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December 20, 2016

December 20, 2016

Important Note: We will be changing the company that sends this newsletter after the first of the year. To ensure that you get the newsletter in your mailbox and not in your SPAM after January 1st, please add to your address list! Gmail readers, please note that it may go to promotional emails, so be sure to check there for the January 3rd newsletter.

In this newsletter, you will find books releasing the weeks of December 19th and December 26th that we think will be of interest to readers, along with Bonus News, where we call out a contest, feature or review that we want to let you know about so you have it on your radar.

This week, we are calling attention to our Holiday Author Blogs, which return for a NINTH straight year. Sharing with us some wonderful holiday memories are Laurie Lico Albanese, Marie Benedict, Ann Hood, Martha Hall Kelly, Caroline Leavitt, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Will Schwalbe and Wendy Walker.

Also, please keep in mind our very special End-of-the-Year contest featuring Carol Fitzgerald’s Bets On picks from 2016. One Grand Prize winner will be awarded all 40 books, while eight other winners will receive a selection of five of these titles.

And be sure to check out our Reviewer Picks for 2016. Once again, we asked our reviewers to let us know what some of their favorite books of the year were. Take a moment to read these varied lists of titles and see if you agree with any of their selections!

Know a friend or family member who you think may enjoy this newsletter? Then please forward it on to them!

And for those of you who are doing online holiday shopping, 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

This Week's Bonus News:'s Holiday Author Blogs
Our Holiday Author Blogs are back for a NINTH consecutive year. We are featuring a new blog post from an author each weekday, with the final one appearing on December 24th.

This year's contributors are Laurie Lico Albanese, Marie Benedict, Ann Hood, Martha Hall Kelly, Caroline Leavitt, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Will Schwalbe and Wendy Walker.

As always, we so appreciate all the authors who have taken the time to share these wonderful holiday memories with us.
Click here to read this year's Holiday Author Blogs.
On Sale the Week of December 19th in Hardcover

December 20th

THE BOY WHO ESCAPED PARADISE written by J. M. Lee, translated by Chi-Young Kim (Fiction)
An unidentified body is discovered in New York City, with numbers and symbols written in blood near the corpse. Gilmo, a North Korean national who interprets the world through numbers, formulas and mathematical theories, is arrested on the spot. He used to have a quiet life back in Pyongyang. But when his father, a preeminent doctor, is discovered to be a secret Christian, he is subsequently incarcerated in a political prison overseen by a harsh, cruel warden. There, Gilmo meets the spirited Yeong-ae, who becomes his only friend. When Yeong-ae manages to escape, Gilmo flees to track her down. He uses his peculiar gifts to navigate betrayal and the criminal underworld of east Asia --- a world wholly alien to everything he's ever known.
Pegasus Books * 9781681772523

THE KING IS DEAD: The Last Will and Testament of Henry VIII by Suzannah Lipscomb (History)
On January 28, 1547, King Henry VIII died at Whitehall. Just hours before his passing, his last will and testament had been read, stamped and sealed. The will confirmed the line of succession as Edward, Mary and Elizabeth; and, following them, the Grey and Suffolk families. It also listed bequests to the king's most trusted councillors and servants. Historians have disagreed over the will’s intended meaning, its authenticity and validity, and the circumstances of its creation. Along with examining the background to the drafting of the will and describing Henry's last days, Suzannah Lipscomb offers her own illuminating interpretation of one of the most significant constitutional documents of the Tudor period.
Pegasus Books * 9781681772547
On Sale the Week of December 19th in Paperback

December 20th

BEYOND THE ICE LIMIT: A Gideon Crew Novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Thriller)
Five years ago, the mysterious and inscrutable head of Effective Engineering Solutions, Eli Glinn, led a mission to recover a gigantic meteorite from a remote island off the coast of South America. The mission ended in disaster when their ship foundered in a vicious storm and broke apart, sinking to the ocean floor. The tragedy revealed something truly terrifying: the meteorite they tried to retrieve was not simply a rock. Instead, it was a complex organism from the deep reaches of space. That organism has now implanted itself in the sea bed two miles below the surface --- and it’s growing. As Gideon Crew and his colleagues soon discover, the "meteorite" has a mind of its own and has no intention of going quietly.
Grand Central Publishing * 9781455525874

THE GRANITE MOTH by Erica Wright (Mystery)
Private investigator Kathleen Stone is watching her friend, Dolly, and his fellow drag queens from The Pink Parrot perform at the Halloween Parade when their float explodes. Suspecting foul play, The Pink Parrot’s owner, Big Mamma, hires Kat to find the culprit. Meanwhile, Kat has not given up on her quest to bring gangster Salvatore Magrelli to justice and once more dons a disguise to infiltrate The Skyview, an exclusive club run by his wife, Eva. When she watches the club’s poker dealer drop dead during a high-stakes game, she decides to look into his death as well.
Pegasus Books * 9781681772578

GUMSHOE by Rob Leininger
For nine long days, the mayor and district attorney of Reno, Nevada, have been missing. Enter Mortimer Angel, Reno’s newest gumshoe, a private-eye-in-training at his nephew’s detective agency. Just four hours into his new career, Mort finds the mayor --- make that, the mayor’s head --- in the trunk of Mort’s ex-wife’s Mercedes. As events begin to spin out of control, Mort realizes that things have been out of control since the night before he started his new career, the night he found the unknown naked blonde in his bed.
Oceanview Publishing * 9781608092253

ROBERT LUDLUM’S THE BOURNE ENIGMA by Eric Van Lustbader (Thriller/Adventure)
On the eve of Russian general Boris Karpov's wedding, Jason Bourne receives an enigmatic message from his old friend and fellow spymaster. In Moscow, what should be a joyous occasion turns bloody and lethal. Now Bourne is the only one who can decipher Karpov's cryptogram. He discovers that Karpov has betrayed his sovereign to warn Bourne of a crippling disaster about to be visited on the world. Bourne has only four days to discover the nature of the disaster and stop it. The trail Karpov has been following leads Bourne to Cairo and the doorstep of Ivan Borz, the elusive international arms dealer infamous for hiding behind a never-ending series of false identities.
Grand Central Publishing * 9781455597956

THE TAXIDERMIST’S DAUGHTER by Kate Mosse (Supernatural/Historical Thriller)
Twenty-two and unmarried, Constantia Gifford lives with her father on the fringes of town, in a decaying mansion cluttered with the remains of his once world-famous museum of taxidermy. When a woman is found dead, snippets of long-lost memories begin to tease through Connie’s mind. The answers are tied to a dark secret that lies at the heart of Blackthorn House, hidden among the bell jars of her father’s workshop --- a mystery that draws Connie closer to danger.
William Morrow Paperbacks * 9780062402165

WHAT BELONGS TO YOU by Garth Greenwell (Fiction)
On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher enters a public bathroom beneath Sofia’s National Palace of Culture. There he meets Mitko, a charismatic young hustler, and pays him for sex. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months and finds himself ensnared in a relationship in which lust leads to mutual predation, and tenderness can transform into violence. As he struggles to reconcile his longing with the anguish it creates, he’s forced to grapple with his own fraught history.
Picador * 9781250117892
On Sale the Week of December 26th in Hardcover

December 27th

BOOKS FOR LIVING by Will Schwalbe (Memoir/Literary Criticism)
Why is it that we read? Is it to pass time? To learn something new? To escape from reality? For Will Schwalbe, reading is a way to entertain himself but also to make sense of the world, to become a better person, and to find the answers to the big (and small) questions about how to live his life. In BOOKS FOR LIVING, Schwalbe invites us along on his quest for books that speak to the specific challenges of living in our modern world, with all its noise and distractions. In each chapter, he discusses a particular book --- what brought him to it (or vice versa), the people in his life he associates with it, and how it became a part of his understanding of himself in the world.
Knopf * 9780385353540

CIVILIANIZED: A Young Veteran's Memoir by Michael Anthony (Memoir)
After 12 months of military service in Iraq, Michael Anthony stepped off a plane, seemingly happy to be home --- or at least back on US soil. He was 21 years old, a bit of a nerd, and carrying a pack of cigarettes that he thought would be his last. Two weeks later, Michael was stoned on Vicodin, drinking way too much, and picking a fight with a very large Hell's Angel. At his wit's end, he came to an agreement with himself: If things didn't improve in three months, he was going to kill himself. CIVILIANIZED is a memoir chronicling Michael's search for meaning in a suddenly destabilized world.
Pulp/Zest Books * 9781936976881

CURTAIN OF DEATH: A Clandestine Operations Novel by W. E. B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV (Historical Thriller/Adventure)
January 1946: Two WACs leave an officers’ club in Munich, and four Soviet NKGB agents kidnap them at knifepoint in the parking lot and shove them in the back of an ambulance. That is the agents’ first mistake, and their last. One of the WACs, a blond woman improbably named Claudette Colbert, works for the new Directorate of Central Intelligence, and three of the men end up dead and the fourth wounded. The “incident,” however, will send shock waves rippling up and down the line and have major repercussions not only for her, but for her boss, James Cronley, Chief DCI-Europe, and for everybody involved in their still-evolving enterprise.
G.P. Putnam's Sons * 9780399176739

THE ICE BENEATH HER written by Camilla Grebe, translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel (Psychological Thriller)
A young woman is found beheaded in the Stockholm home of business tycoon Jesper Orre. Investigator Peter Lindgren and psychological profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön are put on the case. Side-stepping their own dangerous relationship, Peter and Hanne find they can’t yet identify the woman --- and Orre is missing. In a separate thread, two months earlier, Emma Bohman, a timid beauty with a dark past, works in Orre’s company. A chance encounter between them leads to a love affair. Orre insists their relationship stay a secret, then leaves her without explanation --- and frightening things begin to happen to Emma. Why does Orre want to hurt her? And how far would he go to silence his secret lover?
Ballantine Books * 9780425284322

THE MIDNIGHT BELL by Jack Higgins (Thriller)
In Ulster, Northern Ireland, a petty criminal kills a woman in a drunken car crash. Her sons swear revenge. In London, Sean Dillon and his colleagues in the “Prime Minister’s private army,” fresh from defeating a deadly al-Qaeda operation, receive a warning: You may think you have weakened us, but you have only made us stronger. In Washington, D.C., a special projects director with the CIA, frustrated at not getting permission from the President for his daring anti-terrorism plan, decides to put it in motion anyway. Soon, the ripples from these events will meet and overlap, creating havoc in their wake. Desperate men will act, secrets will be revealed --- and the midnight bell will toll.
G.P. Putnam's Sons * 9780399185304

by Amy Poeppel (Fiction)
Kate Pearson finds herself dumped, out of luck, and out of steam. It seems as if her characteristic ambition and smarts have taken a break. Her friends are at a loss, while her practical sister, Angela, pushes every remedy she can think of. Miraculously Kate lands a job in the admissions department at the prestigious Hudson Day school, and learns there’s no time for self-pity or nonsense during the height of the admission season. Meanwhile, Kate’s sister and her closest friends find themselves keeping secrets, hiding boyfriends, dropping bombshells, and fighting each other on how to keep Kate on her feet --- and Kate’s oddly charming and irritatingly handsome neighbor is more than he seems.
Atria/Emily Bestler Books * 9781501122521
On Sale the Week of December 26th in Paperback

December 27th

BREAKDOWN: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman (Psychological Thriller)
Psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware meets actress Zelda Chase when called upon to evaluate her five-year-old son, Ovid. Years later, he is unexpectedly reunited with Zelda when she is involuntarily committed after a bizarre psychotic episode. Shortly after her release, she is discovered dead on the grounds of a palatial Bel Air estate. Alex turns to his friend, LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis, for help in finding out who ended Zelda’s broken life. At the same time, he is caught up in another quest: the search for her missing son. And when other victims vanish from the same upscale neighborhood, worry turns to terror.
Ballantine Books * 9780345541420

CLAWBACK: An Ali Reynolds Novel by J.A. Jance (Mystery/Thriller)
When Ali Reynolds’ parents lose their life savings to a Ponzi scheme, her father goes to confront his longtime friend and financial advisor, only to stumble into the scene of a bloody double homicide. With her father suddenly a prime suspect, Ali and her husband work to clear her father’s name, while at the same time seeking justice for her parents as well as the scheme’s other suddenly impoverished victims, one of whom is a stone cold killer.
Pocket Books * 9781501110795

COCONUT COWBOY by Tim Dorsey (Mystery/Humor)
Serge A. Storms devises his wildest plan yet: finish the journey begun by his freewheeling heroes, Captain America and Billy, tragically cut short by some shotgun-wielding rednecks. Setting a course for the Florida panhandle, Captain Serge --- with Coleman literally riding shotgun --- mounts his classic motorcycle and hits the highway in search of the real America. In a state where criminal politicians are more common than gators, Serge and Coleman discover one particular speed-trap locale so aggressively inept at corruption that investigators are baffled where to start.
William Morrow * 9780062656315

DARKNESS by Karen Robards (Romantic Suspense)
Dr. Gina Sullivan is a renowned ornithologist on a group research grant trip on the remote island of Attu, Alaska. When an everyday outing turns sinister at the onset of one of Attu’s infamous storms, Gina expects thunder and lightning. What she doesn’t see coming is the small jet plane that drops out of the sky and into the water mere feet from her boat. There’s a sole survivor from the crash, and he needs Gina’s help. But it turns out that rescuing the stranger and getting them both out of the oncoming storm is just the beginning. Because the more Gina learns about James “Cal” Callahan, the more she fears --- for herself, and for him.
Pocket Books * 9781476766614

THE FALL OF MOSCOW STATION by Mark Henshaw (Thriller/Adventure)
When a body with Russian military tattoos is found floating in a lake outside Berlin, the CIA immediately takes notice. The body is identified as the director of Russia’s Foundation for Advanced Nuclear Research, who is also a CIA asset. Alden Maines is jaded after years in the CIA cleaning up the messes of incompetent political appointees in dangerous foreign posts. When he is passed over for promotion, Maines crosses the Rubicon and decides to cash in as a double agent for Russia. But while Maines dreams of off-shore bank accounts and a new secret life, Arkady Lavrov of Russia’s intelligence service (GRU) has other plans.
Pocket Books * 9781501154584

FIELD OF FIRE: A Jericho Quinn Thriller by Marc Cameron (Thriller)
Paperback Original
The first target is Dallas, Texas. A deadly nerve gas called New Archangel is unleashed upon the City of Angels, claiming innocent lives, spreading nationwide panic, and fueling global fears of another attack. In the icy reaches of rural Alaska, special agent Jericho Quinn is enlisted to hunt down the man who created the bioweapon --- a brilliant Russian scientist who is trying to defect and hiding in the Alaskan wilderness. But time is running out. The scientist is beginning to lose his mind to dementia. If Quinn doesn’t find him before the Russians do, the entire western seaboard and beyond will feel the wrath of New Archangel --- and darkness will fall upon the earth.
Pinnacle * 9780786038923

GONE AGAIN: A Jack Swyteck Novel by James Grippando (Legal Thriller)
Jack Swyteck is called to action when teenager Sashi Burgette vanishes on her way to school. The night after Sashi’s disappearance, ex-con Dylan Kyle was stopped for drunk driving and a piece of her clothing was found in his truck. A police videotape of his drunken explanation under interrogation sealed his fate at trial. Now, just days from Kyle’s execution, Sashi’s mother visits Jack and delivers shocking news: “Sashi called me.” Unconvinced that the case is closed, Jack jumps into the investigation. But the deeper he digs, the more he discovers that nothing is what it appears to be.
Harper * 9780062368713

THE HANGING GIRL: A Department Q Novel by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Psychological Thriller/Mystery)
Carl Mørck has no choice but to lead Department Q into the tragic cold case of a vivacious 17-year-old girl who vanished from school, only to be found dead hanging high up in a tree. The investigation will take them from the remote island of Bornholm to a strange sun-worshipping cult, where Carl, Assad, Rose and newcomer Gordon attempt to stop a string of new murders and a skilled manipulator who refuses to let anything --- or anyone --- get in the way.
Dutton * 9781101984222

MARKED FOR LIFE by Emelie Schepp (Thriller)
When a high-ranking head of the migration board is found shot to death in his living room, there is no shortage of suspects. But no one expects to find mysterious, child-size fingerprints in this childless home. A few days later, the body of a derelict preteen is discovered, and with him, the murder weapon that killed the official. As she attends his autopsy, public prosecutor Jana Berzelius recognizes something familiar on his body. Cut deep into his flesh are initials that scream child trafficking and trigger in her a flash of memory from her own dark childhood. Now, to protect her own horrific but hidden past, she must find the real suspect behind these murders before the police do.
Mira * 9780778319726

THE MARRIAGE LIE by Kimberly Belle (Psychological Thriller/Mystery)
Paperback Original
Iris and Will have been married for seven years, and life is as close to perfect as it can be. But on the morning Will flies out for a business trip to Florida, Iris' happy world comes to an abrupt halt: Another plane headed for Seattle has crashed into a field, killing everyone on board --- and, according to the airline, Will was one of the passengers. Grief stricken and confused, Iris is convinced it all must be a huge misunderstanding. Why did Will lie about where he was going? And what else has he lied about? As Iris sets off on a desperate quest to uncover what her husband was keeping from her, the answers she finds shock her to her very core.
Mira * 9780778319764

THE RAILWAYMAN’S WIFE by Ashley Hay (Historical Fiction)
In 1948, in the strange, silent aftermath of war, Anikka Lachlan has all she ever wanted --- until a random act transforms her into another postwar widow. A local poet, Roy McKinnon, experiences a different type of loss. How could his most powerful work come out of the brutal chaos of war, and why is he now struggling to regain his words and his purpose in peacetime? His childhood friend, Dr. Frank Draper, also seeks to reclaim his pre-war life but is haunted by his failure to help those who needed him most. Then one day, Ani finds a poem. She knows neither where it came from nor who its author is. An unexpected and poignant love triangle emerges, between Ani, the poem and the poet --- whoever he may be.
Washington Square Press * 9781501128660

STALKED: The Profiler, Book 4 by Elizabeth Heiter (Psychological Thriller)
Paperback Original
Seventeen-year-old Haley Cooke disappears from inside her high school. FBI profiler Evelyn Baine is called in to figure out who had reason to hurt her. On the surface, the popular cheerleader has no enemies, but as Evelyn digs deeper, she discovers that everyone close to Haley has something to hide. One of those secrets may have gotten Haley killed. If she's still alive, Evelyn knows that the more the investigation ramps up, the more pressure they could be putting on Haley's kidnapper to make her disappear for good. It's also possible the teenager isn't in danger at all, but has skillfully manipulated everyone and staged her own disappearance. Only one thing is certain: uncovering Haley's fate could be dangerous --- even deadly --- to Evelyn herself.
Mira * 9780778319740

SWEET TOMORROWS: A Rose Harbor Novel by Debbie Macomber (Romance)
Recovering from a twice-broken heart, Emily Gaffney, a young teacher, is staying at the Rose Harbor Inn while she looks for a home of her own. Having given up on marriage, Emily dreams of adopting children someday. She has her eye on one house in particular --- with room for kids. Although Emily’s inquiries about the house are rudely rebuffed, her rocky start with the owner eventually blossoms into a friendship. But when the relationship verges on something more, Emily will have to rethink what she truly wants and the chances she’s willing to take. The inn seems to be working its magic again until innkeeper Jo Marie Rose receives shocking news.
Ballantine Books * 9780553391862

TROUBLEMAKER by Linda Howard (Romantic Suspense)
Due to worries that an unknown enemy will strike again, paramilitary operative and team leader Morgan Yancy is sent to a remote location and told to lay low and stay vigilant. He ends up in a small West Virginian mountain town where Isabeau “Bo” Maran is part-time police chief. Bo doesn’t need a mysterious man in her life. The harder they fight the intense heat between them, the closer Morgan and Bo become, even though she knows he’s hiding from something. But discovering the truth could cost Bo more than she’s willing to give. And when Morgan’s cover is blown, it might just cost her life.
Avon * 9780062418999

THE TWILIGHT WIFE by A. J. Banner (Psychological Thriller)
Paperback Original
Thirty-four-year-old marine biologist Kyra Winthrop remembers nothing about the diving accident that left her with a complex form of memory loss. With only brief flashes of the last few years of her life, her world has narrowed to a few close friendships on the island where she lives with her devoted husband, Jacob. But all is not what it seems. Kyra begins to have visions --- or are they memories? --- of a rocky marriage, broken promises and cryptic relationships with the island residents, whom she believes to be her friends. As Kyra races to uncover her past, the truth becomes a terrifying nightmare.
Touchstone * 9781501152115

WAR HAWK: A Tucker Wayne Novel by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood (Thriller/Adventure)
Tucker Wayne’s past and his present collide when a former army colleague comes to him for help. She’s on the run from brutal assassins hunting her and her son. To keep them safe, Tucker must discover who killed a brilliant young idealist --- a crime that leads back to the most powerful figures in the U.S. government. From the haunted ruins of a plantation in the deep South to the beachheads of a savage civil war in Trinidad, Tucker and Kane must discover the truth behind a mystery that leads back to World War II, to a true event that is even now changing the world…and will redefine what it means to be human.
William Morrow * 9780062135292

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