Friday, August 31, 2012

"Trust Your Eyes"

New from NAL: Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay.

About the book, from the publisher:

Thomas Kilbride is a map-obsessed schizophrenic so affected that he rarely leaves the self-imposed bastion of his bedroom. But with a computer program called Whirl360.com, he travels the world while never so much as stepping out the door. He pores over and memorizes the streets of the world. He examines every address, as well as the people who are frozen in time on his computer screen.

Then he sees something that anyone else might have stumbled upon—but has not—in a street view of downtown New York City: an image in a window. An image that looks like a woman being murdered.

Thomas’s brother, Ray, takes care of him, cooking for him, dealing with the outside world on his behalf, and listening to his intricate and increasingly paranoid theories. When Thomas tells Ray what he has seen, Ray humors him with a half-hearted investigation. But Ray soon realizes he and his brother have stumbled onto a deadly conspiracy.

And now they are in the crosshairs…

"Trojan Horse"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Trojan Horse: A Novel by Mark Russinovich.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s two years post-Zero Day, and former government analyst Jeff Aiken is reaping the rewards for crippling al-Qaida’s attack on the computer infrastructure of the Western world. His cyber - security company is flourishing, and his relationship with Daryl Haugen intensifies when she becomes a part of his team.

But the West is under the East’s greatest threat yet. The Stuxnet virus that successfully subverted Iran’s nuclear defense program for years is being rapidly identified and defeated, and Stuxnet’s creators are stressed to develop a successor. As Jeff and Daryl struggle to stay together, they’re summoned to disarm the attack of a revolutionary, invisible trojan that alters data without leaving a trace. As the trojan penetrates Western intelligence, the terrifying truth about Iran is revealed, and Jeff and Daryl find themselves running a desperate race against time to reverse it - while the fate of both East and West hangs in the balance.

Like Zero Day, Trojan Horse is a thrilling suspense story, a sober warning from one of the world’s leading experts on cyber-security, Microsoft’s Technology Fellow, Mark Russinovich. Trojan Horse demystifies the dangerously realistic threat of a cyber-terrorism attack on the Western world, while chronicling the lengths through which one man and will go to stop it.
Learn more about the book and author at the Zero Day website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Zero Day.

Writers Read: Mark Russinovich.

My Book, The Movie: Zero Day.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

"In Between Days"

New from Knopf: In Between Days by Andrew Porter.

About the book, from the publisher:

From a commanding new voice in fiction comes a novel as perceptive as it is generous: a portrait of an American family trying to cope in our world today, a story of choices and doubts and transgressions.

The Hardings are teetering on the brink. Elson—once one of Houston’s most promising architects, who never quite lived up to expectations—is recently divorced from his wife of thirty years, Cadence. Their grown son, Richard, is still living at home: driving his mother’s minivan, working at a local coffee shop, resisting the career as a writer that beckons him. But when Chloe Harding gets kicked out of her East Coast college, for reasons she can’t explain to either her parents or her older brother, the Hardings’ lives start to unravel. Chloe returns to Houston, but the dangers set in motion back at school prove inescapable. Told with piercing insight, taut psychological suspense, and the wisdom of a true master of character, this is a novel about the vagaries of love and family, about betrayal and forgiveness, about the possibility and impossibility of coming home.
Visit Andrew Porter's website.

"Motherland"

New from Simon & Schuster: Motherland by Amy Sohn.

About the book, from the publisher:

With her trademark blend of “social satire, interpersonal drama, and urban glamour” (The New York Times), Amy Sohn delivers a candid, unsentimental look at modern marriage.

In her acclaimed novels, Amy Sohn has beguiled us with her pinpoint observations of how we live and love, giving voice to our innermost thoughts and everyday anxieties. Now, in Motherland, her most diverting book to date, she introduces us to five mothers and fathers in Cape Cod, Park Slope, and Greenwich Village who find themselves adrift professionally and personally.

Rebecca Rose, whose husband has been acting aloof, is tempted by the attentions of a former celebrity f lame; Marco Goldstein, saddled with two kids when his husband, Todd, is away on business, turns to anonymous sex for comfort; Danny Gottlieb, a screenwriter on the cusp of a big break, leaves his wife and children to pitch a film (and meet young women) in Los Angeles; fallen sanctimommy Karen Bryan Shapiro, devastated by her husband’s infidelity and abandonment, attempts a fresh start with a hot single dad; and former A-list actress Melora Leigh plots a star turn on Broadway to revive her Hollywood career. As their stories intersect in surprising ways and their deceptions spiral out of control, they begin to question their beliefs about family, happiness, and themselves.

Equal parts moving and richly entertaining, Motherland is a fresh take on modern marriage that confirms Amy Sohn as one of our most insightful commentators on relationships and parenting in America today.
Visit Amy Sohn's website.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"What the Heart Remembers"

New from NAL: What the Heart Remembers by Debra Ginsberg.

About the book, from the publisher:

Whispers of the past…

When young Eden Harrison receives a heart transplant from an unknown donor, her seemingly charmed life falls apart. Haunted by dreams of people and places she doesn’t recognize, Eden is convinced that her new heart carries the memories of its original owner. Eden leaves her old life behind as she is mysteriously drawn to the city of San Diego.

Whispers of the mind…

There, Eden becomes fast friends with Darcy, a young woman recently widowed by Peter, her wealthy, much older husband. But Darcy is unsettled by her inability to mourn, and more unsettled by recurring thoughts of Adam, a young musician she was having an affair with--who has suddenly vanished.

Whispers of the heart…

Yet, the more Eden learns about Darcy, the more she realizes that all is not as it seems, and she begins to suspect foul play behind Peter's and Adam’s fates. As the tension around them escalates, Eden’s mysterious dreams become more and more frequent. Can Eden listen to what her heart is trying to tell her before it is silenced forever?
Learn more about the book and author at Debra Ginsberg's website.

The Page 69 Test: Blind Submission.

The Page 69 Test: The Grift.

The Page 69 Test: The Neighbors Are Watching.

"Detroit Breakdown"

New from Minotaur Books: Detroit Breakdown by D. E. Johnson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Will Anderson and Elizabeth Hume are called to the vast Eloise Insane Asylum outside of Detroit, where Elizabeth’s cousin Robbie is a patient and now a murder suspect. The victim, like three others before him at the asylum in recent months, was killed with the infamous “Punjab lasso,” the murder weapon of the Phantom of the Opera.

Certain of Robbie’s innocence, they begin an investigation with the help of Detective Riordan. Will has himself committed to the asylum to investigate from the inside, and Elizabeth volunteers at Eloise and questions people outside the asylum. While Will endures horrific conditions in his search for the killer, Elizabeth and Riordan follow the trail of a murder suspect all the way to Kalamazoo, where they realize the killer might still be at Eloise, putting Will in extreme danger. They race back to Detroit, but will they arrive in time to save Will and bring the killer to justice?

Filled with Johnson’s trademark roller-coaster plot, nuanced characters, and brilliant historical research, Detroit Breakdown is a compelling, dark mystery set in the once- flourishing Paris of the West.
Learn more about the book and author at D.E. Johnson's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Motor City Shakedown.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"The Demoness of Waking Dreams"

New from Harlequin MIRA: The Demoness of Waking Dreams by Stephanie Chong.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ex-cop Brandon Clarkson is an angel with an edge. His tough exterior is the perfect camouflage for his job: hunting down the most dangerous criminals on earth. A self-reliant and demanding lone wolf, Brandon is the ideal angel to track and capture demoness Luciana Rossetti.

Beneath the surface of Luciana’s cool, green-eyed beauty lurks the heart of a malevolent killer. In the winding streets of Venice, she lures him into her dark world of pleasure.

They are perfectly matched. Angel and demon. Man and woman. But only one can win the battle of wills, of strength and of desire.
Learn more about the book and author at Stephanie Chong's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: Where Demon’s Fear To Tread.

"The Three Day Affair"

New from Grove/Atlantic: The Three Day Affair by Michael Kardos.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first debut novel from the newly relaunched Mysterious Press intro­duces a phenomenal new voice in the realm of crime fiction. Will, Jeffrey, and Nolan have been friends since college. Each has gone their own way while forging new lives. Will is a part-time drummer who spends his time in recording studios, Nolan is happily unmarried, while Jeffrey is wealthy and has a baby on the way. They have no reason to believe anything extraordinary will befall them. Until one shocking moment changes everything.

One night on a drive they stop at a convenience store for Jeffrey to pick up cigarettes. Within moments, Jeffrey comes out of the store dragging a young woman with him. He shoves her into Will’s car and shouts a single word: “Drive!” Shaken and confused, Will obeys.

Suddenly three ordinary men find themselves completely out of their ele­ment, holding a young girl hostage without the slightest idea of what to do next. They are already guilty of kidnapping and robbery; it is only a matter of time before they find out what else they’re capable of. For these four people, three days will decide their fate—between freedom and prison, innocence and guilt ... and life and death. The Three-Day Affair marks the emergence of a truly talented new crime writer.
Visit Michael Kardos's website.

Monday, August 27, 2012

"In a Fix"

New from Tor Books: In a Fix by Linda Grimes.

About the book, from Library Journal:

Ciel Halligan is an aura adaptor, a human imitator, and there are many like her out there. The trait lends itself well to careers in covert operations, but becoming a spook doesn't sit well with the macho males in her family. So Ciel runs a business impersonating clients, giving them a way out of sticky situations they'd rather not deal with personally. When her current client's fiancé is kidnapped by neo-Vikings, Ciel finds herself caught between two men who play havoc with her emotions. When the case heats up, so does the attraction she feels for both of them. Can Ciel convince them she's adult enough to play in their game, and will she survive to see where the fates will lead her heart? VERDICT Urban fantasy and paranormal novels crowd the shelves these days, so this reviewer is impressed by debut author Grimes's fresh take on the genre. Fans of both hard and soft fantasy and crime drama will love her protagonist's spunky, irreverent attitude as well as Grimes's character-building skills and unusual storyline.
Visit Linda Grimes's website.

"An Absorbing Errand"

New from Counterpoint: An Absorbing Errand: How Artists and Craftsmen Make Their Way to Mastery by Janna Malamud Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:

An Absorbing Errand uses stories of artists’ lives, personal anecdotes, and insights from the author’s work as a psychotherapist to examine the psychological obstacles that prevent people from staying with, and relishing, the process of art-making. Each chapter is devoted to a problem intrinsic to the creative process and illustrates how these very obstacles, once understood, can become prime sources of the energy that actually fuels the mastery of art-making.

Ultimately, An Absorbing Errand provides a philosophical, historical, and analytical look at the creative impulse and how certain artists from a wide field mastered their craft. From Julia Child to Charlie Chaplin, Lady Gaga to Michael Jackson, famous painters to established writers, Smith shows us how each overcame the obstacles they faced in the pursuit of their creative visions. Many people carry within their hearts an aching sense that they have something they want to express through art; or that they will not feel complete until they’ve brought out some hidden part of themselves. Yet they cannot begin to do the work of bringing their creative idea into the world. Or, maybe they’ve begun over and over, but they can’t stay with their labor long enough to finish it. An Absorbing Errand is a supportive companion, an enlightened and compassionate ballast, a guide for anyone who has ever picked up a pencil to write, or a paint brush to paint, or any tool —from chisel to loom— to pursue any serious craft, and then put it down again frustrated, discouraged, and unable to continue.

An Absorbing Errand is unlike any book about creating art of any kind, and aspiring and working artists alike will find it both original and invaluable.
Visit Janna Malamud Smith's website.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Hemingway's Girl"

New from NAL: Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck.

About the book, from the publisher:

“She remembered when Hemingway had planted a banyan tree at his house and told her its parasitic roots were like human desire. At the time she’d thought it romantic. She hadn’t understood his warning.”

In Depression-era Key West, Mariella Bennet, the daughter of an American fisherman and a Cuban woman, knows hunger. Her struggle to support her family following her father’s death leads her to a bar and bordello, where she bets on a risky boxing match...and attracts the interest of two men: world-famous writer, Ernest Hemingway, and Gavin Murray, one of the WWI veterans who are laboring to build the Overseas Highway.

When Mariella is hired as a maid by Hemingway’s second wife, Pauline, she enters a rarified world of lavish, celebrity-filled dinner parties and elaborate off-island excursions. As she becomes caught up in the tensions and excesses of the Hemingway household, the attentions of the larger-than-life writer become a dangerous temptation...even as straightforward Gavin Murray draws her back to what matters most. Will she cross an invisible line with the volatile Hemingway, or find a way to claim her own dreams? As a massive hurricane bears down on Key West, Mariella faces some harsh truths...and the possibility of losing everything she loves.
Visit Erika Robuck's website.

"Don't Turn Around"

New from Harper: Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been a victim of the system ever since her parents died. Now living off the grid and trusting no one, she uses her computer-hacking skills to stay safely anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in an empty warehouse with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, Noa starts to wish she had someone on her side.

Enter Peter Gregory. A rich kid and the leader of a hacker alliance, Peter needs people with Noa's talents on his team. Especially after a shady corporation called AMRF threatens his life in no uncertain terms.

But what Noa and Peter don't realize is that Noa holds the key to a terrible secret, and there are those who'd stop at nothing to silence her for good.

Fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will devour the story of Noa, a teen soul mate to Lisbeth Salander.
Learn more about the book and author at Michelle Gagnon's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Tunnels.

The Page 69 Test: Boneyard.

The Page 69 Test: Kidnap & Ransom.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"Murder Most Austen"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Murder Most Austen: A Mystery by Tracy Kiely.

About the book, from the publisher:

A dedicated Anglophile and Janeite, Elizabeth Parker is hoping the trip to the annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath will distract her from her lack of a job and her uncertain future with her boyfriend, Peter.

On the plane ride to England, she and Aunt Winnie meet Professor Richard Baines, a self-proclaimed expert on all things Austen. His outlandish claims that within each Austen novel there is a sordid secondary story is second only to his odious theory on the true cause of Austen’s death. When Baines is found stabbed to death in his Mr. Darcy costume during the costume ball, it appears that Baines’s theories have finally pushed one Austen fan too far. But Aunt Winnie’s friend becomes the prime suspect, so Aunt Winnie enlists Elizabeth to find the professor’s real killer. With an ex-wife, a scheming daughter-in-law, and a trophy wife, not to mention a festival’s worth of die-hard Austen fans, there are no shortage of suspects.

This fourth in Tracy Kiely’s charming series is pure delight. If Bath is the number-one Mecca for Jane Austen fans, Murder Most Austen is the perfect read for those who love some laughs and quick wit with their mystery.
Learn more about the book and author at Tracy Kiely's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Murder at Longbourn.

The Page 69 Test: Murder on the Bride's Side.

The Page 69 Test: Murder Most Persuasive.

"Death's Door"

New from Soho: Death's Door by James R. Benn.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this seventh installment of James R. Benn’s hit WWII-era mystery series, Lieutenant Billy Boyle goes undercover in the Vatican.

Lieutenant Billy Boyle could have used a rest after his last case, but when his girlfriend, Diana Seaton, a British spy, goes missing in the Vatican, where she was working undercover, he insists on being assigned to a murder investigation there so he can try to help her.

An American monsignor is found murdered at the foot of Death's Door, one of the five entrances to Saint Peter's Basilica. Wild Bill Donovan, head of the OSS, wants the killing investigated. The fact that the Vatican is neutral territory in German-occupied Rome is only one of the obstacles Billy must overcome. First is a harrowing journey, smuggled into Rome while avoiding the Gestapo and Allied bombs. Then he must navigate Vatican politics and personalities—some are pro-Allied, others pro-Nazi, and the rest steadfastly neutral—to learn the truth about the murdered monsignor. But that's not his only concern; just a short walk from the Vatican border is the infamous Regina Coeli prison, where Diana is being held. Can he dare a rescue, or will a failed attempt alert the Germans to his mission and risk an open violation of Vatican neutrality?
Learn more about the Billy Boyle WWII Mystery Series at James R. Benn's website.

The Page 99 Test: The First Wave.

The Page 69 Test: Evil for Evil.

The Page 69 Test: Rag and Bone.

Friday, August 24, 2012

"Dead Ends"

New from Severn House: Dead Ends by Sandra Balzo.

About the book, from the publisher:

The second title in the 'Main Street' series - a blast from the past has deadly consequences for the small town of Sutherton...

Fall arrives early in the High Country of North Carolina, but journalist AnnaLise Griggs is more concerned about one particular trio of visitors: Benjamin Rosewood, his wife Tanja, and their daughter, Suzanne, especially as AnnaLise and Ben have history. When two sudden and unexpected deaths occur, AnnaLise must protect herself and the place she loves as she is forced to confront how far a person might go to get - and keep - what they believe should be their own.
Learn more about the book and author at Sandra Balzo's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Sandra Balzo's Triple Shot.

"The Memory Thief"

New from Ballantine Books: The Memory Thief by Emily Colin.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Emily Colin’s exquisite debut novel, perfect for the fans of Kristin Hannah, one man’s vow to his wife sparks a remarkable journey that tests the pull of memory and reaffirms the bonds of love.

Before Madeleine Kimble’s mountaineer husband, Aidan, climbs Mount McKinley’s south face, he makes her a solemn vow: I will come back to you. But late one night, Maddie gets the devastating news that Aidan has died in an avalanche, leaving her to care for their son—a small boy with a very big secret. The call comes from J.C., Aidan’s best friend and fellow climber, whose grief is seasoned with survivor’s guilt . . . and something more. J.C. has loved Maddie for years, but he never wanted his chance with her to come at so terrible a cost.

Across the country, Nicholas Sullivan wakes from a motorcycle crash with his memory wiped clean. Yet his dreams are haunted by visions of a mysterious woman and a young boy, neither of whom he has ever met. Convinced that these strangers hold the answers he seeks, Nicholas leaves everything behind to find them. What he discovers will require a leap of faith that will change all of their lives forever.
Visit Emily Colin's website.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"Caravan of Thieves"

New from Dutton: Caravan of Thieves by David Rich.

About the book, from the publisher:

From debut author David Rich, a spectacular crime thriller about a charming con artist, a complicated heist, and the son charged with constructing a fragile truth out of a lifetime of lies.

Rollie Waters is the smartest guy in any room. Working as an undercover marine, he knows all the angles, and he's never less than two steps ahead of trouble--a skill he learned from the con artist father who raised him, though he hasn't seen Dan in years. Like Dan, Rollie knows how to offer cheap gifts with one hand while stealing the family silver with the other. But, unlike Dan, Rollie is not a criminal.

Rollie’s childhood was a mesh of perfectly believable lies stretched so thin that he barely knows who he is. It’s only when he’s working undercover, inhabiting a false identity, that Rollie is comfortable in his own skin. The danger of deep undercover work makes use of his talents and keeps him out of trouble. Most of the time.

After he’s yanked out of his latest assignment and tossed in the brig, he’s only partly surprised when the officials in charge mention one name: Dan Waters. U.S. government money—a lot of money—has gone missing, and they think Rollie’s father took it. The only way to find Dan is to trace the frail tendrils of truth scattered among Rollie’s childhood memories. To do that, he’ll have to go deep into the undercover identity of a lifetime: his own.
Visit David Rich's website.

"The Mirrored World"

New from Harper: The Mirrored World by Debra Dean.

About the book, from the publisher:

The bestselling author of The Madonnas of Leningrad returns with a breathtaking novel of love, madness, and devotion set against the extravagant royal court of eighteenth-century St. Petersburg.

Born to a Russian family of lower nobility, Xenia, an eccentric dreamer who cares little for social conventions, falls in love with Andrei, a charismatic soldier and singer in the Empress's Imperial choir. Though husband and wife adore each other, their happiness is overshadowed by the absurd demands of life at the royal court and by Xenia's growing obsession with having a child—a desperate need that is at last fulfilled with the birth of her daughter. But then a tragic vision comes true, and a shattered Xenia descends into grief, undergoing a profound transformation that alters the course of her life. Turning away from family and friends, she begins giving all her money and possessions to the poor. Then, one day, she mysteriously vanishes.

Years later, dressed in the tatters of her husband's military uniform and answering only to his name, Xenia is discovered tending the paupers of St. Petersburg's slums. Revered as a soothsayer and a blessed healer to the downtrodden, she is feared by the royal court and its new Empress, Catherine, who perceives her deeds as a rebuke to their lavish excesses. In this evocative and elegantly written tale, Dean reimagines the intriguing life of Xenia of St. Petersburg, a patron saint of her city and one of Russia's most mysterious and beloved holy figures. This is an exploration of the blessings of loyal friendship, the limits of reason, and the true costs of loving deeply.
Visit Debra Dean's Facebook page.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"The Beautiful Mystery"

New from Minotaur Books: The Beautiful Mystery (Armand Gamache Series #8) by Louise Penny.

About the book, from the publisher:

No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables, they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they sing. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as “the beautiful mystery.”

But when the renowned choir director is murdered, the lock on the monastery’s massive wooden door is drawn back to admit Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Sûreté du Québec. There they discover disquiet beneath the silence, discord in the apparent harmony. One of the brothers, in this life of prayer and contemplation, has been contemplating murder. As the peace of the monastery crumbles, Gamache is forced to confront some of his own demons, as well as those roaming the remote corridors. Before finding the killer, before restoring peace, the Chief must first consider the divine, the human, and the cracks in between.
Learn more about the book and author at Louise Penny's website and blog.

Coffee with a Canine: Louise Penny & Trudy.

The Page 69 Test: Still Life.

My Book, The Movie: A Fatal Grace.

The Page 99 Test: The Cruelest Month.

The Page 99 Test: A Rule Against Murder.

The Page 69 Test: The Brutal Telling.

My Book, The Movie: The Brutal Telling.

Writers Read: Louise Penny (Jnauary 2011).

"Enshadowed"

New from Atheneum Books for Young Readers: Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh.

About the book, from the publisher:

True love takes a twisted turn in the second book of this modern gothic romance trilogy channeling the dark brilliance of Edgar Allan Poe.

While Varen remains a prisoner in a perilous dream world where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life, Isobel travels to Baltimore to confront the dark figure known throughout the world as the Poe Toaster. This man, the same man who once appeared to Isobel in her dreams and abandoned her in Varen’s nightmare world, holds the key to saving Varen.

But when Isobel discovers a way to return to this dream world, she finds herself swept up in a realm that not only holds remnants of Edgar Allan Poe’s presence, but has also now taken on the characteristics of Varen’s innermost self. It is a dark world of fear, terror, and anger.

When Isobel once more encounters Varen, she finds him changed. And now Isobel must face a new adversary—one who also happens to be her greatest love.
Visit Kelly Creagh's website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Kelly Creagh and Annabel.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"The Distance Between Us"

New from Atria: The Distance Between Us: A Memoir by Reyna Grande.

About the book, from the publisher:

Mago pointed to a spot on the dirt floor and reminded me that my umbilical cord was buried there. “That way,” Mami told the midwife, “no matter where life takes her, she won’t ever forget where she came from.”

Then Mago touched my belly button ... She said that my umbilical cord was like a ribbon that connected me to Mami. She said, “It doesn’t matter that there’s a distance btween us now. That cord is there forever.”

When Reyna Grande’s father leaves his wife and three children behind in a village in Mexico to make the dangerous trek across the border to the United States, he promises he will soon return from “El Otro Lado” (The Other Side) with enough money to build them a dream house where they can all live together. His promises become harder to believe as months turn into years. When he summons his wife to join him, Reyna and her siblings are deposited in the already overburdened household of their stern, unsmiling grandmother.

The three siblings are forced to look out for themselves; in childish games they find a way to forget the pain of abandonment and learn to solve very adult problems. When their mother at last returns, the reunion sets the stage for a dramatic new chapter in Reyna’s young life: her own journey to “El Otro Lado” to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father.

In this extraordinary memoir, award-winning writer Reyna Grande vividly brings to life her tumultuous early years, capturing all the confusion and contradictions of childhood, especially one spent torn between two parents and two countries. Elated when she feels the glow of her father’s love and approval, Reyna knows that at any moment he might turn angry or violent. Only in books and music and her rich imaginary life does she find solace, a momentary refuge from a world in which every place feels like “El Otro Lado.”

The Distance Between Us captures one girl’s passage from childhood to adolescence and beyond. A funny, heartbreaking, lyrical story, it reminds us that the joys and sorrows of childhood are always with us, invisible to the eye but imprinted on the heart, forever calling out to us of those places we first called home.
Visit Reyna Grande's website.

"The Rocks Don't Lie"

New from W.W. Norton: The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood by David R. Montgomery.

About the book, from the publisher:

How the mystery of the Bible's greatest story shaped geology: a MacArthur Fellow presents a surprising perspective on Noah's Flood.

In Tibet, geologist David R. Montgomery heard a local story about a great flood that bore a striking similarity to Noah’s Flood. Intrigued, Montgomery began investigating the world’s flood stories and—drawing from historic works by theologians, natural philosophers, and scientists—discovered the counterintuitive role Noah’s Flood played in the development of both geology and creationism. Steno, the grandfather of geology, even invoked the Flood in laying geology’s founding principles based on his observations of northern Italian landscapes. Centuries later, the founders of modern creationism based their irrational view of a global flood on a perceptive critique of geology. With an explorer’s eye and a refreshing approach to both faith and science, Montgomery takes readers on a journey across landscapes and cultures. In the process we discover the illusive nature of truth, whether viewed through the lens of science or religion, and how it changed through history and continues changing, even today.

Monday, August 20, 2012

"The Twelve Rooms of the Nile"

New from Simon & Schuster: The Twelve Rooms of the Nile by Enid Shomer.

About the book, from the publisher:

Before she became the nineteenth century’s greatest heroine, before he had written a word of Madame Bovary, Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert traveled down the Nile at the same time. In the imaginative leap taken by award-winning writer Enid Shomer’s The Twelve Rooms of the Nile, the two ignite a passionate friendship marked by intelligence, humor, and a ravishing tenderness that will alter both their destinies.

In 1850, Florence, daughter of a prominent English family, sets sail on the Nile chaperoned by longtime family friends and her maid, Trout. To her family’s chagrin—and in spite of her wealth, charm, and beauty—she is, at twenty-nine and of her own volition, well on her way to spinsterhood. Meanwhile, Gustave and his good friend Maxime Du Camp embark on an expedition to document the then largely unexplored monuments of ancient Egypt. Traumatized by the deaths of his father and sister, and plagued by mysterious seizures, Flaubert has dropped out of law school and writ-ten his first novel, an effort promptly deemed unpublishable by his closest friends. At twenty-eight, he is an unproven writer with a failing body.

Florence is a woman with radical ideas about society and God, naive in the ways of men. Gustave is a notorious womanizer and patron of innumerable prostitutes. But both burn with unfulfilled ambition, and in the deft hands of Shomer, whose writing The New York Times Book Review has praised as “beautifully cadenced, and surprising in its imaginative reach,” the unlikely soul mates come together to share their darkest torments and most fervent hopes. Brimming with adventure and the sparkling sensibilities of the two travelers, this mesmerizing novel offers a luminous combination of gorgeous prose and wild imagination, all of it colored by the opulent tapestry of mid-nineteenth-century Egypt.
Visit Enid Shomer's website and Facebook page.

"A Killing in the Hills"

New from Minotaur Books: A Killing in the Hills: Bell Elkins Novels (Volume 1) by Julia Keller.

About the book, from the publisher:

In A Killing in the Hills, a powerful, intricate debut from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Keller, a mother and a daughter try to do right by a town and each other before it's too late.

What's happening in Acker's Gap, West Virginia? Three elderly men are gunned down over their coffee at a local diner, and seemingly half the town is there to witness the act. Still, it happened so fast, and no one seems to have gotten a good look at the shooter. Was it random? Was it connected to the spate of drug violence plaguing poor areas of the country just like Acker's Gap? Or were Dean Streeter, Shorty McClurg, and Lee Rader targeted somehow?

One of the witnesses to the brutal incident was Carla Elkins, teenaged daughter of Bell Elkins, the prosecuting attorney for Raythune County, WV. Carla was shocked and horrified by what she saw, but after a few days, she begins to recover enough to believe that she might be uniquely placed to help her mother do her job.

After all, what better way to repair their fragile, damaged relationship? But could Carla also end up doing more harm than good—in fact, putting her own life in danger?
Visit Julia Keller's website.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

"The Roots of the Olive Tree"

New from William Morrow: The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo.

About the book, from the publisher:

Meet the Keller family, five generations of firstborn women—an unbroken line of daughters—living together in the same house on a secluded olive grove in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California.

Anna, the family matriarch, is 112 and determined to become the oldest person in the world. An indomitable force, strong in mind and firm in body, she rules Hill House, the family home she shares with her daughter Bets, granddaughter Callie, great-granddaughter Deb, and great-great-granddaughter Erin. Though they lead ordinary lives, there is an element of the extraordinary to these women: the eldest two are defying longevity norms. Their unusual lifespans have caught the attention of a geneticist who believes they hold the key to breakthroughs that will revolutionize the aging process for everyone.

But Anna is not interested in unlocking secrets the Keller blood holds. She believes there are some truths that must stay hidden, including certain knowledge about her origins that she has carried for more than a century. Like Anna, each of the Keller women conceals her true self from the others. While they are bound by blood and the house they share, living together has not always been easy. And it is about to become more complicated now that Erin, the youngest, is back, alone and pregnant, after two years abroad with an opera company. Her return and the arrival of the geneticist who has come to study the Keller family ignites explosive emotions that these women have kept buried and uncovers revelations that will shake them all to their roots.

Told from varying viewpoints, Courtney Miller Santo's compelling and evocative debut novel captures the joys and sorrows of family—the love, secrets, disappointments, jealousies, and forgiveness that tie generations to one another.
Visit Courtney Miller Santo's website.

"The Map of Lost Memories"

New from Ballantine Books: The Map of Lost Memories: A Novel by Kim Fay.

About the book, from the publisher:

Suspense and secrets are woven together in this engrossing fiction debut by Kim Fay. The Map of Lost Memories takes readers on a daring expedition to a remote land, where the search for an elusive treasure becomes a journey into the darkest recesses of the mind and heart.

In 1925, the international treasure-hunting scene is a man’s world, and no woman knows this better than Irene Blum, who is passed over for the coveted curator position at Seattle’s renowned Brooke Museum. But she is not ready to accept defeat. Skilled at acquiring priceless, often illicitly trafficked artifacts, Irene is given a rare map believed to lead to a set of copper scrolls that chronicle the lost history of Cambodia’s ancient Khmer civilization. Such a find would not only restore her reputation, it would be the greatest archaeological discovery of the century.

As Irene travels from Seattle to Shanghai to the Cambodian jungles, she will encounter several equally determined companions, including a communist temple robber and a dashing nightclub owner with a complicated past. As she and her fellow adventurers sweep across borders and make startling discoveries, their quest becomes increasingly dangerous. Everyone who comes to this part of the world “has something to hide,” Irene is told—and she learns just how true this is. What she and her accomplices bring to light will do more than change history. It will ultimately solve the mysteries of their own lives.
Visit Kim Fay's website.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"The Great American Railroad War"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Great American Railroad War: How Ambrose Bierce and Frank Norris Took On the Notorious Central Pacific Railroad by Dennis Drabelle.

About the book, from the publisher:

How two of America’s greatest authors took on the Central Railroad monopoly

The notorious Central Pacific Railroad riveted the attention of two great American writers: Ambrose Bierce and Frank Norris. In The Great American Railroad War, Dennis Drabelle tells a classic story of corporate greed vs. the power of the pen. The Central Pacific Railroad accepted US Government loans; but, when the loans fell due, the last surviving founder of the railroad avoided repayment. Bierce, at the behest of his boss William Randolph Hearst, swung into action writing over sixty stinging articles that became a signal achievement in American journalism. Later, Norris focused the first volume of his trilogy, The Octopus, on the freight cars of a thinly disguised version of the Central Pacific. The Great American Railroad War is a lively chapter of US history pitting two of America’s greatest writers against one of America’s most powerful corporations.

"Simple"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Simple by Kathleen George.

About the book, from the publisher:

Kathleen George has declared Pittsburgh her turf with her phenomenal police procedural series, including The Odds, which was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel. In her riveting new book, a beautiful, talented law student, Cassie Price, has been murdered, and the police arrest Cal, a handyman who works in her neighborhood. Soon suspicion turns to her boss, a golden boy about to run for governor. With fantastic series characters and a stunning mystery, Kathleen George further proves herself to be a master of the police procedural.
Learn more about the book and author at Kathleen George's website.

Kathleen George is a professor of theatre at the University of Pittsburgh. She is also the author of the acclaimed novels Taken, Fallen, Afterimage, the short story collection The Man in the Buick, scholarly theatrical books and articles, and many short stories. Her novel The Odds was an Edgar finalist for best novel.

The Page 99 Test: Afterimage.

The Page 99 Test: The Odds.

Writers Read: Kathleen George (June 2011).

The Page 69 Test: Hideout.

My Book, The Movie: Hideout.

Writers Read: Kathleen George (August 2011).

Friday, August 17, 2012

"Last Lawyer Standing"

New from Minotaur Books: Last Lawyer Standing by Douglas Corleone.

About the book, from the publisher:

Defense attorney Kevin Corvelli fled from New York to Hawaii after the sensational death of one of his clients three years ago. Now, in the wake of another client’s death—a client Kevin had fallen in love with—Kevin would run again if only he could pull himself free from a couple of high-profile, high-risk cases. The FBI is investigating the poisoning of a young woman who happened to be Governor Wade Omphrey’s mistress. The governor was off the island at the time, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t order the hit or that he doesn’t need a hotshot lawyer like Corvelli defending him.

Then the DEA raids a local meth lab and Turi Ahina is picked up in the sweep. A career criminal, Ahina has set Corvelli up with plenty of client referrals, but Corvelli owes him for much more than that ever since Ahina saved his life. Now Ahina’s only way out is to turn in the big man, and he can’t just tell the FBI who it is—they already know that. He needs to find him and set a trap, a trap that won’t succeed without Corvelli’s help. The plan is simple, as foolproof and dangerous as a suicide attempt.

As the stakes rise, Corvelli gets drawn in deeper and deeper until the only way he can escape is to stick it out to the end in Last Lawyer Standing, Douglas Corleone’s most compelling legal mystery yet.
Learn more about the book and author at Douglas Corleone's website.

Douglas Corleone is a former New York City defense attorney and winner of the Mystery Writers of America/Minotaur Books First Crime Novel Competition for One Man's Paradise.

The Page 69 Test: One Man's Paradise.

The Page 69 Test: Night on Fire.

Writers Read: Douglas Corleone.

My Book, The Movie: Night on Fire .

"Air: The Restless Shaper of the World"

New from W.W. Norton: Air: The Restless Shaper of the World by William Bryant Logan.

About the book, from the publisher:

The author of Dirt and Oak brings to life this quickest, most sustaining, most communicative element of the earth.

Air sustains the living. Every creature breathes to live, exchanging and changing the atmosphere. Water and dust spin and rise, make clouds and fall again, fertilizing the dirt. Twenty thousand fungal spores and half a million bacteria travel in a square foot of summer air. The chemical sense of aphids, the ultraviolet sight of swifts, a newborn’s awareness of its mother’s breast—all take place in the medium of air.

Ignorance of the air is costly. The artist Eva Hesse died of inhaling her fiberglass medium. Thousands were sickened after 9/11 by supposedly “safe” air. The African Sahel suffers drought in part because we fill the air with industrial dusts. With the passionate narrative style and wide-ranging erudition that have made William Bryant Logan’s work a touchstone for nature lovers and environmentalists, Air is—like the contents of a bag of seaborne dust that Darwin collected aboard the Beagle—a treasure trove of discovery.
Visit William Bryant Logan's website.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen: A Dan Rhodes Mystery by Bill Crider.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dan Rhodes, sheriff of Blacklin County, Texas, is called to the Beauty Shack, where the young and pretty Lynn Ashton has been found dead, bashed over the head with a hairdryer. The owner said Lynn had gone to the salon late to meet an unknown client. There was a lot of gossip going on about Lynn before her death, but no one seems to really know much about her, or they’re not telling Rhodes.

Lynn was known to flirt, and it’s possible an angry wife or jilted lover had something to do with her death. The salon owner suspects two outsiders who have been staying in an abandoned building across the street. While he investigates the murder, Rhodes must also deal with the theft of copper and car batteries, not to mention a pregnant nanny goat that is terrorizing the town.

Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen
is a wonderful entry in this always delightful series by award-winning author Bill Crider.
Learn more about the book and author at Bill Crider's website and blog.

Read the Page 69 Test entries for Crider's A Mammoth Murder, Murder Among the OWLS, Of All Sad Words, Murder in Four Parts, Murder in the Air, and The Wild Hog Murders.

Writers Read: Bill Crider.

My Book, The Movie: The Wild Hog Murders.

"Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend"

New from St. Martin's Press: Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks.

About the book, from the publisher:

Imaginary friend Budo narrates this heartwarming story of love, loyalty, and the power of the imagination—the perfect read for anyone who has ever had a friend ... real or otherwise

Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He's been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age, and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear.

Max is different from other children. Some people say that he has Asperger’s Syndrome, but most just say he’s “on the spectrum.” None of this matters to Budo, who loves Max and is charged with protecting him from the class bully, from awkward situations in the cafeteria, and even in the bathroom stalls. But he can’t protect Max from Mrs. Patterson, the woman who works with Max in the Learning Center and who believes that she alone is qualified to care for this young boy.

When Mrs. Patterson does the unthinkable and kidnaps Max, it is up to Budo and a team of imaginary friends to save him—and Budo must ultimately decide which is more important: Max’s happiness or Budo's very existence.

Narrated by Budo, a character with a unique ability to have a foot in many worlds—imaginary, real, child, and adult— Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend touches on the truths of life, love, and friendship as it races to a heartwarming ... and heartbreaking conclusion.
Visit Matthew Dicks' website and Facebook page.

Writers Read: Matthew Dicks (September 2010).

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Matthew Dicks & Kaleigh.

The Page 69 Test: Unexpectedly, Milo.

My Book, The Movie: Unexpectedly, Milo.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"The Unincorporated Future"

New from Tor Books: The Unincorporated Future by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sandra O’Toole is the president of the Outer Alliance, which stretches from the asteroid belt to the Oort Cloud beyond Pluto. Resurrected following the death of Justin Cord, the unincorporated man, O’Toole has become a powerful political figure and a Machiavellian leader determined to win the Civil War against the inner planets at almost any cost. And the war has been going badly, in part because of the great General Trang, a fit opponent for the brilliant J. D. Black. Choices have to be made to abandon some of the moral principles upon which the revolution was founded. It is a time of great heroism and great betrayal, madness, sacrifice, and shocking military conflict. Nothing is predictable, even the behavior of artificial intelligences. There may be only one way out, but it is not surrender.
Learn more about the book and authors at Dani Kollin's blog and The Unincorporated Man website.

Writer's Read: Dani Kollin (May 2010).

Writer's Read: Eytan Kollin.

The Page 69 Test: The Unincorporated War.

My Book, The Movie: The Unincorporated War.

My Book, The Movie: The Unincorporated Woman.

Writers Read: Dani Kollin (September 2011).

The Page 69 Test: The Unincorporated Woman.

"Stranger in the Room"

New from Bantam: Stranger in the Room: A Novel by Amanda Kyle Williams.

About the book, from the publisher:

That bullet was meant for you.

Summer is smoldering through Atlanta on Fourth of July weekend, as fireworks crack through the air and steam rises from the pavement on Peachtree. Private investigator and ex–FBI profiler Keye Street wants nothing more than a couple of quiet days alone with her boyfriend, Aaron—but, as usual, murder gets in the way.

I will find her.

A.P.D. Lieutenant Aaron Rauser is called to the disturbing scene of the strangling death of a thirteen-year-old boy. Meanwhile, Keye must deal with not one but two of her own investigations: In the hills of Creeklaw County, there’s a curious case involving chicken feed and a crematorium, and in Atlanta, Keye’s emotionally fragile cousin Miki is convinced she is being stalked. Given Miki’s history of drug abuse and mental problems, Keye is reluctant to accept her cousin’s tale of a threatening man inside her house late one night. But as a recovering alcoholic herself, Keye can’t exactly begrudge a woman her addictions—especially since Miki drives Keye to near-relapses at every turn. And yet, Miki is family, and Keye must help her—even if it means tempting her own demons.

I always find her.

All hell breaks loose when another murder—the apparent hanging of an elderly man—hits disturbingly close to home for Keye. And though the two victims have almost nothing in common, there are bizarre similarities between this case and that of Aaron’s strangled teen. Is there a single faceless predator, a calculating murderer targeting his prey at random? Only a skilled profiler like Keye Street can help the A.P.D. find him. With the threat of more deaths to come, Keye works on pure instinct alone—and soon realizes that a killer is circling ever closer to the people she loves the most.
Visit Amanda Kyle Williams's website.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"The Survivor"

New from St. Martin's Press: Gregg Hurwitz: The Survivor by Gregg Hurwitz.

About the book, from the publisher:

One morning in Los Angeles, Nate Overbay—a divorced former solider suffering from PTSD and slowly dying from ALS — goes to an eleventh-floor bank, climbs out of the bathroom window onto the ledge, and gets ready to end it all. But as he’s steeling himself, a crew of robbers bursts into the bank and begins to viciously shoot employees and customers. With nothing to lose, Nate confronts the robbers, taking them out one-by-one. The last man standing leaves Nate with a cryptic warning.

Nate soon learns what that message meant. He is kidnapped by Pavlo, a savage Russian mobster and mastermind of the failed heist. Unable to break back into the bank to get the critical item inside, Pavlo gives Nate an ultimatum—break in and get what he needs or watch Pavlo slowly kill the one thing Nate loves most—his ex-wife Janie and his teenaged daughter Cielle—both lost when he came back from Iraq broken and confused. Now he’s got one last chance to protect the people he loves, even if it’s the last thing he is able to do.
Learn more about the book and author at Gregg Hurwitz's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: The Crime Writer.

The Page 69 Test: Trust No One.

Writers Read: Gregg Hurwitz.

The Page 69 Test: They're Watching.

My Book, The Movie: They're Watching.

The Page 69 Test: You're Next.

"Ghost Key"

New from Tor Books: Ghost Key by Trish J. MacGregor.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dominica and her tribe of hungry ghosts were driven from Esperanza, that magical city high in the Andes, but they were not all destroyed. As a last devastating blow against Tess Livingston, Dominica seized Tess’s niece Maddie as a host, and fled to the United States. The evil bruja has settled in a small resort town in Florida and is cementing her power over a new tribe of unquiet dead. But she will not be able to take over Cedar Key, not without arousing the suspicion of the US government. And not without attracting the attention of Wayra, her oldest lover and most bitter enemy.

Passion, terror, blood, and courage abound in this supernatural thriller that will take your breath away.
Visit Trish J. MacGregor's website.

Writers Read: Trish J. MacGregor.

The Page 69 Test: Esperanza.

My Book, The Movie: Esperanza.

Monday, August 13, 2012

"The Devil in Silver"

New from Spiegel & Grau: The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle.

About the book, from the publisher:

New Hyde Hospital’s psychiatric ward has a new resident. It also has a very, very old one.

Pepper is a rambunctious big man, minor-league troublemaker, working-class hero (in his own mind), and, suddenly, the surprised inmate of a budget-strapped mental institution in Queens, New York. He’s not mentally ill, but that doesn’t seem to matter. He is accused of a crime he can’t quite square with his memory. In the darkness of his room on his first night, he’s visited by a terrifying creature with the body of an old man and the head of a bison who nearly kills him before being hustled away by the hospital staff. It’s no delusion: The other patients confirm that a hungry devil roams the hallways when the sun goes down. Pepper rallies three other inmates in a plot to fight back: Dorry, an octogenarian schizophrenic who’s been on the ward for decades and knows all its secrets; Coffee, an African immigrant with severe OCD, who tries desperately to send alarms to the outside world; and Loochie, a bipolar teenage girl who acts as the group’s enforcer. Battling the pill-pushing staff, one another, and their own minds, they try to kill the monster that’s stalking them. But can the Devil die?

The Devil in Silver brilliantly brings together the compelling themes that spark all of Victor LaValle’s radiant fiction: faith, race, class, madness, and our relationship with the unseen and the uncanny. More than that, it’s a thrillingly suspenseful work of literary horror about friendship, love, and the courage to slay our own demons.
Learn more about the book and author at Victor LaValle's website.

The Page 69 Test: Big Machine.

"Eyes on Labor"

New from Oxford University Press: Eyes on Labor: News Photograpy and America's Working Class by Carol Quirke.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the twentieth century's first decades, U.S. workers waged an epic struggle to achieve security through unions; simultaneously Americans came to interpret current events through newspaper photographs. Eyes on Labor brings these two revolutions together, revealing how news photography brought workers into the nation's mainstream. Carol Quirke focuses on images ignored by scholars but seen by millions of Americans in the news of the day. Part visual analysis, part labor and cultural history, Quirke analyzes over one hundred photographs: stereographs of the Uprising of 1877, tabloid photos of the 1919 strike wave, photo-essays in the nationally popular LIFE Magazine, and even photos taken by a union camera club. Quirke anchors her interpretations in a lively historical narrative that takes readers from Washington D.C. hearings, to small towns in Indiana and Pennsylvania, to local union halls and to New York City boardrooms. Illuminating why unions, employers, and news publishers vied to represent workers with the camera's eye, Eyes on Labor explores how Americans understood the complex and contradictory portrait of labor they produced.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

"And When She Was Good"

New from William Morrow: And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Perennial New York Times and nationally bestselling author and acclaimed multiple–prize winner Laura Lippman delivers a brilliant novel about a woman with a secret life who is forced to make desperate choices to save her son and herself.

When Hector Lewis told his daughter that she had a nothing face, it was just another bit of tossed-off cruelty from a man who specialized in harsh words and harsher deeds. But twenty years later, Heloise considers it a blessing to be a person who knows how to avoid attention. In the comfortable suburb where she lives, she's just a mom, the youngish widow with a forgettable job who somehow never misses a soccer game or a school play. In the state capitol, she's the redheaded lobbyist with a good cause and a mediocre track record.

But in discreet hotel rooms throughout the area, she's the woman of your dreams—if you can afford her hourly fee.

For more than a decade, Heloise has believed she is safe. She has created a rigidly compartmentalized life, maintaining no real friendships, trusting few confidantes. Only now her secret life, a life she was forced to build after the legitimate world turned its back on her, is under siege. Her once oblivious accountant is asking loaded questions. Her longtime protector is hinting at new, mysterious dangers. Her employees can't be trusted. One county over, another so-called suburban madam has been found dead in her car, a suicide. Or is it?

Nothing is as it seems as Heloise faces a midlife crisis with much higher stakes than most will ever know.

And then she learns that her son's father might be released from prison, which is problematic because he doesn't know he has a son. The killer and former pimp also doesn't realize that he's serving a life sentence because Heloise betrayed him. But he's clearly beginning to suspect that Heloise has been holding something back all these years.

With no formal education, no real family, and no friends, Heloise has to remake her life—again. Disappearing will be the easy part. She's done it before and she can do it again. A new name and a new place aren't hard to come by if you know the right people. The trick will be living long enough to start a new life.
Visit Laura Lippman's website and blog.

Laura Lippman's top 10 memorable memoirs.

The Page 69 Test: Another Thing to Fall.

The Page 69 Test: What the Dead Know.

The Page 69 Test/Page 99 Test: Life Sentences.

The Page 69 Test: I'd Know You Anywhere.

The Page 69 Test: The Most Dangerous Thing.

"More Than Freedom"

New from Penguin: More Than Freedom: Fighting for Black Citizenship in a White Republic, 1829-1889 by Stephen Kantrowitz.

About the book, from the publisher:

A major new narrative account of the long struggle of Northern activists-both black and white, famous and obscure-to establish African Americans as free citizens, from abolitionism through the Civil War, Reconstruction, and its demise

Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation is generally understood as the moment African Americans became free, and Reconstruction as the ultimately unsuccessful effort to extend that victory by establishing equal citizenship. In More Than Freedom, award-winning historian Stephen Kantrowitz boldly redefines our understanding of this entire era by showing that the fight to abolish slavery was always part of a much broader campaign to establish full citizenship for African Americans and find a place to belong in a white republic.

More Than Freedom chronicles this epic struggle through the lived experiences of black and white activists in and around Boston, including both famous reformers such as Frederick Douglass and Charles Sumner and lesser-known but equally important figures like the journalist William Cooper Nell and the ex-slaves Lewis and Harriet Hayden. While these freedom fighters have traditionally been called abolitionists, their goals and achievements went far beyond emancipation. They mobilized long before they had white allies to rely on and remained militant long after the Civil War ended.

These black freedmen called themselves "colored citizens" and fought to establish themselves in American public life, both by building their own networks and institutions and by fiercely, often violently, challenging proslavery and inegalitarian laws and prejudice. But as Kantrowitz explains, they also knew that until the white majority recognized them as equal participants in common projects they would remain a suspect class. Equal citizenship meant something far beyond freedom: not only full legal and political rights, but also acceptance, inclusion and respect across the color line.

Even though these reformers ultimately failed to remake the nation in the way they hoped, their struggle catalyzed the arrival of Civil War and left the social and political landscape of the Union forever altered. Without their efforts, war and Reconstruction could hardly have begun. Bringing a bold new perspective to one of our nation's defining moments, More Than Freedom helps to explain the extent and the limits of the so-called freedom achieved in 1865 and the legacy that endures today.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Where'd You Go, Bernadette"

New from Little, Brown: Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.

About the book, from the publisher:

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.
Read the CftAR interview with Maria Semple.

"Cascade"

New from Viking: Cascade: A Novel by Maryanne O'Hara.

About the book, from the publisher:

During the 1930s, an artist and reluctant new wife struggles to reconcile her heart's ambitions with the promises she has made.

Cascade, Massachusetts, 1935: Desdemona Hart Spaulding was an up and coming Boston artist when she abandoned her dreams of working in New York City, and married in haste to provide a home for her ailing father. Two months later, her father has died, and Dez is trapped in her marriage to Asa, a reliable and decent man, but one who is eager to start a family. Dez also stands to lose her father's legacy, the Cascade Shakespeare Theatre, as the Massachusetts Water Authority decides whether to flood Cascade to create a reservoir.

Amid this turmoil arrives Jacob Solomon, a fellow artist for whom Dez feels an immediate and strong attraction. As their relationship reaches a pivotal moment, a man is found dead and the town accuses Jacob, a Jewish outsider. But the tide turns when Dez's idea for a series of painted postcards is picked up by The American Sunday Standard and she abruptly finds herself back on the path to independence. New York City and a life with Jacob both beckon, but what will she have to give up along the way?
Visit Maryanne O'Hara's website.

Friday, August 10, 2012

"Good Italy, Bad Italy"

New from Yale University Press: Good Italy, Bad Italy: Why Italy Must Conquer Its Demons to Face the Future by Bill Emmott.

About the book, from the publisher:

Not long ago Italy was Europe's highly touted emerging economy, a society that blended dynamism and super-fast growth with a lifestyle that was the envy of all. Now it is viewed as a major threat to the future of the Euro, indeed to the European Union as a whole. Italy's political system is shorn of credibility as it struggles to deal with huge public debts and anemic levels of economic growth. Young people are emigrating in droves, frustrated at the lack of opportunity, while older people stubbornly cling to their rights and privileges, fearful of an uncertain future.

In this lively, up-to-the-minute book, Bill Emmott explains how Italy sank to this low point, how Italians feel about it, and what can be done to return the country to more prosperous and more democratic times. With the aid of numerous personal interviews, Emmott analyzes "Bad Italy"—the land of disgraced Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, an inadequate justice system, an economy dominated by special interests and continuing corruption—against its contrasting foil "Good Italy," the home of enthusiastic entrepreneurs, truth-seeking journalists, and countless citizens determined to end mafia domination for good.
Learn more about the author and his work at Bill Emmott's website.

The Page 99 Test: Bill Emmott's Rivals.

"The Headmaster's Wager"

New from Crown: The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam.

About the book, from the publisher:

A superbly crafted, highly suspenseful, and deeply affecting debut novel about one man’s loyalty to his country, his family and his heritage

Percival Chen is the headmaster of the most respected English academy in 1960s Saigon, and he is well accustomed to bribing a forever-changing list of government officials in order to maintain the elite status of his school. Fiercely proud of his Chinese heritage, he is quick to spot the business opportunities rife in a divided country, though he also harbors a weakness for gambling haunts and the women who frequent them. He devotedly ignores all news of the fighting that swirls around him, but when his only son gets in trouble with the Vietnamese authorities, Percival faces the limits of his connections and wealth and is forced to send him away.

In the loneliness that follows, Percival finds solace in Jacqueline, a beautiful woman of mixed French and Vietnamese heritage whom he is able to confide in. But Percival's new-found happiness is precarious, and as the complexities of war encroach further into his world, he must confront the tragedy of all he has refused to see.

Graced with intriguingly flawed but wonderfully human characters moving through a richly drawn historical landscape, The Headmaster's Wager is an unforgettable story of love, betrayal and sacrifice.
Visit Vincent Lam's website.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"Shake Off"

New from Mulholland Books: Shake Off by Mischa Hiller.

About the book, from the publisher:

Years of training have transformed Michel Khoury into a skilled intelligence operative. A refugee whose family was murdered by extremists, he has one mission: the peaceful resolution of the Middle East conflict that upended his life.

An alluring enigma, he attracts the attention of Helen, a pretty English girl who lives in the adjacent apartment. As their relationship develops, Michel is unable to tell Helen about his past—or the collection of passports and unmarked bills he’s concealed in the bathroom they share.

When Michel’s secrets turn deadly, Helen and Michel find themselves pursued through the streets of London, Berlin, and the Scottish countryside. As they run, each steps closer to a discovery that will change their lives forever.

A critically celebrated novel that “recalls the cool detachment and compelling eye for ordinary detail that characterized the early thrillers of Graham Greene” (Independent on Sunday), SHAKE OFF is that rare breed of riveting tale—of intrigue and suspense, love and betrayal—that announces a bold new voice for our increasingly global times.
Visit Mischa Hiller's website.