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July 1, 2011 Newsletter July 1, 2011
From Bourbon Street to the Starlight Ballroom --- It Was Quite a Week!

When we left off, I was on Bourbon Street in New Orleans heading out to do some bookstore shopping. I felt like I dropped back in time riding the streetcar over to the Garden District Book Shop with the open windows blowing warm humid air, reminding me of bygone days pre-air conditioning. Garden District is a terrific store with special sections for both Anne Rice, including photos of her infamous book tour event where she arrived in a coffin, and James Lee Burke. Greg picked up two Burke titles to get started on his collection. They also had a wonderful section with New Orleans-themed books. We enjoyed poking around, and I bought a map. Though I had “tour guide Greg” with me, I wanted to be able to chart where we had been when I got home.

While at Garden District, we bumped into Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum, the creators of the library comic. Throughout the weekend, there were kismet meet-ups like this with various librarian friends besides the official American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference events. It was a bummer that my schedule was such that I did not get to visit more stores, but I will be back in New Orleans in January and will schedule more time to get to the others on my list. It’s nice to have something to look forward to!

The $20,000+ Great Graphic Novel Library Giveaway (it actually ended up valued at more than $25,000!) that we co-sponsored with Brodart and Diamond Book Distributors and both displayed and gave away at ALA was a terrific success. More than 1,500 librarians entered to win the entire prize of 900 books and furniture! In a spirit of true camaraderie, we saw many of the well-funded libraries taking a pass on entering as they wanted to give this opportunity to a library that truly was in need. LeVette Fuller of Shreve Memorial Library in Shreveport, Louisiana won. You can see a photo of me, LeVette and John Hogan, our Editorial Director for, above. Greg was in the booth the entire time with John, and he thought this was a complete blast.

There were a number of really fun parties, including one for Dav Pilkey’s latest, SUPER DIAPER BABY 2: THE INVASION OF THE POTTY SNATCHERS, a book for the younger set where all attendees donned red capes to get into the spirit, and we feasted on gourmet versions of kid food, including hot dogs, cotton candy and a cake made from popcorn and candy that was really scrumptious. And there was a huge blowup of a cover where you could stick your head through where I, of course, had to have my photo taken.

There were dessert parties, dance parties, and parties where beads abounded. We grabbed dinner at Galatoire’s, beignets at Café Du Monde late one evening, pecan pancakes at The Camellia Grill (now open in the French Quarter), and way, way too many more meals to mention. All I know is that I ate more in New Orleans in one day than I normally eat in a WEEK! Robin Brenner, Eva Volin and a few other pals discovered Meltdown, a gourmet popsicle shop on Dumaine Street that was fabulous. I ate three popsicles there on Monday afternoon and tasted six others via Greg and my pal Charlene Rue from Brooklyn Public Library. I wish we had a shop like this near the office! The proprietor, Michelle Weaver, is lovely and made the experience even more fun. Then we all took advantage of New Orleans' lack of an open container law and toasted a successful ALA with plastic cups splashed with island rum toted by Chris Schweizer by train from Atlanta. Check out the photo top right.

Between epicurean adventures, there were excellent programs at ALA. Among them…Jeff Kinney of Wimpy Kid fame told terrific stories about the true-life inspirations for some of the scenes in his books; Mary Kay Andrews brought great smiles to the crowd on the Reading Stage talking about SUMMER RENTAL; S.J. Watson gave background on BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP; Karin Slaughter talked about her library mission and hinted at a big announcement on that coming soon; at tea on Monday, among the guest talks, Dorothea Benton Frank gave the history inspiring FOLLY BEACH, while Eleanor Brown chronicled life with her sisters, which was apt, given her book THE WEIRD SISTERS, and Susan Wiggs and her daughter, Elizabeth, shared their story behind HOW I PLANNED YOUR WEDDING: The All-True Story of a Mother and Daughter Surviving the Happiest Day of Their Lives.

I also flagged down John Hart as he walked past our booth, and we talked about his upcoming IRON HOUSE (pre-order at IndieBound or Amazon), a #1 IndieBound selection for July. I am looking forward to sharing this one with you! It has great twists and turns, and I have not stopped talking about it since I finished it. John told me he turned it in happy to have written a book that he liked, but he was not sure his publisher would like it. They did…a lot! I was heartened that after so much success (he’s won a number of awards), he would question his storytelling and not take success for granted, but rather question it. He’s always had a quiet honesty about him that I appreciate.

Laura Lippman made a “one-time only” appearance with her husband, David Simon, of HBO's "Treme" and "The Wire" fame (see photo above left) where they touched on a subject that I give a lot of thought to --- how long form narrative has found a home on television and is competing with books for reader attention. They also talked about the differences between writing/producing for television and books. No author needs to deal with weather delays, unavailability of cast members for shooting, lighting issues, or annual pitches to the network for renewals. Scenes can be changed at a whim, dialogue rewritten, characters moved on demand. It was a thought-provoking and interesting hour.

We packed up and left New Orleans before sunrise to head back to New York for the Romance Writers of America Literacy Signing on Tuesday night. If there is any doubt that people are reading, the long lines stretching up 46th Street that led up to an over-crowded room should waylay those fears. The pitch in the ballroom was definitely high --- think female squeals --- as 400 authors sat next to each other at tables to sign books for readers. There was a long line to get into the ballroom, and from there we sprinted to see Kristin Hannah, Tess Gerritsen, Jane Porter, Jill Marie Landis, and many, many more.

Wednesday and Thursday were parties at such wonderful locations as Top of the Rock, the Boathouse in Central Park and the Flatiron Building, culminating in Harlequin’s Black and White Ball at the Starlight Room at the Waldorf Astoria, where I wore black instead of turquoise to stay on theme. They brought the deejay who has spun for their events the last few years, and he kept us jumping on the dance floor --- the white dance floor --- all night. At one point, Greg, one of a handful of men in the room, was twirling and dancing with six authors.

Meanwhile, there’s lots more to share in this week’s update. First we have our review of Margaret Leroy’s novel, THE SOLDIER’S WIFE, which we’ve been featuring in our One to Watch Author Spotlight. It’s the story of a housewife on the British island of Guernsey during the final weeks of World War II, and the relationship she develops with one of the Nazi occupation soldiers. Her husband is away on the front lines, and she finds herself struggling to contain her feelings for someone in an enemy uniform. There is a lot of honesty and raw emotion in this story, and it will definitely stir an interesting conversation. I’m really curious to see what readers and book groups talk about once they read it.

Melanie Smith has our review and says, “THE SOLDIER’S WIFE is a lovely, classy romance and an elegant historical novel filled to the brim with antiquated details and thoughtful themes. This is a realistic look at war, and the many events that unfold are perfectly believable and completely engaging. The love story is powerful and will make readers consider exactly what loyalty means and what love can do. Era details are spot-on, and the romantic scenes are handled tactfully but with indulgence.” Fans of THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows will want to check this one out. And it’s in trade paperback! You can read Melanie’s interview with Margaret here. I also have selected this as a Bets On selection, and you can read my comments here.

We also have a review of THE BELLS by Richard Harvell, which we’ve been featuring in our Paperback Spotlight. THE BELLS follows an aspiring opera singer from his upbringing in a rustic Swiss village to the top of Austria’s arts and culture scene during the 18th century. Reviewer Usha Rao says, “Harvell has put together a solid debut effort, a romantic tragedy that is engaging, informative and operatic in scope. One of the book’s great strengths is its ability to find words to convey the experience of listening to music with all of one’s being, and being transported by it. At its heart, THE BELLS is an ode to music.” THE BELLS is in stores now. We also have an interview with Richard that you can read here.

SUNSET BRIDGE by Emilie Richards is our latest Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight title, and it also hit stores in paperback this week. This sounds like a great summer read as a group of women in a small Florida resort town forge a strong friendship despite their different backgrounds. Sarah Rachel Egelman has our review and says, “In Richards's capable hands, all the story lines neatly intersect and all the drama seems totally plausible. SUNSET BRIDGE is full of action, introspection, suspense and dynamic relationships, but it is never chaotic or busy. The plots intersect enough to make the story feel cohesive. Weighing in on subjects such as friendship, partnership, aging, ambition and motherhood, the characters seem real and likable despite --- or perhaps because of --- their foibles.” Sarah also interviewed Emilie here.

We’ll have our review of Janet Evanovich’s SMOKIN’ SEVENTEEN (order at IndieBound or Amazon), her latest Stephanie Plum novel, next week, and there’s a good reason for it. One you may not believe! Roz Shea, one of our regular reviewers, was away on Tuesday when she received a call that her home had apparently been burglarized. Thankfully nobody was hurt and no possessions appeared to be missing, but it was the UPS delivery woman who scared off the thieves. She pulled the truck up to deliver SMOKIN' SEVENTEEN and noticed a broken window. The driver immediately alerted the sheriff, who figured the bandits --- using a Scooby-Doo sleeping bag to cover the broken glass in the window pane --- fled when they saw the truck park in front of the house. Understandably shaken, the driver left without dropping off the package, but bravely returned the next day to deliver it. We’re going to give Roz an extra week to review the book. I think she’s earned it!

Although we have no new contests starting this week, we still have copies of Karin Slaughter’s FALLEN up for grabs. Enter here by Tuesday, July 5th to win a copy of her latest --- and best! ---New York Times bestseller. You can read our review of FALLEN from last week here. There are only 10 copies available, so good luck to all entrants! You can also click on the ad running on’s homepage to enter, too.

Also, don’t forget our Summer Reading contests, where you can win some of the summer’s best reads. We’re giving away a different book every day from Monday to Thursday, but you have to visit the site to see the day’s prize title. You can also subscribe to our special daily alert emails here. We will resume the contest on Tuesday on account of the July 4th holiday!

Once my hectic schedule returns to normal, I’m hoping to check out State of Georgia on ABC Family. It’s a sitcom co-written and executive produced by Jennifer Weiner, the popular author of GOOD IN BED and FLY AWAY HOME. The show stars Raven-Symone as an actress who has her sights set on Broadway and the geeky best friend who keeps her grounded. The show premiered on Wednesday in the 8:30PM ET time slot. Jennifer’s next novel, THEN CAME YOU (pre-order at IndieBound or Amazon), hits stores on July 12th.

On our patio we have created the outdoor living space of my dreams. As my younger son, Cory, noted, we have a living room with loveseats and chairs, a dining area that seats six, and two “bedrooms” with lounge chairs in separate areas. He called the grill area the kitchen and labeled the pool "the bathtub." I know, humor. In a true stroke of genius, my husband designed a lamp for outdoor reading (being married to an engineer has these benefits) that he had me test the other night. It needs a few modifications and a lampshade, but the concept is working. In a stroke of less than genius, he hired a crew to create a landing area also known as a patio for the fire pit, and from the looks of things, they will be here grinding stone for that both today and tomorrow. Not my favorite setup for a long weekend, but my reward will be extra seating area around the fire. Hmmmm…will Cory call this the fire room?

Have a Firecracker Fourth of July! And Greg reminded me that our Canadian readers are celebrating Canada Day today, so Happy Canada Day! Grab some reading time amidst the rocket’s red glare celebrating. Last week as I traveled, I averaged three pages a day and it was frustrating. I plan to make up for lost reading time this weekend!

Carol Fitzgerald ( Talks to Margaret Leroy, Author of THE SOLDIER’S WIFE

Author Margaret Leroy’s latest work, THE SOLDIER’S WIFE, is a story of love and fear that takes place on the island of Guernsey --- off the coast of Normandy --- as World War II draws near. When the Occupation turns brutal, Vivienne de la Mare, who is wrapped up in a love affair, must decide if she is willing to risk her personal happiness for the life of a stranger.’s Melanie Smith spoke with Leroy about her inspiration for the novel in this interview, and how her family history, motherhood and social work helped inform the narrative. She also talks about falling in love with Guernsey and imagining what it was like growing up in wartime.

THE SOLDIER’S WIFE by Margaret Leroy (Historical Fiction)
For fans of historical romance, there can be no more exciting tale than the tender love story told in THE SOLDIER’S WIFE, set on the island of Guernsey during the summer of 1940 and spanning the following five years. This place of beauty and contemplation becomes a safe haven for a while, within a continent that is already being ravaged by war. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

-Click here to read a review of THE SOLDIER'S WIFE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE SOLDIER'S WIFE.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE SOLDIER'S WIFE.
-Click here to read Margaret Leroy's bio.
-Click here to see Margaret Leroy's backlist.
-Visit Margaret Leroy's official website,
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read and comment on THE SOLDIER’S WIFE.
-Click here to see our One to Watch Author Spotlight feature for Margaret Leroy and THE SOLDIER'S WIFE.


Click here to read our interview with Margaret Leroy. Talks to Emilie Richards, Author of SUNSET BRIDGE

Emilie Richards is the author of over 60 novels, which is quite a staggering feat. Her Happiness Key series began in 2009 and concludes with SUNSET BRIDGE. Now, more than ever, the five female friends of Happiness Key, Florida, will discover just how much they need one another.’s Sarah Rachel Egelman spoke with Richards about her characters, and the joy she felt when creating and developing them. She also reveals her writing process, which has recently changed gears, and how relationships, friendships and motherhood function in this book and in others.

SUNSET BRIDGE by Emilie Richards (Fiction)
Former socialite Tracy Deloche has nothing to her name but five ramshackle beach cottages and the unlikely friendships she's formed with her tenants. But as a tropical storm brews, the wind carries surprises and secrets over the bridge to Happiness Key. Now, more than ever, five friends will discover just how much they need one another. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

-Click here to read a review of SUNSET BRIDGE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from SUNSET BRIDGE.
-Click here to read critical praise for SUNSET BRIDGE.
-Click here to read Emilie Richards’s bio.
-Visit Emilie Richards’s official website,
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read and comment on SUNSET BRIDGE.
-Click here to see our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight feature for Emilie Richards and SUNSET BRIDGE.


Click here to read our interview with Emilie Richards.

An Interview with Richard Harvell, Author of THE BELLS

THE BELLS is Richard Harvell’s debut novel, the story of a boy named Moses who finds refuge in a monastery's choir and becomes its star singer, when he falls under the power of a man who will do anything to preserve his angelic voice forever. In this interview, Harvell talks about his fascination with and careful research of operas, castratos, monks, choirs and the 18th century --- all of which function heavily in THE BELLS. He also discusses fatherhood and masculinity, and how he transforms what might be considered the norm in his book, and offers a sneak peek at his next research-heavy project.

THE BELLS by Richard Harvell (Fiction)
Moses Froben was born in a belfry high in the Swiss Alps where his deaf mother served as the keeper of the loudest bells in the land. Shaped by the bells’ glorious music, Moses possessed an extraordinary gift for sound. When he is cast out of his village as a boy, with only his ears to guide him, Moses discovers his singing voice. It is this gift, however, that will cause his greatest misfortune. Reviewed by Usha Rao.

-Click here to read a review of THE BELLS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE BELLS.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE BELLS.
-Click here to read Richard Harvell’s bio.
-Visit Richard Harvell’s official website,
-Click here to see the 20 winners of THE BELLS.
-Click here to see our Paperback Spotlight feature for THE BELLS.


Click here to read an interview with Richard Harvell.

Now in Stores: NOW YOU SEE HER by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

NOW YOU SEE HER by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (Thriller)
A successful lawyer and loving mother, Nina Bloom would do anything to protect the life she's built in New York --- including lying to everyone, even her daughter, about her past. But when an innocent man is framed for murder, she knows that she can't let him pay for the real killer's crimes. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from NOW YOU SEE HER.

Click here to read a review of NOW YOU SEE HER.

Now in Stores: UNTOLD STORY by Monica Ali

UNTOLD STORY by Monica Ali (Fiction)
As what-if novels go, this sensitive thriller --- a highly marketable offering from a Booker Prize-shortlisted author --- is a bombshell...a blonde bombshell. It features a royal personage with a strong resemblance to Diana, Princess of Wales, who fakes her own death and takes up ordinary life in small-town America. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.

-Click here to read an excerpt from UNTOLD STORY.

Click here to read a review of UNTOLD STORY.

Featured One to Watch Author: Alice LaPlante, Author of TURN OF MIND

In Alice LaPlante's masterful, haunting debut novel, TURN OF MIND, a former surgeon suffering from dementia becomes the primary suspect in the murder of her best friend and neighbor.

-Click here to read an excerpt from TURN OF MIND.
-Click here to read critical praise for TURN OF MIND.
-Click here to read Alice LaPlante’s bio.
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read and comment on TURN OF MIND.

More about TURN OF MIND:
A stunning first novel, both literary and thriller, about a retired orthopedic surgeon with dementia, TURN OF MIND has already received worldwide attention. With unmatched patience and a pulsating intensity, Alice LaPlante brings us deep into a brilliant woman’s deteriorating mind, where the impossibility of recognizing reality can be both a blessing and a curse.

As the book opens, Dr. Jennifer White’s best friend, Amanda, who lived down the block, has been killed, and four fingers surgically removed from her hand. Dr. White is the prime suspect, and she herself doesn’t know whether she did it. Told in White’s own voice, fractured and eloquent, a picture emerges of the surprisingly intimate, complex alliance between these life-long friends --- two proud, forceful women who were at times each other’s most formidable adversaries.

As the investigation into the murder deepens and White’s relationships with her live-in caretaker and two grown children intensify, a chilling question lingers: Is White’s shattered memory preventing her from revealing the truth or helping her to hide it?


Click here to see our One to Watch Author Spotlight feature for Alice LaPlante and TURN OF MIND.

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Chevy Stevens, Author of NEVER KNOWING
STILL MISSING announced Chevy Stevens as a suspense/thriller author to watch. Her second novel, NEVER KNOWING, ups the ante with its portrayal of a woman whose biological mother survived the wrath of a gruesome killer.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from NEVER KNOWING.
-Click here to read critical praise for NEVER KNOWING.
-Click here to read Chevy Stevens’s bio.
-Click here to see Chevy Stevens’s backlist.
-Visit Chevy Stevens’s official website,
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read and comment on NEVER KNOWING.

From the acclaimed author of STILL MISSING comes a psychological thriller about one woman’s search into her past and the deadly truth she uncovers. All her life, Sara Gallagher has wondered about her birth parents. As an adopted child with two sisters who were born naturally to her parents, Sara did not have an ideal home life. The question of why she was given up for adoption has always haunted her. Finally, she is ready to take steps and find closure. But some questions are better left unanswered.

Click here to see our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight feature for Chevy Stevens and NEVER KNOWING.

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Gregg Hurwitz, Author of YOU’RE NEXT

Mike Wingate seems to have it all in Gregg Hurwitz's latest nail-biter, YOU'RE NEXT--- a devoted wife, a beautiful daughter, a growing company --- until shadowy figures from his past begin emerging and force to him to protect his family at any cost.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from YOU’RE NEXT.
-Click here to read critical praise for YOU’RE NEXT.
-Click here to read Gregg Hurwitz’s bio.
-Click here to see Gregg Hurwitz’s backlist.
-Visit Gregg Hurwitz’s official website,
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read and comment on YOU'RE NEXT.

More about YOU'RE NEXT:
Mike Wingate, abandoned by his father at four and raised in foster care, is finally living the life he always dreamed of --- he’s happily married with a precocious eight-year-old daughter, and his construction company is about to finish a “green” housing development that will secure a solid future for them all.

But then something from his own past, a past he doesn’t even remember, comes back to visit terror upon him and his family. Shady characters begin threatening Mike, and when he reports them, the police seem more interested in Mike’s murky past than in protecting him.

Now, with Mike, his wife Annabel and daughter Kat suddenly under attack from all sides, Mike turns to Shep, a dangerous man --- and Mike’s only true friend --- from his childhood days in foster care. Together they will do whatever it takes to protect Mike’s family against the hidden men behind the terrifying warning, “You’re Next.”


Click here to see our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight feature for Gregg Hurwitz and YOU’RE NEXT.'s Summer Reading Contests and Features

Summer is upon us! At, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contests and Features. We will be spotlighting a different title or two on select days from Tuesday, May 31st through Wednesday, July 27th, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book(s) and enter. Some days may even feature special bonus prizes, including beach items, a beach tote stocked with goodies, and additional books. We also will be sending a special daily newsletter to announce the day's title(s), which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Tuesday, July 5th at noon ET.

-Click here to see this year's featured titles.
-Click here to receive our special newsletter announcing each day’s prize book.


Click here to read all the details of's Summer Reading Contests and Features.

Books into Movies/Books into Movies on DVD for July

Summer is now in full swing, and the final Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, will soon sweep you away. In this epic ending, the battle between good and evil in the wizarding world will escalate into all-out war. The stakes have never been higher, as Harry draws closer to a climactic showdown with Lord Voldemort. You won’t want to miss a second of it!

But if you’re still plowing through the books and need to shield your eyes from this finale, there are plenty of other films that will up your heart rate. The First Avenger: Captain America is an action-packed, fantastical adventure where good must also prevail. Cowboys & Aliens is a true nail-biter --- a stranger with no memory of his past stumbles into a hard desert town that lives in fear. And in Good Neighbors, a serial killer stalks a Montreal neighborhood in 1995.

Several multicultural films will also take you back in time, to lands you may never have seen. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, based on the acclaimed book by Lisa See, brings us to 19th-century China, where seven-year-old girls Snow Flower and Lily are bound together for eternity. Sarah’s Key, an adaptation of Tatiana de Rosnay’s novel of the same name, begins in Paris in 1942 when 10-year-old Sarah is taken by the French police simply for being Jewish. Life, Above All takes place in a dust-ridden village near Johannesburg, where a rumor destroys 12-year-old Chandra’s family. And The Devil’s Double tells the true story of Iraqi army lieutenant Latif Yahia, who was ordered to become the body double to Saddam's son, the notorious "Black Prince."

If you're looking for some lighthearted summer fun instead, Monte Carlo, starring Selena Gomez, leads three women on a quest for international romance and a hunt for a stolen necklace worth a million bucks. And of course, let’s not forget that, on July 15th, Winnie the Pooh and friends return to the big screen for the first time in over 35 years. In Winnie the Pooh, Owl sends the whole gang --- Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Kanga, Roo and Eeyore --- on a wild adventure to save Christopher Robin from an imaginary culprit. All Pooh wanted to do was find some hunny, but it looks like it's going to be a very busy, perhaps even blustery, day instead!

Our Books into Movies on DVD feature is currently spotlighting four films: Desert Flower, Limitless, The Lincoln Lawyer and Miral. So in case you missed these movies the first time, you can now enjoy them from the comfort of your own home.


Click here for more details about July's films.

This Week’s Reviews

THE KINGDOM: A Fargo Adventure by Clive Cussler with Grant Blackwood (Thriller/Action & Adventure)
On a journey that takes them to Tibet, Nepal, Bulgaria, India and China, Sam and Remi Fargo find themselves embroiled with black-market fossils, a centuries-old puzzle chest, the ancient Tibetan kingdom of Mustang, a balloon aircraft, and a skeleton that could turn human evolution on its head. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

LONG GONE by Alafair Burke (Thriller)
After a layoff, Alice Humphrey finally lands her dream job managing a new art gallery in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking District. Everything is perfect until the morning Alice arrives at work to find the space stripped bare and the owner’s dead body on the floor. Overnight, Alice’s dream job has vanished, and she finds herself at the center of police attention with nothing to prove her innocence. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

BREAKING SILENCE by Linda Castillo (Thriller)
The Slabaugh family are model Amish farmers, but when the parents and an uncle are found dead in their barn, the autopsy indicates foul play. Who would want to make orphans of the Slabaughs' children? Having grown up Amish, Kate is determined to bring the killer to justice. She searches for the link between the mounting Amish crimes and uncovers a dark secret at work beneath the placid surface of this idyllic community. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

TIGERLILY’S ORCHIDS by Ruth Rendell (Psychological Thriller)
When Stuart Font decides to throw a housewarming party in his new flat, he invites all the people in his building. As it turns out, the party will be one everybody remembers. Living in a townhouse opposite Stuart’s building, in reclusive isolation, is a young, beautiful Asian woman known as Tigerlily. As though from some strange urban fairy tale, she emerges infrequently to exert a terrible spell. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

BRIGHT’S PASSAGE by Josh Ritter (Fiction)
Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter’s debut novel tells the story of Henry Bright, a World War I veteran and West Virginia farmer, fleeing the demons of his wartime experience and the wrath of a vengeful enemy. Though not without its flaws, BRIGHT’S PASSAGE is a promising start on a transition into a new artistic field. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

KINDRED SPIRITS by Sarah Strohmeyer (Fiction)
When Lynne passes away, she leaves behind one simple request: that her old friends sort through her belongings. Reluctantly, three women reunite to rummage through her closets. Buried deep within Lynne's lingerie drawer is an envelope addressed to them. Inside, they find a letter that reveals a shocking secret, and a final wish that will send them on a life-changing journey. Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton.

BLOOD OF THE REICH by William Dietrich (Thriller)
With World War II about to explode across Europe, SS Officer Kurt Raeder leads a team to Tibet to discover an energy source to help the Nazis conquer the world. Standing in his way is wealthy American zoologist Benjamin Hood. Decades later, Rominy Pickett is the key to saving the world from the ultimate evil forces. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

FROM BARCELONA, WITH LOVE by Elizabeth Adler (Romantic Suspense)
Adventure follows Mac Reilly and Sunny Alvarez wherever they travel --- St. Tropez, Paris, Monte Carlo, Barcelona --- but their desire for each other always leads them back into each other’s arms and Mac’s Malibu beach house. Their lifestyle is casual, their friends internationally celebrated, their love passionate. Make FROM BARCELONA, WITH LOVE your summer indulgence. Reviewed by Hillary Wagy.

PIE TOWN by Lynne Hinton (Fiction)
Pie Town, New Mexico, was once legendary for its extraordinary pies. But it's been a while since these desserts graced the local diner. The townspeople like to think of themselves as family, especially when it comes to caring for a disabled boy being raised by his grandparents. But Pie Town's fortunes are about to take a major turn --- due to the arrival of a new priest and a young hitchhiker Trina, who some townsfolk just know is trouble. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

THE MAP OF TIME by Felix J. Palma (Historical Fantasy)
Three love stories set in Victorian England are held together by one person: H.G. Wells and his book, THE TIME MACHINE. Wells is called upon to investigate and help perpetuate incidents of time travel. But he finds himself pondering questions about the future and whether it’s possible to change not only the future but also our lives in the process. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

THE BEGINNERS by Rebecca Wolff (Fiction)
Theo and Raquel Motherwell are the only newcomers to the sleepy town of Wick in 15-year-old Ginger Pritt's memory. Hampered by a lingering innocence while her best friend becomes embroiled with boys, Ginger is attracted to the worldliness and sophistication of this dashing couple. But the Motherwells may be more than they seem. As Ginger's imagination takes up the seductive mystery of their past, she also draws closer to her town's dark history. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.


Click here to read this week's reviews.

Young Adult Books You Won’t Want to Miss
As you may or may not know, our company, The Book Report Network, has a number of websites about books and authors in addition to Throughout the year, features adult books on, our site for young adult readers, that we think will have definite appeal to a teen audience. In the spirit of sharing, we are now spotlighting a selection of titles each month from that we believe are great reads that you might enjoy.

Here are our latest featured titles:

THE LOST HEIRESS: Relic Master, Book Two by Catherine Fisher (Fantasy)
THE LOST HEIRESS is the second book in Catherine Fisher’s Relic Master series, which is being released in four consecutive months this summer. Set in a world that meshes magic with ancient technology, Raffi and his master, Galen, are keepers of an ancient and forbidden faith, which reveres the relics left by their vanished makers. Their mighty empire may have fallen, but they seek the lost heiress, glimpsed in a prophetic vision, whose life is in danger from the brutal regime of the Watch. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

TIGHTER by Adele Griffin (Psychological Thriller)
When 17-year-old Jamie arrives on the New England island of Little Bly to work as a summer au pair, she's stunned to learn of the horror that precedes her. Seeking the truth surrounding a young couple's tragic deaths, Jamie discovers that she herself looks shockingly like the dead girl --- and that she has a disturbing ability to sense the two ghosts. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

BETWEEN HERE AND FOREVER by Elizabeth Scott (Fiction)
Abby already accepted that she can't measure up to her beautiful sister Tess, and she knows exactly what she is: second best. Until the accident. Now Tess is in a coma --- it may have been hard living with Tess, but it's nothing compared to living without her. Abby is about to find out that truth isn't always as it seems, and life holds more than she ever thought it could. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

Click here to see all the young adult books you won’t want to miss.

Poll and Question of the Week: Thrilling --- and Beachy --- Summer Reads

Which of the following suspense/thrillers releasing this summer are you most looking forward to reading? Please check as many as apply.

BURIED SECRETS: A Nick Heller Novel, by Joseph Finder
COLD VENGEANCE by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
THE CUT by George Pelecanos
FALLEN by Karin Slaughter
FLASH AND BONES by Kathy Reichs
JUSTICE by Karen Robards
KILL ME IF YOU CAN by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
NORTHWEST ANGLE by William Kent Krueger
PORTRAIT OF A SPY by Daniel Silva
QUINN by Iris Johansen
THE SILENT GIRL: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel, by Tess Gerritsen
SMOKIN' SEVENTEEN: A Stephanie Plum Novel, by Janet Evanovich
None of the above

-Click here to answer our poll.


Name up to five of your favorite books that you would label as beach reads.

-Click here to answer our question.

Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win THREE Books!

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 JUSTICE by Karen Robards, PORTRAIT OF A SPY by Daniel Silva and ROBERT LUDLUM'S ™ THE BOURNE DOMINION by Eric Van Lustbader. Tell us what you are reading here and rate the titles 1-5 by noon ET on Friday, July 15th to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.


Click here for more details about Word of Mouth.