April 6, 1940, explorer and future World War II spy Theodore Morde (who would one day attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler), anxious about the perilous journey that lay ahead of him, struggled to fall asleep at the Paris Hotel in La Ceiba, Honduras.

Nearly seventy years later, in the same hotel, acclaimed journalist Christopher S. Stewart wonders what he's gotten himself into. Stewart and Morde seek the same answer on their quests: the solution to the riddle of the whereabouts of Ciudad Blanca, buried somewhere deep in the rain forest on the Mosquito Coast. Imagining an immense and immaculate El Dorado–like city made entirely of gold, explorers as far back as the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés have tried to find the fabled White City. Others have gone looking for tall white cliffs and gigantic stone temples—no one found a trace.

Legends, like the jungle, are dense and captivating. Many have sought their fortune or fame down the Río Patuca—from Christopher Columbus to present-day college professors—and many have died or disappeared. What begins as a passing interest slowly turns into an obsession as Stewart pieces together the whirlwind life and mysterious death of Morde, a man who had sailed around the world five times before he was thirty and claimed to have discovered what he called the Lost City of the Monkey God.

Armed with Morde's personal notebooks and the enigmatic coordinates etched on his well-worn walking stick, Stewart sets out to test the jungle himself—and to test himself in the jungle. As we follow the parallel journeys of Morde and Stewart, the ultimate destination morphs with their every twist and turn. Are they walking in circles? Or are they running from their own shadows? Jungleland is part detective story, part classic tale of man versus wild in the tradition of The Lost City of Z and Lost in Shangri-La. A story of young fatherhood as well as the timeless call of adventure, this is an epic search for answers in a place where nothing is guaranteed, least of all survival.
Visit Christopher S. Stewart's website.

"Terminal Island"

New from Night Shade Books: Terminal Island by Walter Greatshell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Henry Cadmus grew up on Catalina Island, a scenic vacationland off the Southern California coast. But Henry’s experiences were far from idyllic. Today, even though Henry has seen firsthand the horrors of war, the ghastly images that haunt his dreams are ones he associates with his childhood… and the island: a snarling pig-man holding a cleaver; a jackal-headed woman on a high balcony, dripping blood; strange occult rituals… and worse. If it was up to Henry, he would avoid the island entirely.

But Henry is returning to Catalina Island. At his wife Ruby’s insistence, Henry, Ruby, and their infant daughter are coming to Avalon, so that Henry can face his fears, exorcise his demons, and reconcile with the one he fears most… his mother.

From Walter Greatshell, author of Xombies comes Terminal Island, a novel of cosmic horror.
View the video trailer for Terminal Island, and visit Walter Greatshell's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Xombies: Apocalypse Blues.

The Page 69 Test: Xombies: Apocalypticon.

Writers Read: Walter Greatshell.

The Page 69 Test: Mad Skills.

My Book, The Movie: Mad Skills.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

"The Kassa Gambit"

New from Tor Books: The Kassa Gambit by M. C. Planck.

About the book, from the publisher:

Centuries after the ecological collapse of Earth, humanity has spread among the stars. Under the governance of the League, our endless need for resources has driven us to colonize hundreds of planets, all of them devoid of other sentient life. Humanity is apparently alone in the universe.

Then comes the sudden, brutal decimation of Kassa, a small farming planet, by a mysterious attacker. The few survivors send out a desperate plea for aid, which is answered by two unlikely rescuers. Prudence Falling is the young captain of a tramp freighter. She and her ragtag crew have been on the run and living job to job for years, eking out a living by making cargo runs that aren’t always entirely legal. Lt. Kyle Daspar is a police officer from the wealthy planet of Altair Prime, working undercover as a double agent against the League. He’s been undercover so long he can't be trusted by anyone—even himself.

While flying rescue missions to extract survivors from the surface of devastated Kassa, they discover what could be the most important artifact in the history of man: an alien spaceship, crashed and abandoned during the attack.

But something tells them there is more to the story. Together, they discover the cruel truth about the destruction of Kassa, and that an imminent alien invasion is the least of humanity’s concerns.
Visit M. C. Planck's website.

"Love Is a Canoe"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Love Is a Canoe: A Novel by Ben Schrank.

About the book, from the publisher:

Peter Herman is something of a folk hero. Marriage Is a Canoe, his legendary, decades-old book on love and relationships, has won the hearts of hope­ful romantics and desperate cynics alike. He and his beloved wife lived a relatively peaceful life in upstate New York. But now it’s 2010, and Peter’s wife has just died. Completely lost, he passes the time with a woman he admires but doesn’t love—and he begins to look back through the pages of his book and question hom­ilies such as:

A good marriage is a canoe—it needs care and isn’t meant to hold too much—no more than two adults and a few kids.

It’s advice he has famously doled out for decades. But what is it worth?

Then Peter receives a call from Stella Petrovic, an ambitious young editor who wants to celebrate the fif­tieth anniversary of Marriage Is a Canoe with a contest for struggling couples. The prize? An afternoon with Peter and a chance to save their relationship.

The contest ensnares its creator in the largely opaque politics of her publishing house while it intro­duces the reader to couples in various states of distress, including a shy thirtysomething Brooklynite and her charismatic and entrepreneurial husband, who may just be a bit too charismatic for the good of their marriage. There’s the middle-aged publisher whose im­posing manner has managed to impose loneliness on her for longer than she cares to admit. And then there is Peter, who must discover what he meant when he wrote Marriage Is a Canoe if he is going to help the contest’s winners and find a way to love again.

In Love Is a Canoe, Ben Schrank delivers a smart, funny, romantic, and hugely satisfying novel about the fragility of marriage and the difficulty of repairing the damage when well-intentioned people forget how to be good to each other.
Visit Ben Schrank's website.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Janie Face to Face"

New from Random House Children's Books: Janie Face to Face by Caroline B. Cooney.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this riveting and emotional conclusion to the thriller-romance Janie series, that started with The Face on the Milk Carton, all will be revealed as readers find out if Janie and Reeve's love has endured, and whether or not the person who brought Janie and her family so much emotional pain and suffering is brought to justice.
Learn more about the book and author at Caroline B. Cooney's website.

Writers Read: Caroline B. Cooney (January 2010).

Writers Read: Caroline B. Cooney (October 2011).

"The Good House"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Good House: A Novel by Ann Leary.

About the book, from the publisher:

How can you prove you're not an alcoholic?

You can’t.

It's like trying to prove you're not a witch.

Hildy Good is a townie. A lifelong resident of an historic community on the rocky coast of Boston’s North Shore, she knows pretty much everything about everyone. Hildy is a descendant of one of the witches hung in nearby Salem, and is believed, by some, to have inherited psychic gifts. Not true, of course; she’s just good at reading people. Hildy is good at lots of things. A successful real-estate broker, mother and grandmother, her days are full. But her nights have become lonely ever since her daughters, convinced their mother was drinking too much, staged an intervention and sent her off to rehab. Now she’s in recovery—more or less.

Alone and feeling unjustly persecuted, Hildy needs a friend. She finds one in Rebecca McCallister, a beautiful young mother and one of the town’s wealthy newcomers. Rebecca feels out-of-step in her new surroundings and is grateful for the friendship. And Hildy feels like a person of the world again, as she and Rebecca escape their worries with some harmless gossip, and a bottle of wine by the fire—just one of their secrets.

But not everyone takes to Rebecca, who is herself the subject of town gossip. When Frank Getchell, an eccentric local who shares a complicated history with Hildy, tries to warn her away from Rebecca, Hildy attempts to protect her friend from a potential scandal. Soon, however, Hildy is busy trying to cover her own tracks and protect her reputation. When a cluster of secrets become dangerously entwined, the reckless behavior of one threatens to expose the other, and this darkly comic novel takes a chilling turn.

THE GOOD HOUSE is by turns funny, poignant, and terrifying. A classic New England tale that lays bare the secrets of one little town, this spirited novel will stay with you long after the story has ended.
Visit Ann Leary's website and blog.

Friday, December 28, 2012

"Anatomy of a Single Girl"

New from Random House Children's Books: Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky.

About the book, from the publisher:

With Judy Blume-like honesty and insight, this sequel to Anatomy of a Boyfriend is about life after first love--romance, sex, friendship, family, and the ups and downs of life as a single girl.

After everything that happened—my first boyfriend, my first time, my first breakup—jumping back into the dating game seemed like the least healthy thing I could do. It’s not that I didn’t want to fall in love again, since that’s about the best feeling ever. But as a busy college premed still raw from heartbreak, which is the worst feeling ever, I figured I’d lie low for a while. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking for someone, an impossibly amazing—and devastatingly cute—guy came along, and I learned that having a new boyfriend is the quickest way to recover from losing your old one.

The moment we got together, all my preconceptions about romance and sex were turned upside down. I discovered physical and emotional firsts I never knew existed. I learned to let go of my past by living in the present. It was thrilling. It was hot. It was just what the doctor ordered.

But I couldn’t avoid my future forever.

In Daria Snadowsky’s daring follow-up to Anatomy of a Boyfriend, eighteen-year-old Dominique explores the relationship between love and lust, and the friendships that see us through.
Visit Daria Snadowsky's website.

The Page 69 Test: Daria Snadowsky's Anatomy of a Boyfriend.


New from Tor Books: Impulse by Steven Gould.

About the book, from the publisher:

Cent has a secret. She lives in isolation, with her parents, hiding from the people who took her father captive and tortured him to gain control over his ability to teleport, and from the government agencies who want to use his talent. Cent has seen the world, but only from the safety of her parents’ arms. She’s teleported more than anyone on Earth, except for her mother and father, but she’s never been able to do it herself. Her life has never been in danger.

Until the day when she went snowboarding without permission and triggered an avalanche. When the snow and ice thundered down on her, she suddenly found herself in her own bedroom. That was the first time.
Learn more about the book and author at Steven Gould's website.

Gould is the author of Jumper, Wildside, Helm, Blind Waves, Reflex, and Jumper: Griffin’s Story, as well as many short stories. He is the recipient of the Hal Clement Young Adult Award for Science Fiction and has been nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards.

Writers Read: Steven Gould.

The Page 69 Test: 7th Sigma.

My Book, The Movie: 7th Sigma.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

"Freedom National"

New from W.W. Norton: Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865 by James Oakes.

About the book, from the publisher:

A powerful history of emancipation that reshapes our understanding of Lincoln, the Civil War, and the end of American slavery.

Freedom National is a groundbreaking history of emancipation that joins the political initiatives of Lincoln and the Republicans in Congress with the courageous actions of Union soldiers and runaway slaves in the South. It shatters the widespread conviction that the Civil War was first and foremost a war to restore the Union and only gradually, when it became a military necessity, a war to end slavery. These two aims—"Liberty and Union, one and inseparable"—were intertwined in Republican policy from the very start of the war.

By summer 1861 the federal government invoked military authority to begin freeing slaves, immediately and without slaveholder compensation, as they fled to Union lines in the disloyal South. In the loyal Border States the Republicans tried coaxing officials into gradual abolition with promises of compensation and the colonization abroad of freed blacks. James Oakes shows that Lincoln’s landmark 1863 proclamation marked neither the beginning nor the end of emancipation: it triggered a more aggressive phase of military emancipation, sending Union soldiers onto plantations to entice slaves away and enlist the men in the army. But slavery proved deeply entrenched, with slaveholders determined to re-enslave freedmen left behind the shifting Union lines. Lincoln feared that the war could end in Union victory with slavery still intact. The Thirteenth Amendment that so succinctly abolished slavery was no formality: it was the final act in a saga of immense war, social upheaval, and determined political leadership.

Fresh and compelling, this magisterial history offers a new understanding of the death of slavery and the rebirth of a nation.
James Oakes is a distinguished professor of history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His other books The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery.

The Page 99 Test: The Radical and the Republican.

"The Death of Bees"

New from Harper: The Death of Bees: A Novel by Lisa O'Donnell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Today is Christmas Eve.
Today is my birthday.
Today I am fifteen.
Today I buried my parents in the backyard.
Neither of them were beloved.

Marnie and her little sister, Nelly, are on their own now. Only they know what happened to their parents, Izzy and Gene, and they aren't telling. While life in Glasgow's Maryhill housing estate isn't grand, the girls do have each other. Besides, it's only a year until Marnie will be considered an adult and can legally take care of them both.

As the New Year comes and goes, Lennie, the old man next door, realizes that his young neighbors are alone and need his help. Or does he need theirs? Lennie takes them in—feeds them, clothes them, protects them—and something like a family forms. But soon enough, the sisters' friends, their teachers, and the authorities start asking tougher questions. As one lie leads to another, dark secrets about the girls' family surface, creating complications that threaten to tear them apart.

Written with fierce sympathy and beautiful precision, told in alternating voices, The Death of Bees is an enchanting, grimly comic tale of three lost souls who, unable to answer for themselves, can answer only for one another.
Learn more about the book and author at Lisa O'Donnell's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Death of Bees.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"Die Easy"

New from Pegasus: Die Easy: A Charlie Fox Thriller by Zoë Sharp.

About the book, from the publisher:

Professionally, she’s at the top of her game, but her personal life is in ruins. Her lover, bodyguard Sean Meyer, has woken from a gunshot-induced coma with his memory in tatters. It seems that piercing back together the relationship they shared is proving harder for him than relearning the intricacies of the bodyguard business. Working with Sean again was never going to be easy for Charlie, but a celebrity fundraising event in aid of still-ravaged areas of New Orleans should have been the ideal opportunity for them both to take things nice and slow. Until, that is, they find themselves thrust into the middle of a war zone.

When an ambitious robbery explodes into a deadly hostage situation, the motive may be far more complex than simple greed. Somebody has a major score to settle, and Sean is part of the reason. Only trouble is, he doesn’t remember why. And when Charlie finds herself facing a nightmare from her own past, she realizes she can’t rely on Sean to watch her back. This time, she’s got to fight it out on her own.One thing is for certain, though—no matter how overwhelming the odds stacked against her, or however hopeless the situation may appear—Charlie is never going to die easy.
Learn more about the author and her work at Zoë Sharp’s website, blog, or find her on Facebook or Twitter.

The Page 69 Test: Third Strike.

The Page 69 Test: Fifth Victim.

Writers Read: Zoë Sharp.

My Book, The Movie: Fifth Victim.

"Cannibalism in Literature and Film"

New from Palgrave Macmillan: Cannibalism in Literature and Film by Jennifer Brown.

About the book, from the publisher:

From images of stewed missionaries to Hannibal Lecter's hiss, cannibals have intrigued while evoking horror and repulsion. The label of cannibal has been used throughout history to denigrate a given individual or group. By examining who is labelled cannibal at any given time, we can understand the fears, prejudices, accepted norms and taboos of society at that time. From the cannibal in colonial literature, to the idea of regional Gothic and the hillbilly cannibal, to serial killers, this book examines works by writers and directors including Joseph Conrad, H. Rider Haggard, Thomas Harris, Bret Easton Ellis, Cormac McCarthy, Wes Craven, and Tim Burton. It explores questions of cultural identity and otherness in the modern period, offering an important and original examination of cultural norms and fears with reference to national, economic, linguistic, and sexual identity. Amidst the sharp teeth and horrific appetite of the cannibal, the book examines real fears of over-consumerism and consumption that trouble an ever-growing modern world.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

"The Llama of Death"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: The Llama of Death by Betty Webb.

About the book, from the publisher:

Zookeeper Theodora “Teddy” Bentley takes Alejandro, the Gunn Zoo llama, to a Monterey Bay-area Renaissance Faire only to discover the still-warm body of the Reverend Victor Emerson, owner of the local wedding chapel, dressed in his royal robes as Henry the Eighth. At first it appears as if Alejandro stomped the man to death, but a closer look reveals a crossbow dart in the man’s back. Teddy’s investigation proves the “reverend” isn’t really a reverend at all — he’s an escaped convict, and every marriage he’s performed in the past twenty years is null and void. Teddy’s mother Caro, a spoiled ex-beauty queen, becomes the chief suspect and is immediately jailed when she causes a riot in the courtroom. The ”reverend” had twice married Caro to wealthy men, and when both marriages failed, Caro received large financial settlements. Now she may have to give all that money back, certainly a good enough reason to commit murder. But Caro wasn’t the only person gunning for Victor. The child of the man Victor once murdered may have wanted to kill him, too, and at one point, even Teddy herself is handcuffed and jailed. Even worse, Teddy’s embezzling father flies in from exile in Costa Rica to help spring Caro from jail, thus putting his own freedom in jeopardy. As Teddy continues her investigation, she finds herself up to her ears in girl gang members, squabbling boat liveaboarders, Renaissance Faire actors and stuntmen, and assorted animals. Written with a humorous touch, “The Llama of Death” portrays Renaissance Faire life, and gives the reader a rare behind-the-scenes look at modern zoos.
Visit Betty Webb's website and her blog.

"The Disaster Survival Bible"

New from Forge Books: The Disaster Survival Bible by Junius Podrug, editor.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the midst of the war on terror, frightening natural disasters, and danger seemingly lurking around every corner, it’s impossible to prepare for every eventuality. But Junius Podrug, the author of Stop Being a Victim: A Survival Kit For The New Millennium, has gathered practically every bit of information the government has deemed necessary for survival in a variety of harrowing situations. Podrug offers practical guidelines to follow as well as how to prepare yourself for anything from being lost in the woods to a full-scale nuclear disaster. Included in this guide is Homeland Security’s comprehensive survival guide along with links to guides that elaborate upon almost every significant natural or manmade threat. Learn how to deal with various natural disasters, biological and chemical agents, radiological hazards, and nuclear terrorism. The Disaster Survival Bible covers it all and Podrug delivers it in a crisp, clear, and concise package, so you’ll be ready for whatever the world has in store.
Visit Junius Podrug's website.

Monday, December 24, 2012

"You Must Change Your Life"

New from John Wiley & Sons: You Must Change Your Life by Peter Sloterdijk.

About the book, from the publisher:

In his major investigation into the nature of humans, Peter Sloterdijk presents a critique of myth - the myth of the return of religion. For it is not religion that is returning; rather, there is something else quite profound that is taking on increasing significance in the present: the human as a practising, training being, one that creates itself through exercises and thereby transcends itself. Rainer Maria Rilke formulated the drive towards such self-training in the early twentieth century in the imperative 'You must change your life'.

In making his case for the expansion of the practice zone for individuals and for society as a whole, Sloterdijk develops a fundamental and fundamentally new anthropology. The core of his science of the human being is an insight into the self-formation of all things human. The activity of both individuals and collectives constantly comes back to affect them: work affects the worker, communication the communicator, feelings the feeler.

It is those humans who engage expressly in practice that embody this mode of existence most clearly: farmers, workers, warriors, writers, yogis, rhetoricians, musicians or models. By examining their training plans and peak performances, this book offers a panorama of exercises that are necessary to be, and remain, a human being.

"Magical Journey"

New from Grand Central Publishing: Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment by Katrina Kenison.

About the book, from the publisher:

"No longer indispensable, no longer assured of our old carefully crafted identities, no longer beautiful in the way we were at twenty or thirty or forty, we are hungry and searching nonetheless."

From the author of The Gift of an Ordinary Day, this intimate memoir of loss, self-discovery, and growth will resonate deeply with any woman who has ever mourned the passage of time, questioned her own purpose, or wondered, "Do I have what it takes to create something new in my life?"

With the candor and warmth that have endeared her to readers, Kenison reflects on the inevitable changes wrought by time: the death of a dear friend, children leaving home, recognition of her own physical vulnerability, and surprising shifts in her marriage. She finds solace in the notion that midlife is also a time of unprecedented opportunity for growth as old roles and responsibilities fall away, and unanticipated possibilities appear on the horizon.

More a spiritual journey than a physical one, Kenison's beautifully crafted exploration begins and ends with a home, a life, a marriage. But this metamorphosis proves as demanding as any trek or pilgrimage to distant lands-it will guide and inspire every woman who finds herself asking "What now?"
Visit Katrina Kenison's website and blog.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Katrina Kenison & Gracie.

Writers Read: Katrina Kenison (December 2009).

Sunday, December 23, 2012

"Wrong Hill to Die On"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Wrong Hill to Die On: An Alafair Tucker Mystery by Donis Casey.

About the book, from the publisher:

Murder and illness, rumors of war, rain and floods worthy of the Bible. Nineteen-sixteen was not shaping up to be a good year for Alafair Tucker, and finding Bernie Arruda dead in a ditch wasn’t going to help matters. She had not wanted to come to Arizona in the first place. But her daughter Blanche, only ten years old, was suffering from a stubborn ailment of the lungs, and her best chance for a cure was dry desert air. So Alafair and her husband Shaw had bundled their sick child onto the train and made the nightmare trip from Oklahoma to Alafair’s sister in Tempe, Arizona. Yet as soon as they arrived on that bright March day, Blanche began to improve. Alafair was overjoyed to see her witty, brilliant, beautiful sister Elizabeth again, and for added excitement, a Hollywood motion picture company was shooting their movie right on the streets of Tempe! But Alafair and Shaw soon discover that all is not well in sunny Arizona. Elizabeth’s marriage is in tatters, tensions are high between the Anglo and Latino communities following Pancho Villa’s murderous raid on Columbus, New Mexico, and Alafair suspects her sister is involved in an illegal operation to smuggle war refugees out of Mexico and into the U.S. And now here lies Bernie Arruda on his back in a ditch, staring into eternity. The night before he had been singing Mexican love songs at the party in Elizabeth’s back yard, his black eyes flashing as he winked at the ladies. He had been a charmer, all right. Too bad there were so many people who would be glad he was dead.
Visit Donis Casey's website.

"Film Stardom, Myth and Classicism"

New from Palgrave Macmillan: Film Stardom, Myth and Classicism: The Rise of Hollywood's Gods by Michael Williams.

About the book, from the publisher:

Since the golden era of silent movies stars have been described as screen gods, goddesses and idols. But why did Hollywood, that most modernity industry, first look back to antiquity as it built its stars? This book presents a unique insight into the origins of screen stardom in the 1910s and 20s to explore how the myth and iconography of ancient Greece and Rome was deployed to create modern Apollo and Venuses of the screen. Drawing from extensive research into studio production files, fan-magazines and the popular reception of stars in America and Britain, this study explores how the sculptural gods of the past enabled the flickering shadows on the screen to seem more present and alive. Classicism permitted films to encode different sexualities for their audience, and present stars who embodied traditions of the Grand Tour for a post-war context where the ruins of past civilisations had become strangely resonant. The book presents detailed discussion of leading players such as Ramon Novarro, Greta Garbo and Rudolph Valentino, and major films such as Ben-Hur and Flesh and the Devil to show how classicism enabled star discourse to transform actors into icons. This is the story of how Olympus moved to Hollywood to divinise stars as icons for a modern age and defined a model of stardom that is still with us today.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

"Death in the 12th House"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Death in the 12th House: Where Neptune Rules by Mitchell Scott Lewis.

About the book, from the publisher:

Someone is bumping off rock’s wrinkled royalty. After the death of the third aging rock star, fifty eight year old Freddie Finger, lead singer for multi-platinum Rocket Fire, astrologer detective David Lowell is brought into the case. Freddie wasn’t well liked, and Lowell has more than his hands full with suspects. Was it Freddie’s ex-wives, who seem more intent on killing each other than anyone else? His disgruntled band members, angry because Freddie’s solo career was threatening the band’s future? His greedy manager, busy promoting the death of a rock star? Or was it the musician whose career Freddie sabotaged many years ago? Freddie’s daughter, movie actress Vivian Younger, has retained Lowell’s services to help catch her father’s killer. She seems intrigued with this unusual man and his bizarre career. As they search for the truth, is there romance in the air for our stoic detective?

With the help of his staff: vivacious red-head assistant, Sarah, master hacker and psychic, Mort, and his driver and bodyguard, Andy, Lowell sifts through the birth charts of the characters and follows the clues to a surprising ending.
Visit Mitchell Scott Lewis's website.

"No Regrets, No Remorse"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: No Regrets, No Remorse: A Sydney Simone Mystery by R. F. Sharp.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sydney Simone, wounded herself, is dedicated to helping via a cloaked website and identity those whose wrongs can’t be righted by orthodox means. First she verifies the client’s story; then she accepts payment: half up front, half on completion of her work. Usually it’s a form of human pest control.

For cover, Sydney works as an assistant at the Rose Madder Gallery in West Palm Beach run by Oscar Leopold. Oscar, a sculptor, has left his law practice behind. But now his former partner Roy is arrested for murdering Big Jack, an attorney with a sleazy television advertising presence. At the same time Sydney is dealing with a client who has seemingly penetrated her defenses and demands she complete a job—rubbing out Big Jack.—an assignment where she has accepted, and pocketed, an unusually large fee. So now Sydney the client gives Sydney a new target and Sydney switches gears: dedicated to saving herself, Oscar, and Roy, even as she continues to operate

Teaming with Oscar isn’t easy since she can’t tell him all she knows, but soon their investigation leads to a complex insurance fraud scheme that implicates Roy – perhaps he really is guilty. But Oscar becomes an investigative target himself and is arrested, then kidnapped and assaulted as he tries to find the true killer.

The story ranges from the corporate offices of South Florida to the backwaters of the panhandle. The bad guys are dangerous and desperate to keep their careers, their freedom, even their lives. Oscar and Sydney, their own lives and livelihoods at stake, must up their game—Sydney may even have to reveal her game—to survive.
Visit R. F. Sharp's website.

Friday, December 21, 2012


New from Free Press: Y: A Novel by Marjorie Celona.

About the book, from the publisher:

“Y. That perfect letter. The wishbone, fork in the road, empty wineglass. The question we ask over and over. Why? . . . My life begins at the Y.” So opens Marjorie Celona’s highly acclaimed and exquisitely rendered debut about a wise-beyond-her-years foster child abandoned as a newborn on the doorstep of the local YMCA. Swaddled in a dirty gray sweatshirt with nothing but a Swiss Army knife tucked between her feet, little Shannon is discovered by a man who catches only a glimpse of her troubled mother as she disappears from view. That morning, all three lives are forever changed.

Bounced between foster homes, Shannon endures abuse and neglect until she finally finds stability with Miranda, a kind but no-nonsense single mother with a free-spirited daughter of her own. Yet Shannon defines life on her own terms, refusing to settle down, and never stops longing to uncover her roots—especially the stubborn question of why her mother would abandon her on the day she was born.

Brilliantly and hauntingly interwoven with Shannon’s story is the tale of her mother, Yula, a girl herself who is facing a desperate fate in the hours and days leading up to Shannon’s birth. As past and present converge, Y tells an unforgettable story of identity, inheritance, and, ultimately, forgiveness. Celona’s ravishingly beautiful novel offers a deeply affecting look at the choices we make and what it means to be a family, and it marks the debut of a magnificent new voice in contemporary fiction.
Visit Marjorie Celona's website.

"The Midwife's Tale"

New from Minotaur Books: The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the tradition of Arianna Franklin and C. J. Sansom comes Samuel Thomas’s remarkable debut, The Midwife’s Tale

It is 1644, and Parliament’s armies have risen against the King and laid siege to the city of York. Even as the city suffers at the rebels’ hands, midwife Bridget Hodgson becomes embroiled in a different sort of rebellion. One of Bridget’s friends, Esther Cooper, has been convicted of murdering her husband and sentenced to be burnt alive. Convinced that her friend is innocent, Bridget sets out to find the real killer.

Bridget joins forces with Martha Hawkins, a servant who’s far more skilled with a knife than any respectable woman ought to be. To save Esther from the stake, they must dodge rebel artillery, confront a murderous figure from Martha’s past, and capture a brutal killer who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks. The investigation takes Bridget and Martha from the homes of the city’s most powerful families to the alleyways of its poorest neighborhoods. As they delve into the life of Esther’s murdered husband, they discover that his ostentatious Puritanism hid a deeply sinister secret life, and that far too often tyranny and treason go hand in hand.
Visit Sam Thomas's website and blog.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

"The Colour of Milk"

New from Ecco: The Colour of Milk: A Novel by Nell Leyshon.

About the book, from the publisher:

"this is my book and i am writing it by my own hand."

Mary and her three sisters rise every day to backbreaking farmwork that threatens to suppress their own awakening desires, whether it's Violet's pull toward womanhood or Beatrice's affinity for the Scriptures. But it's their father, whose anger is unleashed at the slightest provocation, who stands to deliver the most harm. Only Mary, fierce of tongue and a spitfire since birth, dares to stand up to him. When he sends her to work for the local vicar and his invalid wife in their house on the hill, he deals her the only blow she may not survive.

Within walking distance of her family farm, the vicarage is a world away–a curious, unsettling place unlike any she has ever known. Teeming with the sexuality of the vicar's young son and the manipulations of another servant, it is also a place of books and learning–a source of endless joy. Yet as young Mary soon discovers, such precious knowledge comes at a devastating price, as is gradually made clear once she begins the task of telling her own story.

Reminiscent of Alias Grace in the exploration of the power dynamics between servants and those they serve and of Celie's struggles in The Color Purple, this quietly devastating tour de force reminds us that knowledge can destroy even as it empowers.

"The House on Willow Street"

New from Gallery Books: The House on Willow Street: A Novel by Cathy Kelly.

About the book, from the publisher:

Every picture-perfect village tells a story....

The Irish seaside town of Avalon is a tourist’s dream of quaint shops and welcoming cafés. Avalon House, perched at the end of Willow Street, was in Tess Power’s family for generations. Now Tess ekes out a living from her antiques shop while the crumbling mansion awaits a new owner. Her marriage and business may be floundering, but her affection for Avalon is undimmed. The same can’t be said of her glamorous sister. Suki left without a backward glance and married into an American political dynasty. Only a muckraking biographer could send her slinking back to Ireland to escape a scandal.

Postmistress Danae watches from the sidelines, doling out gentle advice while locking away her own secrets. Then her unconventional niece Mara comes to stay and draws her lonely aunt back into the world. As autumn gives way to winter, the four women encounter old loves, embrace new friendships, and begin to look beyond the past to the possibilities just beginning to unfold.
Visit Cathy Kelly's website.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"Driver's Education"

New from Simon & Schuster: Driver's Education: A Novel by Grant Ginder.

About the book, from the publisher:

He’s a big man, my granddad, not necessarilyin size or proportion, but in other ways, like the manner in which he lives. The trouble in which he finds himself. The magic that heconjures and the spectacular things he believes.

When he was a younger man, Alistair McPhee was fond of escaping in his ’56 Chevy Bel Air, Lucy, named for the cherished wife who died and left him and their nine-year-old son Colin behind. Yearning for a way to connect to his itinerant father, Colin turned to writing screenplays inspired by the classic films they used to watch together, while Colin’s own son, Finn, grew up listening to his grandfather spin tales of danger, heartbreak, and redemption on the road.

Now, at the end of his life and wishing to feel the wind in his hair one last time, Alistair charges his grandson with a task: bring Lucy to him in San Francisco from New York, where a man named Yip has been keeping her safe. The long road west will lead Finn, accompanied by his disgruntled friend Randal and an ancient three-legged orange cat named Mrs. Dalloway, through the very cities that supposedly bore witness to Alistair’s greatest adventures, offering an unlikely lesson in the differences between facts and truth, between boys and men.

Driver’s Education is at once a literary adventure and a finely detailed family portrait, combining in a bold declaration of Grant Ginder’s outstanding storytelling gifts.
Follow Grant Ginder on Twitter.

"The One I Left Behind"

New from William Morrow Paperbacks: The One I Left Behind: A Novel by Jennifer McMahon.

About the book, from the publisher:

The summer of 1985 changes Reggie’s life. An awkward thirteen-year-old, she finds herself mixed up with the school outcasts. That same summer, a serial killer called Neptune begins kidnapping women. He leaves their severed hands on the police department steps and, five days later, displays their bodies around town. Just when Reggie needs her mother, Vera, the most, Vera’s hand is found on the steps. But after five days, there’s no body and Neptune disappears.

Now, twenty-five years later, Reggie is a successful architect who has left her hometown and the horrific memories of that summer behind. But when she gets a call revealing that her mother has been found alive, Reggie must confront the ghosts of her past and find Neptune before he kills again.
Learn more about the book and author at Jennifer McMahon's website.

The Page 69 Test: Promise Not to Tell.

The Page 69 Test: Island of Lost Girls.

The Page 69 Test: Dismantled.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


New from Touchstone: Immortal: A Novel by Dean Crawford.

About the book, from the publisher:


When the body of a gunshot victim rolls into the Santa Fe morgue, it should be a day like any other for medical investigator Lillian Cruz. Yet upon examination, the corpse appears to be over a hundred years old with smallpox scars, and an odd wound protrudes from the victim’s leg. Lodged in the femur, under decrepit scar tissue, is a bullet shaped like a musket ball. The bullet looks like it was fired during the Civil War and had remained in the victim’s leg ever since.

Rattled by the discovery, Cruz instructs her assistant to take specimens to the state authorities immediately and not to tell a soul about it. Minutes after the assistant leaves, the lights go dark in the morgue and Cruz is kidnapped.

The Defense Intelligence Agency calls in former war correspondent Ethan Warner and his partner, Nicola Lopez, to discreetly investigate the disappearance. And very quickly, a relatively simple case turns into something much more sinister. With each new lead they uncover, Warner and Lopez are inadvertently bringing a warped and dangerous individual closer to achieving a catastrophic goal: immortality. In the spine-chilling tradition of Michael Crichton and James Rollins, Immortal is an action-packed blockbuster that combines science, suspense, and ingenious speculation.
Learn more about the book and author at Dean Crawford's website and blog.

Writers Read: Dean Crawford.

My Book, The Movie: Covenant.

The Page 69 Test: Covenant.

"The Insurgents"

New from Simon & Schuster: The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War by Fred Kaplan.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Insurgents is the inside story of the small group of soldier-scholars, led by General David Petraeus, who plotted to revolutionize one of the largest, oldest, and most hidebound institutions—the United States military. Their aim was to build a new Army that could fight the new kind of war in the post–Cold War age: not massive wars on vast battlefields, but “small wars” in cities and villages, against insurgents and terrorists. These would be wars not only of fighting but of “nation building,” often not of necessity but of choice.

Based on secret documents, private emails, and interviews with more than one hundred key characters, including Petraeus, the tale unfolds against the backdrop of the wars against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the main insurgency is the one mounted at home by ambitious, self-consciously intellectual officers—Petraeus, John Nagl, H. R. McMaster, and others—many of them classmates or colleagues in West Point’s Social Science Department who rose through the ranks, seized with an idea of how to fight these wars better. Amid the crisis, they forged a community (some of them called it a cabal or mafia) and adapted their enemies’ techniques to overhaul the culture and institutions of their own Army.

Fred Kaplan describes how these men and women maneuvered the idea through the bureaucracy and made it official policy. This is a story of power, politics, ideas, and personalities—and how they converged to reshape the twenty-first-century American military. But it is also a cautionary tale about how creative doctrine can harden into dogma, how smart strategists—today’s “best and brightest”—can win the battles at home but not the wars abroad. Petraeus and his fellow insurgents made the US military more adaptive to the conflicts of the modern era, but they also created the tools—and made it more tempting—for political leaders to wade into wars that they would be wise to avoid.
Visit Fred Kaplan's website.

Monday, December 17, 2012

"Thomas Nast"

New from The University of North Carolina Press: Thomas Nast: The Father of Modern Political Cartoons by Fiona Deans Halloran.

About the book, from the publisher:

Thomas Nast (1840-1902), the founding father of American political cartooning, is perhaps best known for his cartoons portraying political parties as the Democratic donkey and the Republican elephant. Nast's legacy also includes a trove of other political cartoons, his successful attack on the machine politics of Tammany Hall in 1871, and his wildly popular illustrations of Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly magazine. Throughout his career, his drawings provided a pointed critique that forced readers to confront the contradictions around them.

In this thoroughgoing and lively biography, Fiona Deans Halloran focuses not just on Nast's political cartoons for Harper's but also on his place within the complexities of Gilded Age politics and highlights the many contradictions in his own life: he was an immigrant who attacked immigrant communities, a supporter of civil rights who portrayed black men as foolish children in need of guidance, and an enemy of corruption and hypocrisy who idolized Ulysses S. Grant. He was a man with powerful friends, including Mark Twain, and powerful enemies, including William M. "Boss" Tweed. Halloran interprets Nast's work, explores his motivations and ideals, and illuminates Nast's lasting legacy on American political culture.

"Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti"

New from Signet: Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti: A Magical Bakery Mystery by Bailey Cates.

About the book, from the publisher:


As a new witch—not to mention owner of Savannah’s most enchanting bakery—Katie Lightfoot is still getting used to casting spells, brewing potions, and mastering her magical powers. But that doesn’t mean she can’t find time to enjoy a picnic with firefighter Declan McCarthy…until she stumbles upon a corpse.

The dead man’s tattoo reveals he was a member of a secret society—and it turns out he's missing an object that was very important to the group. When Katie learns the killer was after more than the man's life, she and her Aunt Lucy leave the baked goods on the rack to cool and set off in hot pursuit of a killer.
Visit Bailey Cates's website and Cricket McRae's blog.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"Three Good Things"

New from Simon & Schuster: Three Good Things by Wendy Francis.

About the book, from the publisher:

ELLEN McCLARETY, a recent divorcée, has opened a new bake shop in her small Midwestern town, hoping to turn her life around by dedicating herself to the traditional Danish pastry called kringle. She is no longer saddled by her ne’er-do-well husband, but the past still haunts her—sometimes by showing up on her doorstep. Her younger sister, Lanie, is a successful divorce attorney with a baby at home. But Lanie is beginning to feel that her perfect life is not as perfect as it seems. Both women long for the guidance of their mother, who died years ago but left them with lasting memories of her love and a wonderful piece of advice: “At the end of every day, you can always think of three good things that happened.”

Ellen and Lanie are as close as two sisters can be, until one begins keeping a secret that could forever change both their lives. Wearing her big Midwestern heart proudly on her sleeve, Wendy Francis skillfully illuminates the emotional lives of two women with humor and compassion, weaving a story destined to be shared with a friend, a mother, or a sister.
Visit Wendy Francis's website.

"The Civil War and American Art"

New from Yale University Press: The Civil War and American Art by Eleanor Jones Harvey.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Civil War redefined America and forever changed American art. Its grim reality, captured through the new medium of photography, was laid bare. American artists could not approach the conflict with the conventions of European history painting, which glamorized the hero on the battlefield. Instead, many artists found ways to weave the war into works of art that considered the human narrative—the daily experiences of soldiers, slaves, and families left behind. Artists and writers wrestled with the ambiguity and anxiety of the Civil War and used landscape imagery to give voice to their misgivings as well as their hopes for themselves and the nation.

This important book looks at the range of artwork created before, during, and following the war, in the years between 1852 and 1877. Author Eleanor Jones Harvey surveys paintings made by some of America's finest artists, including Frederic Church, Sanford Gifford, Winslow Homer, and Eastman Johnson, and photographs taken by George Barnard, Alexander Gardner, and Timothy H. O'Sullivan.

Harvey examines American landscape and genre painting and the new medium of photography to understand both how artists made sense of the war and how they portrayed what was a deeply painful, complex period in American history. Enriched by firsthand accounts of the war by soldiers, former slaves, abolitionists, and statesmen, Harvey's research demonstrates how these artists used painting and photography to reshape American culture. Alongside the artworks, period voices (notably those of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, and Walt Whitman) amplify the anxiety and dilemmas of wartime America.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

"The House on Paradise Street"

New from Atria Books/Marble Arch Press: The House on Paradise Street by Sofka Zinovieff.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 2008 Antigone Perifanis returns to her old family home in Athens after 60 years in exile. She has come to attend the funeral of her only son, Nikitas, who was born in prison, and whom she has not seen since she left him as a baby.

At the same time, Nikitas’s English widow Maud – disturbed by her husband’s strange behaviour in the days before his death – starts to investigate his complicated past. She soon finds herself reigniting a bitter family feud, and discovers a heartbreaking story of a young mother caught up in the political tides of the Greek Civil War, forced to make a terrible decision that will blight not only her life but that of future generations...
Visit Sofka Zinovieff's website.

"Seven Locks"

New from Atria Books: Seven Locks: A Novel by Christine Wade.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Hudson River Valley, 1769: A man mysteriously disappears without a trace, abandoning his wife and children on their farm at the foot of the Catskill Mountains. At first many believe that his wife, who has the reputation of being a scold, has driven her husband away, but as the strange circumstances of his disappearance circulate, a darker story unfolds. And as the lines between myth and reality fade in the wilderness, and an American nation struggles to emerge, the lost man’s wife embarks on a desperate journey to find the means to ensure her family’s survival...
Visit Christine Wade's website.

Friday, December 14, 2012

"An Ordinary Marriage"

New from Oxford University Press: An Ordinary Marriage: The World of a Gentry Family in Provincial Russia by Katherine Pickering Antonova.

About the book, from the publisher:

An Ordinary Marriage is the story of the Chikhachevs, middling-income gentry landowners in nineteenth-century provincial Russia. In a seemingly strange contradiction, the mother of this family, Natalia, oversaw serf labor and managed finances while the father, Andrei, raised the children, at a time when domestic ideology advocating a woman's place in the home was at its height in European advice manuals. But Andrei Chikhachev defined masculinity as a realm of intellectualism; the father could be in charge of moral education, defined as an intellectual task. Managing estates that often barely yielded a livable income was a practical task and therefore considered less elevated, though still vitally important to the family's interests. Thus estate management was available to gentry women like Natalia Chikhacheva, and the fact that it inevitably expanded their realm of influence and opportunity (within the limits of their estates), and that it increased their centrality to the family's material security relative to their social counterparts to the west, was accidental.

An Ordinary Marriage examines the daily activities and ideas of the family based on multiple overlapping diaries and informal correspondence by the husband, wife, and son of the family, as well as the wife's brother. No such cache of intimate Russian family documents has ever previously been studied in such depth. The family's relative obscurity (with no pretensions to fame, wealth, or influence) and the presence of a woman's private documents are especially unusual in any context. The book considers the Chikhachevs' social life, reading habits, attitudes toward illness and death, as well as their marital roles and their reception of major ideas of their time, such as domesticity, Enlightenment, sentimentalism, and Romanticism
Visit Katherine Pickering Antonova's website.

"White Dog Fell from the Sky"

New from Viking: White Dog Fell from the Sky: A Novel by Eleanor Morse.

About the book, from the publisher:

An extraordinary novel of love, friendship, and betrayal for admirers of Abraham Verghese and Edwidge Danticat

Eleanor Morse’s rich and intimate portrait of Botswana, and of three people whose intertwined lives are at once tragic and remarkable, is an absorbing and deeply moving story.

In apartheid South Africa in 1976, medical student Isaac Muthethe is forced to flee his country after witnessing a friend murdered by white members of the South African Defense Force. He is smuggled into Botswana, where he is hired as a gardener by a young American woman, Alice Mendelssohn, who has abandoned her Ph.D. studies to follow her husband to Africa. When Isaac goes missing and Alice goes searching for him, what she finds will change her life and inextricably bind her to this sunburned, beautiful land.

Like the African terrain that Alice loves, Morse’s novel is alternately austere and lush, spare and lyrical. She is a writer of great and wide-ranging gifts.
Visit Eleanor Morse's website.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"Marmee & Louisa"

New from Free Press: Marmee & Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother by Eve LaPlante.

About the book, from the publisher:

Louisa May Alcott was one of the most successful and bestselling authors of her day, earning more than any of her male contemporaries. Her classic Little Women has been a mainstay of American literature since its release nearly 150 years ago, as Jo March and her calm, beloved “Marmee” have shaped and inspired generations of young women. Biographers have consistently attributed Louisa’s uncommon success to her father, Bronson Alcott, assuming that this outspoken idealist was the source of his daughter’s progressive thinking and remarkable independence.

But in this riveting dual biography, award-winning biographer Eve LaPlante explodes these myths, drawing from a trove of surprising new documents to show that it was Louisa’s actual “Marmee,” Abigail May Alcott, who formed the intellectual and emotional center of her world. Abigail, whose difficult life both inspired and served as a warning to her devoted daughters, pushed Louisa to excel at writing and to chase her unconventional dreams in a male-dominated world.

In Marmee & Louisa, LaPlante, Abigail’s great-niece and Louisa’s cousin, re-creates their shared story from diaries, letters, and personal papers, some recently discovered in a family attic and many others that were thought to have been destroyed. Here at last Abigail is revealed in her full complexity—long dismissed as a quiet, self-effacing background figure, she comes to life as a fascinating writer and thinker in her own right. A politically active feminist firebrand, she was a highly opinionated, passionate, ambitious woman who fought for universal civil rights, publicly advocating for abolition, women’s suffrage, and other defin-ing moral struggles of her era.

In this groundbreaking work, LaPlante paints an exquisitely moving and utterly convincing portrait of a woman decades ahead of her time, and the fiercely independent daughter whose life was deeply entwined with her mother’s dreams of freedom. This gorgeously written story of two extraordinary women is guaranteed to transform our view of one of America’s most beloved authors.
Visit Eve LaPlante's website and blog.

"Tiger Rag"

New from The Dial Press: Tiger Rag: A Novel by Nicholas Christopher.

About the book, from the publisher:

The acclaimed author of Veronica and A Trip to the Stars returns with a dazzling new novel based on one of the great legends of musical history.

New Orleans, 1900. The virtuoso cornet player Charles “Buddy” Bolden invents jazz, but after a life consumed by tragedy, the groundbreaking sound of his horn vanishes with him. Rumors persist, though, that Bolden recorded a phonograph cylinder, and over the course of a century it evolves into the elusive holy grail of jazz.

Florida, the present day. Dr. Ruby Cardillo’s life is falling apart. Her husband, a prominent cardiologist, has left her for a twenty-six-year-old. Her daughter, Devon, a once promising jazz pianist, has recently finished an enforced stint picking up trash along the interstate after a drug conviction. Ruby’s estranged mother has just died, but not before conjuring up ghosts that Ruby thought she had put behind her long ago. After a long career as a well-respected anesthesiologist, Ruby suddenly jumps the tracks, forgetting to eat and sleep, indulging her every whim, wearing only purple, consuming only bottles of 1988 Château Latour.

Then Ruby enlists Devon to accompany her on an impulsive road trip to New York, and both mother and daughter get more than they bargained for, discovering that their own shrouded family history is connected to the tantalizing search for Buddy Bolden’s long-lost cylinder.

Ranging from turn-of-the-century Louisiana to Roaring Twenties Chicago to contemporary Manhattan, Tiger Rag is at once a moving story of loss and redemption and an intricate historical mystery from one of our most brilliant storytellers.
Visit Nicholas Christopher's website.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"A Friendly Game of Murder"

New from Signet: A Friendly Game of Murder: An Algonquin Round Table Mystery by J.J. Murphy.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why should Dorothy Parker’s friends be the only ones making “enviable names” in “science, art, and parlor games”? Dorothy can play with the best of them—as she sets out to prove at a New Year’s Eve party at the Algonquin Hotel. Since the swanky soiree is happening in the penthouse suite of swashbuckling star Douglas Fairbanks, some derring-do is called for. How about a little game of “Murder”?

Each partygoer draws a card to be detective, murderer, or victim. But young Broadway starlet Bibi Bibelot trumps them all when her dead body is found in the bathtub. No one knows who the killer is, but one thing is for sure—they won’t be making gin in that bathtub.

When more partiers are put in peril, it becomes clear the game is indeed on, and it’s up to Dorothy, surprise guest Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the members of the Round Table to stay alive—and relatively sober—long enough to find the killer…
Learn more about the book and author at J.J. Murphy's website and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: The Algonquin Round Table Mysteries.

"Me Before You"

New from Pamela Dorman Books: Me Before You: A Novel by Jojo Moyes.

About the book, from the publisher:

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?
Visit Jojo Moyes's website.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"The Myths of Happiness"

New from The Penguin Press: The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, But Doesn't, What Shouldn't Make You Happy, But Does by Sonja Lyubomirsky.

About the book, from the publisher:

In The Myths of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky isolates the major turning points of adult life, looking to both achievements (marriage, children, professional satisfaction, wealth) and failures (singlehood, divorce, financial ruin, illness) to reveal that our misconceptions about the impact of such events is perhaps the greatest threat to our long-term well-being.

Lyubomirsky argues that we have been given false promises—myths that assure us that lifelong happiness will be attained once we hit the culturally confirmed markers of adult success. This restricted view of happiness works to discourage us from recognizing the upside of any negative life turn and blocks us from recognizing our own growth potential. Our outsized expectations transform natural rites of passage into emotional land mines and steer us to make toxic decisions, as The Myths of Happiness reveals.

Because we expect the best (or the worst) from life’s turning points, we shortsightedly place too much weight on our initial emotional responses. The Myths of Happiness empowers readers to look beyond their first response, sharing scientific evidence that often it is our mindset—not our circumstances—that matters. Central to these findings is the notion of hedonic adaptation, the fact that people are far more adaptable than they think. Even after a major life change—good or bad—we tend to return to our initial happiness level, forgetting what once made us elated or why we felt that life was so unbearable. The Myths of Happiness offers the perspective we need to make wiser choices, sharing how to slow the effects of this adaptation after a positive turn and find the way forward in a time of darkness.

In The Myths of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky turns an empirical eye to the biggest, messiest moments, providing readers with the clear-eyed vision they need to build the healthiest, most satisfying life. A corrective course on happiness and a call to regard life’s twists and turns with a more open mind, The Myths of Happiness shares practical lessons with life-changing potential.
Sonja Lyubomirsky's The How of Happiness is one of Oliver Burkeman's ten best self-help gurus.


New from Viking: Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova.

About the book, from the publisher:

No fictional character is more renowned for his powers of thought and observation than Sherlock Holmes. But is his extraordinary intellect merely a gift of fiction, or can we learn to cultivate these abilities ourselves, to improve our lives at work and at home?

We can, says psychologist and journalist Maria Konnikova, and in Mastermind she shows us how. Beginning with the “brain attic”—Holmes’s metaphor for how we store information and organize knowledge—Konnikova unpacks the mental strategies that lead to clearer thinking and deeper insights. Drawing on twenty-first-century neuroscience and psychology, Mastermind explores Holmes’s unique methods of ever-present mindfulness, astute observation, and logical deduction. In doing so, it shows how each of us, with some self-awareness and a little practice, can employ these same methods to sharpen our perceptions, solve difficult problems, and enhance our creative powers. For Holmes aficionados and casual readers alike, Konnikova reveals how the world’s most keen-eyed detective can serve as an unparalleled guide to upgrading the mind.
Visit Maria Konnikova's website and blog.

Monday, December 10, 2012

"The Trouble with Fate"

New from St. Martin's Paperbacks: The Trouble with Fate (A Mystwalker Novel) by Leigh Evans.

About the book, from the publisher:

My name is Hedi Peacock and I have a secret. I’m not human, and I have the pointy Fae ears and Were inner-bitch to prove it. As fairy tales go, my childhood was damn near perfect, all fur and magic until a werewolf killed my father and the Fae executed my mother. I’ve never forgiven either side. Especially Robson Trowbridge. He was a part-time werewolf, a full-time bastard, and the first and only boy I ever loved. That is, until he became the prime suspect in my father’s death…

Today I’m a half-breed barista working at a fancy coffee house, living with my loopy Aunt Lou and a temperamental amulet named Merry, and wondering where in the world I’m going in life. A pretty normal existence, considering. But when a pack of Weres decides to kidnap my aunt and force me to steal another amulet, the only one who can help me is the last person I ever thought I’d turn to: Robson Trowbridge. And he’s as annoyingly beautiful as I remember. That’s the trouble with fate: Sometimes it barks. Other times it bites. And the rest of the time it just breaks your heart. Again…
Visit Leigh Evans's website.

"Live and Let Love"

New from St. Martin's Paperbacks: Live and Let Love (An Agent Ex Novel) by Gina Robinson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Though Willow Pierce has moved forward since her husband died two years ago, she can’t ignore her sixth sense that Jack is alive.When newcomer Con Russo comes to town, Willow is convinced he’s Jack. She’d never forget his eyes. Willow is determined to learn the truth about Con’s identity—even if it means brazenly seducing him.

Secret agent Jack Pierce was almost killed in an explosion that left him severely disfigured. Thanks to reconstructive surgery, he has a new face and a new life. But when the terrorist who tried to assassinate him suspects he’s still alive, Jack’s forced to go undercover—and destroy him for good. But before he can complete his mission, he must protect the only woman he’s ever loved...
Learn more about the book and author at Gina Robinson's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Spy Who Left Me.

Writers Read: Gina Robinson.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

"Living Proof"

New from Forge Books: Living Proof by Kira Peikoff.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 2027, destroying an embryo is considered first-degree murder. Fertility clinics still exist, giving hope and new life to thousands of infertile families, but they have to pass rigorous inspections by the United States Department of Embryo Preservation. Fail an inspection, and you will be prosecuted.

Brilliant young doctor Arianna Drake seems to be thriving in the spotlight: her small clinic surpasses every government requirement, and its popularity has spiked—a sudden, rapid growth that leaves the DEP chief mystified. When he discovers Arianna’s radical past as a supporter of an infamous scientist, he sends undercover agent Trent Rowe to investigate her for possible illegal activity.

As Trent is pulled into Arianna’s enigmatic world, his own begins to unravel. The secret he finally uncovers will deeply move him—and jeopardize them both. With the clock ticking her life away, he finds himself questioning everything he knows to be true, and then must summon the courage to take the greatest risk of all. Nothing less than human life—and a major scientific breakthrough—hang in the balance.

A thought-provoking thriller by debut author Kira Peikoff, Living Proof is a celebration of love and life that cuts to the core of a major cultural debate of our time.
Visit Kira Peikoff's website.

"Found Guilty at Five"

New from Berkley Prime Crime: Found Guilty at Five by Ann Purser.

About the book, from the publisher:

She’s had her hands full sorting out both clues and clutter in the village of Long Farnden. But a mother’s work is never done, and Lois Meade is discovering detective work is both dirty and dangerous...

A wedding is always a happy occasion, even if Lois Meade must remind herself she isn’t losing a daughter, but gaining a policeman. Luckily, her new son-in-law is in the Tresham force—and the nephew of her friend and collaborator Inspector Cowgill—so Lois has another link to the law at her disposal.

But sleuthing suddenly seems a little too close to home when her youngest son invites a mysterious young woman, Akiko, as a guest. Lois isn’t the only one who wonders why she refuses to talk about herself or her past. And when a thief waltzes off in the night with the young woman’s cello, Lois wastes no time in enlisting the inspector to help find the valuable instrument.

Before Lois can take note of the whereabouts of the vanishing cello, Akiko goes missing. The discovery that this could be another in a string of murderous musical thefts means Lois must pull out all the stops to find the girl and protect her son—before the music stops permanently...
Visit Ann Purser's website.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


New from Tor Books: Frozen by Kate Watterson.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Kate Watterson's thrilling suspense novel Frozen, Bryce Grantham wants a quiet vacation at his family’s cabin. On his first night in town, he meets a lovely girl at a bar and gives her a ride home. The next day, he finds her cell phone in his car. When he tries to return it, Bryce discovers that the young woman has vanished, leaving behind only a bloody shoe.

Suddenly Bryce Grantham is the primary suspect in a murder investigation.

Detective Ellie MacIntosch has a serial killer on her hands, but without a body, she has few leads and the stalled investigation has her on edge. Bryce Grantham seems to be the perfect suspect.

Eighteen months have gone by without a clue, and yet Grantham starts reporting stumbling across the bodies of the missing women with unbelievable frequency. The evidence against him is almost irrefutable…but Ellie’s gut tells her the case is not so cut and dry.

Before Ellie compromises the investigation, her career, and possibly her life in order to prove Bryce’s innocence, she must determine whether he is a manipulative, cold-blooded killer…or the victim of a madman playing a sickening game.
Visit Kate Watterson's website.

"The Two Week Wait"

New from St. Martin's Griffin: The Two Week Wait by Sarah Rayner.

About the book, from the publisher:

A memorable and moving page-turner about two very different women, each yearning to create a family of her own

What if the thing you most longed for was resting on a two week wait? From the author of the international bestselling One Moment, One Morning, comes a moving portrait about what it truly means to be a family.

After a health scare, Brighton-based Lou is forced to confront the fact that her time to have a baby is running out. She can't imagine a future without children, but her partner doesn't seem to feel the same way, and she's not sure whether she could go it alone.

Meanwhile, in Yorkshire, Cath is longing to start a family with her husband, Rich. No one would be happier to have children than Rich, but Cath is infertile.

Could these strangers help one another?

With her deft exploration of raw emotions and her celebration of the joy and resilience of friendship, The Two Week Wait is Sarah Rayner at her best.
Visit Sarah Rayner's website.

Friday, December 7, 2012

"Deadly Little Lessons"

New from Hyperion Books for Children: Deadly Little Lessons (Touch Series #5) by Laurie Faria Stolarz.

About the book, from the publisher:

Camelia Hammond's trying junior year of high school is finally over...but her troubles aren't. After she discovers a painful truth about her family, she escapes to a summer arts program in Rhode Island. Determined to put family - and boyfriend - drama behind her, she throws herself into her artwork.

At the arts school, she gets caught up in the case of Sasha Beckerman, a local girl who is missing. Even though all signs suggest that the teen ran away, Camelia senses otherwise. Eager to help the girl, she launches her own investigation. She finds a blog by someone named Neal Moche, a psychometric who might have clues to Sasha's whereabouts. There is something familiar about Neal, and Camelia realizes how much she misses Ben, despite being committed to Adam.

But time is running out for Sasha, and Camelia will have to trust her powers if she's to save her. Will the lessons Camelia has learned in the past give her the strength to do so?
Visit Laurie Faria Stolarz's website.