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May 8, 2009 Newsletter May 8, 2009
Petitioning for Mother’s Week
Remember back in September when my son went off to college and I wrote how much “stuff” we moved to school? Well, it's now all back at the house --- and I feel like it arrived back here in a heartbeat! Yes, last night in an act that I think should solidify Mother's Day as a bonafide weeklong holiday, I drove over to the campus from the office, opened the back of my car, and in went boxes and boxes of dishes, pots, pans, clothes and computer/stereo equipment. And the paper shredder he inherited from his roommate who is not returning next fall, which was taking things full circle since his roommate’s mom picked that up the first day of school when we did some last-minute shopping together.

I confess that it was far more organized than I anticipated, showing me that perhaps something happened these last eight months with his organizational skills. Okay, there was a jar of pasta sauce in a box with books, but beyond that, many like things were together. Amusingly, he brought home two knives and one fork from the original place setting of 12 I sent him to school with. I do wonder where the others went, but if this is all he is missing, not bad. Of course, the others COULD be someplace else that would alter my feelings of his organization, but let’s keep the dream going for a moment. Yes folks, one year is behind him/us. Can we say time flies?

I am selecting a new Bets On pick this week with Mahbod Seraji’s book, ROOFTOPS OF TEHRAN, becoming my latest title that I think is a hands down winner. I had read a very early manuscript of this book last summer and fell in love with it. And when I was thinking Bets On, it was one of the titles that immediately came to mind. I am happy to share that our reviewer, Amy Gwiazdowski, echoes my enthusiasm for this book. You can read an interview with Mahbod here and an excerpt here.

Monday night I went out to Brooklyn to the Word Bookstore in Greenpoint and spent an amazing evening with Emmanuel Guibert, the writer/creator of THE PHOTOGRAPHER. I love this book, and after spending an evening with Emmanuel, I appreciated it even more. Someone described him to me as “magical” and meeting him I see why. My older son was with me, and he too saw why I am so excited about this title. Emmanuel’s sensibility is echoed onto each page, and it truly infuses the work. This and his previous book, ALAN’S WAR, have been such brilliantly done graphic novel projects that truly have moved the format ahead. We video-ed our conversation, and I hope to have it to share with you shortly. There will be more about this book next week, as it will be my first graphic novel Bets On pick.

I had never been to Word before, though I had met the owner, Christine Onerati, at dinner last year and had wanted to get out there. I had a wonderful time browsing and picked up a copy of Muriel Barbery’s THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG. Muriel had been at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books two weeks ago, and after her panel there was a long line of people who wanted their books signed by her. Doing some research, I saw that her publisher was Europa Editions, a company that publishes English translations of European titles --- and they have been gathering a huge following. Word had a large table with more than a dozen of their books. Stephanie, the store manager, told me that they often have readers who come in asking specifically for the latest Europa title, which I found very interesting. Typically most readers do not know the title of an imprint, unless we are talking Penguin Classics. If any of you have read Europa books, I would love to hear from you.

This week THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY, which has already enjoyed 33 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, released in trade paperback. If you missed this book when it was published in hardcover, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of the paperback.

This week I have been reading Christopher Buckley’s book, LOSING MUM AND PUP. I am very lucky that both of my parents, who turn 80 this year, are still alive and in good health. But reading Buckley’s book, I see all too well the importance of enjoying every moment. For humor and escape I have been reading Jon Scieszka’s children’s book, KNUCKLEHEAD. Jon, first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, will be the Master of Ceremonies at the Children’s Book Council Awards Dinner on Tuesday night, where I will be presenting the Teen Choice Book Award. Jon is one of six boys, and reading this book I realize THIS woman should REALLY have been feted every Mother’s Day for what these six wild guys put her through. If you want something humorous to read --- and yes, share with the kids --- this is it. Next up I was to delve more into BURNT SHADOWS by Kamila Shamsie, which has been getting a ton of great buzz.

Mother’s Day is on Sunday --- yes, it’s THIS Sunday as I reminded my younger son --- and we have some great last-minute gift ideas in our Mother’s Day Feature, which you can read here. Our poll asks “Which female writer or character does/did your mom most remind you of?” My boys said I am a combo of Erma Bombeck, Mrs. Weasley and Nora Ephron, with a healthy dose of Lucy Ricardo on the side. I guess that means they think I am funny. I will roll with that.

We’ve received some nice feedback from our advance readers of UNSEEN by Nancy Bush and ALL THE PRETTY DEAD GIRLS by John Manning. Click the authors' names above to read what they had to say. We also have an interview with Steve Luxenberg, whose book ANNIE’S GHOSTS explores the story of his mother’s sister, who was institutionalized at a young age and who the family denied the existence of. It’s a look at family secrets, and Steve’s journalistic skills as a Washington Post reporter are balanced with his role as his mother’s son as he explores why this secret was made --- and kept. As our reviewer Sarah Rachel Egelman says, “Readable and compelling, emotional and just plain interesting, ANNIE'S GHOSTS is a tragic family saga that pushes the narrator to examine his role as a son versus that of a writer and asks readers to find some sympathy and understanding for a family damaged by secrets and lies, and yet still bound by love and hope.”

One more random thought. I am totally exasperated by the times when I race to the phone and hear, “The factory warranty on your car is about to expire.” I have gotten those calls at 7:30 in the morning and as late as 9:30PM. They even come in on my cell phone, though I have identified the numbers they are coming from these days and thus know better than to answer, but new ones always crop up. I would prefer useful calls like “so and so’s book is on sale today.” I am sure you agree with me.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. And I am still taking petition signatures for Mother’s Week. Read on....

Carol Fitzgerald (
Click here to read a review of THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY, which is now available in paperback.

Author Talk: Steve Luxenberg, Author of ANNIE'S GHOSTS
Steve Luxenberg, an associate editor at The Washington Post, recently published his first book, ANNIE'S GHOSTS, which chronicles his search to uncover a family secret kept hidden for over half a century. In this interview conducted by author Laura Wexler (FIRE IN A CANEBRAKE: The Last Mass Lynching in America), Luxenberg discusses the two roles he plays in the narrative --- one as a journalist, and the other as the son of one of his subjects --- and the importance of incorporating both equally in order to fully tell the story. He also describes the challenges of writing the book in a style that combines three different genres, recalls his experience visiting a European city that significantly impacted his family's history, and shares the discovery that brought him comfort in spite of the tragic events he was able to bring to light.

ANNIE'S GHOSTS: A Journey into a Family Secret by Steve Luxenberg (Memoir)
ANNIE’S GHOSTS recounts Steve Luxenberg's search for the aunt he never knew he had. In trying to find out what he could about Annie Cohen, he learns a great deal about his family, especially his parents, and is challenged by the realities of mental health, social pressures, and the history of violence and oppression that culminated in the Holocaust. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

-Click here to read a review of ANNIE'S GHOSTS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from ANNIE'S GHOSTS.
-Visit Steve Luxenberg’s official website,

Click here to read an interview with Steve Luxenberg. Bets On...: Books We're Betting You'll Love
With thousands of books published each year and much attention paid to the works of bestselling and well-known authors, it is inevitable that some titles worthy of praise and discussion may not get the attention we think they deserve. Thus throughout 2009, we will be spotlighting books written by debut or up-and-coming authors that immediately struck a chord with us and made us say “just read this.” Our plan is to alert our readers about these titles as soon as they’re released so you can discover them for yourselves and recommend them to your family and friends.

Here is our latest featured title:

ROOFTOPS OF TEHRAN by Mahbod Seraji (May 5th): Set in Tehran in 1973, ROOFTOPS OF TEHRAN drops you into the world of Pasha and Ahmed, who while away their summer hours on the roof. They are in that in-between year –-- not still a child, but not quite an adult --- where they are feeling their way to the next thing. They play games, mull the future --- and think about girls. Pasha has a secret crush on Zari, the fiancé of a local boy named Doctor, who is older. But beyond this world on the roof, Tehran is explosive with the SAVAK running around the city looking for those who are outspoken against the Shah and the government. One night on the roof, a look from Pasha turns their world upside down --- and the fallout will change everyone’s lives.

This story of friendship reminded me of THE KITE RUNNER, as did the vivid descriptions of the time and place. The pacing is wonderful, the characters are vivid, and the entire book will take you somewhere that you will think about long after you leave it. It’s a book you will long to talk about after it’s been read.

-Click here to read a review of ROOFTOPS OF TEHRAN.
-Click here to read an excerpt from ROOFTOPS OF TEHRAN.
-Click here to see the reading group guide for ROOFTOPS OF TEHRAN.
-Click here to read an interview with Mahbod Seraji.
-Click here to read Mahbod Seraji’s bio.

Click here to see all the titles we're betting you'll love.

Great Books for Moms for Mother's Day
Mother’s Day is a time to recognize the women who raised and nurtured us. Why not brighten their special day with a great book? From April 17th through May 1st, readers had the chance to win one of our five Mother’s Day Gift Baskets filled with goodies Mom will just love, as well as one copy of ALL 13 of our featured books. Thanks to all the readers who entered and told us their favorite book that their moms read to them. Click here to see our winners.

Although the contest has ended, we encourage you to visit our Mother's Day feature/A>. With titles that are moving, uplifting, humorous and informative, look no further than here for the perfect gift for Mom.

Our featured Mother’s Day titles are:

-BAD MOTHER: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace by Ayelet Waldman
-THE DIARY by Eileen Goudge
-FLOWERS ON MAIN: A Chesapeake Shores Novel by Sherryl Woods
-THE GIRLS FROM AMES: A Story of Women & a Forty-Year Friendship by Jeffrey Zaslow
-HEART AND SOUL by Maeve Binchy
-PRAYERS FOR SALE by Sandra Dallas
-STERN MEN by Elizabeth Gilbert
-TEA TIME FOR THE TRADITIONALLY BUILT: The New No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Novel by Alexander McCall Smith
-TIME IS A RIVER by Mary Alice Monroe

Click here to see our Mother's Day suggestions.

Featured One to Watch Author: Norman Ollestad, Author of CRAZY FOR THE STORM: A Memoir of Survival
From the age of three, Norman Ollestad was thrust into the world of surfing and competitive skiing by the intense, charismatic father he both idolized and resented. In CRAZY FOR THE STORM, Ollestad’s riveting memoir of survival, the author recounts how these exhilarating tests of skill prepared him to become a fearless champion --- and ultimately saved his life. CRAZY FOR THE STORM will be available in stores on June 2nd.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from CRAZY FOR THE STORM.
-Click here to read Norman Ollestad’s bio.
-Click here to read critical praise for CRAZY FOR THE STORM.
-Visit Norman Ollestad’s official website,
-Visit the publisher’s website,
-Click here to watch a video in which Norman Ollestad discusses CRAZY FOR THE STORM.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

February 1979: 11 year-old Norman Ollestad is the lone survivor of a harrowing plane crash that kills his magnetic, adrenaline-addicted father, a man who stopped at nothing to mold his son into a fearless surfer and ski champion. Set amid the uninhibited beach culture of Malibu and Mexico, this story of an extraordinary father-son bond has also been hailed by Susan Cheever as “a heart-stopping adventure” that asks “what it means to lead a life without limits.”

Click here to read more about Norman Ollestad and CRAZY FOR THE STORM.

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: John Sandford, Author of WICKED PREY

For 20 years, John Sandford’s books have been beloved for their “ingenious plots, vivid characters, crisp dialogue and endless surprises” (The Washington Post). Sandford is the author of 19 Prey novels and eight other books, including, most recently, HEAT LIGHTNING. In WICKED PREY, his newest Prey thriller releasing on May 12th, Lucas Davenport faces danger on multiple fronts when the Republican National Convention comes to St. Paul.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from WICKED PREY.
-Click here to read John Sandford’s bio.
-Click here to see John Sandford's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for WICKED PREY.
-Visit John Sandford’s official website,
-Click A TARGET="_blank" HREF="">here to see our advance copy winners.

More about WICKED PREY:
Danger stalks Lucas Davenport at work and all too close to home, in the superlative new thriller by the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

The Republicans are coming to St. Paul for their convention. Crashing the party are a few hard cases the police would rather stayed away, including a crew of professional stickup men who’ve spotted several lucrative opportunities. All that’s headache enough for Lucas Davenport --- but what’s about to hit him is even worse.


Click here to read more about John Sandford and WICKED PREY.

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Kevin Wignall, Author of PEOPLE DIE
Kevin Wignall knows how to craft a gripping espionage thriller. In 2008, his novel WHO IS CONRAD HIRST? was nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for an Edgar Allan Poe Award. In PEOPLE DIE, Wignall's first title re-released by Pinnacle Books, a renowned assassin finds himself on the run for his life.

here to read an excerpt from PEOPLE DIE.
here to read Kevin Wignall’s bio.
here to see Kevin Wignall's backlist.
here to read critical praise for PEOPLE DIE.
-Visit Kevin Wignall’s official website,
here to see our advance copy winners.

More about
In the assassination game, everything can change with a single bullet. For the first time, the predator now finds himself the prey. How can a hit man outsmart another hit man? International hit man JJ must stay one step ahead of his enemies as he fights to expose a dangerous conspiracy --- and live to kill another day.

Click here to read more about Kevin Wignall and PEOPLE DIE.

Now Available in Paperback: THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS by Meg Waite Clayton

THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS by Meg Waite Clayton (Fiction)
Five women, one passion and the unbreakable bond of friendship.

A novel of friendship and dreams, with a wonderful historical backdrop, and a literary feast for book-lovers with laughs and a few tears along the way, THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS is a winning novel that will steal your heart.

-Click here to read a review of THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS.
-Click here to see the reading group guide for THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS.


Visit Meg Waite Clayton's official website,

Now in Stores: THE MOMENT BETWEEN by Nicole Baart

THE MOMENT BETWEEN by Nicole Baart (Fiction)
Abigail Bennett was completely in control of her life until tragedy suddenly pushed her to the brink of something she’s never experienced: obsession. Now, she’s given up everything to chase down the object of that obsession. His name is Tyler Kamp.

THE MOMENT BETWEEN is a complex novel about the emotional risks of relationships between a 30-year-old unmarried accountant looking to reinvent herself, her troubled sister, and the man who becomes, for very different reasons, their shared obsession.

-Click here to see the reading group guide for THE MOMENT BETWEEN.


Click here to read more about THE MOMENT BETWEEN.

Special Feature and Contest on Authentic Amish Gift Basket Giveaway
We’re celebrating the release of A GIFT OF GRACE --- the first installment of Amy Clipston’s Kauffman Amish Bakery series --- with a special contest. Three readers will have the opportunity to each win an authentic Amish gift basket filled with homemade jam, apple butter, pure maple syrup, Shoofly Pie mix, Apple Crisp mix and a collection of Amish recipes, as well as a finished copy of A GIFT OF GRACE, which is now in stores.

A GIFT OF GRACE: Kauffman Amish Bakery Series, Book 1 by Amy Clipston (Fiction)
Rebecca Kauffman's tranquil Old Order Amish life is transformed when she suddenly has custody of her two teenage nieces after her "English" sister and husband are killed. Instead of the beautiful family life she has dreamed of, Rebecca feels as if her world is being torn apart by two different cultures, leaving her to question her place in the Amish community, her marriage, and her faith in God.

-Click here to read more about A GIFT OF GRACE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from A GIFT OF GRACE.
-Click here to read an interview with Amy Clipston.
-Click here to read Amy Clipston's bio.
-Visit Amy Clipston's official website,

Click here for more details about the contest and how to enter.

What's New on

Graphic novels offer surprisingly diverse fare, including political biographies. Believe it or not, one of the most successful series in the format, and one that has taken the industry by storm, is the Female Force books, all focused on women who are making a difference in the world political stage. talks to publisher Darren G. Davis about the success. Plus, meet Rick Geary, creator of the Blanche books. As Blanche makes her way through the early part of the 20th century, getting into one adventure after another, we get to know Geary and what inspires him. Plus, the latest reviews of top new releases, a discussion on Phil Yeh's efforts to use comics to battle illiteracy, and much more on the new update of GNR.

Click here to visit

What's New This Month on
With more than 2,600 discussion guides now available, continues to be the leading place for book clubs to find all the resources they need on the web.

Our Blog continues to be a big hit among our readers. Throughout the month we are sharing postings from regular contributors --- including authors, librarians, book club facilitators, booksellers and experts in the publishing industry --- as well as special guests. The latest blog can be found here, and here are quick links to some recent posts:

-Lynne Griffin: Sharing the Love of Reading
-Booking Mama: The Benefits of a Mother-Daughter Book Club
-Brian O'Dea: Writing as a Life Saving Device
-C.W. Gortner: The Reason I Write
-Win a Copy of THE HOUSEHOLD GUIDE TO DYING for Your Reading Group

The following guides are now available on

AN ACCIDENTAL LIGHT by Elizabeth Diamond: A car accident takes the life of a 13-year-old girl, and the ripple effects of a single moment of tragedy become a journey from sorrow to hope, and even, ultimately to joy.
THE AIR BETWEEN US by Deborah Johnson: A novel with the appeal of THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES that explores the interactions of a small town in 1960s Missouri as it struggles with integration.
ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING by Janelle Brown: A smart, comic page-turner about a Silicon Valley family in free fall over the course of one eventful summer.
APPASSIONATA by Eva Hoffman: On tour in Europe, Isabel Merton, a renowned concert pianist, becomes ensnared in a passionate love affair with a Chechen political exile.
ATLAS OF UNKNOWNS by Tania James: A funny and blazingly original novel about sisterhood, the tantalizing dream of America and the secret histories of families everywhere.
THE DIVORCE PARTY by Laura Dave: An insightful and funny multi-generational story, this deeply moving novel is sure to touch anyone whose heart has weathered an unexpected storm.
FINDING SARA by Linda Hope Lee: A young woman's cross country journey to avoid marrying a man she does not love takes an unexpected turn when she finds herself stranded and alone.
FOREIGN TONGUE: A Novel of Life and Love in Paris by Vanina Marsot: A young woman is forced to confront her notions of love, language and culture when, in the wake of a breakup, she moves to Paris and begins work translating a mysterious erotic novel.
THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN by Kate Morton: From the internationally bestselling author of THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON, an unforgettable new novel that transports the reader from the back alleys of poverty of pre-World War I London to the shores of colonial Australia.

THE GIRLS FROM AMES: A Story of Women & a Forty-Year Friendship by Jeffrey Zaslow: From the co-author of the million-copy bestseller THE LAST LECTURE comes a moving tribute to female friendships, with the inspiring story of 11 girls and the 10 women they became.
A GIRL'S GUIDE TO MODERN EUROPEAN PHILOSOPHY by Charlotte Greig: Philosophy student Susannah Jones stumbles through 1970s university life the only way she knows how: with the help of some of the most important philosophers of modern times.
GOD IS NOT GREAT: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens: In the tradition of Bertrand Russell’s WHY I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN and Sam Harris’s recent bestseller, THE END OF FAITH, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion.
HIGH: Confessions of an International Drug Smuggler by Brian O'Dea: High weaves together extracts from Brian O’Dea prison diary with the vivid recounting of his outlaw years as one of the world’s most efficient marijuana traffickers.
HOME SAFE by Elizabeth Berg: The bestselling author of THE DAY I ATE WHATEVER I WANTED and THE YEAR OF PLEASURE returns with a wonderful novel about a woman, a daughter, and a surprising change in life
THE HOUSE ON FORTUNE STREET by Margot Livesey: Two unlikely college friends form a lifelong bond, bringing them mutual good luck for years; but now that they’ve both found “true love,” tragedy threatens to strike.
THE HOUSEHOLD GUIDE TO DYING by Debra Adelaide: A gorgeously crafted, witty and uplifting novel that captures the reader --- heart and mind --- and expands our understanding of a meaningful life.
HOW TO BUY A LOVE OF READING by Tanya Egan Gibson: A playful, witty and remarkably accomplished debut novel about --- of all things --- how reading can save your life.
KILLER CRUISE: A Jaine Austen Mystery by Laura Levine: Laura Levine’s latest mystery featuring wordsmith-turned-sleuth, Jaine Austen --- who’s about to dive into her most dangerous case yet --- she’s far beyond any ordinary Bon Voyage.
THE KILLING TREE by Rachel Keener: A powerful and surprising first novel that is commercial and suspenseful in tone while deep and lyrical in its prose, THE KILLING TREE will wrap you deeply in the folds of contemporary Appalachian culture.
THE LAST DAYS OF THE LACUNA CABAL by Sean Dixon: An offbeat rites-of-passage novel that follows the members of a shallow, squabbling, time-wasting, protracted-adolescent book club as they find themselves transformed through the alchemy of the storyteller’s art.
LOVE BEGINS IN WINTER: Five Stories by Simon Van Booy: A new collection of intimate, redemptive short stories from award-winning writer Simon Van Booy, exposing beauty in sadness, and pain in love.
A RELIABLE WIFE by Robert Goolrick: With echoes of WUTHERING HEIGHTS and REBECCA, Robert Goolrick's intoxicating debut novel delivers a classic tale of suspenseful seduction, set in a world that seems to have gone temporarily off its axis.
RIGHT OF THIRST by Frank Huyler: In this haunting, resonant tour de force, an American doctor’s search for redemption lands him halfway across the world on a relief mission that goes horribly awry.
THE SCARECROW by Michael Connelly: Jack McEvoy decides to use his final days at the Los Angeles Times to write the definitive murder story of his career.
THE SECRET SCRIPTURE by Sebastian Barry: An epic story of family, love and unavoidable tragedy from the two-time Man Booker Prize finalist.
SECRETS SHE LEFT BEHIND by Diane Chamberlain: One afternoon, single mother Sara Weston says that she's going to the store --- and never returns. In her absence, she leaves her teenaged son alone with his damaged past and a legacy of secrets.
SYBIL by Flora Rheta Schreiber: It swept to the top of the bestseller lists and riveted the consciousness of the world. SYBIL is the story of a survivor of terrifying childhood abuse, victim of sudden and mystifying blackouts, and the first case of multiple personality ever to be psychoanalyzed.

THE TURNAROUND by George Pelecanos: A novel of fathers and sons, wives and husbands, loss, victory and violent redemption, THE TURNAROUND is another compelling, highly charged novel from George Pelecanos, "the best crime novelist in America." --Oregonian
UP AT THE COLLEGE by Michele Andrea Bowen: After her marriage of 15 years ends, Yvonne Fountain Copeland returns to her hometown of Durham, North Carolina in search of peace and joy.
VALERIA'S LAST STAND by Marc Fitten: A wry folktale about life, love and capitalism in a tiny village off the map of Hungary.
WE ARE OUR MOTHERS' DAUGHTERS: Revised and Expanded Edition by Cokie Roberts: In this 10th-anniversary edition of
WE ARE OUR MOTHERS' DAUGHTERS, renowned political commentator Cokie Roberts once again examines the nature of women’s roles through the revealing lens of her personal experience.
WE ARE RICH: Stories by Dori Carter: A novel in stories,
WE ARE RICH presents a fresh look on the burdens of wealth, class and the unwitting arsonists of the American Dream.
THE WINTER VAULT by Anne Michaels: Anne Michaels, author of FUGITIVE PIECES, writes a love story of extraordinary depth that juxtaposes an intriguing bit of history with the intimate moments of individual lives.

Please note that these titles, for which we already had the guides when they appeared in hardcover, are now available in paperback:

THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY (Movie Tie-in Edition) by Alexander McCall Smith
TESTIMONY by Anita Shreve
WIT'S END by Karen Joy Fowler

We have the following new guides for Christian book groups:

ENDURING LOVE: Sydney Cove Series, Book 3 by Bonnie Leon: The suspenseful conclusion to the Sydney Cove series, ENDURING LOVE is a gripping story laced with the tender romance and hope that readers have come to expect from Bonnie Leon.
ENTERTAINING ANGELS by Judy Duarte: From the author of the heartwarming MULBERRY PARK comes an uplifting, unforgettable new novel.

JILLIAN DARE by Melanie M. Jeschke: This contemporary story, inspired by the well-loved classic JANE EYRE, will capture your heart with its timeless romance and the mystery of love.
THE MOMENT BETWEEN by Nicole Baart: A breathtaking story about the emotional risks of relationships, THE MOMENT BETWEEN explores the cost of regret, the desire for revenge, and the redemptive power of forgiveness.
NOTHING BUT TROUBLE: PJ Sugar Series, Book 1 by Susan May Warren: Award-winning author Susan May Warren returns with NOTHING BUT TROUBLE, the first novel in a new series for Christian fans of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum.
PARENTING YOUR TEEN AND LOVING IT: Being the Mom Your Kid Needs by Susie Davis: Davis's unfailing advice and encouragement will help you be the best mom you can be by empowering you to parent your teenagers with wisdom.

A PASSION DENIED: The Daughters of Boston, Book 3 by Julie Lessman: Brimming with romance, longing and redemption, A PASSION DENIED will quicken your pulse and gladden your heart with a riveting story of the true power of love.
Click here to visit

This Week's Reviews

LOSING MUM AND PUP: A Memoir by Christopher Buckley (Memoir)
Losing both parents in less than a year can’t be easy. It’s even more difficult when they’re well-known people and you’re the only child. This puts your life, as well as theirs, in the spotlight even more. Christopher Buckley, the son of William F. Buckley, Jr. and Patricia Taylor Buckley, shares his thoughts and memories as he coped through the last year of their lives. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

-Visit the publisher’s official website,

PATHS OF GLORY by Jeffrey Archer (Fiction)
George Mallory once told an American reporter that he wanted to climb Mt. Everest, “because it’s there.” On his third attempt in 1924, at age 37, he was last seen 600 feet from the top. His body was found in 1999, and it still remains a mystery whether he ever reached the summit. PATHS OF GLORY tells Mallory’s story like a fairy tale of adventure, desire and passion for achieving what no man had yet to accomplish. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

THE VISIBLES by Sara Shepard (Fiction)
Sara Shepard, previously best known for her em>Pretty Little Liars series for young adults, crosses over to adult literature with aplomb in THE VISIBLES, a unique coming-of-age novel about a young woman making the transition to independent adult life. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

DEVIL’S GARDEN by Ace Atkins (Historical Thriller)
San Francisco, September 1921: Silent-screen comedy star Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle is throwing a wild party in his suite at the St. Francis Hotel, complete with girls, jazz, bootleg hooch…and a dead actress named Virginia Rappe. The D.A. says it was Arbuckle who killed her and brings him up on manslaughter charges. William Randolph Hearst’s newspapers stir up the public and demand a guilty verdict. But what really happened? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

NOT BECOMING MY MOTHER: And Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way by Ruth Reichl (Memoir)
Ruth Reichl embarks on an investigation of her mother’s life, piecing together the journey of a woman she comes to realize she never really knew. Looking to her mother’s letters and diaries, Reichl confronts the painful transition her mother made from a hopeful young woman to an increasingly unhappy older one, and realizes the tremendous sacrifices she made to make sure her daughter’s life would not be as disappointing as her own. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

LIFE IS LIKE A SAILBOAT: Selected Writings on Life & Living from The Philadelphia Inquirer by John Grogan (Essays)
John Grogan, an observer of suburban life and living for The Philadelphia Inquirer and author of the popular bestseller MARLEY & ME, is back with a collection of 84 newspaper columns on such vital issues as Internet spam, the evils of smoking and the evolution of the backyard treehouse. His range of subjects is as wide as a suburban lawn, his prose flows nicely and his viewpoint is whimsical. Reviewed by Robert Finn.

ABOUT FACE: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon (Mystery)
Environmental concerns become significant in Commissario Guido Brunetti’s work when an investigator from the Carabiniere, looking into the illegal hauling of garbage, asks for a favor. His father-in-law needs help and a mysterious woman comes into the picture. Brunetti soon finds himself in the middle of an investigation into murder and corruption more dangerous than anything he’s seen before. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

WALKING DEAD by Greg Rucka (Thriller)
In this explosive new thriller, Greg Rucka, the acclaimed author of SHOOTING AT MIDNIGHT and PATRIOT ACTS, sets bodyguard-turned-international-fugitive Atticus Kodiak on a one-man crusade where being willing to die for your ideals isn’t enough. You have to be willing to do much worse.… Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

IN THE COURTS OF THE SUN by Brian D'Amato (Science Fiction Thriller)
This is an imaginative, offbeat science fiction thriller that tells the story of Jed DeLanda, a 21st century descendant of the ancient Mayans. As an “adder,” Jed was born with the unique ability to foretell the future via a Mayan sacrifice game. When he learns that scientists have successfully translated an ancient tome called the Codex, Jed uses the sacrifice game to foretell the meaning of the Codex and confirms a prediction for the end of mankind from a catastrophic event on the date 12/21/2012. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.


Read this week's reviews here.

Poll and Question of the Week: All About Moms

Which female writer or character does/did your mom most remind you of?

Erma Bombeck
Candace Bushnell
Jackie Collins
Joan Didion
Nora Ephron
Anna Quindlen
Amy Sedaris
Martha Stewart
Ayelet Waldman
Jenny Fields (THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP by John Irving)
Ma Ingalls (Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder)
Miss Julia (Miss Julia series by Ann B. Ross)
Margaret "Marmee" March (LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott)
Mrs. Weasley (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
None of the above

-Click here to answer our poll.


If you are a mom, which character or author are you most like?

-Click here to answer our question.

Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading --- THREE Prizes

Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't.

This week we have three great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of CEMETERY DANCE by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, ROOFTOPS OF TEHRAN by Mahbod Seraji and THE WAY HOME by George Pelecanos. Tell us what you are reading and rate the titles 1-5 by noon on May 15th to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.


Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.


As always, here are a few housekeeping notes. If you are seeing this newsletter in a text version, and would prefer to see the graphics, you can either read it online or change your preferences below.

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Those who are subscribed to the newsletter by May 31, 2009 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month, one winner will be selected to win the following five books: GONE TOMORROW: A Reacher Novel by Lee Child, ROAD DOGS by Elmore Leonard, THE SCARECROW by Michael Connelly, SHANGHAI GIRLS by Lisa See and THE SIGN by Raymond Khoury. Jacki from Burlington, VT was last month's newsletter winner. She won BONEMAN'S DAUGHTERS by Ted Dekker, CURSED: A Regan Reilly Mystery by Carol Higgins Clark, FIRST FAMILY by David Baldacci, JUST TAKE MY HEART by Mary Higgins Clark and TEA TIME FOR THE TRADITIONALLY BUILT: The New No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Novel by Alexander McCall Smith.

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