Saturday, February 28, 2015

"Above Us Only Sky"

New from Simon & Schuster: Above Us Only Sky: A Novel by Michele Young-Stone.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, which Library Journal called, “ripe for Oprah or fans of Elizabeth Berg or Anne Tyler,” comes a magical novel about a family of women separated by oceans, generations, and war, but connected by something much greater—the gift of wings.

On March 29, 1973, Prudence Eleanor Vilkas was born with a pair of wings molded to her back. Considered a birth defect, her wings were surgically removed, leaving only the ghost of them behind.

At fifteen years old, confused and unmoored, Prudence meets her long-estranged Lithuanian grandfather and discovers a miraculous lineage beating and pulsing with past Lithuanian bird-women, storytellers with wings dragging the dirt, survivors perched on radio towers, lovers lit up like fireworks, and heroes disguised as everyday men and women. Prudence sets forth on a quest to discover her ancestors, to grapple with wings that only one other person can see, and ultimately, to find out where she belongs.

Above Us Only Sky spans the 1863 January Uprising against Russian Tsarist rule in Eastern Europe to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Lithuania gaining its independence in 1991. It is a story of mutual understanding between the old and young; it is a love story; a story of survival, and most importantly a story about where we belong in the world. This “is a raw, beautiful, unforgettable book” (Lydia Netzer, bestselling author of Shine, Shine, Shine).
Learn more about the book and author at Michele Young-Stone's website, blog, and Facebook fan page.

The Page 69 Test: The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors.

My Book, The Movie: The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors.

Coffee with a Canine: Michele Young-Stone & Emma (May 2010) and Coffee with a Canine: Michele Young-Stone & Emma Peel and Chauncey.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Boy Who Lost Fairyland"

New from Feiwel & Friends: The Boy Who Lost Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente.

About the book, from the publisher:

When a young troll named Hawthorn is stolen from Fairyland by the Golden Wind, he becomes a changeling-a human boy-in the strange city of Chicago, a place no less bizarre and magical than Fairyland when seen through trollish eyes. Left with a human family, Hawthorn struggles with his troll nature and his changeling fate. But when he turns twelve, he stumbles upon a way back home, to a Fairyland much changed from the one he remembered.

Time magazine has praised Catherynne M. Valente's Fairyland books as "one of the most extraordinary works of fantasy, for adults or children, published so far this century." In this fourth installment of her saga, Valente's wisdom and wit will charm readers of all ages.
Visit Catherynne M. Valente's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 27, 2015

"Too Bad to Die"

New from Riverhead Books: Too Bad to Die: A Novel by Francine Mathews.

About the book, from the publisher:

A tense and enthralling historical thriller in which British Naval Intelligence officer Ian Fleming attempts to foil a Nazi plot to assassinate FDR, Churchill, and Stalin.

November, 1943. Weary of his deskbound status in the Royal Navy, intelligence officer Ian Fleming spends his spare time spinning stories in his head that are much more exciting than his own life…until the critical Tehran Conference, when Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Josef Stalin meet to finalize the D-Day invasion.

With the Big Three in one place, Fleming is tipped off that Hitler’s top assassin has infiltrated the conference. Seizing his chance to play a part in a real-life action story, Fleming goes undercover to stop the Nazi killer. Between martinis with beautiful women, he survives brutal attacks and meets a seductive Soviet spy who may know more than Fleming realizes. As he works to uncover the truth and unmask the assassin, Fleming is forced to accept that betrayal sometimes comes from the most unexpected quarters—and that one’s literary creations may prove eerily close to one’s own life.

Brilliantly inventive, utterly gripping and suspenseful, Too Bad to Die is Francine Mathews’s best novel yet, and confirms her place as a master of historical fiction.
Visit Francine Mathews's website.

The Page 69 Test: Jack 1939.

--Marshal Zeringue

"American Ghost"

New from Harper: American Ghost: A Family's Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest by Hannah Nordhaus.

About the book, from the publisher:

The award-winning journalist and author of The Beekeeper’s Lament attempts to uncover the truth about her great-great-grandmother, Julia--whose ghost is said to haunt an elegant hotel in Santa Fe—in this spellbinding exploration of myth, family history, and the American West.

The dark-eyed woman in the long black gown was first seen in the 1970s, standing near a fireplace. She was sad and translucent, present and absent at once. Strange things began to happen in the Santa Fe hotel where she was seen. Gas fireplaces turned off and on without anyone touching a switch. Vases of flowers appeared in new locations. Glasses flew off shelves. And in one second-floor suite with a canopy bed and arched windows looking out to the mountains, guests reported alarming events: blankets ripped off while they slept, the room temperature plummeting, disembodied breathing, dancing balls of light.

La Posada—“place of rest”—had been a grand Santa Fe home before it was converted to a hotel. The room with the canopy bed had belonged to Julia Schuster Staab, the wife of the home’s original owner. She died in 1896, nearly a century before the hauntings were first reported. In American Ghost, Hannah Nordhaus traces the life, death, and unsettled afterlife of her great-great-grandmother Julia, from her childhood in Germany to her years in the American West with her Jewish merchant husband.

American Ghost is a story of pioneer women and immigrants, ghost hunters and psychics, frontier fortitude and mental illness, imagination and lore. As she traces the strands of Julia’s life, Nordhaus uncovers a larger tale of how a true-life story becomes a ghost story—and how difficult it can sometimes be to separate history and myth.
Learn more about the book and author at Hannah Nordhaus's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Beekeeper's Lament.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 26, 2015

"Where All Light Tends to Go"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the country-noir tradition of Winter’s Bone meets ‘Breaking Bad,’ a savage and beautiful story of a young man seeking redemption.

The area surrounding Cashiers, North Carolina, is home to people of all kinds, but the world that Jacob McNeely lives in is crueler than most. His father runs a methodically organized meth ring, with local authorities on the dime to turn a blind eye to his dealings. Having dropped out of high school and cut himself off from his peers, Jacob has been working for this father for years, all on the promise that his payday will come eventually. The only joy he finds comes from reuniting with Maggie, his first love, and a girl clearly bound for bigger and better things than their hardscrabble town.

Jacob has always been resigned to play the cards that were dealt him, but when a fatal mistake changes everything, he’s faced with a choice: stay and appease his father, or leave the mountains with the girl he loves. In a place where blood is thicker than water and hope takes a back seat to fate, Jacob wonders if he can muster the strength to rise above the only life he’s ever known.
Visit David Joy's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Autumn Balloon"

New from Grand Central Publishing: The Autumn Balloon by Kenny Porpora.

About the book, from the publisher:

Every autumn, Kenny Porpora would watch his heartbroken mother scribble messages on balloons and release them into the sky above Long Island, one for each family member they'd lost to addiction. As the number of balloons grew, his mother fell deeper into alcoholism, drinking away her sorrows every night in front of the television, where her love of Regis Philbin provided a respite from the sadness around her.

When their house was foreclosed upon, Kenny's mother absconded with him and his beloved dog and fled for the Arizona desert, joining her heroin-addicted brother on a quixotic search for a better life. What followed was an outlaw adolescence spent in constant upheaval surrounded by bizarre characters and drug-addicted souls.

In the wake of unspeakable loss, Kenny convinced a college to take a chance on him, and turned to the mentors, writers, and poets he found to rebuild the family he lost, and eventually graduated from the Ivy League with a new life.

Porpora's memoir is the story of a deeply dysfunctional but loving family, and follows his life from the chaos of his youth to his triumphs in the Ivy League. At times darkly comic, at times elegiac, The Autumn Balloon is a beautifully written testament to the irreplaceable bonds of family, even under the most trying circumstances, and one that marks the debut of an exciting new writer.
Visit Kenny Porpora's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Flunked"

New from Sourcebooks: Flunked by Jen Calonita.

About the book, from the publisher:

Full of regret, Cinderella's wicked stepmother, Flora, has founded the Fairy Tale Reform School with the mission of turning the wicked and criminally mischievous into upstanding members of Enchantasia.

Impish, sassy 12-year-old Gilly has a history of petty theft and she's not too sorry about it. When she steals a hair clip, she gets tossed in reform school—for at least three months. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there's more to this school than its sweet mission. There's a battle brewing and she starts to wonder: Can a villian really change?
Visit Jen Calonita's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Jen Calonita and Captain Jack Sparrow.

--Marshal Zeringue

"In Wilderness"

New from Bantam Books: In Wilderness: A Novel by Diane Thomas.

About the book, from the publisher:

For readers of Amanda Coplin and Chris Bohjalian, In Wilderness is a suspenseful and literary love story—a daring and original novel about our fierce need for companionship and our enduring will to survive.

In the winter of 1966, Katherine Reid moves to an isolated cabin deep in Georgia’s Appalachian Mountains. There, with little more than a sleeping bag, a tin plate, and a loaded gun, she plans to spend her time in peaceful solitude. But one day, Katherine realizes the woods are not empty, and she is not alone. Someone else is near, observing her every move.

Twenty-year-old Vietnam veteran Danny lives not far from Katherine’s cabin, in a once-grand mansion he has dubbed “Gatsby’s house.” Haunted by war and enclosed by walls of moldering books, he becomes fixated on Katherine. What starts as cautious observation grows to obsession. When these two souls collide, the passion that ignites between them is all-consuming—and increasingly dangerous.

Suffused with a stunning sense of character and atmosphere, Diane Thomas’s intimate voice creates an unforgettable depiction of the transformative power of love, how we grieve and hope, and the perilous ways in which we heed and test our hearts.
Visit Diane Thomas's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"The Unraveling of Mercy Louis"

New from Harper: The Unraveling of Mercy Louis: A Novel by Keija Parssinen.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this intricate novel of psychological suspense, a fatal discovery near the high school ignites a witch-hunt in a Southeast Texas refinery town, unearthing communal and family secrets that threaten the lives of the town’s girls.

In Port Sabine, the air is thick with oil, superstition reigns, and dreams hang on making a winning play. All eyes are on Mercy Louis, the star of the championship girls’ basketball team. Mercy seems destined for greatness, but the road out of town is riddled with obstacles. There is her grandmother, Evelia, a strict evangelical who has visions of an imminent Rapture and sees herself as the keeper of Mercy’s virtue. There are the cryptic letters from Charmaine, the mother who abandoned Mercy at birth. And then there’s Travis, the boy who shakes the foundation of her faith.

At the periphery of Mercy’s world floats team manager Illa Stark, a lonely wallflower whose days are spent caring for a depressed mother crippled in a refinery accident. Like the rest of the town, Illa is spellbound by Mercy’s beauty and talent, but a note discovered in Mercy’s gym locker reveals that her life may not be as perfect as it appears.

The last day of school brings the disturbing discovery, and as summer unfolds and the police investigate, every girl becomes a suspect. When Mercy collapses on the opening night of the season, Evelia prophesies that she is only the first to fall, and soon, other girls are afflicted by the mysterious condition, sending the town into a tailspin, and bringing Illa and Mercy together in an unexpected way.

Evocative and unsettling, The Unraveling of Mercy Louis charts the downfall of one town’s golden girl while exploring the brutality and anxieties of girlhood in America.
Visit Keija Parssinen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Bookseller"

New from Harper: The Bookseller: A Novel by Cynthia Swanson.

About the book, from the publisher:

A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.

Nothing is as permanent as it appears...

Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn’t quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.

Then the dreams begin.

Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It’s everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted—but it only exists when she sleeps.

Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?

As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?
Visit Cynthia Swanson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 23, 2015

"Empire Rising"

New from St. Martin's Press: Empire Rising by Rick Campbell.

About the book, from the publisher:

After a long, secret military buildup, China launches a swift and deadly attack on Taiwan. But that’s only their first move in a much deadlier game. In Rick Campbell's thrilling Empire Rising, Xiang Chenglei, Chinese president and party secretary, has both a problem and a plan. The problem is that China’s limited supply of oil is threatening to derail its economic growth and prosperity. Having failed to win access to a greater supply diplomatically, he sets his backup plan in motion. And what is war, but diplomacy by other means?

The U.S. Pacific Fleet is the major military force in the area, and when Taiwan is invaded, the fleet is sent in to repel the invading Chinese forces. The U.S. military expects it to be an easy operation, but after a decades-long, top-secret buildup, China has military capabilities far greater than the United States is aware of. With hidden batteries of long range missiles, advanced cyber warfare capabilities, and a submarine fleet wielding a secret weapon, China is able to overwhelm the American fleet. In fact, China all but wipes out the U.S. Pacific Fleet—leaving them free to turn to their real objective—invasion and expansion across Asia, starting with the four main islands of Japan.

While the Atlantic Fleet surges westward to defend its allies and respond to the destruction of their counterparts, it falls to an unlikely alliance of three people to stop this incursion and prevent an all-but-inevitable global war. National Security Advisor Christine O’Connor has critical information, but she’s trapped in Beijing; Captain Murray Wilson, commanding officer of the submarine USS Michigan must somehow infiltrate the Chinese submarine blockade; and Navy SEAL Jake Harrison must lead a strike team into the most hostile of territories with only hours to implement the most daring plan ever.
Learn more about the book and author at Rick Campbell's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Trident Deception.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Some Other Town"

New from Harper Perennial: Some Other Town: A Novel by Elizabeth Collison.

About the book, from the publisher:

Channeling the emotional intensity of Susan Minot and Amy Bloom—and infused with a witty, dream-like surrealism reminiscent of Margaret Atwood—this mesmerizing debut takes us inside the unsettling world of Margaret Lydia Benning, which turns upside down when she falls in love…and then unravels before our eyes.

“What I have to tell Ben is just this. At last I am certain. All the signs, all the dreams are in. And I know now I have made a terrible mistake. I was wrong, it turns out, about us.”

Margaret Lydia Benning lives adrift in the same Midwest town where she went to college. By day, she works at a low-level job for the Project, a university-sponsored educational publisher housed in a former sanatorium. There she shares the fourth floor with a squadron of eccentric editors and a resident ghost from the screamers’ wing. At night, Margaret returns to her small house on Mott Street, resigned to the disturbing overtures of her strange neighbor, Mrs. Eberline.

Emotionally sleepwalking through the days is no way to lead a life. But then Margaret meets Ben Adams, a visiting professor of art at the university. Despite the odds—and their best intentions—Margaret and her professor become lovers, and she glimpses a future she had never before imagined. For the first time, she has hope…until Ben inexplicably vanishes. In the wake of his disappearance, Margaret sets out to find him. Her journey will force her to question everything she believes to be true.

Told through intertwined perspectives, by turns incandescent and haunting, Some Other Town is an unforgettable tale, with a heart-breaking twist, of one woman’s awakening to her own possibility—and her ability to love, and love well.
Visit Elizabeth Collison's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Unchanged"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR): Unchanged by Jessica Brody.

About the book, from the publisher:

So many secrets are buried within these compound walls. I used to be one of those secrets.

After returning to the Diotech compound and undergoing an experimental new memory alteration, Seraphina is now a loyal, obedient servant to Dr. Alixter and the powerful company that created her. Happy and in love with Kaelen, another scientifically-enhanced human designed to be her perfect match, Sera’s history with a boy named Zen is just a distant memory from a rebellious past she longs to forget.But as Sera and Kaelen embark on a nationwide tour to promote Diotech’s new product line—a collection of controversial genetic modifications available to the public—Sera’s mind starts to rebel. She can’t stop the memories of Zen from creeping back in.As more secrets are revealed, more enemies are uncovered, and the reality of a Diotech-controlled world grows closer every day, Sera will have to choose where her true loyalties lie, but it’s a choice that may cost her everything she’s ever loved.
Learn more about the book and author at Jessica Brody's website and blog.

Writers Read: Jessica Brody (October 2009).

My Book, The Movie: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father.

Writers Read: Jessica Brody (August 2012).

My Book, The Movie: Unremembered.

--Marshal Zeringue

"A Wicked Thing"

New from HarperTeen: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas.

About the book, from the publisher:

Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of what happens after happily ever after. Vividly imagined scenes of action, romance, and political intrigue are seamlessly woven together to reveal a richly created world… and Sleeping Beauty as she's never been seen before.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.
Visit Rhiannon Thomas's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 21, 2015

"The Sin Eater's Daughter"

New from Scholastic: The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury.

About the book, from the publisher:

A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy.

16-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she's engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn't a member of the court. She's the executioner.

As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she's taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he's able to look past Twylla's executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla's problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies-a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?
Visit Melinda Salisbury's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dorothy Parker Drank Here"

New from Putnam: Dorothy Parker Drank Here by Ellen Meister.

About the book, from the publisher:

The acid-tongued Dorothy Parker is back and haunting the halls of the Algonquin with her piercing wit, audacious voice, and unexpectedly tender wisdom.

Heavenly peace? No, thank you. Dorothy Parker would rather wander the famous halls of the Algonquin Hotel, drink in hand, searching for someone, anyone, who will keep her company on this side of eternity.

After forty years she thinks she’s found the perfect candidate in Ted Shriver, a brilliant literary voice of the 1970s, silenced early in a promising career by a devastating plagiarism scandal. Now a prickly recluse, he hides away in the old hotel slowly dying of cancer, which he refuses to treat. If she can just convince him to sign the infamous guestbook of Percy Coates, Dorothy Parker might be able to persuade the jaded writer to spurn the white light with her. Ted, however, might be the only person living or dead who’s more stubborn than Parker, and he rejects her proposal outright.

When a young, ambitious TV producer, Norah Wolfe, enters the hotel in search of Ted Shriver, Parker sees another opportunity to get what she wants. Instead, she and Norah manage to uncover such startling secrets about Ted’s past that the future changes for all of them.
Visit Ellen Meister's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 20, 2015

"Salt & Stone"

New from Scholastic: Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott.

About the book, from the publisher:

How far would you go to survive?

In FIRE & FLOOD, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and a terrifying march across the desert, all to remain a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed for a chance at obtaining the Cure for her brother. She can't stop - and in SALT & STONE, Tella will have to face the unseen dangers of the ocean, the breathless cold of a mountain, and twisted new rules in the race.

But what if the danger is deeper than that? How do you know whom to trust when everyone's keeping secrets? What do you do when the person you'd relied on most suddenly isn't there for support? How do you weigh one life against another?

The race is coming to an end, and Tella is running out of time, resources, and strength. At the beginning of the race there were one hundred twenty-two Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the fourth and final part of the race, just forty-one are left . . . and only one can win.

Victoria Scott's stunning thriller will leave readers' hearts racing!
Visit Victoria Scott's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Hush Hush"

New from William Morrow: Hush Hush (Tess Monaghan Series #12) by Laura Lippman.

About the book, from the publisher:

The award-winning New York Times bestselling author of After I’m Gone, The Most Dangerous Thing, I’d Know You Anywhere, and What the Dead Know brings back private detective Tess Monaghan, introduced in the classic Baltimore Blues, in an absorbing mystery that plunges the new parent into a disturbing case involving murder and a manipulative mother.

On a searing August day, Melisandre Harris Dawes committed the unthinkable: she left her two-month-old daughter locked in a car while she sat nearby on the shores of the Patapsco River. Melisandre was found not guilty by reason of criminal insanity, although there was much skepticism about her mental state. Freed, she left the country, her husband and her two surviving children, determined to start over.

But now Melisandre has returned Baltimore to meet with her estranged teenage daughters and wants to film the reunion for a documentary. The problem is, she relinquished custody and her ex, now remarried, isn’t sure he approves.

Now that’s she’s a mother herself—short on time, patience—Tess Monaghan wants nothing to do with a woman crazy enough to have killed her own child. But her mentor and close friend Tyner Gray, Melisandre’s lawyer, has asked Tess and her new partner, retired Baltimore P.D. homicide detective Sandy Sanchez, to assess Melisandre’s security needs.

As a former reporter and private investigator, Tess tries to understand why other people break the rules and the law. Yet the imperious Melisandre is something far different from anyone she’s encountered. A decade ago, a judge ruled that Melisandre was beyond rational thought. But was she? Tess tries to ignore the discomfort she feels around the confident, manipulative Melisandre. But that gets tricky after Melisandre becomes a prime suspect in a murder.

Yet as her suspicions deepen, Tess realizes that just as she’s been scrutinizing Melisandre, a judgmental stalker has been watching her every move as well....
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 19, 2015

"Love and Lies"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Love and Lies: An Essay on Truthfulness, Deceit, and the Growth and Care of Erotic Love by Clancy Martin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Is it possible to love well without lying? At least since Socrates’s discourse on love in Plato’s Symposium, philosophers have argued that love can lead us to the truth—about ourselves and the ones we love. But in the practical experience of erotic love—and perhaps especially in marriage—we find that love and lies often work hand in hand, and that it may be difficult to sustain long-term romantic love without deception, both of oneself and of others.

Drawing on contemporary philosophy, psychoanalysis and cognitive neuroscience, his own personal experience, and such famed and diverse writers on love as Shakespeare, Stendhal, Proust, Adrienne Rich, and Raymond Carver, Clancy Martin—himself divorced twice and married three times—explores how love, truthfulness, and deception work together in contemporary life and society. He concludes that learning how to love and loving well inevitably requires lying, but also argues that the best love relationships draw us slowly and with difficulty toward honesty and trust.

Love and Lies is a relentlessly honest book about the difficulty of love, which is certain to both provoke and entertain.
The Page 69 Test: Clancy Martin's How to Sell.

--Marshal Zeringue

"I Am Radar"

New from Penguin Press: I Am Radar by Reif Larsen.

About the book, from the publisher:

The moment just before Radar Radmanovic is born, all of the hospital’s electricity mysteriously fails. The delivery takes place in total darkness. Lights back on, the staff sees a healthy baby boy—with pitch-black skin—born to the stunned white parents. No one understands the uncanny electrical event or the unexpected skin color. “A childbirth is an explosion,” the ancient physician says by way of explanation. “Some shrapnel is inevitable, isn’t it?”

A kaleidoscopic novel both heartbreaking and dazzling, Reif Larsen’s I Am Radar begins with Radar’s perplexing birth but rapidly explodes outward, carrying readers across the globe and throughout history, as well as to unknown regions where radio waves and subatomic particles dance to their own design. Spanning this extraordinary range with grace and empathy, humor and courage, I Am Radar is the vessel where a century of conflict and art unite in a mesmerizing narrative whole.

Deep in arctic Norway, a cadre of Norwegian schoolteachers is imprisoned during the Second World War. Founding a radical secret society that will hover on the margins of recorded history for decades to come, these schoolteachers steal radioactive material from a hidden Nazi nuclear reactor and use it to stage a surreal art performance on a frozen coastline. This strange society appears again in the aftermath of Cambodia’s murderous Khmer Rouge regime, when another secret performance takes place but goes horrifically wrong. Echoes of this disaster can be heard during the Yugoslavian wars, when an avant-garde puppeteer finds himself trapped inside Belgrade while his brother serves in the genocidal militia that attacks Srebrenica. Decades later, in the war-torn Congo, a disfigured literature professor assembles the largest library in the world even as the country around him collapses. All of these stories are linked by Radar—now a gifted radio operator living in the New Jersey Meadowlands—who struggles with love, a set of hapless parents,and a terrible medical affliction that he has only just begun to comprehend.

As I Am Radar accelerates toward its unforgettable conclusion, these divergent strands slowly begin to converge, revealing that beneath our apparent differences, unseen harmonies secretly unite our lives. Drawing on the furthest reaches of quantum physics, forgotten history, and mind-bending art, Larsen’s I Am Radar is a triumph of storytelling at its most primal, elegant, and epic: a breathtaking journey through humanity’s darkest hours only to arrive at a place of shocking wonder and redemption.
Visit Reif Larsen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"Golden State"

New from Simon & Schuster: Golden State: A Novel by Stephanie Kegan.

About the book, from the publisher:

A haunting literary drama, with a ripped-from-the headlines urgency reminiscent of Defending Jacob and Sue Miller’s While I Was Gone, Golden State asks hard questions about the limits of loyalty and the bounds of family ties.

Growing up in the 1960s in one of California’s most prominent political families, Natalie Askedahl worshipped her big brother, Bobby, a sensitive math prodigy who served as her protector and confidante. But after Bobby left home at sixteen on a Princeton scholarship, something changed between them. Now that Natalie is happily married, with a career and two young daughters, her only real regret is losing Bobby.

Then, a bomb explodes in the middle of her seemingly ideal life. Her oldest daughter is on the Stanford campus when one person is killed and another maimed. Other bombings follow across California. Frightened for her family, Natalie grows obsessed with the case until she makes an unthinkable discovery: the bomber’s manifesto reads alarmingly like the last letter she has from Bobby.

Unsure of whom to sacrifice and whom to protect, Natalie is confronted with a terrible choice that will send her down a rabbit hole of confusion, lies, and betrayals. As her life splits irrevocably into before and after, she begins to learn that some of the most dangerous things in the world are the stories we tell ourselves.
Visit Stephanie Kegan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"My Near-Death Adventures (99% True!)"

New from Crown Books for Young Readers: My Near-Death Adventures (99% True!) by Alison DeCamp.

About the book, from the publisher:

It is 1895. Stan is on a mission to find his long-lost father in the logging camps of Michigan. And he's embellishing all of it in his stupendous scrapbook.

There are many things that 11-year-old Stanley Slater would like to have in life, most of all, a father. But what if Stan's missing dad isn't "dearly departed" after all? Who better to find this absent hero/cowboy/outlaw than manly Stan himself? Unfortunately, Stan's fending off his impossible cousin Geri, evil Granny, and Mama's suitors like Cold-Blooded Killer Stinky Pete. If only he could join the River Drive, the most perilous adventure of all, where even a fellow's peavey is at risk.

It's a wild ride for Stan as he finds out about true manliness. But at least Stan has his scrapbook, full of 200 black-and-white 19th-century advertisements and photos, "augmented" with his commentary and doodles.

Stan's tale will leave readers in stitches, but not the kind that require medical attention.
Visit Alison DeCamp's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"The Distance Between Lost and Found"

New from HarperTeen: The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes.

About the book, from the publisher:

Blending elements of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak and Gary Paulsen's Hatchet, debut novelist Kathryn Holmes delivers a gripping story that author Richard Peck calls a "page-turner about several kinds of survival."

Sophomore Hallie Calhoun has just endured the most excruciating six months of her life. Once the rumors about her and the preacher's son, Luke, made their way around school, her friends abandoned her, and Hallie has completely withdrawn.

Now, on a hike in the Smoky Mountains with the same people who have relentlessly taunted her, Hallie is pushed to her limit. Then Hallie, outgoing newcomer Rachel, and Jonah—Hallie's former friend—get separated from the rest of the group. As days go by without rescue, their struggle for survival turns deadly. Stranded in the wilderness, the three have no choice but to trust one another in order to stay alive . . . and for Hallie, that means opening up about what really happened that night with Luke.

From the catty atmosphere of high school to the unpredictable terrain of the mountains, this novel is a poignant, raw journey about finding yourself after having been lost for so long.
Visit Kathryn Holmes's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Iron Ring"

New from Harper Voyager Impulse: The Iron Ring: Part I of the Saga of the Redeemed by Auston Habershaw.

About the book, from the publisher:

Tyvian Reldamar—criminal mastermind, rogue mage, and smuggler of sorcerous goods—has just been betrayed by his longtime partner and left for dead in a freezing river. To add insult to injury, his mysterious rescuer took it upon himself to affix Tyvian with an iron ring that prevents the wearer from any evildoing.

Revenge just got complicated.

On his quest to get even, Tyvian navigates dark international conspiracies, dodges midnight assassins, and uncovers the plans of the ruthless warlord Banric Sahand—all while running from a Mage-Defender determined to lock him up. Tyvian will need to use every dirty trick in the book to avoid a painful and ignominious end, even as he discovers that sometimes even the world's most devious man needs a shoulder to lean on.
Visit Auston Habershaw's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 16, 2015

"Fiercombe Manor"

New from Harper: Fiercombe Manor by Kate Riordan.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this haunting and richly imagined dual-narrative tale that echoes the eerie mystery of Rebecca and The Little Stranger, two women of very different eras are united by the secrets hidden within the walls of an English manor house.

In 1933, naive twenty-two year-old Alice—pregnant and unmarried—is in disgrace. Her mother banishes her from London to secluded Fiercombe Manor in rural Gloucestershire, where she can hide under the watchful eye of her mother’s old friend, the housekeeper Mrs. Jelphs. The manor’s owners, the Stantons, live abroad, and with her cover story of a recently-deceased husband Alice can have her baby there before giving it up for adoption and returning home. But as Alice endures the long, hot summer at Fiercombe awaiting the baby’s birth, she senses that something is amiss with the house and its absentee owners.

Thirty years earlier, pregnant Lady Elizabeth Stanton desperately hopes for the heir her husband desires. Tormented by the memory of what happened after the birth of her first child, a daughter, she grows increasingly terrified that history will repeat itself, with devastating consequences.

After meeting Tom, the young scion of the Stanton family, Alice becomes determined to uncover the clan’s tragic past and exorcise the ghosts of this idyllic, isolated house. But nothing can prepare Alice for what she uncovers. Soon it is her turn to fear: can she escape the tragic fate of the other women who have lived in the Fiercombe valley...
Visit Kate Riordan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Sound of Music Story"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Sound of Music Story: How A Beguiling Young Novice, A Handsome Austrian Captain, and Ten Singing Von Trapp Children Inspired the Most Beloved Film of All Time by Tom Santopietro.

About the book, from the publisher:

On March 2, 1965, "The Sound of Music" was released in the United States and the love affair between moviegoers and the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical was on. Rarely has a film captured the love and imagination of the moviegoing public in the way that "The Sound of Music" did as it blended history, music, Austrian location filming, heartfelt emotion and the yodeling of Julie Andrews into a monster hit. Now, Tom Santopietro has written the ultimate "Sound of Music" fan book with all the inside dope from behind the scenes stories of the filming in Austria and Hollywood to new interviews with Johannes von Trapp and others. Santopietro looks back at the real life story of Maria von Trapp, goes on to chronicle the sensational success of the Broadway musical, and recounts the story of the near cancellation of the film when the "Cleopatra" bankrupted 20th Century Fox. We all know that Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer played Maria and Captain Von Trapp, but who else had been considered? Tom Santopietro knows and will tell all while providing a historian’s critical analysis of the careers of director Robert Wise and screenwriter Ernest Lehman, a look at the critical controversy which greeted the movie, the film’s relationship to the turbulent 1960s and the super stardom which engulfed Julie Andrews. Tom Santopietro's "The Story of 'The Sound of Music'" is book for everyone who cherishes this American classic.
Learn more about the book and author at Tom Santopietro's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Godfather Effect.

Writers Read: Tom Santopietro (February 2012).

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 15, 2015

"Blue Stars"

New from St. Martin's Press: Blue Stars: A Novel by Emily Gray Tedrowe.

About the book, from the publisher:

Emily Gray Tedrowe has written an extraordinary novel about ordinary people, a graceful and gritty portrayal of what it’s like for the women whose husbands and sons are deployed in Iraq.

BLUE STARS brings to life the realities of the modern day home front: how to get through the daily challenges of motherhood and holding down a job while bearing the stress and uncertainty of war, when everything can change in an instant. It tells the story of Ellen, a Midwestern literature professor, who is drawn into the war when her legal ward Michael enlists as a Marine; and of Lacey, a proud Army wife who struggles to pay the bills and keep things going for her son while her husband is deployed. Ellen and Lacey cope with the fear and stress of a loved one at war while trying to get by in a society that often ignores or misunderstands what war means to women today. When Michael and Eddie are injured in Iraq, Ellen and Lacey’s lives become intertwined in Walter Reed Army Hospital, where each woman must live while caring for her wounded soldier. They form an alliance, and an unlikely friendship, while helping each other survive the dislocated world of the army hospital. Whether that means fighting for proper care for their men, sharing a six-pack, or coping with irrevocable loss, Ellen and Lacey pool their strengths to make it through. In the end, both women are changed, not only by the war and its fallout, but by each other.
Visit Emily Gray Tedrowe's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell: A Novel by William Klaber.

About the book, from the publisher:

At a time when women did not commonly travel unescorted, carry a rifle, sit down in bars, or have romantic liaisons with other women, Lucy Lobdell boldly set forth to earn men's wages. Lucy Lobdell did all of these things in a personal quest to work and be paid, to wear what she wanted, and love whomever she cared to. But to gain those freedoms she had to endure public scorn and wrestle with a sexual identity whose vocabulary had yet to be invented. In this riveting historical novel, William Klaber captures the life of a brave woman who saw well beyond her era.

The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell is the fictionalized account of Lucy's foray into the world of men and her inward journey to a new sexual identity. It is her promised memoir as hear and recorded a century later by William Klaber, an upstream neighbor. Meticulously researched and told with compassion and respect, this is historical fiction at its best.
Visit William Klaber's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 14, 2015

"The Monopolists"

New from Bloomsbury USA: The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game by Mary Pilon.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Monopolists reveals the unknown story of how Monopoly came into existence, the reinvention of its history by Parker Brothers and multiple media outlets, the lost female originator of the game, and one man's lifelong obsession to tell the true story about the game's questionable origins.

Most think it was invented by an unemployed Pennsylvanian who sold his game to Parker Brothers during the Great Depression in 1935 and lived happily--and richly--ever after. That story, however, is not exactly true. Ralph Anspach, a professor fighting to sell his Anti-Monopoly board game decades later, unearthed the real story, which traces back to Abraham Lincoln, the Quakers, and a forgotten feminist named Lizzie Magie who invented her nearly identical Landlord's Game more than thirty years before Parker Brothers sold their version of Monopoly. Her game--underpinned by morals that were the exact opposite of what Monopoly represents today--was embraced by a constellation of left-wingers from the Progressive Era through the Great Depression, including members of Franklin Roosevelt's famed Brain Trust.

A fascinating social history of corporate greed that illuminates the cutthroat nature of American business over the last century, The Monopolists reads like the best detective fiction, told through Monopoly's real-life winners and losers.
Visit Mary Pilon's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"No Parking at the End Times"

New from Greenwillow Books: No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss.

About the book, from the publisher:

Abigail's parents believed the world was going to end. And—of course—it didn't. But they've lost everything anyway. And she must decide: does she still believe in them? Or is it time to believe in herself? Fans of Sara Zarr, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will connect with this moving debut.

Abigail's parents never should have made that first donation to that end-of-times preacher. Or the next, or the next. They shouldn't have sold their house. Or packed Abigail and her twin brother, Aaron, into their old van to drive across the country to San Francisco, to be there for the "end of the world." Because now they're living in their van. And Aaron is full of anger, disappearing to who-knows-where every night. Their family is falling apart. All Abigail wants is to hold them together, to get them back to the place where things were right.

But maybe it's too big a task for one teenage girl. Bryan Bliss's thoughtful debut novel is about losing everything—and about what you will do for the people you love.
Visit Bryan Bliss's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 13, 2015

"Infandous"

New from Carolrhoda Lab: Infandous by Elana K. Arnold.

About the book, from the publisher:

"Once there was a mermaid who dared to love a wolf. Her love for him was so sudden and so fierce that it tore her tail into legs."

Sephora Golding lives in the shadow of her unbelievably beautiful mother. Even though they scrape by in the seedier part of Venice Beach, she's always felt lucky. As a child, she imagined she was a minor but beloved character in her mother's fairy tale. But now, at sixteen, the fairy tale is less Disney and more Grimm. And she wants the story to be her own.

Then she meets Felix, and the fairy tale takes a turn she never imagined.

"Things don't really turn out the way they do in fairy tales. I'm telling you that right up front, so you're not disappointed later."

Sometimes, a story is just a way to hide the unspeakable in plain sight.
Learn more about the book and author at Elana K. Arnold's website and blog.

Writers Read: Elana K. Arnold (November 2012).

Writers Read: Elana K. Arnold (June 2013).

The Page 69 Test: Burning.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Bargaining"

New from Simon Pulse: The Bargaining by Carly Anne West.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Shining meets The Conjuring in this chilling and suspenseful new novel from the author of The Murmurings.

The fact that neither of her parents wants to deal with her is nothing new to Penny. She’s used to being discussed like a problem, a problem her mother has finally passed on to her father. What she hasn’t gotten used to is her stepmother…especially when she finds out what she’ll have to spend the summer with April in the remote woods of Washington to restore a broken-down old house.

Set deep in a dense forest, the old Carver House is filled with abandoned antique furniture, rich architectural details, and its own chilling past. The only respite Penny can find away from April’s renovations is in Miller, the young guy who runs the local general store. He’s her only chance at a normal, and enjoyable, summer.

But Miller has his own connection to the Carver house, and it’s one that goes beyond the mysterious tapping Penny hears at her window, the handprints she finds smudging the glass panes, and the visions of children who beckon Penny to follow them into the dark woods. Miller’s past just might threaten to become the terror of Penny’s future…
Learn more about the book and author at Carly Anne West's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Murmurings.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Green on Blue"

New from Scribner: Green on Blue: A Novel by Elliot Ackerman.

About the book, from the publisher:

From a decorated veteran of the Iraq and Afghan Wars, and White House Fellow, a stirring debut novel about a young Afghan orphan and the harrowing, intractable nature of war.

Aziz and his older brother Ali are coming of age in a village amid the pine forests and endless mountains of eastern Afghanistan. There is no school, but their mother teaches them to read and write, and once a month sends the boys on a two-day journey to the bazaar. They are poor, but inside their mud-walled home, the family has stability, love, and routine.

When a convoy of armed men arrives in their village one day, their world crumbles. The boys survive and make their way to a small city, where they sleep among other orphans. They learn to beg, and, eventually, they earn work and trust from the local shopkeepers. Ali saves their money and sends Aziz to school at the madrassa, but when US forces invade the country, militants strike back. A bomb explodes in the market, and Ali is brutally injured.

In the hospital, Aziz meets an Afghan wearing an American uniform. To save his brother, Aziz must join the Special Lashkar, a US-funded militia. No longer a boy, but not yet a man, he departs for the untamed border. Trapped in a conflict both savage and entirely contrived, Aziz struggles to understand his place. Will he embrace the brutality of war or leave it behind, and risk placing his brother—and a young woman he comes to love—in jeopardy?

Having served five tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, Elliot Ackerman has written a gripping, morally complex debut novel, an astonishing feat of empathy and imagination about boys caught in a deadly conflict.
Visit Elliot Ackerman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Butterfly Kills"

New from Dundurn Press: Butterfly Kills: A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery by Brenda Chapman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Two separate crimes, two tragic outcomes.

Jacques Rouleau has moved to Kingston to look after his father and take up the position of head of the town’s Criminal Investigations Division. One hot week in late September, university student Leah Sampson is murdered in her apartment. In another corner of the city, Della Munroe is raped by her husband. At first the crimes appear unrelated, but as Sergeant Rouleau and his new team of officers dig into the women’s pasts, they discover unsettling coincidences. When Kala Stonechild, one of Rouleau’s former officers from Ottawa, suddenly appears in Kingston, Rouleau enlists her to help.

Stonechild isn’t sure if she wants to stay in Kingston, but agrees to help Rouleau in the short term. While she struggles with trying to decide if she can make a life in this new town, a ghost from her past starts to haunt her.

As the detectives delve deeper into the cases, it seems more questions pop up than answers. Who murdered Leah Sampson? And why does Della Monroe’s name keep showing up in the murder investigation? Both women were hiding secrets that have unleashed a string of violence. Stonechild and Rouleau race to discover the truth before the violence rips more families apart.
Visit Brenda Chapman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"The Writers"

New from Rutgers University Press: The Writers: A History of American Screenwriters and Their Guild by Miranda J. Banks.

About the book, from the publisher:

Screenwriters are storytellers and dream builders. They forge new worlds and beings, bringing them to life through storylines and idiosyncratic details. Yet up until now, no one has told the story of these creative and indispensable artists. The Writers is the only comprehensive qualitative analysis of the history of writers and writing in the film, television, and streaming media industries in America.

Featuring in-depth interviews with over fifty writers—including Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Carl Reiner, and Frank Pierson—The Writers delivers a compelling, behind-the-scenes look at the role and rights of writers in Hollywood and New York over the past century. Granted unprecedented access to the archives of the Writers Guild Foundation, Miranda J. Banks also mines over 100 never-before-published oral histories with legends such as Nora Ephron and Ring Lardner Jr., whose insight and humor provide a window onto the enduring priorities, policies, and practices of the Writers Guild.

With an ear for the language of storytellers, Banks deftly analyzes watershed moments in the industry: the advent of sound, World War II, the blacklist, ascension of television, the American New Wave, the rise and fall of VHS and DVD, and the boom of streaming media. The Writers spans historical and contemporary moments, and draws upon American cultural history, film and television scholarship and the passionate politics of labor and management. Published on the sixtieth anniversary of the formation of the Writers Guild of America, this book tells the story of the triumphs and struggles of these vociferous and contentious hero-makers.
Visit Miranda J. Banks's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Shadow of the War Machine"

New from Simon Pulse: Shadow of the War Machine by Kristin Bailey.

About the book, from the publisher:

Meg finally finds the answers she’s been searching for in the thrilling and action-packed conclusion to the Second Order trilogy, set in steampunk Victorian London.

Meg has come a long way from her days as a lowly housemaid, driven to learn the truth behind her parents’ murder. She’s since discovered that they were part of the Secret Order of Modern Amusementists—an underground society of inventors. Determined to reclaim her heritage, she joined the Amusementists as an apprentice, but that hasn’t brought her closer to the man responsible for the loss of her family: the man in the clockwork mask.

Now the man in the clockwork mask is coming for her. But Meg is tired of being hunted and she intends to become the hunter. The truth about her family is out there, and she will find it. With Will, the boy who holds her heart, Meg embarks on an adventure that takes them far from the cold London winter and into the heart of France.

But the City of Light is filled with dark shadows. There’s a plot afoot that could turn the tides of a terrible war, and cost the lives of millions—that is, if it doesn’t take the lives of everyone Meg holds dear, including her own.
Visit Kristin Bailey's website and Facebook page.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Kristin Bailey & Jake.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"Eye on the Struggle"

New from Amistad: Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press by James McGrath Morris.

About the book, from the publisher:

Acclaimed biographer James McGrath Morris brings into focus the riveting life of one of the most significant yet least known figures of the civil rights era—pioneering journalist Ethel Payne, the “First Lady of the Black Press”—elevating her to her rightful place in history at last.

For decades, Ethel Lois Payne has been hidden in the shadows of history. Now, James McGrath Morris skillfully illuminates this ambitious, influential, and groundbreaking woman’s life, from her childhood growing up in South Chicago to her career as a journalist and network news commentator, reporting on some of the most crucial events in modern American history.

Morris draws on a rich and untapped collection of Payne’s personal papers documenting her private and professional affairs. He combed through oral histories, FBI documents, and newspapers to fully capture Payne’s life, her achievements, and her legacy. He introduces us to a journalist who covered such events as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Little Rock school desegregation crisis, the service of black troops in Vietnam, and Henry Kissinger’s 26,000-mile tour of Africa.

A self-proclaimed “instrument of change” for her people, Payne broke new ground as the Washington correspondent for the Chicago Defender. She publicly prodded President Dwight D. Eisenhower to support desegregation, and her reporting on legislative and judicial civil rights battles enlightened and activated black readers across the nation. In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson recognized Payne’s seminal role by presenting her with a pen used in signing the Civil Rights Act. In 1972, she became the first female African American radio and television commentator on a national network, working for CBS. Her story mirrors the evolution of our own modern society.

Inspiring and instructive, moving and comprehensive, Eye on the Struggle illuminates this extraordinary woman and her achievements, and reminds us of the power one person has to transform our lives and our world.
Learn more about the book and author at the official James McGrath Morris website.

The Page 99 Test: Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Forgetting Place"

New from William Morrow Paperbacks: The Forgetting Place: A Novel by John Burley.

About the book, from the publisher:

A female psychiatrist at a state mental hospital finds herself at the center of a shadowy conspiracy in this dark and twisting tale of psychological suspense from the author of The Absence of Mercy.

Menaker State Hospital is a curse, a refuge, a prison, a necessity, a nightmare, a salvation.

When Dr. Lise Shields arrived at the correctional psychiatric facility five years ago, she was warned that many of its patients-committed by Maryland’s judicial system for perpetrating heinous crimes-would never leave.

But what happens when a place like Menaker is corrupted, when it becomes a tool to silence the innocent, conceal an injustice, contain a secret? Why is it that the newest patient does not seem to belong there, that the hospital administrator has fallen silent, and that Lise is being watched by two men with seemingly lethal intent? The answers are closer than she realizes and could cost her everything she holds dear.

In this chilling follow-up to The Absence of Mercy, author John Burley—a master at medical and psychological detail—showcases the many ways in which the dangers of the outside world pale in comparison to the horrors of the human mind.
Visit John Burley's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Coffee with a Canine: John Burley and Sterling.

The Page 69 Test: The Absence of Mercy.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 9, 2015

"The Summit"

New from Pegasus: The Summit: Bretton Woods, 1944: J. M. Keynes and the Reshaping of the Global Economy by Ed Conway.

About the book, from the publisher:

A brilliant narrative history of the most colorful and important economic summit in history—held during the height of World War II.

The idea of world leaders gathering in the midst of economic crisis has become all too familiar. But the meeting at Bretton Woods in 1944 was different. It was the only time countries from around the world have agreed to overhaul the structure of the international monetary system. Against all odds, they were successful. The system they set up presided over the longest, strongest and most stable period of growth the world economy has ever seen. Its demise some decades later was at least partly responsible for the periodic economic crises that culminated in the financial collapse of the 2000s.

But what everyone has always assumed to be a dry economic conference was in fact replete with drama. The delegates spent half the time at each other's throats and the other half drinking in the hotel bar. The Russians nearly capsized the entire project. The French threatened to walk out, repeatedly. All the while war in Europe raged on.

At the very heart of the conference was the love-hate relationship between the Briton John Maynard Keynes, the greatest economist of his day, who suffered a heart attack at the conference itself and who was a true worldwide celebrity - and his American counterpart Harry Dexter White (later revealed to be passing information secretly to Russian spies). Both were intent on creating an economic settlement which would put right the wrongs of Versailles. Both were working to prevent another world war. But they were also working to defend their countries' national interests.

Drawing on a wealth of unpublished accounts, diaries and oral histories, this brilliant book describes the conference in stunning color and clarity. Bringing to life the characters, events and economics and written with exceptional verve and narrative pace, this is an extraordinary debut from a talented new historian.
Visit Ed Conway's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"After Birth"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: After Birth by Elisa Albert.

About the book, from the publisher:

A widely acclaimed young writer’s fierce new novel, in which childbirth and new motherhood are as high stakes a proving ground as any combat zone

A year has passed since Ari gave birth to Walker, though it went so badly awry she has trouble calling it “birth” and still she can't locate herself in her altered universe. Amid the strange, disjointed rhythms of her days and nights and another impending winter in upstate New York, Ari is a tree without roots, struggling to keep her branches aloft.

When Mina, a one-time cult musician — older, self-contained, alone, and nine-months pregnant —moves to town, Ari sees the possibility of a new friend, despite her unfortunate habit of generally mistrusting women. Soon they become comrades-in-arms, and the previously hostile terrain seems almost navigable.

With piercing insight, purifying anger, and outrageous humor, Elisa Albert issues a wake-up call to a culture that turns its new mothers into exiles, and expects them to act like natives. Like Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin and Anne Enright’s The Gathering, this is a daring and resonant novel from one of our most visceral writers.
Learn more about the author and her work at Elisa Albert's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Book of Dahlia.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 8, 2015

"Find Me"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Find Me: A Novel by Laura van den Berg.

About the book, from the publisher:

After two acclaimed story collections, Laura van den Berg brings us Find Me, her highly anticipated debut novel—a gripping, imaginative, darkly funny tale of a young woman struggling to find her place in the world.

Joy has no one. She spends her days working the graveyard shift at a grocery store outside Boston and nursing an addiction to cough syrup, an attempt to suppress her troubled past. But when a sickness that begins with memory loss and ends with death sweeps the country, Joy, for the first time in her life, seems to have an advantage: she is immune. When Joy’s immunity gains her admittance to a hospital in rural Kansas, she sees a chance to escape her bleak existence. There she submits to peculiar treatments and follows seemingly arbitrary rules, forming cautious bonds with other patients—including her roommate, whom she turns to in the night for comfort, and twin boys who are digging a secret tunnel.

As winter descends, the hospital’s fragile order breaks down and Joy breaks free, embarking on a journey from Kansas to Florida, where she believes she can find her birth mother, the woman who abandoned her as a child. On the road in a devastated America, she encounters mysterious companions, cities turned strange, and one very eerie house. As Joy closes in on Florida, she must confront her own damaged memory and the secrets she has been keeping from herself.
Visit Laura van den Berg's website.

Learn about Laura van den Berg's 6 favorite unconventional mystery novels.

Writers Read: Laura van den Berg (January 2010).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Secrets of Midwives"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth.

About the book, from the publisher:

Three generations of women

Secrets in the present and from the past

A captivating tale of life, loss, and love…

Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy—including the identity of the baby’s father— hidden from her family and co-workers for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it impossible to let this secret rest. The more Grace prods, the tighter Neva holds to her story, and the more the lifelong differences between private, quiet Neva and open, gregarious Grace strain their relationship. For Floss, Neva’s grandmother and a retired midwife, Neva’s situation thrusts her back sixty years in time to a secret that eerily mirrors her granddaughter’s—one which, if revealed, will have life-changing consequences for them all. As Neva’s pregnancy progresses and speculation makes it harder and harder to conceal the truth, Floss wonders if hiding her own truth is ultimately more harmful than telling it. Will these women reveal their secrets and deal with the inevitable consequences? Or are some secrets best kept hidden?
Visit Sally Hepworth's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 7, 2015

"My Heart and Other Black Holes"

New from Balzer + Bray: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga.

About the book, from the publisher:

A stunning novel about the transformative power of love, perfect for fans of Jay Asher and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There's only one problem: she's not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel's convinced she's found her solution—Roman, a teenage boy who's haunted by a family tragedy, is looking for a partner. Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other's broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together.
Visit Jasmine Warga's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Way to Stay in Destiny"

New from Scholastic: The Way to Stay in Destiny by Augusta Scattergood.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of the acclaimed Glory Be, a novel that celebrates baseball, fast piano, and small-town living in the wake of the Vietnam War.

When Theo gets off a bus in Destiny, Florida, he's left behind the only life he's ever known. Now he's got to live with Uncle Raymond, a Vietnam War vet and a loner who wants nothing to do with this long-lost nephew. Thank goodness for Miss Sister Grandersole's Boarding House and Dance School. The piano that sits in Miss Sister's dance hall calls to Theo. He can't wait to play those ivory keys. When Anabel arrives things get even more enticing. This feisty girl, a baseball fanatic, invites Theo on her quest to uncover the town's connection to old-time ball players rumored to have lived there years before. A mystery, an adventure, and a musical exploration unfold as this town called Destiny lives up to its name.

Acclaimed author Augusta Scattergood has delivered a straight-to-the-heart story with unforgettable characters, humor, and hard questions about loss, family, and belonging.
Learn more about the book and author at Augusta Scattergood's website and blog.

Writers Read: Augusta Scattergood (April 2012).

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 6, 2015

"Long Way Down"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: Long Way Down by Michael Sears.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of the acclaimed, award-winning debut novel Black Fridays, comes a story of murder, greed, and corruption—and the lengths to which one man will go for his family.

He approached me in the street—bone-thin, gray-bearded, holding out a small envelope. “The man said you’d give me five bucks for it.” Inside was a one-word message: RUN.

Two years in a federal prison has changed Jason Stafford, is still changing him, but one thing it has taught him as a financial investigator is how to detect a lie. He doesn’t think Philip Haley is lying. An engineer on the verge of a biofuel breakthrough, Haley has been indicted for insider trading on his own company, and Stafford believes him when he says he’s been set up. Haley does indeed have enemies. He is not a nice man. Doesn’t make him a criminal.

It does make him dangerous to be around, though. The deeper Stafford investigates, the more secrets he starts to uncover, secrets people would kill for. And that’s exactly what happens. Soon, it is Stafford himself who is under attack and, worse, his family—his fiancĂ©e, his young son—and he is a fugitive, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of both the killers and the law.
Visit Michael Sears's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind"

New from Harper: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.

About the book, from the publisher:

From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?

Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.
Visit Yuval Noah Harari's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 5, 2015

"The Country of Ice Cream Star"

New from Ecco: The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the aftermath of a devastating plague, a fearless young heroine embarks on a dangerous and surprising journey to save her world in this brilliantly inventive dystopian thriller, told in bold and fierce language, from a remarkable literary talent.

My name be Ice Cream Fifteen Star and this be the tale of how I bring the cure to all the Nighted States...

In the ruins of a future America, fifteen-year-old Ice Cream Star and her nomadic tribe live off of the detritus of a crumbled civilization. Theirs is a world of children; before reaching the age of twenty, they all die of a mysterious disease they call Posies—a plague that has killed for generations. There is no medicine, no treatment; only the mysterious rumor of a cure.

When her brother begins showing signs of the disease, Ice Cream Star sets off on a bold journey to find this cure. Led by a stranger, a captured prisoner named Pasha who becomes her devoted protector and friend, Ice Cream Star plunges into the unknown, risking her freedom and ultimately her life. Traveling hundreds of miles across treacherous, unfamiliar territory, she will experience love, heartbreak, cruelty, terror, and betrayal, fighting with her whole heart and soul to protect the only world she has ever known.

Guardian First Book Award finalist Sandra Newman delivers an extraordinary post-apocalyptic literary epic as imaginative as The Passage and as linguistically ambitious as Cloud Atlas. Like Hushpuppy in The Beasts of the Southern Wild grown to adolescence in a landscape as dangerously unpredictable as that of Ready Player One, The Country of Ice Cream Star is a breathtaking work from a writer of rare and unconventional talent.
Visit Sandra Newman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue