Saturday, November 30, 2013

"Glorious War"

New from St. Martin's Press: Glorious War: The Civil War Adventures of George Armstrong Custer by Thom Hatch.

About the book, from the publisher:

Glorious War, the thrilling and definitive biography of George Armstrong Custer’s Civil War years, is nothing short of a heart-pounding cavalry charge through the battlefield heroics that thrust the gallant young officer into the national spotlight in the midst of the country’s darkest hours. From West Point to the daring actions that propelled him to the rank of general at age twenty-three to his unlikely romance with Libbie Bacon, Custer’s exploits are the stuff of legend.

Always leading his men from the front with a personal courage seldom seen before or since, he was a key part of nearly every major engagement in the east. Not only did Custer capture the first battle flag taken by the Union and receive the white flag of surrender at Appomattox, but his field generalship at Gettysburg against Confederate cavalry General Jeb Stuart had historic implications in changing the course of that pivotal battle.

For decades, historians have looked at Custer strictly through the lens of his death on the frontier, casting him as a failure. While some may say that the events that took place at the Little Big Horn are illustrative of America’s bloody westward expansion, they have in the process unjustly eclipsed Custer’s otherwise extraordinarily life and outstanding career and fall far short of encompassing his incredible service to his country. This biography of thundering cannons, pounding hooves, and stunning successes tells the true story of the origins of one of history’s most dynamic and misunderstood figures. Award-winning historian Thom Hatch reexamines Custer’s early career to rebalance the scales and show why Custer’s epic fall could never have happened without the spectacular rise that made him an American legend.
Visit Thom Hatch's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Saving the Soul of Georgia"

New from the University of Georgia Press: Saving the Soul of Georgia: Donald L. Hollowell and the Struggle for Civil Rights by Maurice C. Daniels.

About the book, from the publisher:

Donald L. Hollowell was Georgia’s chief civil rights attorney during the 1950s and 1960s. In this role he defended African American men accused or convicted of capital crimes in a racially hostile legal system, represented movement activists arrested for their civil rights work, and fought to undermine the laws that maintained state-sanctioned racial discrimination. In Saving the Soul of Georgia, Maurice C. Daniels tells the story of this behind-the-scenes yet highly influential civil rights lawyer who defended the rights of blacks and advanced the cause of social justice in the United States.

Hollowell grew up in Kansas somewhat insulated from the harsh conditions imposed by Jim Crow laws throughout the South. As a young man he served as a Buffalo Soldier in the legendary Tenth Cavalry, but it wasn’t until after he fought in World War II that he determined to become a civil rights attorney. The war was an eye-opener, as Hollowell experienced the cruel discrimination of racist segregationist policies. The irony of defending freedom abroad for the sake of preserving Jim Crow laws at home steeled his resolve to fight for civil rights upon returning from war.

From his legal work in the case of Hamilton E. Holmes and Charlayne Hunter that desegregated the University of Georgia to his defense of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to his collaboration with Thurgood Marshall and his service as the NAACP’s chief counsel in Georgia, Saving the Soul of Georgia explores the intersections of Hollowell’s work with the larger civil rights movement.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, November 29, 2013

"Poetry of the First World War"

New from Oxford University Press: Poetry of the First World War: An Anthology edited by Tim Kendall.

About the book, from the publisher:

The First World War produced an extraordinary flowering of poetic talent. Its poets mark the conflict in ways that are both intensely personal and as enduring as any monument. Their lines have come to express the feelings of a nation about the horrors and consequences of war.

This new anthology provides a definitive record of the achievements of the Great War poets and offers a fresh assessment of the work on the centenary of the Great War's outbreak. Focusing on the poets themselves, the book is organized by writer, not theme or chronology. It offers generous selections from the celebrated soldier-poets, including Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, and Rupert Brooke, whilst also incorporating less well-known writing by civilian and women poets. It also includes two previously unpublished poems by Ivor Gurney.

A general introduction charts the history of the war poets' reception and challenges prevailing myths about the war poets' progress from idealism to bitterness. The work of each poet is prefaced with a biographical account that sets the poems in their historical context.

Although the War has now passed out of living memory, its haunting of our language and culture has not been exorcised. Its poetry survives because it continues to speak to and about us.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Encyclopedia of Early Earth"

New from Little, Brown & Company: The Encyclopedia of Early Earth: A Novel by Isabel Greenberg.

About the book, from the publisher:

A beautifully illustrated book of imaginary fables about Earth's early--and lost--history.

Before our history began, another--now forgotten--civilization thrived. The people who roamed Early Earth were much like us: curious, emotional, funny, ambitious, and vulnerable. In this series of illustrated and linked tales, Isabel Greenberg chronicles the explorations of a young man as he paddles from his home in the North Pole to the South Pole. There, he meets his true love, but their romance is ill-fated. Early Earth's unusual and finicky polarity means the lovers can never touch.

As intricate and richly imagined as the work of Chris Ware, and leavened with a dry wit that rivals Kate Beaton's in Hark! A Vagrant, Isabel Greenberg's debut will be a welcome addition to the thriving graphic novel genre.
Visit Isabel Greenberg's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, November 28, 2013

"The Great Debate"

New from Basic Books: The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left by Yuval Levin.

About the book, from the publisher:

For more than two centuries, our political life has been divided between a party of progress and a party of conservation. In The Great Debate, Yuval Levin explores the origins of the left/right divide by examining the views of the men who best represented each side of that debate at its outset: Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine. In a groundbreaking exploration of the roots of our political order, Levin shows that American partisanship originated in the debates over the French Revolution, fueled by the fiery rhetoric of these ideological titans.

Levin masterfully shows how Burke's and Paine’s differing views, a reforming conservatism and a restoring progressivism, continue to shape our current political discourse—on issues ranging from abortion to welfare, education, economics, and beyond. Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand Washington’s often acrimonious rifts, The Great Debate offers a profound examination of what conservatism, liberalism, and the debate between them truly amount to.
Yuval Levin is the editor of National Affairs. He is also the Hertog Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a senior editor of The New Atlantis, and a contributing editor to National Review and the Weekly Standard.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Midas Murders"

New from Pegasus: The Midas Murders: An Inspector Van In Novel by Pieter Aspe.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the second novel by the internationally bestselling Pieter Aspe, Inspector Van In races against the clock to thwart a series of terrorist plots

One quiet snow-covered Sunday morning in Bruges, a prominent business executive is found dead in the streets, apparently due to an alcoholic hemorage, but for Inspector Van In, there is a something about the autopsy that does not add up. When he questions the businessman’s friend, a Dutchman, he too is found dead the next morning, burned to death in a house fire.

When there is an explosion in the middle of a popular tourist area in downtown Bruges, Van In strives to find the connection between the three incidents, but no one is coming forward to claim responsibility for this terrorist attack. Just an anonymous letter to the police,
threatening more bombings—unless they cooperate with a series of demands that would undermine the entire city government.

Aided by the spunky and beautiful assistant DA Hannelore Maartens, Inspector
Van In finds himself enmeshed in the case that threatens not just the lives of countless of innocent people, but the heart of the city he loves.
Visit Pieter Aspe's Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"Raw"

New from Grove/Atlantic: Raw: A Love Story by Mark Haskell Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sepp Gregory, a reality-TV hunk and one of People magazine's "sexiest men alive," is on tour to promote his debut novel. Not that Sepp's actually read the book—he doesn't have to, he lived it! And everyone just wants him to take his shirt off.

The book has hit the bestseller list and is even getting rave reviews from serious critics. Aside from Harriet Post, that is. One of the blogosphere's most respected literary minds, Harriet fears that the novel's reception means the end of civilization is upon us. Determined to pen an expose on the publishing industry, Harriet hijacks the book tour and uncovers the ghostwriter. Reality and "reality" collide, and a tragic accident sends Sepp and Harriet off on a sex-fueled roadtrip through the southwest. Raw: A Love Story is Mark Haskell Smith at his raucous best, dangerously sexy and wickedly funny.
Learn more about Raw at the author's website.

Mark Haskell Smith's novels include Salty, which was a Book Sense Notable Book.

The Page 69 Test: Salty.

My Book, The Movie: Salty.

--Marshal Zeringue

"After Eden"

New from Bloomsbury USA: After Eden by Helen Douglas.

About the book, from the publisher:

The day Eden met Ryan changed her world forever. Actually, not just her world. Ryan has time traveled from the future to save the world. In a few weeks, Eden’s best friend Connor will discover a new planet—one where human life is possible. The discovery will make him famous. It will also ruin the world as we know it. When Ryan asks Eden for help, she must choose between saving the world and saving her best friend’s greatest achievement. And a crush on Ryan complicates things more than she could have imagined. Because Connor is due to make the discovery after the girl he loves breaks his heart. That girl is Eden.

Grounded in a realistic teen world with fascinating sci-fi elements, After Eden is a heart-pounding love triangle that’s perfect for dystopian fans looking for something new to devour.
Visit Helen Douglas's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"City of Lost Dreams"

New from Penguin: City of Lost Dreams: A Novel by Magnus Flyte.

About the book, from the publisher:

The exhilarating, genre-bending sequel to the sensational New York Times bestseller City of Dark Magic

In this action-packed sequel to City of Dark Magic, we find musicologist Sarah Weston in Vienna in search of a cure for her friend Pollina, who is now gravely ill and who may not have much time left. Meanwhile, Nicolas Pertusato, in London in search of an ancient alchemical cure for the girl, discovers an old enemy is one step ahead of him. In Prague, Prince Max tries to unravel the strange reappearance of a long dead saint while being pursued by a seductive red-headed historian with dark motives of her own.

In the city of Beethoven, Mozart, and Freud, Sarah becomes the target in a deadly web of intrigue that involves a scientist on the run, stolen art, seductive pastries, a few surprises from long-dead alchemists, a distractingly attractive horseman who s more than a little bloodthirsty, and a trail of secrets and lies. But nothing will be more dangerous than the brilliant and vindictive villain who seeks to bend time itself. Sarah must travel deep into an ancient mystery to save the people she loves.
Learn more about the book and author at Magnus Flyte's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: City of Dark Magic.

My Book, The Movie: City of Dark Magic.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Scandal at Six"

New from Berkley (Prime Crime): Scandal at Six by Ann Purser.

About the book, from the publisher:

Lois Meade has scrubbed her way through the homes in Long Farnden, and she’s not afraid of dusting cobwebs and killing a few bugs. But in her role as amateur sleuth, she’s learning that if there’s one thing to beware of, it’s a snake in the grass...

Spring has arrived in Long Farnden and with it, a mysterious infestation. Lois Meade’s daughter has found her village store overrun by insects and reptiles. And Lois has no time to stop and smell the roses, if she’s to stay one step ahead of the creepy crawlies.

As Lois looks into the invasion, she becomes embroiled in yet another “ferretin’ case,” as her husband would say. Her investigation leads her to Robert Pettinson, a seemingly unhinged zookeeper, and his nephew. The two of them are knee-deep in illegal trade, and they don’t take kindly to Lois poking her nose into their business.

Lois enlists the help of her faithful cleaner Dot Nimmo and police inspector Hunter Cowgill to discover more about Pettinson and a suspicious death at the zoo. And death is in store for more people, if Lois doesn’t put the killer behind bars soon...
Learn more about the book and author at Ann Purser's website.

The Page 69 Test: Found Guilty at Five.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 25, 2013

"Leave Tomorrow Behind"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Leave Tomorrow Behind: A Stella Crown Mystery by Judy Clemens.

About the book, from the publisher:

She’s back! Tattooed, hardworking, and often crabby dairy farmer and biker Stella Crown is hot—because it’s summer and because she has plenty of things to raise her temperature, including a nagging sister-in-law, her fiancé Nick’s illness, and a bank account in the red. But when a local country star turns up dead at the county fair where Stella’s teenage employee Zach is an exhibitor things turn from hot to ugly.

Stella wasn’t friends with the victim. In fact, she’d only seen her from a distance. But seeing how Stella was the one to dig her out from her deathbed in the calf barn’s manure pile, the cops are on her like flies on…well…honey. Why on earth would Stella want to kill a young singer she’d never spoken to? She’d much rather kill the annoying helicopter dad in the fair’s dairy barn. Or the fifty percent fake girl in the Lovely Miss Pennsylvania Pageant. Or her banker.

Sick to death of annoying cops and entertainment folks, Stella figures the only way to get her life back is to aim law enforcement in the right direction. If that means having to endure a manicure with her soon-to-besister-in-law at the dead singer’s favorite salon or stopping by the recording studio to check out the talent Stella figures there could be worse things.

Can’t a simple farm girl just get married in peace?
My Book, The Movie: Till the Cows Come Home (the first Stella Crown Mystery).

Visit Judy Clemens's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Andromeda's Choice"

New from Ace / Penguin: Andromeda's Choice by William C. Dietz.

About the book, from the publisher:

Andromeda McKee rebuilt her life in the violent embrace of the Legion of the Damned in the days when cyborgs were first being introduced. Now she must choose between her conscience and her desire for vengeance...

In a different world, Lady Catherine “Cat” Carletto would never have left her pampered life behind. But when Princess Ophelia became Empress Ophelia in a coup that claimed the lives of the princess’s brother and all who supported him, including the Carletto family, Cat had to hide—or die.

She became Legionnaire Andromeda McKee, and now she’s a battle-scarred veteran who knows how to kill.

Summoned to Earth to receive the Imperial Order of Merit from the empress herself, Andromeda learns that she isn’t the sole surviving Carletto—her uncle Rex is not only still alive but also the leader of a resistance group determined to overthrow Ophelia.

Caught up in a web of intrigue, Andromeda realizes that the moment is coming when her revenge will be at hand. But will she be able to act, or will she be betrayed by those she has come to trust?
Learn more about the book and author at William C. Dietz's website.

The Page 69 Test: Andromeda's Fall.

My Book, The Movie: Andromeda's Fall.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, November 24, 2013

"Dead Eye"

New from Berkley: Dead Eye by Mark Greaney.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ex-CIA master assassin Court Gentry has always prided himself on his ability to disappear at will, to fly below the radar and exist in the shadows—to survive as the near-mythical Gray Man. But when he takes revenge upon a former employer who betrayed him, he exposes himself to something he’s never had to face before.

A killer who is just like him.

Code-named Dead Eye, Russell Whitlock is a graduate of the same ultra-secret Autonomous Asset Program that trained and once controlled Gentry. But now, Whitlock is a free agent who has been directed to terminate his fellow student of death. He knows how his target thinks, how he moves, and how he kills. And he knows the best way to do the job is to make Gentry run for his life—right up until the moment Dead Eye finally ends it…
Learn more about the book and author at Mark Greaney's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Gray Man.

My Book, The Movie: The Gray Man.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Staged to Death"

New from Kensington: Staged to Death by Karen Rose Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:

Welcome to Kismet, PA, where home stager Caprice De Luca helps her clients shine in a lackluster real estate market--and where someone may only be in the market for murder...

Caprice De Luca has successfully parlayed her skills as an interior designer into a thriving home staging business. So when her old high school friend Roz Winslow asks her to spruce up her mess of a mansion to perk up a slow buyer's market, Caprice is more than happy to share her skills. But when Roz's husband Ted is found skewered by one of his sword room's prized possessions, it appears the Winslows may have a few skeletons in their palatial closets. With the stage set for murder, Caprice will discover she can track down an antique tapestry and a cold-blooded killer with equal aplomb--as long as she's not the next victim...
Visit Karen Rose Smith's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, November 23, 2013

"The Quotient of Murder"

New from Berkley Prime Crime: The Quotient of Murder by Ada Madison.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dr. Sophie Knowles loves using puzzles to make math fun for students. But when winter seizes Henley College, she must thaw out a cold case to track down a killer—her most difficult puzzle yet...

Winter Intersession is in full swing, and campus is buzzing over the concert celebrating the bell tower’s reopening. The building has been shuttered for twenty-five years, and Sophie’s shocked to learn why—a student leapt from it to her death. But she’s even more troubled by the secrecy surrounding the case. After Sophie performs some quick calculations, she’s left with a nagging question: Was it really suicide?

When one of Sophie’s favorite students, a performer in the concert, is brutally beaten and left in a coma, Sophie’s mind kicks into overdrive. The horrific incidents seem too coincidental to be unrelated, but can Sophie put together the pieces from a twenty-five-year-old murder before any other students get hurt?
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Dynamics of Disaster"

New from W.W. Norton: The Dynamics of Disaster by Susan W. Kieffer.

About the book, from the publisher:

Natural disasters bedevil our planet, and each appears to be a unique event. Leading geologist Susan W. Kieffer shows how all disasters are connected.

In 2011, there were fourteen natural calamities that each destroyed over a billion dollars’ worth of property in the United States alone. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast and major earthquakes struck in Italy, the Philippines, Iran, and Afghanistan. In the first half of 2013, the awful drumbeat continued—a monster supertornado struck Moore, Oklahoma; a powerful earthquake shook Sichuan, China; a cyclone ravaged Queensland, Australia; massive floods inundated Jakarta, Indonesia; and the largest wildfire ever engulfed a large part of Colorado.

Despite these events, we still behave as if natural disasters are outliers. Why else would we continue to build new communities near active volcanoes, on tectonically active faults, on flood plains, and in areas routinely lashed by vicious storms?

A famous historian once observed that “civilization exists by geologic consent, subject to change without notice.” In the pages of this unique book, leading geologist Susan W. Kieffer provides a primer on most types of natural disasters: earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, landslides, hurricanes, cyclones, and tornadoes. By taking us behind the scenes of the underlying geology that causes them, she shows why natural disasters are more common than we realize, and that their impact on us will increase as our growing population crowds us into ever more vulnerable areas.

Kieffer describes how natural disasters result from “changes in state” in a geologic system, much as when water turns to steam. By understanding what causes these changes of state, we can begin to understand the dynamics of natural disasters.

In the book’s concluding chapter, Kieffer outlines how we might better prepare for, and in some cases prevent, future disasters. She also calls for the creation of an organization, something akin to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but focused on pending natural disasters.
Visit Susan Kieffer's Geology in Motion blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, November 22, 2013

"Words with Fiends"

New from Berkley: Words with Fiends (Black Cat Bookshop Series #3) by Ali Brandon.

About the book, from the publisher:

Brooklyn bookstore owner Darla Pettistone and her oversized black cat, Hamlet, have solved a few complicated capers. But after a recent brush with danger, Darla needs to get Hamlet out of a feline funk

Lately, Hamlet hasn’t been chasing customers or being his obnoxious self—something Darla surprisingly misses. Concerned, she hires a cat whisperer to probe Hamlet’s feline psyche and then decides to get out of her own funk by taking up karate to learn how to defend herself in case the need arises again.

But when Darla finds her sensei dead at the dojo, it seems that even a master can be felled by foul play. Darla decides to investigate the matter herself, and the promise of a mystery snaps Hamlet out of his bad mood. After all, Darla may be the sleuth, but Hamlet’s got a black belt in detection…
Learn more about the book and author at the official Ali Brandon--AKA Diane A.S. Stuckart--website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Diane Stuckart & Ranger, Delta, Oliver and Paprika.

My Book, The Movie: Double Booked for Death.

Writers Read: Ali Brandon (March 2012).

--Marshal Zeringue

"A Thousand Hills to Heaven"

New from Little, Brown & Company: A Thousand Hills to Heaven by Josh Ruxin.

About the book, from the publisher:

One couple's inspiring memoir of healing a Rwandan village, raising a family near the old killing fields, and building a restaurant named Heaven.

Newlyweds Josh and Alissa were at a party and received a challenge that shook them to the core: do you think you can really make a difference? Especially in a place like Rwanda, where the scars of genocide linger and poverty is rampant?

While Josh worked hard bringing food and health care to the country's rural villages, Alissa was determined to put their foodie expertise to work. The couple opened Heaven, a gourmet restaurant overlooking Kigali, which became an instant success. Remarkably, they found that between helping youth marry their own local ingredients with gourmet recipes (and mix up "the best guacamole in Africa") and teaching them how to help themselves, they created much-needed jobs while showing that genocide's survivors really could work together.

While first a memoir of love, adventure, and family, A THOUSAND HILLS TO HEAVEN also provides a remarkable view of how, through health, jobs, and economic growth, our foreign aid programs can be quickly remodeled and work to end poverty worldwide.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, November 21, 2013

"The History of the Kiss"

New from Palgrave Macmillan: The History of the Kiss: The Birth of Popular Culture by Marcel Danesi.

About the book, from the publisher:

What's more romantic than two people embracing, looking into each other's eyes, and kissing each other? But how should we make sense of this iconic act? How and when did it become a vital sign of romance and love? When the kiss first started to appear in narratives, poetry, and the songs of the medieval period, it was as something desirable, yet forbidden. Since then it has evolved into a symbol of love-making in the popular imagination. In this provocative book, pop culture expert Marcel Danesi explores how the kiss emerged as an act of betrayal and raw sensuality, in defiance of its spiritual and religious functions, and from there evolved into the amorous cultural gesture we know today. He takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the history of the kiss, from early poems and paintings to current movies and popular songs, and argues that its romantic incarnation signaled the birth of popular culture.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Something More Than Night"

New from Tor Books: Something More Than Night by Ian Tregillis.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ian Tregillis's Something More Than Night is a Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler inspired murder mystery set in Thomas Aquinas’s vision of Heaven. It’s a noir detective story starring fallen angels, the heavenly choir, nightclub stigmatics, a priest with a dirty secret, a femme fatale, and the Voice of God.

Somebody has murdered the angel Gabriel. Worse, the Jericho Trumpet has gone missing, putting Heaven on the brink of a truly cosmic crisis. But the twisty plot that unfolds from the murder investigation leads to something much bigger: a con job one billion years in the making.

Because this is no mere murder. A small band of angels has decided to break out of heaven, but they need a human patsy to make their plan work.

Much of the story is told from the point of view of Bayliss, a cynical fallen angel who has modeled himself on Philip Marlowe. The yarn he spins follows the progression of a Marlowe novel—the mysterious dame who needs his help, getting grilled by the bulls, finding a stiff, getting slipped a mickey.

Angels and gunsels, dames with eyes like fire, and a grand maguffin, Something More Than Night is a murder mystery for the cosmos.
Visit Ian Tregillis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Vatican Waltz"

New from Crown Books: Vatican Waltz by Roland Merullo.

About the book, from the publisher:

The new novel from the award-winning author of Breakfast with Buddha and Revere Beach Boulevard tells the story of a young Catholic woman jolted from a quietly devout life in pursuit of a mysterious calling.

Cynthia Piantedosi lives a quiet, unassuming life outside of Boston, guided by her Catholic faith. When she loses her beloved grandmother, she begins experiencing “spells” of such intense spiritual intimacy that she wonders about her sanity. Devoted to her elderly father and not particularly interested in dating and socializing, she develops a deep friendship with her parish priest. His congregation sees him as provocative and radical, but he encourages Cynthia to explore her faith—however it presents itself.

When he is killed in a mysterious accident, a message begins to emerge from Cynthia’s prayers: God is calling her to be the first female Catholic priest. Her revelation is met with ridicule by certain of the more reactionary officials she reaches out to within the Church. Unable to tune out the divine messages, she lets the power of unswerving faith drive her all the way to the Vatican in pursuit of a destiny she doesn’t fully understand—and a turn of events that will rock the Church to its foundation.
Visit Roland Merullo's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Real Vampires Know Size Matters"

New from Berkley: Real Vampires Know Size Matters by Gerry Bartlett.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the latest novel from national bestselling author Gerry Bartlett, curvaceous vampire Glory St. Clair has to figure how to compete with the wiles of a witchy woman...

Just when Glory has her life semi–on track, a woman from her longtime lover Jeremiah Campbell’s past steamrolls into town on a mission to win him back. Normally Glory wouldn’t feel threatened by a mortal with amorous intentions, but Jerry’s ex just happens to be a beautiful voodoo priestess with evil spirits at her beck and call—and a serious lack of conscience when it comes to getting what she wants.

And then there’s Glory’s family. After a lifetime of being MIA, Glory’s mom wants to go on a mother-daughter bonding trip to Olympus, home of the gods. And though Glory doesn’t trust her, her mother is offering to help with her pesky voodoo-woman problem. But with no guarantee of a return trip, can Glory dare leave Jerry alone while she visits a place where her less-than-perfect figure won’t be appreciated and time has no meaning? But size and the bonds of time are the least of her worries when love is on the line…
Learn more about the book and author at Gerry Bartlett's website and blog.

Coffee with a Canine: Gerry Bartlett and Jet (2009).

The Page 69 Test: Real Vampires Have More to Love.

My Book, The Movie: Real Vampires Have More to Love.

Coffee with a Canine: Gerry Bartlett and Jet (September 2011).

The Page 69 Test: Real Vampires Hate Skinny Jeans.

The Page 69 Test: Real Vampires Know Hips Happen.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"The Gods of Guilt"

New from Little, Brown & Company: The Gods of Guilt (Mickey Haller Series #5) by Michael Connelly.

About the book, from the publisher:

Defense attorney Mickey Haller returns with a haunting case in the gripping new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly.

Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game.

When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life. Far from saving her, Mickey may have been the one who put her in danger.

Haunted by the ghosts of his past, Mickey must work tirelessly and bring all his skill to bear on a case that could mean his ultimate redemption or proof of his ultimate guilt. The Gods of Guilt shows once again why "Michael Connelly excels, easily surpassing John Grisham in the building of courtroom suspense" (Los Angeles Times).
--Marshal Zeringue

"Rebel Spring"

New from Razorbill: Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms Series #2) by Morgan Rhodes.

About the book, from the publisher:

The sensational high fantasy series that is Game of Thrones for teens

Auranos has been conquered and the three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now unwillingly united as one country called Mytica. But alluring, dangerous magic still beckons, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the world....
  • CLEO is now a prisoner in her own palace, forced to be an ambassador for Mytica as the evil King Gaius lies to her people
  • MAGNUS stands to eventually inherit the new kingdom but is still obsessed with his feelings for his adopted sister Lucia
  • LUCIA is haunted by the deadly outcome of her breathtaking display of magic that allowed her father to capture the kingdoms
  • JONAS watches at the palace gates, a troop of rebels behind him, waiting for him to tell them how he plans to overtake King Gaius

When Gaius announces that a road is to be built into the Forbidden Mountains, formally linking all of Mytica together, he sets off a chain of cataclysmic events that will forever change the face of this land.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 18, 2013

"Outrageous Fortune"

New from St. Martin's Press: Outrageous Fortune: Growing Up at Leeds Castle by Anthony Russell.

About the book, from the publisher:

In his stunning memoir, Anthony Russell takes us inside his childhood growing up at Leeds Castle, with luxury and opulence few can imagine, and how he found his way in a changing society.

“I was lucky with lineage. Money, and lots of it, appeared to grow on trees, especially those which adorned the Leeds Castle parkland. Ancestors with glowing titles and extraordinary accomplishments filled the history books, but there would be consequences for being handed everything of a material nature on a plate, with no clear indication of what one might be expected to do with such good fortune.”

Leeds Castle has long been hailed as the loveliest castle in the world. Originally built in the twelfth century as a Norman stronghold, the castle once housed Kings and Queens, but fell into disrepair for nearly a century, until Anthony Russell's grandmother, Lady Baillie, purchased it in 1926 and restored the fortress to its former glory. It was in the castle’s fairytale setting, surrounded by a moat and acres of sprawling grounds, that Anthony spent his childhood in the 1950s.

It was a life of spectacular beauty and privilege, but for a shy boy often lonely and fraught with the fear of breaking some unwritten rule of the Castle Way. As Anthony reveals in his extraordinarily vivid and frank memoir, such a childhood was perhaps not the best preparation for modern life beyond the castle’s walls. By the end of the 1960s, the polite reserve of the Castle Way was starting to give way to unconventional music, manners, and social freedom—simultaneously alluring and alarming to a young man who had grown up in splendid isolation in a world that would soon be gone.
Visit Anthony Russell's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Thrill of the Haunt"

New from Berkley: The Thrill of the Haunt (Haunted Ghosthouse Series #5) by E. J. Copperman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Alison Kerby’s guesthouse is already crowded with spirits. The last thing she needs is a whole new batch of haunts settling in.

As Alison’s reputation as “the ghost lady” grows, so does her business—and not always in a way she’d like. Tourists may be flocking to her guesthouse for a chance to glimpse her resident spirits, but her special abilities are also bringing unwanted private investigation cases to her door. And she has no choice but to take a case when the local homeless man is found murdered under mysterious circumstances, just hours after asking for help in exorcising a specter.

If that weren’t enough to deal with, Alison’s other PI case soon turns fatal, as the mistress she was spying on for a jealous wife turns up dead as well. The cases seem like they couldn’t possibly be linked, but with a mountain of clues, motives and suspects—both living and dead—Alison will have to think fast before someone else checks out for good…
Visit E. J. Copperman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Servants"

New from W.W. Norton: Servants: A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth-Century to Modern Times by Lucy Lethbridge.

About the book, from the publisher:

The vividly told lives of British servants and the upper crust they served.

From the immense staff running a lavish Edwardian estate and the lonely maid-of-all-work cooking in a cramped middle-class house to the poor child doing chores in a slightly less poor household, servants were essential to the British way of life. They were hired not only for their skills but also to demonstrate the social standing of their employers—even as they were required to tread softly and blend into the background. More than simply the laboring class serving the upper crust—as popular culture would have us believe—they were a diverse group that shaped and witnessed major changes in the modern home, family, and social order.

Spanning over a hundred years, Lucy Lethbridge⎯in this “best type of history” (Literary Review)⎯brings to life through letters and diaries the voices of countless men and women who have been largely ignored by the historical record. She also interviews former and current servants for their recollections of this waning profession.

At the fore are the experiences of young girls who slept in damp corners of basements, kitchen maids who were required to stir eggs until the yolks were perfectly centered, and cleaners who had to scrub floors on their hands and knees despite the wide availability of vacuum cleaners. We also meet a lord who solved his inability to open a window by throwing a brick through it and Winston Churchill’s butler who did not think Churchill would know how to dress on his own.

A compassionate and discerning exploration of the complex relationship between the server, the served, and the world they lived in, Servants opens a window onto British society from the Edwardian period to the present.
See Lucy Lethbridge's ten top books about servants.

--Marshal Zeringue

"In Meat We Trust"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: In Meat We Trust: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America by Maureen Ogle.

About the book, from the publisher:

The untold story of how meat made America: a tale of the self-made magnates, pragmatic farmers, and impassioned activists who shaped us into the greatest eaters and providers of meat in history

The moment European settlers arrived in North America, they began transforming the land into a meat-eater’s paradise. Long before revolution turned colonies into nation, Americans were eating meat on a scale the Old World could neither imagine nor provide: an average European was lucky to see meat once a week, while even a poor American man put away about two hundred pounds a year.

Maureen Ogle guides us from that colonial paradise to the urban meat-making factories of the nineteenth century to the hyperefficient packing plants of the late twentieth century. From Swift and Armour to Tyson, Cargill, and ConAgra. From the 1880s cattle bonanza to 1980s feedlots. From agribusiness to today’s “local” meat suppliers and organic countercuisine. Along the way, Ogle explains how Americans’ carnivorous demands shaped urban landscapes, midwestern prairies, and western ranges, and how the American system of meat making became a source of both pride and controversy.
Visit Maureen Ogle's website.

The Page 69 Test: Maureen Ogle's Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, November 16, 2013

"Stop Here"

New from Seven Stories Press: Stop Here: a novel by Beverly Gologorsky.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ava, Mila, and Rosalyn all work at Murray's Diner in Long Island. They are friends and coworkers struggling to hold together their disordered lives. While Ava privately grieves the loss of her husband in the first Iraq War, Mila struggles to dissuade her seventeen-year-old daughter from enlisting in the second. Rosalyn works as an escort by night until love and illness conspire to disrupt the tenuous balance she'd found and the past she'd kept at a safe distance. The promise of a new relationship with a coworker soon begins to restore Ava's faith in her own ability to feel, and Mila learns through wrenching loss that children must learn from their own mistakes. But ultimately it is love–for one another and for their wayward families–that sustains them through the pain and uncertainty of a world with no easy answers.

With tender, unadorned prose and a supremely human sympathy for the triumphs and defeats of everyday life, in this long-awaited second novel Beverly Gologorsky delivers a moving and incisive story about loss, friendship, and healing in the shadow of a seemingly endless war.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Murder on the Orient Espresso"

New from Severn House: Murder on the Orient Espresso by Sandra Balzo.

About the book, from the publisher:

Maggy Thorsen and her beau Jake Pavlik find themselves plunged into a real-life mystery as baffling as any Agatha Christie classic.

It's November and Maggy Thorsen, co-owner of the Wisconsin gourmet coffeehouse, Uncommon Grounds, is in South Florida at an annual crime-writers' conference with her beau, local sheriff Jake Pavlik, who is due to speak as a 'forensics expert'. Maggy's pledge to behave solely as a tourist becomes trickier than she anticipated when the conference's opening night event turns out to be a re-enactment of Agatha Christie's classic, Murder on the Orient Express. As Maggy and Jake reluctantly set off on the night train to the Everglades to solve the 'crime', it's clear that, as in the original novel, nothing is quite what it seems. And amidst rumours of careers taken, manuscripts stolen and vows broken, it seems that in the Everglades - as in life - the predator all too often becomes the prey.
Learn more about the book and author at Sandra Balzo's website.

My Book, The Movie: Triple Shot.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, November 15, 2013

"When Hollywood Was Right"

New from Cambridge University Press: When Hollywood Was Right: How Movie Stars, Studio Moguls, and Big Business Remade American Politics by Donald T. Critchlow.

About the book, from the publisher:

Hollywood was not always a bastion of liberalism. Following World War II, an informal alliance of movie stars, studio moguls, and Southern California business interests formed to revitalize a factionalized Republican Party. Coming together were stars such as John Wayne, Robert Taylor, George Murphy, and many others who joined studio heads Cecil B. DeMille, Louis B. Mayer, Walt Disney, and Jack Warner to rebuild the Republican Party. They found support among a large group of business leaders who poured money and skills into this effort, which paid off with the election of George Murphy to the U.S. Senate and of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan to the highest office in the nation. This is an exciting story based on extensive new research that will forever change how we think of Hollywood politics.
Donald T. Critchlow is Professor of History at Saint Louis University.

The Page 99 Test: The Conservative Ascendancy.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Our Picnics in the Sun"

New from Delacorte Press: Our Picnics in the Sun: A Novel by Morag Joss.

About the book, from the publisher:

One night, two strangers.
A damage that cannot be undone.


For thirty years, Howard and Deborah Morgan have poured all their energy and modest savings into Stoneyridge, a smallholding deep in the English moors. Howard putters with pottery, Deborah dabbles in weaving, and both struggle to tend sheep and chickens and live off the land. But what began with simple dreams of solitude and sunlit picnics in the hills has given way to a harsher reality.

To help with finances, they decide to turn Stoneyridge into a bed-and-breakfast. But a sudden stroke leaves Howard incapacitated and Deborah overwhelmed. Howard’s world, once so limitless, has shrunk to the confines of their crumbling house; Deborah’s main joy now comes in the form of a brief weekly email from their successful son, who lives abroad.

Then, late one evening, two men arrive needing a room for the night—and set off a chain of events that uncovers the relics of old tragedies. New wounds are cut deep, betrayals and cruelties intermix with tenderness and love. And through it all, Stoneyridge quietly hides the bitter and transformative truth.

Evocative, intimately claustrophobic, and psychologically complex, Our Picnics in the Sun is a novel of stunning prose and knife-sharp insight. Morag Joss crafts a modern masterpiece of rising tension that binds and releases like a beating heart, propelling readers to a final page that resonates and haunts.
Visit Morag Joss's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, November 14, 2013

"The First of July"

New from Pegasus: The First of July: A Novel by Elizabeth Speller.

About the book, from the publisher:

A captivating novel of the tragedies of war, as lives cross, dreams are shattered, and futures altered as the hours pass during the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

On July 1st, 1913, four very different men are leading four very different lives.

Exactly three years later, it is just after seven in the morning, and there are a few seconds of peace as the guns on the Somme fall silent and larks soar across the battlefield, singing as they fly over the trenches. What follows is a day of catastrophe in which Allied casualties number almost one hundred thousand. A horror that would have been unimaginable in pre-war Europe and England becomes a day of reckoning, where their lives will change forever, for Frank, Benedict, Jean-Batiste, and Harry.
Learn more about the book and author at Elizabeth Speller's website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Elizabeth Speller and Erwin.

Writers Read: Elizabeth Speller (August 2012).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Shoot the Woman First"

New from Minotaur Books: Shoot the Woman First by Wallace Stroby.

About the book, from the publisher:

A half million dollars in drug proceeds, guarded by three men with automatic weapons. For Wallace Stroby's determined heroine, professional thief Crissa Stone, and her team, stealing it was the easy part. But when the split goes awry in a blaze of gunfire, Crissa finds herself on the run with a duffel bag of stolen cash, bound by a promise to deliver part of the take to the needy family of one of her slain partners.

In pursuit are the drug kingpin’s lethal lieutenants and a former Detroit cop with his own deadly agenda. They think the money’s there for the taking, for whoever finds her first. But Crissa doesn’t plan to give it up without a fight, even as her mission of mercy puts her and a young child in mortal danger, with forces on both sides of the law closing in. After all, a debt is a debt…even if it has to be paid in blood.

With Shoot the Woman First, Wallace Stroby delivers another powerful, lyrical novel, his third featuring one of the most original female characters in hardboiled fiction.
Learn more about the author and his novels at the official Wallace Stroby website and The Heartbreak Blog.

The Page 69 Test: Gone 'til November.

The Page 69 Test: Cold Shot to the Heart.

Writers Read: Wallace Stroby (February 2011).

The Page 69 Test: Kings of Midnight.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"King and Maxwell"

New from Grand Central Publishing: King and Maxwell (Sean King and Michelle Maxwell Series #6) by David Baldacci.

About the book, from the publisher:

David Baldacci brings back Sean King and Michelle Maxwell--former Secret Service agents turned private investigators--in their most surprising, personal, and dangerous case ever...

KING AND MAXWELL

It seems at first like a simple, tragic story. Tyler Wingo, a teenage boy, learns the awful news that his father, a soldier, was killed in action in Afghanistan. Then the extraordinary happens: Tyler receives a communication from his father ... after his supposed death.

Tyler hires Sean and Michelle to solve the mystery surrounding his father. But their investigation quickly leads to deeper, more troubling questions. Could Tyler's father really still be alive? What was his true mission? Could Tyler be the next target?

Sean and Michelle soon realize that they've stumbled on to something bigger and more treacherous than anyone could have imagined. And as their hunt for the truth leads them relentlessly to the highest levels of power and to uncovering the most clandestine of secrets, Sean and Michelle are determined to help and protect Tyler--though they may pay for it with their lives.
Learn more about David Baldacci and his books at his website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Happy City"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery.

About the book, from the publisher:

A globe-trotting, eye-opening exploration of how cities can—and do—make us happier people

Charles Montgomery’s Happy City will revolutionize the way we think about urban life.

After decades of unchecked sprawl, more people than ever are moving back to the city. Dense urban living has been prescribed as a panacea for the environmental and resource crises of our time. But is it better or worse for our happiness? Are subways, sidewalks, and tower dwelling an improvement on the car-dependence of sprawl?

The award-winning journalist Charles Montgomery finds answers to such questions at the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness, and during an exhilarating journey through some of the world’s most dynamic cities. He meets the visionary mayor who introduced a “sexy” lipstick-red bus to ease status anxiety in Bogotá; the architect who brought the lessons of medieval Tuscan hill towns to modern-day New York City; the activist who turned Paris’s urban freeways into beaches; and an army of American suburbanites who have transformed their lives by hacking the design of their streets and neighborhoods.

Full of rich historical detail and new insights from psychologists and Montgomery’s own urban experiments, Happy City is an essential tool for understanding and improving our own communities. The message is as surprising as it is hopeful: by retrofitting our cities for happiness, we can tackle the urgent challenges of our age. The happy city, the green city, and the low-carbon city are the same place, and we can all help build it.
Visit Charles Montgomery's website and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"Stay"

New from Yale University Press: Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It by Jennifer Michael Hecht.

About the book, from the publisher:

Worldwide, more people die by suicide than by murder, and many more are left behind to grieve. Despite distressing statistics that show suicide rates rising, the subject, long a taboo, is infrequently talked about. In this sweeping intellectual and cultural history, poet and historian Jennifer Michael Hecht channels her grief for two friends lost to suicide into a search for history’s most persuasive arguments against the irretrievable act, arguments she hopes to bring back into public consciousness. From the Stoics and the Bible to Dante, Shakespeare, Wittgenstein, and such twentieth-century writers as John Berryman, Hecht recasts the narrative of our “secular age” in new terms. She shows how religious prohibitions against self-killing were replaced by the Enlightenment’s insistence on the rights of the individual, even when those rights had troubling applications. This transition, she movingly argues, resulted in a profound cultural and moral loss: the loss of shared, secular, logical arguments against suicide. By examining how people in other times have found powerful reasons to stay alive when suicide seems a tempting choice, she makes a persuasive intellectual and moral case against suicide.
Visit Jennifer Michael Hecht's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Burnt Black"

New from Minotaur Books: Burnt Black: A Cliff St. James Novel (Volume 3) by Ed Kovacs.

About the book, from the publisher:

Cliff St. James returns along with his partner Honey to investigate a baffling series of ritualistic deaths that may be connected to a bizarre secret society, in Ed Kovacs' Burnt Black.

New Orleans Homicide Detective Cliff St. James and his partner Honey are still trying to piece their lives together a year and a half after a killer storm decimated the city. They find themselves probing a succession of unusual deaths that may or may not be homicides.

The investigation not only proves frustrating, but it strains at the very fabric of St. James and Honey’s relationship. The puzzling deaths connected to a secretive occult group seem to only lead them deeper into an unsolvable maze fraught with strange occurrences and brutal death.

When their sleuthing uncovers a connection to a ruthless Mexican drug cartel, a complex murder conspiracy emerges, but with shifting suspects. St. James and Honey catch nothing but bad breaks as they struggle to determine which of their suspects is the killer, or perhaps the next victim.
Learn more about the book and author at Ed Kovacs's website.

My Book, The Movie: Storm Damage.

The Page 69 Test: Storm Damage.

Writers Read: Ed Kovacs (December 2011).

Writers Read: Ed Kovacs (December 2012).

The Page 69 Test: Good Junk.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 11, 2013

"Collision Low Crossers"

New from Little, Brown & Company: Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football by Nicholas Dawidoff.

About the book, from the publisher:

The definitive portrait of day-to-day life in the NFL, as told by the writer who was there

We watch football every Sunday, but we don't really see it. By spending a year with the New York Jets, Nicholas Dawidoff explored the game in such an intimate way that he can now put you right inside the NFL. Collision Low Crossers* is a story that is part Paper Lion and part Moneyball, part Friday Night Lights and part The Office. In this absorbing, funny, and vividly written narrative, he describes the Combine, the draft, the practices, the strategy meetings, all while thinking deeply about such fundamental truths and the nature of success and disappointment in a massive and stressful collective endeavor.

Most of what happens in today's NFL takes place at team facilities, walled off from fans and, until now, from writers. The New York Jets issued Dawidoff a security code, a locker, and a desk in the scouting department: for an entire year he lived with the team, from early-morning quarterback meetings to edgy late-night conversations. Dawidoff makes an emblematic NFL season come alive for fans and nonfans alike.

Here is football in many faces: the Jets' polarizing, brilliant, and hilarious head coach, Rex Ryan; the general manager, whose job is to support (and suppress) the irrepressible Ryan; the defensive coaches and their in-house rivals, the offensive coaches; players like the incomparable All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis and the young, erratic quarterback Mark Sanchez. Wise safeties, brooding linebackers, high-strung cornerbacks, enthusiastic rookies, and even a well-read nose tackle create a full portrait of obsessed men at work.

Dawidoff has written the book of depth and feeling that football has long deserved, one that will forever change the way people watch and think about the sport.

* "Collision low crossers" is a phrase defensive coaches use for the act of making legal contact with any potential pass receiver within five yards of the line of scrimmage. Beyond five yards, "collisioning" someone becomes a penalty. The term also evokes the most fundamental elements of the game--speed, aggression, the interplay between space and time, and meticulously planned events that likely will not come to fruition.
Check out Dawidoff's list of the five best baseball novels.

Writers Read: Nicholas Dawidoff (May 2008).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Apparition"

New from Tor Books: Apparition: The Hungry Ghosts (Volume 3) by Trish J. MacGregor.

About the book, from the publisher:

Trish J. MacGregor returns to a mythic city high in the Ecuadorian Andes in Apparition.

Tess and Ian have been living in the high city of Esperanza for years, along with Tess’s niece, Maddie, and her partner, Nick Sanchez. They thought they could rest, that they had defeated the brujo threat to our plane of existence. But they were wrong.

A new and greater threat has formed, a new tribe of the hungry dead, seeking to possess the bodies of the living in order to experience the passions of physical life. This new tribe has found the door to the physical plane that is Esperanza, and they threaten all human life. Only the outnumbered Light Chasers and their human allies can stand against the evil brujos.
Learn more about the book and author at Trish J. MacGregor's website.

Writers Read: Trish J. MacGregor (September 2010).

The Page 69 Test: Esperanza.

My Book, The Movie: Esperanza.

The Page 69 Test: Ghost Key.

Writers Read: Trish MacGregor (September 2012).

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, November 10, 2013

"Orphans"

New from Northern Illinois University Press: Orphans by Ben Tanzer.

About the book, from the publisher:

With Orphans, Ben Tanzer continues his ongoing literary survey of the 21st Century male psyche, yet does so with a newfound twist, contemporary themes set in a world that is anything but. In this dystopian tale of a future Chicago, workers are sent off to sell property on Mars to those who can afford to leave, leaving what’s left to those who have little choice but to make do with what’s left behind: burnt out neighborhoods, black helicopters policing the streets, flash mobs, the unemployed in their scruffy suits, robots taking the few jobs that remain, and clones who replace those workers who do find work so that a modicum of family stability can be maintained. It is a story about the impact of work on family. How work warps our best intentions. And how everything we think we know about ourselves looks different during a recession.

This idea is writ large in the world of Orphans, where recession is all we know, work is only available to the lucky few, and this lucky few not only need to fear being replaced on the job, but in their homes and beds.

It is also a story about drugs, surfing, punk music, lost youth, parenting, sex, pop culture as vernacular, and a conscious intersection of Death of a Salesman or Glengarry Glen Ross with the Martian Chronicles.

Looking to the genre of science fiction has allowed Tanzer to produce something new and fresh, expanding both his literary horizons, and the potential market for his work. Tanzer also looks to the story of Bartleby the Scrivener with Orphans, and the question of what are we allowed as workers, and expected to be, or do, when work is fraught with desperation. Ultimately, Orphans is intended to be a contemporary story about manhood and what it means in today’s world, told from the perspective of work and family, and how any of us manage the parameters that family and work produce; but it’s a story told in a futuristic world, where our greatest fears are in fact already realized, because there isn’t enough of anything, and we are all too easily replaced.
Visit Ben Tanzer's blog and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Kara Was Here"

New from Soft Skull Press: Kara Was Here: A Novel by William Conescu.

About the book, from the publisher:

Brad Mitchell’s life is falling apart. His marriage is in limbo. The woman he thought he would marry, Kara, died from an overdose. An old friend keeps trying to convince him that Kara was actually murdered. And he has started to see double. Literally. When Kara—or, rather, her ghost—returns to Brad, his past and present blur into a fog.

Kara Was Here tells the story of a failed actress whose life and sudden death are only partially understood; her teenage sister, Gwen, who starts taking dangerous steps into Kara’s secret world; Kara’s college friend, Margot, who went from being the football team’s sexy secret weapon to the solitary proprietress of a baked goods business; and Kara’s one-time lover, Brad, who stands with one foot in the past and one foot in an increasingly uncertain future.

In the spirit of Clare Messud's The Emperor's Children or Hannah Pittard's The Fates Will Find Their Way, Conescu’s novel is at once a mystery about the dangers of aging into adulthood, an exploration of truth and perception, and a story about the ways we keep those we love with us—the people we’ve lost, the people we no longer see, and the people we used to be.
Learn more about the book and author at William Conescu's website.

William Conescu was born in New York and raised in New Orleans. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned an MFA in Creative Writing at North Carolina State University. His short stories have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, New Letters, Green Mountains Review, and other publications. Being Written is his first novel.

The Page 99 Test: Being Written.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Cries of the Lost"

New from The Permanent Press: Cries of the Lost by Chris Knopf.

About the book, from the publisher:

When market researcher Arthur Cathcart emerged from a coma and set out to track down whoever murdered his wife, the results were far from pre-ordained. Wounded and alone, grief-stricken and hiding off the grid, he thought the only mystery was who killed Florencia, and why. But the quest for justice uncovered a host of fresh mysteries, just beginning with an elaborate fraud and embezzlement scheme, complete with dummy corporations and off-shore numbered accounts.

So in place of “who killed Florencia?” he was forced to ask “who was Florencia?” There was nothing about their lives together that answered this or any of a thousand questions she left behind. All he really knew was she came from Chile, had a knack for figures and owned her own insurance agency.

Arthur takes off again to do what he knew he did best: Finding stuff out. What follows is a chase around the world, from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, and remote parts north and south. No longer alone, with Natsumi Fitzgerald at his side, armed with a portfolio of false identities, hard-learned tradecraft and the continued cloak of anonymity, Cathcart plunges into the world of international terrorism and government intrigue, where the currency is betrayal and the rewards are calculated in blood and revenge.
Visit Chris Knopf's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Surge"

New from Yale University Press: Surge: My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War by Peter R. Mansoor.

About the book, from the publisher:

Surge is an insider’s view of the most decisive phase of the Iraq War. After exploring the dynamics of the war during its first three years, the book takes the reader on a journey to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where the controversial new U.S. Army and Marine Corps counterinsurgency doctrine was developed; to Washington, D.C., and the halls of the Pentagon, where the Joint Chiefs of Staff struggled to understand the conflict; to the streets of Baghdad, where soldiers worked to implement the surge and reenergize the flagging war effort before the Iraqi state splintered; and to the halls of Congress, where Ambassador Ryan Crocker and General David Petraeus testified in some of the most contentious hearings in recent memory.

Using newly declassified documents, unpublished manuscripts, interviews, author notes, and published sources, Surge explains how President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Ambassador Crocker, General Petraeus, and other U.S. and Iraqi political and military leaders shaped the surge from the center of the maelstrom in Baghdad and Washington.
Visit Peter Mansoor's faculty webpage.

The Page 99 Test: Peter R. Mansoor's Baghdad at Sunrise.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, November 8, 2013

"Uncrashable Dakota"

New from Henry Holt and Co.: Uncrashable Dakota by Andy Marino.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1862, Union army infantryman Samuel Dakota changed history when he spilled a bottle of pilfered moonshine in the Virginia dirt and stumbled upon the biochemical secret of flight. Not only did the Civil War come to a much quicker close, but Dakota Aeronautics was born.

Now, in Andy Marino's Uncrashable Dakota, it is 1912, and the titanic Dakota flagship embarks on its maiden flight. But shortly after the journey begins, the airship is hijacked. Fighting to save the ship, the young heir of the Dakota empire, Hollis, along with his brilliant friend Delia and his stepbrother, Rob, are plunged into the midst of a long-simmering family feud. Maybe Samuel’s final secret wasn’t just the tinkering of a madman after all....

What sinister betrayals and strange discoveries await Hollis and his friends in the gilded corridors and opulent staterooms? Who can be trusted to keep the most magnificent airship the world has ever known from falling out of the sky?
Visit Andy Marino's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Someone Else's Love Story"

New from William Morrow: Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson.

About the book, from the publisher:

I fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint, in a Circle K

For single mom Shandi Pierce, life is a juggling act. She's finishing college; raising her delightful three-year-old genius son, Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo; and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced Christian mother and Jewish father. She's got enough to deal with before she gets caught in the middle of a stickup in a gas station mini-mart and falls in love with a great wall of a man named William Ashe, who steps between the armed robber and her son to shield the child from danger.

Shandi doesn't know that her blond god has his own baggage. When he looked down the barrel of the gun in the gas station he believed it was destiny: it's been exactly one year since a tragic act of physics shattered his universe. But William doesn't define destiny the way other people do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in science and numbers, destiny to him is about choice.

Now, William and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head-on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know.

Someone Else's Love Story is Joshilyn Jackson's funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness; about falling in love and learning that things aren't always what they seem—or what we hope they will be. It's a story about discovering what we want and ultimately finding what we need.
Learn more about the book and author at Joshilyn Jackson's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Girl Who Stopped Swimming.

My Book, The Movie: The Girl Who Stopped Swimming.

Writers Read: Joshilyn Jackson (July 2010).

The Page 69 Test: Backseat Saints.

The Page 69 Test: A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, November 7, 2013

"Dollface"

New from Penguin/NAL: Dollface: A Novel of the Roaring Twenties by Renee Rosen.

About the book, from the publisher:

America in the 1920s was a country alive with the wild fun of jazz, speakeasies, and a new kind of woman—the flapper.

Vera Abramowitz is determined to leave her gritty childhood behind and live a more exciting life, one that her mother never dreamed of. Bobbing her hair and showing her knees, the lipsticked beauty dazzles, doing the Charleston in nightclubs and earning the nickname “Dollface.”

As the ultimate flapper, Vera captures the attention of two high rollers, a handsome nightclub owner and a sexy gambler. On their arms, she gains entrée into a world filled with bootleg bourbon, wailing jazz, and money to burn. She thinks her biggest problem is choosing between them until the truth comes out. Her two lovers are really mobsters from rival gangs during Chicago’s infamous Beer Wars, a battle Al Capone refuses to lose.

The heady life she’s living is an illusion resting on a bedrock of crime and violence unlike anything the country has ever seen before. When the good times come to an end, Vera becomes entangled in everything from bootlegging to murder. And as men from both gangs fall around her, Vera must put together the pieces of her shattered life, as Chicago hurtles toward one of the most infamous days in its history, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Learn more about the novel at Rosen's website.

The Page 99 Test: Every Crooked Pot.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Fortune's Pawn"

New from Orbit Books: Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach.

About the book, from the publisher:

Devi Morris isn't your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. It's a combination that's going to get her killed one day - but not just yet.

That is, until she just gets a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn't misnamed: it likes to get into trouble, so much so that one year of security work under its captain is equal to five years everywhere else. With odds like that, Devi knows she's found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her Plan. But the Fool doesn't give up its secrets without a fight, and one year on this ship might be more than even Devi can handle.

If Sigouney Weaver in Alien met Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica, you'd get Deviana Morris -- a hot new mercenary earning her stripes to join an elite fighting force. Until one alien bite throws her whole future into jeopardy.
Learn more about the novel at Rachel Bach's website.

--Marshal Zeringue