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March 20, 2015 Newsletter March 20, 2015
Spring Has Sprung!

Spring has arrived, or so says the calendar! Maybe the snow today means that summer will last longer when it has its turn. We can hope, right?

It’s been a lovely book-filled week. Greg and I went to see Erik Larson at the Roosevelt House on Monday night (see the photo above), where he spoke before a standing room only audience and answered reader questions for more than an hour. We learned that when Larson first started thinking about the Lusitania, he was not sure it was a story he wanted to write. He thought the ship’s sinking was "a fact to memorize in history class." What else was there to tell? It seemed to have no “barriers to entry,” which is what intrigues him when writing a book. It is about finding the right details to enlighten the reader and putting these details together to tell as good a story as possible, and he had to see if that would work with the Lusitania as a subject.

As he spent time in archives and researching (which he loves to do), the pieces that would enhance his storytelling --- and ensure that the story has a beginning, middle and end, including plenty of surprises along the way --- came together. Things like how one full lifeboat fell on top of another or that two people were sucked into the funnel, expelled and survived. This makes the narrative of the history a lot more interesting. The title comes from the maritime term that refers to the wake that is left long after the ship has sailed past. With the Lusitania, this is a very apt title. It was a wonderful evening.

Later in the week, I went to a lunch for a new publishing imprint, Scout Press. Their lead title is Bill Clegg’s DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY, which will be in stores on September 15th; I raved about it here a few weeks ago. To “prep for lunch,” I read their second title, IN A DARK, DARK WOOD by Ruth Ware, which is releasing on August 25th. I love psychological suspense, and this book rocks that. Set in the UK, the setting is a “hen party” (known here as a bachelorette party) where a group of women have gathered for the weekend. Let’s just say there is some history here that needs to be settled. It’s a BEA Buzz title, so we will have a lot more about it in the months to come --- and I am looking forward to interviewing Ruth for the BEA Author Buzz panel. The flowers above were on the tables at lunch, and they were so beautiful and screamed spring that I had to share them!

News of this new imprint has sparked our poll question this week. Are you familiar with publishers and publishing imprints? And which selection of imprints, if any, are you familiar with? Click here and let us know! In our last poll, we wanted to know your thoughts on signed books. 38% of you have no interest in signed books, while 32% think an author’s signature on a book would be nice, but you don’t actively seek it out, and 23% actively try to get books signed at author events. Click here for the complete results.

Last weekend, weather was not an issue as the Tucson Festival of Books took place on the University of Arizona campus. With more than 250 exhibitors and new and veteran authors including Lisa See, Deborah Harkness, Daniel James Brown, Mitch Albom and William Kent Krueger in attendance, there was plenty for attendees to see. Luckily, reader Edy Alderson is an experienced festival-goer, and she was kind enough to navigate the scene for us. You can read all about that here. We all really loved Edy's enthusiasm!

We also heard from Susan R., a first-time attendee, who had this to say: “I'm at the Tucson Festival of Books for the first time. This a fabulous event! Last night we began the festivities with a concert with the Rock Bottom Remainders. A highlight was Amy Tan performing “These Boots” biker garb…and then mock whipping the behinds of other male band members. She rocks with a fabulous gray head of hair! Today's highlights included great anecdotes about the band's origins from presentations with Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. I also attended a great discussion of race and politics with Leonard Pitts and thoroughly enjoyed a discussion of family dynamics in the mystery genre with William Kent Krueger, C.J. Box and Ace Atkins. It was especially meaningful to hear from Krueger that the family in ORDINARY GRACE is autobiographically based. (I won a copy of that title from a contest and loved it.) He says a sequel is being released soon!” We are looking forward to that too.

This weekend, the Virginia Festival of the Book is in full swing in Charlottesville. If any of you are attending, let us know as we would love to interview you. We already have Bethanne Patrick on tap to report for us next week. I attended this event for five years, and I am sorry not to be there this year. Bethanne has promised to stop in at The Needle Lady to do some yarn shopping in my name!

This week, we’re launching our One to Watch Author Spotlight of Susan Crawford and her debut novel, THE POCKET WIFE, with our review and interview. Dana is horrified when her neighbor, Celia, is brutally murdered. Even more shocking is the fact that Dana was the last person to see Celia alive. Unfortunately, Dana suffers from bipolar disorder and was manic during the time of Celia’s death, leaving her memory spotty and unreliable. Meanwhile, her husband is acting strange, and Detective Jack Moss won’t stop probing her for answers. As she tries to put together the clues from her memory, she must wonder if she has killed her best friend --- or knows who has.

Reviewer Norah Piehl calls THE POCKET WIFE “a well-written psychological thriller with two equally complex primary characters and a couple of twists that readers won't see coming.” Norah also had the pleasure of interviewing Susan, and you can read their conversation here. And on our site, we’re awarding five book groups in the Atlanta area up to 10 copies each of the book, PLUS a visit from the author on the day of their discussion. An additional 20 readers will win a single copy of the book, so even if you’re not in a book group, you can still enter the contest by Wednesday, April 1st at noon ET to be a winner. I enjoyed this book and see that Susan is a talent I am going to want to read more from!

This week, we’re delighted to be bringing back our Southern Writers Author Spotlight; this time, we’re featuring THE MEMORY HOUSE by Linda Goodnight. In this heartfelt novel, the first in a series, Goodnight takes readers to Honey Ridge, Tennessee, to meet Julia Presley. Although Julia was once a happy wife and mother, her family was stolen by tragedy years ago. Now she runs the Peach Orchard Inn, comforted by the quiet routine and solitude. But when Eli Donovan shows up in town with his motherless son, Alex, her loneliness is interrupted as she hires Eli to renovate the inn. When the two discover a stack of old love letters hidden in the attic, they become enveloped in a long-dead Civil War romance, exposing the inn’s violent history and offering them a chance for a new future. In celebration of the March 31st release of THE MEMORY HOUSE, we’re offering 25 readers the chance to win a copy of the book and share their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, April 2nd at noon ET.

Fan favorite private investigator Maisie Dobbs returns in Jacqueline Winspear’s A DANGEROUS PLACE. The year is 1937, and it has been four years since Maisie left England. In that time, she has experienced both love and great tragedy. She believes she will find peace by returning to India, but her trip is cut short when her stepmother summons her home, as her father is not doing well. On a ship bound for England, Maisie realizes she is not yet ready to return and disembarks in the British garrison town of Gibraltar. But soon after her arrival, a prominent member of the Sephardic Jewish community is brutally murdered, and Maisie becomes involved in the case under the suspicious eye of the British Secret Service. Torn between her past and her future, Maisie must find her way amidst political intrigue, deceit and danger.

Norah Piehl has our review and says, “A DANGEROUS PLACE marks a satisfying and emotionally affecting return to this series. The complex mystery plot is successfully positioned historically and politically while also working well on a more personal level. And, especially for readers who have followed Maisie's evolution since the beginning of the series, this latest installment will prove emotionally wrenching, as readers yearn not only for Maisie to find the culprit, but also for some measure of healing for what she's gone through.” We also posted a guide for A DANGEROUS PLACE on, which you can see here.

For a heaping dose of glamour, take a look at MADEMOISELLE CHANEL by C. W. Gortner, a captivating novel about the self-made woman who created her own empire. Born into poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her sisters were shuffled off to a convent orphanage after their mother’s death. From a young age, Gabrielle was praised for her exceptional sewing skills, a talent that set her apart from her peers. Highly ambitious, Gabrielle transformed herself into Coco: a hardworking seamstress by day and nightclub singer by evening. When she met a wealthy man, she found love and followed him to Paris, where she encountered her destiny. Her sleek, minimalist designs quickly gained fame, and her business exploded, even while other areas of her life suffered.

Reviewer Amy Gwiazdowski raves, “Sometimes we have to trust an author we like to do justice to a new subject. This was the case for me with MADEMOISELLE CHANEL. Gortner is clearly a fan of not only the woman but also her work. About halfway through the novel, I found myself searching Coco Chanel, not only to see her fashion vision, but also to find out more about her…. I’m glad I picked up MADEMOISELLE CHANEL. It’s immensely entertaining --- complete with fashion, affairs and parties --- and a wonderful escape to enjoy this spring.” I am selecting this as a Bets On selection. It’s well-written and has dazzling details. I will have more about it next week!

This week, my Bets On pick comes from my son, Greg, who loved Matthew Parker’s GOLDENEYE: Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming’s Jamaica, which we reviewed last week. Parker’s book looks behind the legendary icon to the man who created him, and his relationship with his home in Jamaica, Goldeneye, where Bond was born. More than just a textbook, GOLDENEYE is almost a love letter to Jamaica and left Greg with wanderlust to explore the beautiful island. Click here to read his commentary.

Greg also has updated our History Books Roundup for March. This month’s selections (in addition to GOLDENEYE) include books on such figures as Julius Caesar, Confucius, James Madison and Eliot Ness; duos including Roosevelt and Stalin, Washington and Jefferson, and Churchill and King George VI; and events such as the sinking of the Lusitania, the Spanish Civil War and the German occupation of France during World War II.

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, author Mary Pat Kelly, whose latest book is OF IRISH BLOOD, has been kind enough to write a blog post for us about her experiences participating in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and what being Irish means to her. Mary Pat attended not one but THREE parades --- in Chicago, Boston and New York. Click here to see what she had to say about the festivities. And I think she should have been wearing a Fitbit as she marched, just to count her steps!

Our Spring Preview feature has wrapped up its second week of contests. We gave away the aforementioned MADEMOISELLE CHANEL, along with THE HEADMASTER'S WIFE by Thomas Christopher Greene and THE PHARAOH'S DAUGHTER: A Treasures of the Nile Novel by Mesu Andrews. Next week’s prize books will be THE CAVENDON WOMEN by Barbara Taylor Bradford, THE MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA COOKBOOK: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For edited by Kate White ( gets a mention in one of the recipes; tune in next week to see which one!), and THE PRECIOUS ONE by Marisa de los Santos, which we also are featuring on The first 24-hour contest of the week will appear on the homepage beginning Tuesday, March 24th at noon ET.

We have a new Word of Mouth contest up this week. Let us know what books you’ve read, and you’ll be in the running to win AT THE WATER’S EDGE by Sara Gruen, THE PATRIOT THREAT by Steve Berry and THE STRANGER by Harlan Coben. Enter by Friday, April 3rd at noon ET.

News and Pop Culture:

Movie news about THE NIGHTINGALE: Happy to share that Kristin Hannah’s book has already been optioned for the screen. News here.

Our interview with James Patterson: He's donating $1.25 million and 100,000 books! Read about it here.

For those with kids headed to college or in college: WHERE YOU GO IS NOT WHO YOU’LL BE: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania, by Frank Bruni, is a book worth reading. Here’s the oft-quoted op-ed from the New York Times last week, and here’s a great blog piece about it.

I am a knitting slacker: Read this piece about a woman who had knitted her 1,000th sweater for kids in need! See what she is getting back into now that she has done this; I feel like I should send her the newsletter for ideas on her next step.

Heartwarming story: As we approach March Madness, here’s a story that is heartwarming about sportsmanlike conduct. Still smiling over this one.

"Going Clear" on HBO and "The Jinx": Looking forward to watching "Going Clear" on HBO on Sunday March 29th, which looks at the Church of Scientology. Had not watched "The Jinx" until Sunday when I heard of the arrest of its subject, Robert Durst. Quickly caught up on all six episodes. Fascinating look at Durst and his alleged crimes.

Interview with Dennis Lehane worth checking out: Here you go.

This week I finished up the audiobook of THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY on my commute. Greg was riding with me and got a dose of women’s fiction. We were rather caught up in the story of Pam, Shannon and Nicole, and their story made the commute fly by. He was amused as I guessed what was going to happen next. There were some awkward moments as Pam and her husband spent a passionate weekend away. We both noted that though they all lived near the beach, they did not go there enough. Perhaps this was because temps here were frigid and WE would have been on the beach if we could be!

Last weekend, I inhaled BEACH TOWN by Mary Kay Andrews. I felt a bit of guilt writing her and saying, “I loved your book; I read it in a day” when it took her a year to write it. It’s a version of spending two days making Thanksgiving dinner that is eaten in 15 minutes. My guilt washed away when I realized the memory of reading the book will stay with me as a very pleasant escape. It’s a beach read that will be on MANY beach chairs this summer. It takes place in Florida, and the main character, Greer, is a location scout for a film that is being set there. Nice background on the movie business infuses the story. Note it for a May 19th publication, and we will have more about it soon.

I'm now reading A WINDOW OPENS by Elisabeth Egan, which I am loving. I have known Elisabeth (I know her as Liz) for many years in a professional capacity; she is now the Books Editor at Glamour. She had mentioned through the years that she was writing a novel, and it’s such a delight to see it coming out. It’s set in a town where I went to high school (though the name of the town is fictionalized here). I cannot wait to get back to it once this newsletter is sent! It will be in stores on August 25th. I just learned I am going to interview Elisabeth and the aforementioned Bill Clegg at BEA in May. Soooo looking forward to that.

Quiet weekend ahead as Cory winds down his Spring Break. He and Tom got back from skiing last night and were regaling me about the heated seats on the bubble chairlift at Okemo with the amber-colored dome. THAT may get me back skiing in the East again! I think I need to think about the spring cleaning I pledged to do last weekend before I start reading. Note I said THINK about the cleaning! We shall see if the cleaning gets done...because there is this stack of books to read...and hmmmm....

Read on, and here’s to a great week ahead!

Carol Fitzgerald (

P.S. For those of you who shop online, if you use the store links below, gets a small affiliate fee on your purchases. We would appreciate your considering this!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound Talks to Susan Crawford, Author of THE POCKET WIFE --- Our Latest One to Watch Author Spotlight Title

Susan Crawford is a debut author who, in addition to teaching and writing, is involved in many impressive literary extracurricular activities --- including participating in two critique groups. THE POCKET WIFE is her first full-length novel, and it’s about Dana Catrell, a bipolar woman in the throes of mania, who must piece together the shards of her broken memory in order to figure out who killed her neighbor. In this interview with's Norah Piehl, Crawford talks about why she decided to write a psychological thriller, the challenges of matching her writing to Dana’s state(s) of mind, and why there’s no such thing, really, as a reliable narrator. She also recommends some great books for anyone interested in further exploring bipolar disorder.

THE POCKET WIFE by Susan Crawford (Psychological Thriller)
Dana Catrell is shocked when her neighbor, Celia, is brutally murdered. To Dana’s horror, she was the last person to see Celia alive. Suffering from mania, the result of her bipolar disorder, she has troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia’s death. The closer she comes to piecing together the shards of her broken memory, the more she falls apart. Is there a murderer lurking inside of Dana...or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read Susan Crawford’s bio.
-Click here to visit Susan Crawford’s official website.
-Connect with Susan Crawford on Facebook and Twitter.
-Click here to read more in our One to Watch Author Spotlight.

Click here to read our interview.
New Southern Writers Author Spotlight & Contest: THE MEMORY HOUSE by Linda Goodnight
We have 25 copies of THE MEMORY HOUSE: A Honey Ridge Novel by Linda Goodnight, which releases on March 31st, to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, April 2nd at noon ET.

THE MEMORY HOUSE: A Honey Ridge Novel by Linda Goodnight (Fiction)
Memories of motherhood and marriage are fresh for Julia Presley --- though tragedy took away both years ago. Finding comfort in the routine of running the Peach Orchard Inn, she lets the historic, mysterious place fill the voids of love and family. No more pleasure of a man's gentle kiss. No more joy in hearing a child call her Mommy. Life is calm, unchanging…until a stranger with a young boy and soul-deep secrets shows up in her Tennessee town and disrupts the loneliness of her world.

Julia suspects there's more to Eli Donovan's past than his motherless son, Alex. There's a reason he's chasing redemption and bent on earning it with a new beginning in Honey Ridge. Offering the guarded man work renovating the inn, she glimpses someone who --- like her --- has a heart in need of restoration. But with the chance discovery of a dusty stack of love letters buried within the lining of an old trunk, the long-dead ghosts of a Civil War romance envelop Julia and Eli, connecting them to the inn's violent history and challenging them both to risk facing yesterday's darkness for a future bright with hope and healing.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Linda Goodnight’s bio.
-Click here to visit Linda Goodnight’s official website.
-Connect with Linda Goodnight on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our Southern Writers Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
Now in Stores: NYPD RED 3 by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
NYPD RED 3 by James Patterson and Marshall Karp (Thriller)
Detective Zach Jordan and his partner, Kylie MacDonald, are called to the home of billionaire businessman Hunter Alden, Jr. after he makes a grisly discovery in his townhouse garage. When Alden's teenage son goes missing soon afterwards, and his father seems oddly reluctant to find him, Zach and Kylie find themselves in the middle of a chilling conspiracy that threatens everyone in its wake --- especially their city's most powerful citizens. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: A DANGEROUS PLACE by Jacqueline Winspear
A DANGEROUS PLACE: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear (Historical Mystery)
On a ship bound for England to visit her aging father after her stepmother summons her home, Maisie Dobbs realizes she isn’t ready to return. Against the wishes of the captain, who warns her, “You will be alone in a most dangerous place,” she disembarks in Gibraltar. Days after her arrival, a photographer and member of Gibraltar’s Sephardic Jewish community is murdered, and Maisie becomes entangled in the case and renews an uneasy acquaintance in the process. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: MADEMOISELLE CHANEL by C. W. Gortner
MADEMOISELLE CHANEL by C. W. Gortner (Historical Fiction)
Coco Chanel was a woman with a vision who fought every convention of her time to become the most iconic fashion designer the world has ever known. She hit her stride in the 1920s with a style that freed women and money that brought her a freedom she had never known. As her reputation and business reached new heights, Chanel became the woman every man wanted and every woman wanted to be. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review. Bets On: GOLDENEYE by Matthew Parker
GOLDENEYE: Where Bond Was Born --- Ian Fleming's Jamaica by Matthew Parker (Biography)
I have a thing for the James Bond franchise that goes beyond gadgets and Bond Girls. As an Anglophile, it even goes beyond the fact that Bond is a British icon. Instead, I love to look at James Bond and Ian Fleming in their relation to the British psyche of the 1950s and 1960s, a reflection of a nation with a changing identity as the colonies that once made up so much of its identity started to peel away one by one, amidst the physical and mental rebuilding after the destruction of World War II.

So, for me, GOLDENEYE is like a textbook, except much, much more readable than one. In it, Matthew Parker takes a look at one of the greatest of these influences on the story of 007. The subtitle is “Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming’s Jamaica,” and this book is as much a testament to Jamaica as it is to Bond.

Fleming would spend several months each year at Goldeneye, his retreat on the north coast of Jamaica. A painfully Spartan house to anyone who was his guest, Fleming reveled in its large open windows and basic furniture. It was here, and almost exclusively here, that each Bond novel would be crafted, amidst a buzzing North Coast social scene totally removed from the independence movement spreading across the country. When Jamaica gained independence in 1962, Fleming and his friends would mourn the loss of their tidy colonial outpost first and foremost, and would consider the magic of the place lost.

GOLDENEYE inspired a sense of wanderlust in me --- something that’s not hard, granted --- to poke around Jamaica; it is in many ways a love story to the island, expressed via Fleming’s affection for it. It also made me want to dive back into the Bond novels, which I haven’t read in full and can differ wildly from the films of the same names. And it gave me a perspective on the perfect gentleman spy 007 and how his creation was the product of a very imperfect author. With the next Bond film, Spectre, coming out later this year, GOLDENEYE is the perfect book to understand the roots of one of the world’s most legendary cultural icons and the legendary faults of his creator.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here for more books we’re betting you’ll love.
March's History Books Roundup
March’s roundup of History titles includes DEAD WAKE, Erik Larson’s enthralling account of the sinking of the Lusitania that also brings to life a cast of evocative characters --- from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson; THE DEATH OF CAESAR, the exciting, dramatic story of one of history’s most famous events --- the death of Julius Caesar --- which is now placed in full context of Rome’s civil wars by Barry Strauss; THE GREAT DIVIDE, in which acclaimed historian Thomas Fleming examines how the differing temperaments and leadership styles of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson shaped two opposing views of the presidency --- and the nation; and A GREAT AND TERRIBLE KING, the first major biography of King Edward I, whose reign was one of the most dramatic and important of the entire Middle Ages, leading to war and conquest on an unprecedented scale.
Click here to see our History Books roundup for March.'s Spring Preview Contests and Feature
Spring is in the air (or will be soon...hopefully)! We’ve already caught the fever --- and it’s being fueled by a list of great upcoming books. Here are some picks that we know people will be talking about over the next few months. We will be hosting a number of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days through April 21st. You will need to check the site to see the featured book and enter to win. We also will be sending a special newsletter to announce each title, which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Tuesday, March 24th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to see our Spring Preview feature and sign up for our special newsletter.'s Latest Bookshelf: Spring Cookbooks 2015
Spring means warmer temperatures, more hours of daylight, and, for all of you who like to cook at home, it heralds a new selection of spring fruits and vegetables at your local grocery store. From artichokes, watercress and radishes, to rhubarb, strawberries and apricots, there are so many tasty (and colorful) ingredients to work with. Many of the chefs --- whose new work we’re featuring in our latest bookshelf --- highlight innovative ways to use this season's plentiful bounty.

April Bloomfield's A GIRL AND HER GREENS and Steven Satterfield's ROOT TO LEAF contain a plethora of recipes for both omnivore and herbivores alike, looking to spice up their typical vegetable routine. Those with undeniable sweet teeth looking to making healthier choices can find inspiration and unique tips in Erin McKenna's BREAD & BUTTER: Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes to Fill Your Bread Basket and Joanne Chang's BAKING WITH LESS SUGAR. Of course, because we all like to overindulge sometimes, we also have PURE PORK AWESOMENESS, MADE IN AMERICA and COOKIE LOVE, for all your entertainment needs and "cheat days."

Between learning how to make lighter meals in minutes and reading up on the authentic dishes of Peru, there's so much culinary knowledge to consume this spring. At The Book Report Network, we're following our own words to live by: New season. New crop. New cookbooks.
Click here to see our Spring Cookbooks 2015 bookshelf.
Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight: HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS by Katherine Center
HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS by Katherine Center (Fiction)
A year after getting divorced, Helen Carpenter, 32, lets her annoying, 10 years younger brother talk her into signing up for a wilderness survival course. It’s supposed to be a chance for her to pull herself together again, but when she discovers that her brother’s even-more-annoying best friend is also coming on the trip, she can’t imagine how it will be anything other than a disaster. Thus begins the strangest adventure of Helen's well-behaved life: three weeks in the remotest wilderness of a mountain range in Wyoming where she will survive mosquito infestations, a surprise summer blizzard, and a group of sorority girls.

Yet, despite everything, the vast wilderness has a way of making Helen's own little life seem bigger, too. And, somehow the people who annoy her the most start teaching her the very things she needs to learn. Like how to stand up for herself. And how being scared can make you brave. And how sometimes you just have to get really, really lost before you can even have a hope of being found.

HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS releases on March 24th.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Katherine Center’s bio.
-Click here to visit Katherine Center’s official website.
-Connect with Katherine Center on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight.
Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight: THE WEDNESDAY GROUP by Sylvia True
THE WEDNESDAY GROUP by Sylvia True (Fiction)
Gail. Hannah. Bridget. Lizzy. Flavia. Each of them has a shameful secret, and each is about to find out that she is not alone…

Gail, a prominent Boston judge, keeps receiving letters from her husband's latest girlfriend, while her husband, a theology professor, claims he's nine-months sober from sex with grad students. Hannah, a homemaker, catches her husband having sex with a male prostitute in a public restroom. Bridget, a psychiatric nurse at a state hospital, is sure she has a loving, doting spouse, until she learns that he is addicted to chat rooms and match-making websites. Lizzy, a high school teacher, is married to a porn addict, who is withdrawn and uninterested in sex with her. Flavia was working at the Boston Public library when someone brought her an article that stated her husband had been arrested for groping a teenage girl on the subway. He must face court, and Flavia must decide if she wants to stay with him. Finally, Kathryn, the young psychologist running the group, has as much at stake as all of the others.

As the women share never-before-uttered secrets and bond over painful truths, they work on coming to terms with their husbands' addictions and developing healthy boundaries for themselves. Meanwhile, their outside lives become more and more intertwined, until, finally, a series of events forces each woman to face her own denial, betrayal and uncertain future head-on.

THE WEDNESDAY GROUP releases on March 24th.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read Sylvia True’s bio.
Click here to read more in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight.
More Reviews This Week
THE ASSASSIN: An Isaac Bell Adventure by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott (Thriller/Adventure)
As Van Dorn private detective Isaac Bell strives to land a government contract to investigate John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly, the case takes a deadly turn. A sniper begins murdering opponents of Standard Oil, and soon the assassin kills Bell’s best witness. Then the shooter detonates a terrible explosion that sets the victim’s independent refinery ablaze. Bell summons his best detectives to scour the site of the crime for evidence. Who is the assassin and for whom did he kill? Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

BETTER THAN BEFORE: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin (Self-Help/Personal Growth)
If habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits? BETTER THAN BEFORE answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits --- and to change them for good. Infused with Gretchen Rubin’s compelling voice, rigorous research and easy humor, and packed with vivid stories of lives transformed, the book explains the (sometimes counter-intuitive) core principles of habit formation. Reviewed by Jamie Layton.

THE DEATH OF CAESAR: The Story of History's Most Famous Assassination by Barry Strauss (History)
Thanks to William Shakespeare, the death of Julius Caesar is the most famous assassination in history. But what actually happened on March 15, 44 BC is even more gripping than Shakespeare’s play. In THE DEATH OF CAESAR, Barry Strauss tells the real story. Shakespeare shows Caesar’s assassination to be an amateur and idealistic affair. The real killing, however, was a carefully planned paramilitary operation, put together by Caesar’s disaffected officers and designed with precision. Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds.

COLD BETRAYAL: An Ali Reynolds Novel by J. A. Jance (Thriller)
Ali Reynolds’ longtime friend and Taser-carrying nun, Sister Anselm, rushes to the bedside of a young pregnant woman hospitalized for severe injuries after she was hit by a car on a deserted Arizona highway. The girl had been running away from The Family, a polygamous cult with no patience for those who try to leave its ranks. Something about her strikes a chord in Sister Anselm, reminding her of a case she worked years before when another young girl wasn’t so lucky. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

DELICIOUS FOODS by James Hannaham (Fiction)
Darlene, once an exemplary wife and a loving mother to her young son, Eddie, finds herself devastated by the unforeseen death of her husband. Unable to cope with her grief, she turns to drugs and quickly forms an addiction. One day she disappears without a trace. Unbeknownst to 11-year-old Eddie, now left behind in a panic-stricken search for her, Darlene has been lured away with false promises of a good job and a rosy life. A shady company named Delicious Foods shuttles her to a remote farm, where she is held captive. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

FINDING JAKE by Bryan Reardon (Psychological Thriller)
Simon Connolly’s son, Jake, is the only child missing following a shooting at school. As his worst nightmare unfolds, Simon begins to obsess over the past while searching for answers, for hope, for the memory of the boy he raised, for mistakes he must have made, for the reason everything came to this. Where is Jake? What happened in those final moments? Is it possible he doesn’t really know his son? Or he knows him better than he thought? Reviewed by Stephen Febick.

ROBERT LUDLUM'S THE GENEVA STRATEGY: A Covert-One Novel – Audiobook by Jamie Freveletti (Thriller/Adventure)
One evening in Washington, DC, several high-ranking members of government disappear in a mass kidnapping. Among the kidnapped is Nick Rendel, a computer software coding expert in charge of drone programming and strategy. If revealed, his kidnappers could reprogram the drones to strike targets within the United States. Jon Smith and the Covert One team begin a worldwide search to recover the officials, but as the first kidnapping victims are rescued, they show disturbing signs of brainwashing or mind-altering drugs. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

THE STOLEN ONES by Owen Laukkanen (Thriller)
A sheriff’s deputy steps out of a diner on a rainy summer evening, and a few minutes later, he’s lying dead in the mud. When BCA agent Kirk Stevens arrives on the scene, he discovers that local authorities have taken into custody a single suspect: a hysterical young woman found sitting by the body, holding the deputy’s own gun. The mystery only deepens from there, as Stevens and Carla Windermere find themselves on the trail of a massive international kidnapping and prostitution operation. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

SEASON OF FEAR: A Cab Bolton Thriller by Brian Freeman (Psychological Thriller)
Attractive and popular politician Diane Fairmont is running for the Florida governorship, but a chill is cast over the campaign when she receives an anonymous note announcing the return of the assassin who killed her husband 10 years earlier. Because of complicated ties between Fairmont and his mother, Detective Cab Bolton is assigned to the case. As Bolton struggles to penetrate the veil of secrecy surrounding the Fairmont campaign, he begins to realize that the death threat is not the only danger faced by the campaign staff. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

PAST CRIMES: A Van Shaw Novel by Glen Erik Hamilton (Thriller)
Van Shaw was raised to be a thief, but at 18 he suddenly broke all ties to that life and joined the military --- abandoning his illicit past and the career-criminal grandfather who taught him the trade. Now, after 10 years of silence, his grandfather has asked him to come home to Seattle. But when Van arrives, he discovers his grandfather bleeding out on the floor from a gunshot to the head. Van knows he’s sure to be the main suspect, and the only way he can clear his name is to go back to the world he’d sworn to leave behind. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

RECAPITULATIONS by Vincent Crapanzano (Memoir)
Vincent Crapanzano’s memoir recaptures meaningful moments from his life: as his childhood on the grounds of a psychiatric hospital, his psychiatrist father’s early death, his years at school in Switzerland and then at Harvard in the 1960s, his love affairs, his own teaching, and his far-flung travels. Taken together, these stories have the power of a nothing-taken-for-granted vision, fighting those conventions and ideologies that deaden the creative and inquiring mind. Reviewed by Megan Elliott.

THE HOUSE OF WOLFE: A Border Noir by James Carlos Blake (Noir Thriller)
A 10-member wedding party is kidnapped in front of the groom’s family mansion in Mexico City. The perpetrator is a small-time gangster who wants nothing more than to make his crew part of a major cartel and hopes that this crime will be his big break. Jessica Juliet Wolfe is a bridesmaid and close friend of the bride who hails from a family of notorious outlaws that has branches on both sides of the border. When the Wolfes learn of Jessie’s abduction, they fear that the kidnappers will kill the captives after receiving the ransom --- unless they rescue Jessie first. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
Our Latest Poll: Your Thoughts on Publishers and Their Imprints
Are you familiar with publishers and publishing imprints?

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Which of the following selection of imprints are you familiar with? Please check all that apply.

  • Anchor/Vintage
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Word of Mouth Contest: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win THREE Books!
Tell us your current reading recommendations with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from March 20th to April 3rd, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of AT THE WATER’S EDGE by Sara Gruen, THE PATRIOT THREAT by Steve Berry, and THE STRANGER by Harlan Coben.

To make sure other readers will be able to find the books you write about, please include the full title and correct author names (your entry must include these to be eligible to win). For complete rules and guidelines, click here.

Please note: You must enter your full address, using correct capitalization and filling in all fields if you would like to be eligible to win this prize.

Also, we realize that many times, your opinion of a book will change as you get further along into the story. Thus, to ensure that your comments and ratings accurately reflect your entire reading experience, your review WILL NOT be posted if you have not finished the book.

One important technical note: If you're using an iPad or another iOS device to access the Word of Mouth page and you would like to enter the contest, you must wait for the page to fully load before you can rate your book. Only then will the stars be clickable.

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