Thursday, April 30, 2015

"Love and Miss Communication"

New from William Morrow Paperbacks: Love and Miss Communication: A Novel by Elyssa Friedland.

About the book, from the publisher:

This unforgettable debut novel asks us to look up from our screens and out at the world . . . and to imagine what life would be like with no searches, no status updates, no texts, no Tweets, no pins, and no posts

Evie Rosen has had enough. She's tired of the partners at her law firm e-mailing her at all hours of the night. The thought of another online date makes her break out in a cold sweat. She's over the clever hashtags and the endless selfies. So when her career hits a surprising roadblock and her heart is crushed by Facebook, Evie decides it's time to put down her smartphone for good. (Beats stowing it in her underwear—she's done that too!)

And that's when she discovers a fresh start for real conversations, fewer distractions, and living in the moment, even if the moments are heartbreakingly difficult. Babies are born; marriages teeter; friendships are tested. Evie may find love and a new direction when she least expects it, but she also learns that just because you unplug your phone doesn't mean you can also unplug from life.
Visit Elyssa Friedland's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Tasting French Terroir"

New from the University of California Press: Tasting French Terroir: The History of an Idea by Thomas Parker.

About the book, from the publisher:

This book explores the origins and significance of the French concept of terroir, demonstrating that the way the French eat their food and drink their wine today derives from a cultural mythology that developed between the Renaissance and the Revolution. Through close readings and an examination of little-known texts from diverse disciplines, Thomas Parker traces terroir’s evolution, providing insight into how gastronomic mores were linked to aesthetics in language, horticulture, and painting and how the French used the power of place to define the natural world, explain comportment, and frame France as a nation.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"Love is Red"

New from Harper: Love Is Red by Sophie Jaff.

About the book, from the publisher:

Redefining the thriller's tale of the hunter and the hunted, This electrifying, hypnotically beautiful debut spins dark suspense and literary fantasy into a mesmerizing story of survival.

Katherine Emerson was born to fulfill a dark prophecy centuries in the making, but she doesn't know it yet. However, one man does: a killer stalking the women of New York City, a monster the media dubs the "Sickle Man" because of the weapon he uses to turn his victims' bodies into canvases for his twisted art. People think he's the next Son of Sam, but we know how he thinks and how he feels . . . and discover that he is driven by darker, much more dangerous desires than we can bear to imagine. He takes more than just his victims' lives, and each death brings him closer to the one woman he must possess at any cost.

Amid the city's escalating hysteria, Katherine is trying to unknot her tangled heart. Two very different men have entered her previously uneventful world—handsome and personable David, alluring yet aloof Sael—and turned it upside down. She finds herself involved in a complicated triangle . . . but how well does she really know either of them?

Told from the alternating viewpoints of Katherine and the Sickle Man, Sophie Jaff's intoxicating narrative will pull you in and hold you close. As the body count rises, Katherine is haunted by harrowing visions that force her to question her sanity. All she wants is to find love. He just wants to find her.

Ablaze with fear, mystery, and possibility, Love Is Red is the first book in the Night Song trilogy. With this unforgettable novel—one that combines the literary and the supernatural, fantasy and horror, the past and the present—Katherine's moment of awakening is here. And her story is only just beginning.
Visit Sophie Jaff's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Mapmaker's Children"

New from Crown: The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril.

Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance.

Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.
Learn more about the book and author at Sarah McCoy’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico.

The Page 69 Test: The Baker's Daughter.

Coffee with a Canine: Sarah McCoy and Gilbert.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall"

New from Minotaur Books: Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison.

About the book, from the publisher:

Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall is the second charming and witty whodunit in Hannah Dennison's amazing cozy series. Set at an English manor house, fans of British mysteries and Downton Abbey are sure to enjoy this contemporary take on murder at the manor house.When the body of a transport minister is discovered in the grounds on Honeychurch Hall, suspicion about his unusual demise naturally falls on the folks in the village. After all, who could possibly want a high-speed train line built in their front yard?News of the murder soon reaches our heroine Kat Stanford's nemesis Trudy Wynne. A ruthless tabloid journalist and the ex-wife of Kat's discarded lover, Trudy is out for revenge. She is also interested in exposing--and humiliating--Kat's mother Iris, who is secretly the international bestselling romance writer Krystalle Storm. As the body count begins to build, Kat becomes inextricably embroiled in the ensuing scandal. Is the minister's death the result of a local vendetta, or could it be connected to her mother's unusual (to say the least) past?
Visit Hannah Dennison's website.

The Page 69 Test: Murder at Honeychurch Hall.

My Book, The Movie: Murder at Honeychurch Hall.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Wrath And The Dawn"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers: The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh.

About the book, from the publisher:

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.
The Wrath And The Dawn is one of Sona Charaipotra's seven top YA books for fans of Game of Thrones.

Visit Renee Ahdieh's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 27, 2015

"Seriously Wicked"

New from Tor Teen: Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly.

About the book, from the publisher:

The hilarious new YA from acclaimed author Tina Connolly. Camellia's adopted mother wants Cam to grow up to be just like her. Problem is, Mom's a seriously wicked witch.Cam's used to stopping the witch's crazy schemes for world domination. But when the witch summons a demon, he gets loose--and into Devon, the cute new boy at school.Suddenly Cam's got bigger problems than passing Algebra. Her friends are getting zombiefied. Their dragon is tired of hiding in the RV garage. For being a shy boy-band boy, Devon is sure kissing a bunch of girls. And a phoenix hidden in the school is going to explode on the night of the Halloween Dance.To stop the demon before he destroys Devon's soul, Cam might have to try a spell of her own. But if she's willing to work spells like the witch...will that mean she's wicked too?
Visit Tina Connolly's website, blog, and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: Copperhead.

The Page 69 Test: Copperhead.

Writers Read: Tina Connolly.

The Page 69 Test: Silverblind.

My Book, The Movie: Silverblind.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Pig Tales"

New from W.W. Norton: Pig Tales: An Omnivore's Quest for Sustainable Meat by Barry Estabrook.

About the book, from the publisher:

An eye-opening investigation of the commercial pork industry and an inspiring alternative to the way pigs are raised and consumed in America.

Barry Estabrook, author of the New York Times bestseller Tomatoland and a writer of “great skill and compassion” (Eric Schlosser), now explores the dark side of the American pork industry. Drawing on his personal experiences raising pigs as well as his sharp investigative instincts, Estabrook covers the range of the human-porcine experience. He embarks on nocturnal feral pig hunts in Texas. He visits farmers who raise animals in vast confinement barns for Smithfield and Tyson, two of the country’s biggest pork producers. And he describes the threat of infectious disease and the possible contamination of our food supply. Through these stories shines Estabrook’s abiding love for these remarkable creatures. Pigs are social, self-aware, and playful, not to mention smart enough to master the typical house dog commands of “sit, stay, come” twice as fast as your average pooch. With the cognitive abilities of at least three-year-olds, they can even learn to operate a modified computer. Unfortunately for the pigs, they’re also delicious to eat.

Estabrook shows how these creatures are all too often subjected to lives of suffering in confinement and squalor, sustained on a drug-laced diet just long enough to reach slaughter weight, then killed on mechanized disassembly lines. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Pig Tales presents a lively portrait of those farmers who are taking an alternative approach, like one Danish producer that has a far more eco-friendly and humane system of pork production, and new, small family farms with free-range heritage pigs raised on antibiotic-free diets. It is possible to raise pigs responsibly and respectfully in a way that is good for producers, consumers, and some of the top chefs in America.

Provocative, witty, and deeply informed, Pig Tales is bound to spark conversation at dinner tables across America.
See Barry Estabrook's top five books on food production.

Visit Estabrook's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, April 26, 2015

"Deception's Pawn"

New from Random House Books for Young Readers: Deception's Pawn by Esther Friesner.

About the book, from the publisher:

Fortune favors the bold in this adventurous tale of broken friendships, forbidden love, and a fiery heroine’s journey to escape the role into which she was born. Perfect for YA fantasy fans of Shannon Hale, Malinda Lo, and Tamora Pierce.

Maeve, princess of Connacht, seems to have won her freedom. Her father, the High King, is finally allowing her to explore the world beyond his castle. But Maeve soon discovers that being the High King’s daughter doesn’t protect her from bullying or the attention of unwelcome suitors.

Struggling to navigate a new court, she must discourage the advances of her father’s rival, who is vying with her host’s son for her hand in marriage. Maeve is a pawn trapped between these two boys. Her bold defiance will bring her to the brink of disaster, but her clever gamble may also lead to her independence. Though she faces danger and intrigue, Maeve will also discover what kind of person—and queen—she’s destined to become.
Learn more about the book and author at the Princesses of Myth website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Spirit's Princess.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Memory Painter"

New from Picador: The Memory Painter: A Novel by Gwendolyn Womack.

About the book, from the publisher:

What if there was a drug that could help you remember past lives?
What if the lives you remembered could lead you to your one true love?
What if you learned that, for thousands of years, a deadly enemy had conspired to keep the two of you apart?

Bryan Pierce is an internationally famous artist whose paintings have dazzled the world. But there's a secret to his success: Every canvas is inspired by an unusually vivid dream. When Bryan awakes, he possesses extraordinary new the ability to speak obscure languages and an inexplicable genius for chess. All his life, he has wondered if his dreams are recollections, if he is re-experiencing other people's lives.Linz Jacobs is a brilliant neurogeneticist, absorbed in decoding the genes that help the brain make memories, until she is confronted with an exact rendering of a recurring nightmare at one of Bryan's shows. She tracks down the elusive artist, and their meeting triggers Bryan's most powerful dream yet: visions of a team of scientists who, on the verge of discovering a cure for Alzheimer's, died in a lab explosion decades ago.As Bryan becomes obsessed with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the scientists' deaths, his dreams begin to reveal what happened at the lab, as well as a deeper mystery that may lead all the way to ancient Egypt. Together, Bryan and Linz start to discern a pattern. But a deadly enemy watches their every move, and he will stop at nothing to ensure that the past stays buried.A taut thriller and a timeless love story spanning six continents and 10,000 years of history, The Memory Painter by Gwendolyn Womack is a riveting debut novel unlike any you've ever read.
Visit Gwendolyn Womack's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 25, 2015

"No One Gets Out Alive"

New from St. Martin's Press: No One Gets Out Alive: A Novel by Adam Nevill.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Stephanie moves to the notoriously cheap Perry Bar neighborhood of Birmingham, she's just happy to find an affordable room for rent that's large enough not to deserve her previous room's nickname, "the cell." The eccentric -- albeit slightly overly-friendly -- landlord seems nice and welcoming enough, the ceilings are high, and all of the other tenants are also girls. Things aren't great, but they're stable. Or at least that's what she tells herself when she impulsively hands over enough money to cover the first month's rent and decides to give it a go.

But soon after she becomes uneasy about her rash decision. She hears things in the night. Feels them. Things...or people...who aren't there in the light. Who couldn't be there, because after-all, her door is locked every night, and the key is still in place in the morning. Concern soon turns to terror when the voices she hears and presence she feels each night become hostile. It's clear that something very bad has happened in this house. And something even worse is happening now. Stephanie has to find a way out, before whatever's going on in the house finds her first.

Adam Nevill's No One Gets Out Alive will chill you straight through to the core -- a cold, merciless, fear-inducing nightmare to the last page. A word of caution, don't read this one in the dark.
Learn more about the book and author at Adam Nevill's website.

The Page 69 Test: The House of Small Shadows.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Crimson Bound"

New from Balzer + Bray: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge.

About the book, from the publisher:

An exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, from the author of Cruel Beauty.

When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless—straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in a vain effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her hunt for the legendary sword that might save their world. Together, they navigate the opulent world of the courtly elite, where beauty and power reign and no one can be trusted. And as the two become unexpected allies, they discover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic . . . and a love that may be their undoing. Within a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?
Crimson Bound is one of Sona Charaipotra's seven top YA books for fans of Game of Thrones.

The Page 69 Test: Cruel Beauty.

Learn more about the book and author at Rosamund Hodge's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 24, 2015

"Rock with Wings"

New from Harper: Rock with Wings by Anne Hillerman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Navajo Tribal cops Jim Chee and Bernadette Manuelito, and their mentor, the legendary Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, investigate two perplexing cases in this exciting Southwestern mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Spider Woman’s Daughter.

Doing a good deed for a relative offers the perfect opportunity for Sergeant Jim Chee and his wife, Officer Bernie Manuelito, to get away from the daily grind of police work. But two cases will call them back from their short vacation and separate them—one near Shiprock, and the other at iconic Monument Valley.

Chee follows a series of seemingly random and cryptic clues that lead to a missing woman, a coldblooded thug, and a mysterious mound of dirt and rocks that could be a gravesite. Bernie has her hands full managing the fallout from a drug bust gone wrong, uncovering the origins of a fire in the middle of nowhere, and looking into an ambitious solar energy development with long-ranging consequences for Navajo land.

Under the guidance of their mentor, retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, Bernie and Chee will navigate unexpected obstacles and confront the greatest challenge yet to their skills, commitment, and courage.
Learn more about the book and author at Anne Hillerman's website.

My Book, The Movie: Spider Woman's Daughter.

The Page 69 Test: Spider Woman's Daughter.

Writers Read: Anne Hillerman (October 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Got Milked?"

New from William Morrow: Got Milked?: The Great Dairy Deception and Why You'll Thrive Without Milk by Alissa Hamilton.

About the book, from the publisher:

Refuting the milk industry’s overwhelmingly popular campaign—Got Milk?—which has convinced us that milk is essential, this scientifically based expose, in the tradition of Wheat Belly and Grain Brain, proves why we don’t need dairy in our daily diets, how our dependence on it is actually making many people sick, and what we can do to change it.

Bolstered by the dairy industry and its successful “Got Milk?” advertising campaign launched in California to help declining milk sales, as well as the government’s recommended dietary guidelines, many Americans view cow’s milk as an essential part of a daily diet, unequaled in providing calcium, protein, and other nutrients and vitamins. Cow’s milk has been promoted as a food without substitute, as being necessary and not interchangeable with foods outside the dairy food group. But as food processing and marketing expert Alissa Hamilton reveals, cow’s milk is far from essential for good health, and for many, including the majority of American adults who can’t properly digest it, milk can actually be harmful.

In Got Milked, Hamilton turns a critical eye on the Dairy Food Group and the promotional programs it supports to dispel misconceptions about milk and its crucial role in our health. Interweaving cutting-edge science in a lively narrative, Got Milked opens our eyes to the many ways in which dairy can actually be harmful to our bodies. In addition, the book offers simple and tasty food and drink swaps that deliver the same nutrients found in milk products, without all the sugar, saturated fat and negative side effects.

Complete with delicious dairy-free recipes and full meal plans for “Making it Without Milk,” Got Milked is a unique, substantive, and important look into an industry that has hugely impacted our diets and our lives.
Writers Read: Alissa Hamilton (June 2009).

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 23, 2015

"The Machine Awakes"

New from Tor Books: The Machine Awakes by Adam Christopher.

About the book, from the publisher:

Adam Christopher's The Machine Awakes is a far future space opera set in the universe of Burning Dark. In the decades since the human race first made contact with the Spiders--a machine race capable of tearing planets apart--the two groups have fought over interstellar territory. But the war has not been going well for humankind, and with the failure of the Fleet Admiral's secret plan in the Shadow system, the commander is overthrown by a group of hardliners determined to get the war back on track.When the deposed Fleet Admiral is assassinated, Special Agent Von Kodiak suspects the new guard is eliminating the old. But when the Admiral's replacement is likewise murdered, all bets are off as Kodiak discovers the prime suspect is one of the Fleet's own, a psi-marine and decorated hero--a hero killed in action, months ago, at the same time his twin sister vanished from the Fleet Academy, where she was training to join her brother on the front.As Kodiak investigates, he uncovers a conspiracy that stretches from the slums of Salt City to the floating gas mines of Jupiter. There, deep in the roiling clouds of the planet, the Jovian Mining Corporation is hiding something, a secret that will tear the Fleet apart and that the Morning Star, a group of militarized pilgrims searching for their lost god, is determined to uncover.But there is something else hiding in Jovian system. Something insidious and intelligent, machine-like and hungry.The Spiders are near.
Visit Adam Christopher's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Rain: A Natural and Cultural History"

New from Crown: Rain: A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett.

About the book, from the publisher:

Rain is elemental, mysterious, precious, destructive.

It is the subject of countless poems and paintings; the top of the weather report; the source of the world’s water. Yet this is the first book to tell the story of rain.

Cynthia Barnett’s Rain begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans, and builds to the storms of climate change. It weaves together science—the true shape of a raindrop, the mysteries of frog and fish rains—with the human story of our ambition to control rain, from ancient rain dances to the 2,203 miles of levees that attempt to straitjacket the Mississippi River. It offers a glimpse of our “founding forecaster,” Thomas Jefferson, who measured every drizzle long before modern meteorology. Two centuries later, rainy skies would help inspire Morrissey’s mopes and Kurt Cobain’s grunge. Rain is also a travelogue, taking readers to Scotland to tell the surprising story of the mackintosh raincoat, and to India, where villagers extract the scent of rain from the monsoon-drenched earth and turn it into perfume.

Now, after thousands of years spent praying for rain or worshiping it; burning witches at the stake to stop rain or sacrificing small children to bring it; mocking rain with irrigated agriculture and cities built in floodplains; even trying to blast rain out of the sky with mortars meant for war, humanity has finally managed to change the rain. Only not in ways we intended. As climate change upends rainfall patterns and unleashes increasingly severe storms and drought, Barnett shows rain to be a unifying force in a fractured world. Too much and not nearly enough, rain is a conversation we share, and this is a book for everyone who has ever experienced it.
Visit Cynthia Barnett's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


New from Harper Voyager: Positive: A Novel by David Wellington.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the bestselling vein of Guillermo Del Toro and Justin Cronin, the acclaimed author of Chimera and The Hydra Protocol delivers his spectacular breakout novel—an entertaining page-turning zombie epic that is sure to become a classic.

Anyone can be positive...

The tattooed plus sign on Finnegan's hand marks him as a Positive. At any time, the zombie virus could explode in his body, turning him from a rational human into a ravenous monster. His only chance of a normal life is to survive the last two years of the potential incubation period. If he reaches his twenty-first birthday without an incident, he'll be cleared.

Until then, Finn must go to a special facility for positives, segregated from society to keep the healthy population safe. But when the military caravan transporting him is attacked, Finn becomes separated. To make it to safety, he must embark on a perilous cross-country journey across an America transformed—a dark and dangerous land populated with heroes, villains, madmen, and hordes of zombies. And though the zombies are everywhere, Finn discovers that the real danger may be his fellow humans.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome meets World War Z and I Am Legend in this thrilling tale that has it all: a compelling story, great characters, and explosive action, making Positive the ultimate zombie novel of our time.
Learn more about the book and author at David Wellington's website.

The Page 69 Test: Chimera.

The Page 69 Test: The Hydra Protocol.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from HarperTeen: Endangered by Lamar Giles.

About the book, from the publisher:

Endangered is a thrilling page-turner perfect for fans of Barry Lyga's I Hunt Killers.

The one secret she cares about keeping—her identity—is about to be exposed. Unless Lauren "Panda" Daniels—an anonymous photoblogger who specializes in busting classmates and teachers in compromising positions—plays along with her blackmailer's little game of Dare or ... Dare.

But when the game turns deadly, Panda doesn't know what to do. And she may need to step out of the shadows to save herself ... and everyone else on the Admirer's hit list.
Learn more about the book and author at Lamar Giles's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: Fake ID.

The Page 69 Test: Fake ID.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"The Daylight Marriage"

New from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill: The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor.

About the book, from the publisher:

“Hypnotically readable–I absolutely couldn’t put it down. The structure is brilliant, and I turned the pages with increasing dread. This book is terrific.” — Stephen King

Hannah was the kind of woman who turned heads. Tall and graceful, naturally pretty, often impulsive, always spirited, the upper class girl who picked, of all men, Lovell-the introverted climate scientist, the practical one who thought he could change the world if he could just get everyone to listen to reason. After a magical honeymoon they settled in the suburbs to raise their two children. But over the years, Lovell and Hannah’s conversations have become charged with resentments and unspoken desires. She’s become withdrawn and directionless. His work affords him a convenient distraction. The children can sense the tension, which they’ve learned to mostly ignore. Until, after one explosive argument, Hannah vanishes. And Lovell, for the first time, is forced to examine the trajectory of his marriage through the lens of memory-and the eyes of his children. As he tries to piece together what happened to his wife-and to their lives together-readers follow Hannah through that single day when the smallest of decisions takes her to places she never intended to go.

With the intensity of The Lovely Bones, the balance of wit and heartbreak of The Descendants, and the emotional acuity of Anne Tyler, The Daylight Marriage is at its heart a novel about what happens when our intuitions override our logic and with a plot that doesn’t reveal its secrets until the very end.
Visit Heidi Pitlor's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"All The Wild That Remains"

New from W.W. Norton: All The Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West by David Gessner.

About the book, from the publisher:

An homage to the West and to two great writers who set the standard for all who celebrate and defend it.

Archetypal wild man Edward Abbey and proper, dedicated Wallace Stegner left their footprints all over the western landscape. Now, award-winning nature writer David Gessner follows the ghosts of these two remarkable writer-environmentalists from Stegner's birthplace in Saskatchewan to the site of Abbey's pilgrimages to Arches National Park in Utah, braiding their stories and asking how they speak to the lives of all those who care about the West.

These two great westerners had very different ideas about what it meant to love the land and try to care for it, and they did so in distinctly different styles. Boozy, lustful, and irascible, Abbey was best known as the author of the novel The Monkey Wrench Gang (and also of the classic nature memoir Desert Solitaire), famous for spawning the idea of guerrilla actions—known to admirers as "monkeywrenching" and to law enforcement as domestic terrorism—to disrupt commercial exploitation of western lands. By contrast, Stegner, a buttoned-down, disciplined, faithful family man and devoted professor of creative writing, dedicated himself to working through the system to protect western sites such as Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado.

In a region beset by droughts and fires, by fracking and drilling, and by an ever-growing population that seems to be in the process of loving the West to death, Gessner asks: how might these two farseeing environmental thinkers have responded to the crisis?

Gessner takes us on an inspiring, entertaining journey as he renews his own commitment to cultivating a meaningful relationship with the wild, confronting American overconsumption, and fighting environmental injustice—all while reawakening the thrill of the words of his two great heroes.
Visit David Gessner's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 20, 2015

"Sight Unseen"

New from Columbia University Press: Sight Unseen: Gender and Race Through Blind Eyes by Ellyn Kaschak.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sight Unseen reveals the cultural and biological realities of race, gender, and sexual orientation from the perspective of the blind. Through ten case studies and dozens of interviews, Ellyn Kaschak taps directly into the phenomenology of race, gender, and sexual orientation among blind individuals, along with the everyday epistemology of vision. Her work reveals not only how the blind create systems of meaning out of cultural norms but also how cultural norms inform our conscious and unconscious interactions with others regardless of our physical ability to see.
Visit Ellen Kaschak's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, April 19, 2015

"Early Warning"

New from Knopf: Early Warning by Jane Smiley.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the Pulitzer Prize-winner: the second installment, following Some Luck, of her widely acclaimed, best-selling American trilogy, which brings the journey of a remarkable family with roots in the Iowa heartland into mid-century America

Early Warning opens in 1953 with the Langdon family at a crossroads. Their stalwart patriarch, Walter, who with his wife, Rosanna, sustained their farm for three decades, has suddenly died, leaving their five children, now adults, looking to the future. Only one will remain in Iowa to work the land, while the others scatter to Washington, D.C., California, and everywhere in between.

As the country moves out of post–World War II optimism through the darker landscape of the Cold War and the social and sexual revolutions of the 1960s and ’70s, and then into the unprecedented wealth—for some—of the early 1980s, the Langdon children each follow a different path in a rapidly changing world. And they now have children of their own: twin boys who are best friends and vicious rivals; a girl whose rebellious spirit takes her to the notorious Peoples Temple in San Francisco; and a golden boy who drops out of college to fight in Vietnam—leaving behind a secret legacy that will send shock waves through the Langdon family into the next generation.

Capturing a transformative period through richly drawn characters we come to know and care deeply for, Early Warning continues Smiley’s extraordinary epic trilogy, a gorgeously told saga that began with Some Luck and will span a century in America. But it also stands entirely on its own as an engrossing story of the challenges—and rewards—of family and home, even in the most turbulent of times, all while showcasing a beloved writer at the height of her considerable powers.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers: Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me by Meredith Zeitlin.

About the book, from the publisher:

A laugh-out-loud high school adventure set in Greece, perfect for fans of Meg Cabot

High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in New York City her whole life, and plans to follow in the footsteps of her renowned-journalist father. But when he announces they’re moving to Athens for six months so he can work on an important new story, she’s devastated— he must have an ulterior motive. See, when Zona’s mother married an American, her huge Greek family cut off contact. But Zona never knew her mom, and now she’s supposed to uproot her entire life and meet possibly hostile relatives on their turf? Thanks… but no thanks.

In the vein of Anna and the French Kiss, Zona navigates a series of hilarious escapades, eye-opening revelations, and unexpected reunions in a foreign country—all while documenting the trip through one-of-a-kind commentary.
Visit Meredith Zeitlin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 18, 2015


New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Gutshot: Stories by Amelia Gray.

About the book, from the publisher:

A woman creeps through the ductwork of a quiet home. A medical procedure reveals an object of worship. A carnivorous reptile divides and cauterizes a town. Amelia Gray's curio cabinet expands in Gutshot, where isolation and coupling are pushed to their dark and outrageous edges. A master of the macabre, Gray's work is not for the faint of heart or gut: lick at your own risk.
Learn more about the book and author at Amelia Gray's website.

The Page 69 Test: Threats.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Devil's Share"

Coming in July from Minotaur Books: The Devil's Share by Wallace Stroby.

About the book, from the publisher:

It's been a year since professional thief Crissa Stone last pulled a job, and she's spent that time under the radar, very carefully not drawing attention to herself. That kind of life is safe, but it's boring, and it's lonely, and it's not very lucrative. So when Crissa starts to get antsy--and low on funds--she agrees to act as a thief-for-hire, partnering with a wealthy art collector to steal a truckload of plundered Iraqi artifacts before they're repatriated to their native country. But what's supposed to be a "give-up" robbery with few complications quickly turns deadly. Soon Crissa is on the run again, with both an ex-military hit squad and her own partners-in-crime in pursuit. And what should be the easiest job of her career--robbing a man who wants to be robbed--might just turn out to be the most dangerous.
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

Friday, April 17, 2015

"If You Find This Letter"

New from Howard Books: If You Find This Letter: My Journey to Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers by Hannah Brencher.

About the book, from the publisher:

A heartwarming memoir of love and faith from Hannah Brencher—founder of The World Needs More Love Letters—who has dedicated her life to showing total strangers that they are not alone in the world.

Fresh out of college, Hannah Brencher moved to New York, expecting her life to look like a scene from Sex and the City. Instead, she found a city full of people who knew where they were going and what they were doing and didn’t have time for a girl still trying to figure it all out. Lonely and depressed, she noticed a woman who looked like she felt the same way on the subway. Hannah did something strange—she wrote the woman a letter. She folded it, scribbled “If you find this letter, it’s for you…” on the front and left it behind.

When she realized that it made her feel better, she started writing and leaving love notes all over the city—in doctor’s offices, in coat pockets, in library books, in bathroom stalls. Feeling crushed within a culture that only felt like connecting on a screen, she poured her heart out to complete strangers. She found solace in the idea that her words might brighten someone’s day.

Hannah’s project took on a life of its own when she made an offer on her blog: She would handwrite a note and mail it to anyone who wanted one. Overnight, her inbox exploded with requests from people all over the world. Nearly 400 handwritten letters later, she started the website, The World Needs More Love Letters, which quickly grew.

There is something about receiving a handwritten note that is so powerful in today’s digital era. If You Find This Letter chronicles Hannah’s attempts to bring more love into the world—and shows how she rediscovered her faith through the movement she started.
Visit Hannah Brencher's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Dismantling"

New from Plume: The Dismantling: A Novel by Brian DeLeeuw.

About the book, from the publisher:

How much of yourself are you willing to sell?

Brian DeLeeuw hits that sweet spot between literary and commercial suspense with his brilliantly adept, ingeniously plotted novel—a chilling, fast-paced drama that urges readers to question the meaning of atonement and whether revenge might sometimes be the only way we can liberate ourselves from our past.

Twenty-five-year-old med school dropout Simon Worth is an organ broker, buying kidneys and livers from cash-strapped donors and selling them to recipients whose time on the waitlist is running out. When a seemingly straightforward liver transplant has an unexpectedly dangerous outcome, Simon finds himself on the run. In order to survive, he must put aside his better moral judgment and place his trust in a stranger who has a shocking secret.
Visit Brian DeLeeuw's website, and see his list of the five best debut novels of the past decade.

The Page 69 Test: In This Way I Was Saved.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"The House of Hawthorne"

New from NAL: The House of Hawthorne: A Novel by Erika Robuck.

About the book, from the publisher:

From Erika Robuck, bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl, comes a brilliant new novel about a literary couple. The unlikely marriage between Nathaniel Hawthorne, the celebrated novelist, and Sophia Peabody, the invalid artist, was a true union of passion and intellect.…

Beset by crippling headaches from a young age and endowed with a talent for drawing, Sophia is discouraged by her well-known New England family from pursuing a woman’s traditional roles. But from their first meeting, Nathaniel and Sophia begin an intense romantic relationship that despite many setbacks leads to their marriage. Together, they will cross continents, raise children, and experience all the beauty and tragedy of an exceptional partnership. Sophia’s vivid journals and her masterful paintings kindle a fire in Nathaniel, inspiring his writing. But their children’s needs and the death of loved ones steal Sophia’s energy and time for her art, fueling in her a perennial tug-of-war between fulfilling her domestic duties and pursuing her own desires.

Spanning the years from the 1830s to the Civil War, and moving from Massachusetts to England, Portugal, and Italy, The House of Hawthorne explores the tension within a famous marriage of two soulful, strong-willed people, each devoted to the other but also driven by a powerful need to explore the far reaches of their creative impulses. It is the story of a forgotten woman in history, who inspired one of the greatest writers of American literature…
Learn more about the book and author at Erika Robuck's website and blog.

My Book, the Movie: Hemingway’s Girl.

Writers Read: Erika Robuck (May 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Poison Ivy"

New from Minotaur Books: Poison Ivy: A Martha's Vineyard Mystery by Cynthia Riggs.

About the book, from the publisher:

On her first day as adjunct professor at Ivy Green College, Victoria Trumbull recognizes the stench emanating from her classroom as more than just dead mice. Brownie, the groundskeeper's mangy mutt, soon discovers a second body hiding beneath a cluster of poison ivy.

The stakes have never been higher for Ivy Green, which is on the brink of losing already-lukewarm support from its accredited partner, Cape Cod University. Thackery Wilson, the founder of Ivy Green, worries that the bad publicity from the murders will obliterate the financial and academic support the tiny college and its dependent students desperately need. As the bodies continue to pile up, all tenure committee members, Victoria and Brownie find themselves hunting a serial killer and trying to save the college.

This charming 11th entry in Cynthia Rigg's Martha's Vineyard mystery series brings the island to life with a cast of eccentric characters led by a unique and endearing sleuth.
Visit Cynthia Riggs's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Cry Wolf"

New from Severn House: Cry Wolf by Michael Gregorio.

About the book, from the publisher:

Introducing resourceful park ranger Sebastiano Cangio in the first of a brand-new crime series set against the glorious landscape of Italy's Umbria region.

Sebastiano Cangio is loving his dream job as a ranger in the stunning Sybillines national park in mystical Umbria. Then the first body is found. Recognizing the hallmarks of a Mafia killing and determined to stop Umbria being destroyed by organized crime, Cangio is pitted against a trail of bodies, greed and corruption that leads right to the top.
Visit Michael Gregorio's website and blog.

Michael Gregorio is the pen name of Michael G. Jacob and Daniela De Gregorio. They live in Spoleto, Italy. Michael Gregorio was awarded the Umbria del Cuore prize in 2007.

The Page 69 Test: A Visible Darkness.

The Page 69 Test: Unholy Awakening.

My Book, The Movie: Michael Gregorio's Hanno Stiffeniis novels.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dark Alchemy"

New from Harper Voyager Impulse: Dark Alchemy by Laura Bickle.

About the book, from the publisher:

Stephen King's The Gunslinger meets Breaking Bad in Laura Bickle's novel Dark Alchemy.

Some secrets are better left buried

Geologist Petra Dee arrives in Wyoming seeking clues to her father's disappearance years ago. What she finds instead is Temperance, a dying western town with a gold rush past and a meth-infested present. But under the dust and quiet, an old power is shifting. When bodies start turning up—desiccated and twisted skeletons that Petra can't scientifically explain—her investigations land her in the middle of a covert war between the town's most powerful interests. Petra's father wasn't the only one searching for the alchemical secrets of Temperance, and those still looking are now ready to kill. Armed with nothing but shaky alliances, a pair of antique guns, and a relic she doesn't understand, the only thing Petra knows for sure is that she and her coyote sidekick are going to have to move fast—or die next.
Learn more about the book and author at Laura Bickle's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Writers Read: Laura Bickle.

The Page 69 Test: The Outside.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"Whispering Shadows"

New from Atria: Whispering Shadows by Jan-Philipp Sendker.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first in a suspenseful new trilogy by the internationally bestselling author of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, this gripping story follows a retired expat journalist in contemporary China who tries to crack a murder case as he battles his own personal demons.

American expat Paul Leibovitz was once an ambitious advisor, dedicated father, and loving husband. But after living for nearly thirty years in Hong Kong, personal tragedy strikes and Paul’s marriage unravels in the fallout.

Now Paul is living as a recluse on an outlying island of Hong Kong. When he makes a fleeting connection with Elizabeth, a distressed American woman on the verge of collapse, his life is thrown into turmoil. Less than twenty-four hours later, Elizabeth’s son is found dead in Shenzhen, and Paul, invigorated by a newfound purpose, sets out to investigate the murder on his own.

As Paul, Elizabeth, and a detective friend descend deeper into the Shenzhen underworld—against the wishes of a woman with whom Paul has had a flirtation—they discover dark secrets hidden beneath China’s booming new wealth. In a country where rich businessmen with expensive degrees can corrupt the judicial system, the potential for evil abounds.

Part love story, part crime thriller, Whispering Shadows is the captivating tale of one man’s desperate search for redemption within the vice of a world superpower, a place where secrets from the past threaten to upend the country’s unchecked drive towards modernization.
Visit Jan-Philipp Sendker's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Intimate Bond"

New from Bloomsbury USA: The Intimate Bond: How Animals Shaped Human History by Brian Fagan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Animals, and our ever-changing relationship with them, have left an indelible mark on human history. From the dawn of our existence, animals and humans have been constantly redefining their relationship with one another, and entire civilizations have risen and fallen upon this curious bond we share with our fellow fauna. Brian Fagan unfolds this fascinating story from the first wolf who wandered into our prehistoric ancestors' camp and found companionship, to empires built on the backs of horses, donkeys, and camels, to the industrial age when some animals became commodities, often brutally exploited, and others became pets, nurtured and pampered, sometimes to absurd extremes.

Through an in-depth analysis of six truly transformative human-animal relationships, Fagan shows how our habits and our very way of life were considerably and irreversibly altered by our intimate bond with animals. Among other stories, Fagan explores how herding changed human behavior; how the humble donkey helped launch the process of globalization; and how the horse carried a hearty band of nomads across the world and toppled the emperor of China.

With characteristic care and penetrating insight, Fagan reveals the profound influence that animals have exercised on human history and how, in fact, they often drove it.
Learn more about the book and author at Brian Fagan's website.

The Page 99 Test: Fagan's The Great Warming.

The Page 99 Test: The Attacking Ocean.

Writers Read: Brian Fagan (June 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 13, 2015

"The Man Who Stalked Einstein"

New from Lyons Press: The Man Who Stalked Einstein: How Nazi Scientist Philipp Lenard Changed the Course of History by Bruce J. Hillman.

About the book, from the publisher:

By the end of World War I, Albert Einstein had become the face of the new science of theoretical physics and had made some powerful enemies. One of those enemies, Nobel Prize winner Philipp Lenard, spent a career trying to discredit him. Their story of conflict, pitting Germany’s most widely celebrated Jew against the Nazi scientist who was to become Hitler’s chief advisor on physics, had an impact far exceeding what the scientific community felt at the time. Indeed, their mutual antagonism affected the direction of science long after 1933, when Einstein took flight to America and changed the history of two nations. The Man Who Stalked Einstein details the tense relationship between Einstein and Lenard, their ideas and actions, during the eventful period between World War I and World War II.
Visit Bruce J. Hillman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"House of Echoes"

New from Ballantine Books: House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this enthralling and atmospheric thriller, one young family’s dream of a better life is about to become a nightmare.

Ben and Caroline Tierney and their two young boys are hoping to start over. Ben has hit a dead end with his new novel, Caroline has lost her banking job, and eight-year-old Charlie is being bullied at his Manhattan school.

When Ben inherits land in the village of Swannhaven, in a remote corner of upstate New York, the Tierneys believe it’s just the break they need, and they leave behind all they know to restore a sprawling estate. But as Ben uncovers Swannhaven’s chilling secrets and Charlie ventures deeper into the surrounding forest, strange things begin to happen. The Tierneys realize that their new home isn’t the fresh start they needed . . . and that the village’s haunting saga is far from over.

House of Echoes is a novel that shows how sometimes the ties that bind us are the only things that can keep us whole.
Visit Brendan Duffy's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, April 12, 2015

"The Holocaust Averted"

New from Rutgers University Press: The Holocaust Averted: An Alternate History of American Jewry, 1938-1967 by Jeffrey S. Gurock.

About the book, from the publisher:

The increasingly popular genre of “alternative histories” has captivated audiences by asking questions like “what if the South had won the Civil War?” Such speculation can be instructive, heighten our interest in a topic, and shed light on accepted history. In The Holocaust Averted, Jeffrey Gurock imagines what might have happened to the Jewish community in the United States if the Holocaust had never occurred and forces readers to contemplate how the road to acceptance and empowerment for today’s American Jews could have been harder than it actually was.

Based on reasonable alternatives grounded in what is known of the time, places, and participants, Gurock presents a concise narrative of his imagined war-time saga and the events that followed Hitler’s military failures. While German Jews did suffer under Nazism, the millions of Jews in Eastern Europe survived and were able to maintain their communities. Since few people were concerned with the safety of European Jews, Zionism never became popular in the United States and social antisemitism kept Jews on the margins of society. By the late 1960s, American Jewish communities were far from vibrant.

This alternate history—where, among many scenarios, Hitler is assassinated, Japan does not bomb Pearl Harbor, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt is succeeded after two terms by Robert A. Taft—does cause us to review and better appreciate history. As Gurock tells his tale, he concludes every chapter with a short section that describes what actually happened and, thus, further educates the reader.
Visit Jeffrey S. Gurock's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Slated for Death"

New from Minotaur Books: Slated for Death: A Penny Brannigan Mystery by Elizabeth J. Duncan.

About the book, from the publisher:

When the body of well-liked and respectable Glenda Roberts is discovered at the bottom of a former slate mine, now a busy tourist attraction, pandemonium erupts in the North Wales town of Llanelen. Penny Brannigan finds herself drawn into the investigation when jars of her house-brand hand cream are found among counterfeit inventory Glenda and her sister were selling.

Police are convinced that the mine operator whose asthmatic son suffered an almost-fatal attack due to the merchandise is responsible for Glenda's death. But Penny's not so sure. A visit to Glenda's mother only deepens her conviction that a hidden family secret is the real reason for the murder.

Elizabeth J. Duncan's Slated for Death is a wonderful traditional mystery with snappy dialogue, lively characters and an enchanting setting.
Visit Elizabeth J. Duncan's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Cold Light of Mourning.

The Page 69 Test: A Brush with Death.

Coffee with a Canine: Elizabeth J. Duncan and Dolly.

Writers Read: Elizabeth J. Duncan (January 2013).

The Page 69 Test: Never Laugh As a Hearse Goes By.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 11, 2015

"Another Little Piece of My Heart"

New from Bloomsbury USA: Another Little Piece of My Heart: My Life of Rock and Revolution in the '60s by Richard Goldstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

"A deeply felt and largely compelling portrait of an age that indelibly marked everyone who took part in it. Indispensable for understanding the culture of the '60s and the music that was at its heart." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

In 1966, at the ripe age of 22, Richard Goldstein approached The Village Voice with a novel idea. “I want to be a rock critic,” he said. “What's that?” the editor replied.

It was a logical question, since rock criticism didn't yet exist. In the weekly column he would produce for the Voice, Goldstein became the first person to write regularly in a major publication about the music that changed our lives. He believed deeply in the power of rock, and, long before it was acceptable, he championed the idea that this music was a serious art form. From his unique position in journalism, he saw the full arc of events that shaped culture and politics in the 1960s--and participated in them, too. He toured with Janis Joplin, spent a day at the Grateful Dead house in San Francisco, and dropped acid with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. He was present for Martin Luther King's “I Have a Dream” speech, the student uprising at Columbia, and the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention. He was challenged to a boxing match by Norman Mailer, and took Susan Sontag to her first disco. Goldstein developed close relationships with several rock legends--Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, to name two--and their early deaths came as a wrenching shock, fueling his disillusionment as he watched the music he loved rapidly evolve from a communal rite to a vast industry--and the sense of hope for radical social upheaval fade away.

Another Little Piece of My Heart is the intimate memoir of the writer as a young man with profound ambition. It is also a sweeping personal account of a decade that no one else could provide--a deeply moving, unparalleled document of rock and revolution in America.
Visit Richard Goldstein's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Beekeeper's Daughter"

New from Simon & Schuster: The Beekeeper's Daughter: A Novel by Santa Montefiore.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the #1 internationally bestselling author, her first book set in America, the story of a mother and daughter searching for love and happiness, unaware of the secrets that bind them. To find what they are longing for they must confront the past, and unravel the lies told long ago.

England, 1932: Grace Hamblin is growing up on the beautiful estate of the Marquess and Marchioness of Penselwood. The beekeeper’s daughter, she knows her place and what the future holds—that is until her father dies. Her childhood friend Freddie has recently become her lover, and she is thankful when they are able to marry and take over her father’s duties. But there is another man who she just can’t shake from her thoughts…

Massachusetts, 1973: Grace’s daughter Trixie Valentine is in love with an unsuitable young man. Jasper Duncliffe is wild and romantic, and in a band that might hit it big. But when his brother dies and he is called home to England, Jasper promises to come back for Trixie one day, if only she will wait for him. Grace thinks that Trixie is surely abandoned and tries to support her daughter, but Trixie brushes off her mother’s advice and comfort. She is confident that Jasper’s love for her was real…

Set on a fictional island off the coast of Massachusetts with charming architecture, beautiful landscape, and quirky islanders, The Beekeeper’s Daughter is “a multigenerational banquet of love…one of the most engrossing reads of my year” (Elin Hilderbrand).
Visit Santa Montefiore's website.

Writers Read: Santa Montefiore (May 2011).

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 10, 2015

"The Game of Love and Death"

New from Scholastic: The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough.

About the book, from the publisher:

Not since THE BOOK THIEF has the character of Death played such an original and affecting part in a book for young people.

Flora and Henry were born a few blocks from each other, innocent of the forces that might keep a white boy and an African American girl apart; years later they meet again and their mutual love of music sparks an even more powerful connection. But what Flora and Henry don't know is that they are pawns in a game played by the eternal adversaries Love and Death, here brilliantly reimagined as two extremely sympathetic and fascinating characters. Can their hearts and their wills overcome not only their earthly circumstances, but forces that have battled throughout history? In the rainy Seattle of the 1920's, romance blooms among the jazz clubs, the mansions of the wealthy, and the shanty towns of the poor. But what is more powerful: love? Or death?
Writers Read: Martha Brockenbrough (October 2008).

Visit Martha Brockenbrough's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dear Hank Williams"

New from Henry Holt: Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt.

About the book, from the publisher:

It's 1948 in Rippling Creek, Louisiana, and Tate P. Ellerbee's new teacher has just given her class an assignment--learning the art of letter-writing. Luckily, Tate has the perfect pen pal in mind: Hank Williams, a country music singer whose star has just begun to rise. Tate and her great-aunt and -uncle listen to him on the radio every Saturday night, and Tate just knows that she and Hank are kindred spirits.

Told entirely through Tate's hopeful letters, this beautifully drawn novel from National Book Award-winning author Kimberly Willis Holt gradually unfolds a story of family love, overcoming tragedy, and an insightful girl learning to find her voice.
Visit Kimberly Willis Holt's website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Russian Bride"

New from Minotaur Books: The Russian Bride by Ed Kovacs.

About the book, from the publisher:

Major Kit Bennings is an elite military intelligence agent working undercover in Moscow. When he is blackmailed and compromised by a brutal mafia don and former KGB general, he knows that his military career, if not his life, will soon be over. With little to lose, he goes rogue in the hope of saving his kidnapped sister and stopping a deadly scheme directed against America.

Yulana Petkova is a gorgeous woman, devoted mother, and Russian weapons engineer. And maybe more. Spy? Mob assassin? The shotgun marriage to stranger Kit Bennings takes her on a life-or-death hopscotch from Moscow to Los Angeles, from secret US military bases to Las Vegas, where she uses her wiles at every turn to carry out her own hidden agenda.

Hunted by killers from both Russia and the United States, Bennings struggles to stop the mobster's brilliant deception--a theft designed to go unnoticed--that will make the mafia kingpin the richest man in the world, while decimating the very heart of America's economic and intelligence institutions.
Learn more about the book and author at Ed Kovacs's website.

My Book, The Movie: Storm Damage.

The Page 69 Test: Storm Damage.

The Page 69 Test: Good Junk.

The Page 69 Test: Burnt Black.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 9, 2015

"Anywhere but Paradise"

New from Egmont USA: Anywhere but Paradise by Anne Bustard.

About the book, from the publisher:

Moving from Texas to Hawaii in 1960,12-year-old Peggy Sue faces a difficult transition when she is bulled as one of the few haole (white) students in her school. This lyrical debut novel is perfect for Common Core classroom connections.

It's 1960 and Peggy Sue has just been transplanted from Texas to Hawaii for her father's new job. Her cat, Howdy, is stuck in animal quarantine, and she's baffled by Hawaiian customs and words. Worst of all, eighth grader Kiki Kahana targets Peggy Sue because she is haole--white--warning her that unless she does what Kiki wants, she will be a victim on "kill haole day," the last day of school. Peggy Sue's home ec teacher insists that she help Kiki with her sewing project or risk failing. Life looks bleak until Peggy Sue meets Malina, whose mother gives hula lessons. But when her parents take a trip to Hilo, leaving Peggy Sue at Malina's, life takes an unexpected twist in the form of a tsunami. Peggy Sue is knocked unconscious and wakes to learn that her parents safety and whereabouts are unknown. Peggy Sue has to summon all her courage to have hope that they will return safely.
Visit Anne Bustard's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Oh! You Pretty Things"

New from Dutton: Oh! You Pretty Things by Shanna Mahin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Jess Dunne is third-generation Hollywood, but her star on the boulevard has yet to materialize. Sure, she’s got a Santa Monica address and a working actress roommate, but with her nowhere barista job in a town that acknowledges zeroes only as a dress size, she’s a dead girl walking.

Enter Jess’s mother—a failed actress who puts the strange in estrangement. She dives headlong into her daughter’s downward spiral, forcing Jess to muster all her spite and self-preservation to snag a career upgrade.

As a personal assistant for a famous (and secretly agoraphobic) film composer, Jess’s workdays are now filled with shopping for luxury goods and cooking in his perfectly designed kitchen. Jess kills at cooking, a talent that only serves her intensifying urge to dig in to Los Angeles’s celebrity buffet.

When her food garners the attention of an actress on the rise, well, she’s all too willing to throw it in with the composer and upgrade again, a decision that will have far-reaching ramifications that could explode all her relationships.

All the while, her mother looms ever closer, forcing Jess to confront the traumatic secrets she’s been running from all her life.

Oh! You Pretty Things is a dizzying ride at the carnival of fame, a fast-paced and sharply funny work that dares to imagine what happens when we go over the top in a town of gilded excess.
Visit Shanna Mahin's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Coffee with a Canine: Shanna Mahin & Riley.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Margaret K. McElderry Books: Fig by Sarah Elizabeth Schantz.

About the book, from the publisher:

Love and sacrifice intertwine in this brilliant and provocative debut of rare beauty about a girl dealing with her mother’s schizophrenia and her own mental illness.

Fig’s world lies somewhere between reality and fantasy.

But as she watches Mama slowly come undone, it becomes hard to tell what is real and what is not, what is fun and what is frightening. To save Mama, Fig begins a fierce battle to bring her back. She knows that her daily sacrifices, like not touching metal one day or avoiding water the next, are the only way to cure Mama.

The problem is that in the process of a daily sacrifice, Fig begins to lose herself as well, increasingly isolating herself from her classmates and engaging in self-destructive behavior that only further sets her apart.

Spanning the course of Fig’s childhood from age six to nineteen, this deeply provocative novel is more than a portrait of a mother, a daughter, and the struggle that comes with all-consuming love. It is an acutely honest and often painful portrayal of life with mental illness and the lengths to which a young woman must go to handle the ordeals—real or imaginary—thrown her way.
Visit Sarah Elizabeth Schantz's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"The Silver Witch"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston.

About the book, from the publisher:

A year after her husband's sudden death, ceramic artist Tilda Fordwells finally moves into the secluded Welsh cottage that was to be their new home. She hopes that the tranquil surroundings will help ease her grief, and lessen her disturbing visions of Mat's death. Instead, the lake in the valley below her cottage seems to spark something dormant in her - a sensitivity, and a power of some sort. Animals are drawn to her, electricity shorts out when she's near, and strangest of all, she sees a new vision; a boatful of ancient people approaching her across the water.

On this same lake in Celtic times lived Seren, a witch and shaman. She was respected but feared, kept separate from the community for her strange looks. When a vision came to her of the Prince amid a nest of vipers she warned of betrayal from one of his own. Prince Brynach both loved and revered her, but could not believe someone close to him wished him harm, even as the danger grew.

In her own time, Tilda's grief begins to fade beside her newfound powers and a fresh love. When she explores the lake's ancient magic and her own she discovers Seren, the woman in her vision of the boat. Their two lives strangely mirror each other's, suggesting a strong connection between the women. As Tilda comes under threat from a dark power, one reminiscent of Seren's prophecy, she must rely on Seren and ancient magic if death and disaster are not to shatter her life once more.
Learn more about the book and author at Paula Brackston's website.

Writers Read: Paula Brackston (February 2013).

Coffee with a Canine: Paula Brackston & Bluebell.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Language of Paradise"

New from W.W. Norton: The Language of Paradise by Barbara Klein Moss.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set in nineteenth-century New England, this exquisite novel tests a woman’s love against her husband’s utopian quest.

Sophy Hedge, the artistic daughter of the town's minister, falls in love with Gideon Birdsall, a driven theology student assisting her father with a Hebrew lexicon. Sophy is drawn to Gideon's intellect, passion, and spiritual nature, while Gideon glimpses in her a free soul unbound by convention. Yet Gideon's restlessness after they wed worries Sophy, and she finds his friendship with Leander Solloway, the charismatic new schoolmaster, a cause for anxiety. As the men immerse themselves in Gideon’s mystical theories, Sophy translates her fears into secret paintings.

When Sophy becomes pregnant, Gideon and Leander construct a faux Eden in a greenhouse as part of a daring experiment to discover the language of paradise—the tongue Adam spoke when he named the creatures of the earth. Sophy must decide whether to live and paint in the world her husband has made or escape to save her child and herself.

Addressing the timeless issues of faith, art, and the elusive dream of perfection, Barbara Klein Moss has captured the fragility of human longing.
Visit Barbara Klein Moss's website.

--Marshal Zeringue