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May 8, 2015 Newsletter May 8, 2015
Happy Mother's Day!
When we left off last week, I was hustling my way over to the Random House Open House. The first speaker, Tom Brokaw, was greeted with a standing ovation as he walked into the room, which he genuinely appreciated, though it also seemed to surprise him. Of course, I cannot recall a time when I was at a book event when there was an ovation at the start of a presentation. From there, he gave a very personal and highly engaging talk about his diagnosis of and treatment for multiple myeloma, which is the topic of A LUCKY LIFE INTERRUPTED, which will be in stores on Tuesday. If any of you caught his "Dateline" special last night, you will know why his speech had us all riveted. You can see a clip from "Dateline" that aired on the "Today Show" here, as well as a piece in Parade here. I have seen a lot of authors over the last 18 years, but this is one of the talks that I will treasure most.

As I waited for Shara from our staff to meet up with me, I found myself standing next to Brokaw and we chatted for a bit. I shared that he is lucky, even with his cancer. I never got to meet my father-in-law as he died from multiple myeloma in 1979 less than a year from his diagnosis. It's gratifying to see how research and treatment options have changed those odds today. He was more than gracious about my comment, noting that he appreciated that perspective. Oh, and yes, there was a standing ovation when he left as well! I started the book on Friday night and finished it on Saturday; I loved the perspective that he shared.

On Wednesday, Linwood Barclay stopped by the office (you can see a photo of us above). He was in town for some meetings and a family celebration. I have MANY shelves of books in my office, but he was quick to spot a copy of NEVER LOOK AWAY while I was still on the first shelf looking for one of his titles! As he said, I always look for my books in a store to see if they are spine in or out! We snapped the picture above, and then I shared six early reader comments about his upcoming BROKEN PROMISE (in stores on July 28th) that I am crazy about (and these early readers are, too). It will be a Bets On selection. More on this in early June when we hear from more of our Sneak Peek readers.

Tom Donadio was off to The Mysterious Bookshop last night for an event celebrating the release of the short story anthology DARK CITY LIGHTS, the fourth installment in the Have a NYC series, which we reviewed last week. A whopping 17 of the 23 writers who contributed stories to the collection were on hand to sign books and meet with readers, including the anthology's editor, famed mystery writer Lawrence Block. One of the book's contributors who Tom was especially excited to see was our longtime reviewer, Tom Callahan. Tom D. has only met a handful of our reviewers face to face, so it was a thrill for him to finally meet the delightful Tom C. and chat with him. You can see a photo of them above, along with Lawrence Block holding a copy of DARK CITY LIGHTS. Tom D. told me what a wonderful time he had, and I so wish my schedule had allowed me to be there!

Monday night was a fun evening of celebrating the Children’s Choice Book Awards. You can see a list of the winners here. A portion of the funds raised that evening by Every Child a Reader (ECAR) will fund a dialectic reading program that will be created in honor of the late Walter Dean Myers. As I am on the board of ECAR, I am thrilled that we will be supporting this worthwhile cause.

Speaking of celebrations, this month is the 15th anniversary of To kick off the celebration, we have a poll running with 15 fiction and 15 nonfiction titles that are popular book group choices. IF you are in a book group, weigh in and tell us how many of them YOU have read.

Now on to this week’s lineup...

We are delighted to present our latest Sneak Peek feature on ORPHAN #8 by Kim van Alkemade, which releases on August 4th. Four-year-old Rachel Rabinowitz is sent to a Jewish orphanage following the death of her parents. Terrified and separated from her brother, Rachel is then subjected to the cruel research of Dr. Mildred Solomon. Disfigured by x-rays, Rachel is constantly harassed by her fellow orphans, until the age of 15, when she runs away in search of her brother. Years later, as a nurse at Manhattan’s Old Hebrews Home, Rachel is assigned with caring for the elderly, cancer-stricken Dr. Solomon. Determined to make her pay, Rachel becomes obsessed with Dr. Solomon, but the more time she spends with the women, the more complex her story becomes. As she learns how unexpected choices can shape destiny, Rachel must decide between revenge and mercy.

As part of our Sneak Peek feature, we’re offering 25 lucky readers the chance to read the book and share their comments on it by Friday, July 10th. Please remember that our Sneak Peek program is a commitment, and only enter if you truly have time to read the book and submit your comments by July 10th. The deadline for your entries is Thursday, May 21st at noon ET.

I spent last Sunday on the patio reading ORPHAN #8 and was completely swept up in the story. The author based the book on factual experiences, much the same as Christina Baker Kline did with ORPHAN TRAIN; I look forward to hearing more about that in the weeks and months to come.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough tells the story of two unknown brothers from Ohio who changed the world in THE WRIGHT BROTHERS. More than unschooled bicycle mechanics, Orville and Wilbur Wright were extraordinarily courageous and determined men with unbounded curiosity. The two grew up reading everything they could get their hands on, acquiring a broad range of knowledge in the process. While Wilbur was definitely a genius, Orville had a gift for mechanics --- together, they could solve any problem. Drawing on private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks and personal letters, McCullough tells the human side of the Wright Brothers’ amazing story.

Jana Siciliano has our review and says, “A wonderful book and a great testament to what really constitutes American genius --- the power of experimentation and the perseverance to continue moving forward even after failure after failure strike --- THE WRIGHT BROTHERS is a fabulous flight indeed.” I have been listening to this book on audio, narrated by McCullough, and it’s been terrific.

Kate Atkinson
has penned A GOD IN RUINS, a story of the 20th century told through the eyes of Teddy, the beloved younger brother of Atkinson’s LIFE AFTER LIFE protagonist, Ursula Todd. In this dramatic companion, Teddy navigates the rapidly changing world while filling the roles of fighter pilot, husband, father and grandfather. After returning from battle, he must learn how to live in a future he never expected to have. Just as readers loved watching Ursula realize the power of choice, they will be inspired by Teddy’s path through life.

According to reviewer Ray Palen, “The text is written in such a way that readers will literally lose themselves in it while Teddy's life passes like a dream before their eyes…. Having the narrative jump back and forth allows readers to see Teddy at different points in his life and view what his life could have been and eventually ended up as…. A GOD IN RUINS is a truly masterful work.”

"American Sniper" Chris Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, has written AMERICAN WIFE: A Memoir of Love, War, Faith, and Renewal with Jim DeFelice. Beginning in early 2013, with Chris’ return from Iraq, Taya describes life with her beloved husband and their two children. After years at war, Taya and Chris were finally getting the chance to put their family back together, and Chris had found new purpose in supporting veterans and their families. But then their happiness was abruptly shattered when Chris was killed by a troubled vet. In AMERICAN WIFE, Taya shares the unforgettable story of her life following Chris’ death, from single parenthood to her fight to protect her husband’s legacy --- and the faith that sustained her.

Barbara Bamberger Scott comments in her review: “Throughout AMERICAN WIFE, the reader senses [Taya's] grit, determination, hidden talents, and all the ways in which, perhaps without even knowing it, she is a hero in her own right.”

Our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight on Sarah Vaughan’s debut novel, THE ART OF BAKING BLIND, continues. In this delightful book, five amateur bakers enter a competition to become the New Mrs. Eden --- a famous cookbook writer who published The Art of Baking. As the hopeful bakers forge unlikely alliances and learn secrets about one another, their problems grow beyond baking the perfect pastry. While the drama unfolds, they learn that while perfection may be possible in the kitchen, the same is not true for life.

Norah Piehl has our review and says, “Despite its pastel-hued cover, THE ART OF BAKING BLIND can be surprisingly dark at times, but the descriptions of delicious baked goods and occasional glimpses of humor help keep things from getting too heavy…. THE ART OF BAKING BLIND is rich, satisfying, and the perfect combination of dark and sweet.” Norah also had the chance to speak to Sarah about her inspiration for the book, baking, and her next project. Click here for the interview.

We have two Paperback Spotlights to share with you this week. First up is Lily King’s EUPHORIA, a captivating novel inspired by the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead. Set in the 1930s, the book follows three young, gifted anthropologists caught in a dangerous love triangle. Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years studying a New Guinea tribe. Frustrated and isolated by his work, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when he meets Nell Stone and her husband, Fen. When the three come across an artistic, female-dominated tribe, their chemistry ignites a firestorm that threatens their bonds, careers --- and lives. Click here to read a review and here for the reading group guide. We also have a video of Lily talking about the book here. I am reading this now, one of those books that I meant to get to when it came out in hardcover. At the risk of sounding shallow here, I love the cover and it caught my eye from the moment I saw it in an early reader format!

Our second Paperback Spotlight features Stacey D'Erasmo’s WONDERLAND, a riveting look at the life of a musician. Anna Brundage is a tall and sexy rock star who was once an indie sensation. But when her career plummets, Anna leaves the music scene for seven years before selling one of her famous father’s artworks to fund one more album and a comeback tour. With no record deal or fans, this may be Anna’s last chance at the life she wanted. Click here to read a review.

WONDERLAND is featured in our New in Paperback roundups for May. Other paperbacks releasing this month include REVIVAL by Stephen King; THE SNOW QUEEN by Michael Cunningham; WINDIGO ISLAND by William Kent Krueger; SO WE READ ON: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures, by Maureen Corrigan; and THE STORIES WE TELL by Patti Callahan Henry.

Our Mother’s Day Author Blogs are back for a sixth year! We’re sharing pieces from authors who talk about how their moms influenced them to become readers and writers, along with their own experiences as mothers and their views on motherhood. Thus far, we’ve heard from Robyn Carr, Anne A. Wilson, Harriet Evans, the trio of Meg Moseley, Rachel Hauck and Lenora Worth, Jamie Brickhouse, Katie Schickel and Margaret Dilloway. We wrap up this year's series with Kathryn Springer and Susan Mallery over the weekend. MANY thanks to our Associate Features Editor, Emily Hoenig, for soliciting, editing and shepherding these pieces onto the blog.

Speaking of Mom’s big day, time is running out in our 10th Annual Mother's Day Contest. We’re awarding 25 readers a Mother's Day prize package, which includes a selection of five of our featured Mother’s Day titles, along with some delicious Ghirardelli chocolate, tea from Tea Forté and Yardley Bar Soap. The deadline for your entries is Monday, May 11th at noon ET.

After merging over a year ago, Penguin Random House has just launched their new combined website, In celebration of their bringing their books and authors under one umbrella website, they’re hosting a contest that will award one winner with five books from their favorite genres every month for a year. We did the math; that's 60 books that you would be making room for on your bookshelves. Nice prize, eh? Click here to enter.

The mystery world received sad news this week with the passing of Ruth Rendell, perhaps best known for her series of novels featuring Inspector Wexford. In the span of her long, prolific career, Rendell received three Edgar Awards, four Gold Daggers, and a Diamond Dagger. Her contributions to the genre were unparalleled, with more than 60 books published. In honor of her memory, reviewer Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum (who has reviewed many of Rendell’s books for us) has written this tribute to her.

Do you typically choose books based on the number of pages, or does it not matter to you? Please let us know by taking our latest poll. In our previous poll, we wanted to know if you ever feel the need to read books as soon as they release. 65% of you do, but only if it’s a favorite author or subject, while only 5% don’t pay attention to release dates. Click here for the full results.

In our new Word of Mouth contest, we’re giving away the aforementioned A LUCKY LIFE INTERRUPTED by Tom Brokaw, along with THE FORGOTTEN ROOM by Lincoln Child and THE SCARLET GOSPELS by Clive Barker. Please let us know by Friday, May 22nd at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll have the opportunity to win these three upcoming titles.

News and Pop Culture:

Sandra Brown’s New York Apartment: Last weekend, the New York Times ran a piece about Sandra Brown’s pied-à-terre here. Sandra and I differ as I would NEED a big kitchen, but we both love flowers.

Lean In: Greg and I were hiking last week when he shared the news of Sheryl Sandberg’s husband’s passing. Made me think how critical his role as an engaged husband and father was to her ability to juggle work and home effectively --- something she readily talked about. Just way too sad. Also, made me think of Elizabeth Alexander’s book, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, which I selected as a Bets On selection last week. Elizabeth also lost her husband suddenly, and this brilliant memoir looks at how she moved ahead with her sons after that loss.

"The Following": I sure hope that Joe really is dead on this TV show; I mean, he quoted Poe about the raven, so maybe this means it really is IT! Love Kevin Bacon!

"Mad Men": I got it wrong…there are TWO more episodes to go. Whew! Feel free to write me and let me know how YOU think this series will end!

Eucalyptus Plant: I really want one. Does anyone know where to get one?

Quick Thought on Knitting: Looking at a pattern, and even looking at a pattern and then buying the yarn, does NOT mean the project will magically get done. I have at least a dozen projects in various stages of completion, yet I find myself reading email from yarn shops and trying to hold back on ordering.

Looking Forward to: "21 Years: Richard Linklater," which airs on Friday, May 15th at 8pm ET on Showtime. You may know his name as the director/creator of Boyhood. Have heard him called the “godfather of indie films.” From what I have read, Ethan Hawke, Jack Black, Keanu Reeves, Billy Bob Thornton, Matthew McConaughey, Jason Reitman and others will be interviewed, and you can see their stories brought to life through hilarious animated sequences.

I lied last week. We actually celebrated my mom’s birthday last Saturday night, surprising her at a restaurant. Loved that! She and my dad both read the newsletter, as does my mother-in-law, so it’s tough to keep secrets! Fun evening.

Tomorrow will be celebrations with both my mother and mother-in-law. Mom is talking about going to a peony farm; somehow, every time I say this, I smile. This is one of my favorite flowers, and this farm has a number of tree peonies that I would like to explore. On Sunday, I will be kicking it back a notch to enjoy Mother’s Day. Books and knitting needles will be in hand!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms who are reading and to those celebrating their moms. And for all of you who lost your moms over the last year, for whom this will be the first tough Mother’s Day, I send my best and hope you are wrapped up in some nice memories.

Read on, and have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (

P.S. For those of you who shop online, if you use the store links below, gets a small affiliate fee on your purchases. We would appreciate your considering this!
Now in Stores: THE WRIGHT BROTHERS by David McCullough
THE WRIGHT BROTHERS by David McCullough (History)
On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. Who were these men, and how was it that they achieved what they did? David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: A GOD IN RUINS by Kate Atkinson
A GOD IN RUINS by Kate Atkinson (Fiction)
Kate Atkinson's LIFE AFTER LIFE explored the possibility of infinite chances and the power of choices, following Ursula Todd as she lived through the turbulent events of the last century over and over again. A GOD IN RUINS tells the dramatic story of the 20th century through Ursula's beloved younger brother, Teddy --- would-be poet, heroic pilot, husband, father and grandfather --- as he navigates the perils and progress of a rapidly changing world. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: AMERICAN WIFE by Taya Kyle with Jim DeFelice
AMERICAN WIFE: A Memoir of Love, War, Faith, and Renewal by Taya Kyle, with Jim DeFelice (Memoir)
Chris and Taya Kyle’s remarkable story has captivated millions through the Academy Award-winning film American Sniper, and because of Chris’ bestselling memoir, in which Taya contributed passages that formed the book’s emotional core. Now, with trusted collaborator Jim DeFelice, Taya writes in never-before-told detail about the hours, days and months after his shocking death when grief threatened to overwhelm her. Then there were wearying battles to protect her husband’s legacy and reputation. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Sneak Peek Contest: Win an Advance Copy of ORPHAN #8 by Kim van Alkemade and Share Your Comments On It
Our latest Sneak Peek Feature spotlights ORPHAN #8 by Kim van Alkemade, a powerful, affecting novel of the unexpected choices we are compelled to make that can shape our destinies. The book doesn’t release until August 4th, but we have 25 advance copies to give away to readers who can commit to previewing it and sharing their comments on it by Friday, July 10th. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, May 21st at noon ET.

For our Sneak Peek program, your commitment to participate is critical, so please only enter this contest if you truly will have time to read ORPHAN #8 and give us your feedback by July 10th. We take these project deadlines seriously. If you cannot commit, don’t worry…we will have more opportunities like this in the future.

ORPHAN #8 by Kim van Alkemade (Historical Fiction)
In 1919, Rachel Rabinowitz is a vivacious four-year-old living with her family in a crowded tenement on New York City’s Lower Eastside. When tragedy strikes, Rachel is separated from her brother Sam and sent to a Jewish orphanage where Dr. Mildred Solomon is conducting medical research. Subjected to X-ray treatments that leave her disfigured, Rachel suffers years of cruel harassment from the other orphans. But when she turns 15, she runs away to Colorado hoping to find the brother she lost and discovers a family she never knew she had.

Though Rachel believes she has shut out her painful childhood memories, years later she is confronted with her dark past when she becomes a nurse at Manhattan’s Old Hebrews Home and her patient is none other than the elderly, cancer-stricken Dr. Solomon. Rachel becomes obsessed with making Dr. Solomon acknowledge, and pay for, her wrongdoing. But each passing hour Rachel spends with the old doctor reveal to Rachel the complexities of her own nature. She realizes that a person’s fate --- to be one who inflicts harm or one who heals --- is not always set in stone.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Kim van Alkemade’s bio.
-Click here to visit Kim van Alkemade’s official website.
-Connect with Kim van Alkemade on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our Sneak Peek feature and enter the contest. Talks to Sarah Vaughan, Author of THE ART OF BAKING BLIND --- A Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight Title

After 11 years working at the Guardian as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent, Sarah Vaughan started freelancing and working on her first novel. THE ART OF BAKING BLIND is a delicious and heartfelt debut, in which five amateur bakers compete in a baking competition only to discover that the recipe for happiness may not be so easy to follow. In this interview with's Norah Piehl, Vaughan reveals why she chose to set her novel at a cooking competition and some suggested further reading for inspired amateur bakers. She also admits that cooking for her is “a way of creating order out of chaos” and that food in families is never simply about nutrition.

THE ART OF BAKING BLIND by Sarah Vaughan (Fiction)
In 1966, Kathleen Eaden, cookbook writer and wife of a supermarket magnate, published The Art of Baking, her guide to nurturing a family by creating the most exquisite pastries, biscuits and cakes. Now, five amateur bakers are competing to become the New Mrs. Eaden. As unlikely alliances are forged and secrets rise to the surface, making the choicest pastry seems the least of the contestants' problems. For they will learn --- just as Mrs. Eaden did before them --- that while perfection is possible in the kitchen, it's very much harder in life. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read Sarah Vaughan’s bio.
-Connect with Sarah Vaughan on Facebook and Twitter.
-Click here to see the 25 winners selected to read and comment on the book.
-Click here to read more in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight.

Click here to read our interview.
Women's Fiction Author Spotlight & Contest: BEACH TOWN by Mary Kay Andrews
We have 25 copies of BEACH TOWN by Mary Kay Andrews to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases on May 19th, and share their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, May 14th at noon ET.

BEACH TOWN by Mary Kay Andrews (Fiction)
Greer Hennessy is a struggling movie location scout. Her last location shoot ended in disaster when a film crew destroyed property on an avocado grove. And Greer ended up with the blame.

Now Greer has been given one more chance --- a shot at finding the perfect undiscovered beach town for a big budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town. There's one motel, a marina, a long stretch of pristine beach and an old fishing pier with a community casino --- which will be perfect for the film's climax --- when the bad guys blow it up in an all-out assault on the townspeople.

Greer slips into town and is ecstatic to find the last unspoilt patch of the Florida gulf coast. She takes a room at the only motel in town, and starts working her charm. However, she finds a formidable obstacle in the town mayor, Eben Thibadeaux. Eben is a born-again environmentalist who's seen huge damage done to the town by a huge paper company. The bay has only recently been re-born, a fishing industry has sprung up, and Eben has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again. The only problem is that he finds Greer way too attractive for his own good, and knows that her motivation is in direct conflict with his.

Will true love find a foothold in this small beach town before it's too late and disaster strikes?

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Mary Kay Andrews’ bio.
-Click here to visit Mary Kay Andrews’ official website.
-Connect with Mary Kay Andrews on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
New Paperback Spotlight: EUPHORIA by Lily King
EUPHORIA by Lily King (Historical Fiction)
English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying a tribe on the Sepik River in the Territory of New Guinea with little success. Increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when he encounters the famous and controversial Nell Stone and her wry, mercurial Australian husband Fen. Bankson is enthralled by the magnetic couple whose eager attentions pull him back from the brink of despair.

Nell and Fen have their own reasons for befriending Bankson. Emotionally and physically raw from studying the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo tribe, the couple is hungry for a new discovery. But when Bankson leads them to the artistic, female-dominated Tam, he ignites an intellectual and emotional firestorm between the three of them that burns out of anyone’s control. Ultimately, their groundbreaking work will make history, but not without sacrifice.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read Lily King’s bio.
-Click here to visit Lily King’s official website.
-Connect with Lily King on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our Paperback Spotlight.
New Paperback Spotlight: WONDERLAND by Stacey D'Erasmo
WONDERLAND by Stacey D'Erasmo (Fiction)
Anna Brundage is a rock star. She is tall and sexy, with a powerhouse voice and an unforgettable mane of red hair. She came out of nowhere, an immediate indie sensation. And then, life happened.

Anna went down as fast as she went up, and then walked off the scene for seven years. Without a record deal or clamoring fans, she sells a piece of her famous father’s art to finance just one more album and a European comeback tour.

Anna is 44. This may be her last chance to cement her place in the life she chose, the life she struggled for, the life she’s not sure she can sustain. She falls back easily into the ways of the road --- sex with strangers, the search for the perfect moment onstage. To see Anna perform is something --- watch her find the note, the electric connection with the audience, the transcendence when it all comes together and the music seems to fill the world.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read Stacey D'Erasmo’s bio.
-Click here to visit Stacey D'Erasmo’s official website.
Click here to read more in our Paperback Spotlight.
Paperback Spotlight: BRIDGE TO HAVEN by Francine Rivers
BRIDGE TO HAVEN by Francine Rivers (Historical Fiction)
To those who matter in 1950s Hollywood, Lena Scott is the hottest rising star to hit the silver screen since Marilyn Monroe. Few know her real name is Abra. Even fewer know the price she’s paid to finally feel like she’s somebody.

To Pastor Ezekiel Freeman, Abra will always be the little girl who stole his heart the night he found her, a wailing newborn abandoned under a bridge on the outskirts of Haven. Zeke and his son, Joshua --- Abra’s closest friend --- watch her grow into an exotic beauty. But Zeke knows the circumstances surrounding her birth etched scars deep in her heart, scars that leave her vulnerable to a fast-talking bad boy who proclaims his love and lures her to Tinseltown. Hollywood feels like a million miles from Haven, and naive Abra quickly learns what’s expected of an ambitious girl with stars in her eyes. But fame comes at an awful price. She has burned every bridge to get exactly what she thought she wanted. Now, all she wants is a way back home.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read Francine Rivers’ bio.
-Click here to visit Francine Rivers’ official website.
-Click here to connect with Francine Rivers on Facebook.
Click here to read more in our Paperback Spotlight.'s Mother’s Day Contest and Author Blogs
2015 Mother's Day Author Blogs
Our mothers inspire us in all kinds of ways; for some of us, one of the most important things we learned from our moms was how to love books. This is especially true for this group of brilliant authors, who were kind enough to contribute their stories to our 2015 Mother's Day Author Blog series. From Robyn Carr, who can't seem to stop accidentally spoiling books for her daughter, to Anne A. Wilson, whose practical mother can still appreciate her daughter's romance novels, to Jamie Brickhouse, who proudly belonged to a book club of two with his Mama Jean, we've heard some wonderful memories of moms and books. Be sure to check those out, and more from Harriet Evans, the trio of Meg Moseley, Rachel Hauck and Lenora Worth, Katie Schickel and Margaret Dilloway. This weekend we look forward to hearing from Kathryn Springer and Susan Mallery, who wrap up this year's blog series.

-Click here to see all the posts in our 2015 Mother's Day Blog series.'s 10th Annual Mother's Day Contest and Feature
Mother’s Day is a time to recognize the woman who raised and nurtured us. To celebrate, we're giving you the opportunity to win books and goodies for you or the special lady in your life in our 10th annual "Books Mom Will Love" contest. From now through Monday, May 11th at noon ET, readers can enter to win one of our 25 prize packages, which includes a selection of five books from among this year's featured titles, along with some delicious Ghirardelli chocolate, tea from Tea Forté and Yardley Bar Soap.

-Click here to read more about the prize books and enter the contest.
New in Paperback Roundups for May
May's roundups of New in Paperback fiction titles include REVIVAL by Stephen King, a dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life; WINDIGO ISLAND, William Kent Krueger's 14th mystery featuring private investigator Cork O'Connor, who battles vicious villains, both mythical and modern, to rescue a young girl; DELICIOUS!, the debut novel of Ruth Reichl, Gourmet's editor in chief and the author of three bestselling memoirs; and CHARLESTON by Margaret Bradham Thornton, a lyrical and haunting story of missed chances and enduring love that probes the eternal question: can we ever truly go home again?

Among this month’s nonfiction offerings are NOT MY FATHER'S SON, in which acclaimed actor Alan Cumming opens up about his complicated relationship with his father and the deeply buried family secrets that shaped his life and career; THE LION'S GATE by Steven Pressfield, which tells the story of the Six Day War in the voices of the young men and women who battled not only for their lives, but also for the survival of a Jewish state and for the dreams of their ancestors; and Maureen Corrigan's SO WE READ ON, which takes readers into archives, high school classrooms, and onto the Long Island Sound to explore THE GREAT GATSBY's hidden depths, revealing its surprising debt to noir, its rocky path to recognition as a "classic," and its profound commentaries on race, class and gender.

-Find out what's New in Paperback for the weeks of May 4th, May 11th, May 18th and May 25th.
More Reviews This Week
14th DEADLY SIN by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Thriller)
Detective Lindsay Boxer is called to a gruesome crime scene, where a woman has been murdered in broad daylight. As she investigates, shocking video footage of another crime surfaces. Their faces obscured by masks, the cold-blooded criminals on the tape could be anyone --- and now all of Lindsay's co-workers are suspects. As a rash of violence sweeps through San Francisco, Lindsay and her friends must risk their lives in the name of justice before it's too late. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE GOSPEL OF LOKI by Joanne M. Harris (Fantasy)
THE GOSPEL OF LOKI, Joanne M. Harris' latest novel, is a brilliant first-person narrative of the rise and fall of the Norse gods --- retold from the point of view of the world’s ultimate trickster, Loki. It tells the story of Loki’s recruitment from the underworld of Chaos, his many exploits on behalf of his one-eyed master, Odin, through to his eventual betrayal of the gods and the fall of Asgard itself. Reviewed by Carly Silver.

THE FALL by John Lescroart (Thriller)
Late one night, a teenage African American foster child named Tanya Morgan plummets to her death from the overpass above San Francisco’s Stockton tunnel. But did she fall…or was she pushed? Homicide inspectors focus their attention on a naïve young man named Greg Treadway. At first, the only thing connecting him to Tanya’s death is the fact that they shared a meal earlier that night. But soon enough, elements of that story seem to fall apart…and Hardy’s daughter, Rebecca, finds herself drawn into the young man’s defense. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

UNFORGETTABLE: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime by Scott Simon (Memoir)
When NPR’s Scott Simon began tweeting from his mother’s hospital room in July 2013, he didn’t know that his missives would soon spread well beyond his 1.2 million Twitter followers. Over the course of a few days, Simon chronicled his mother’s death and reminisced about her life, revealing her humor and strength, and celebrating familial love. UNFORGETTABLE expands on those famous tweets to create a memoir that is rich, deeply affecting, heart-wrenching and exhilarating. Reviewed by Rebecca Kilberg.

YOUR NEXT BREATH by Iris Johansen (Thriller)
Catherine Ling is one of the CIA's most prized operatives. Just as she is building a relationship with her son, who was kidnapped nine years ago, it seems that someone from Catherine's past is playing a deadly game with her. Someone is picking off the people she cares about one by one, with the circle narrowing closer and closer to those she loves the most. Catherine has no choice but to weed through her past to find out who is targeting her now, and then go after the vicious killer herself. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

THE DAYLIGHT MARRIAGE by Heidi Pitlor (Fiction)
After a magical honeymoon, Hannah and Lovell settled in the suburbs to raise their two children. But over the years, their conversations have become charged with resentments and unspoken desires. Until, after one explosive argument, Hannah vanishes. As Lovell tries to piece together what happened to his wife --- and to their lives together --- readers follow Hannah through that single day when the smallest of decisions takes her to places she never intended to go. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE LEGEND OF CALEB YORK by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins (Western)
Crooked Sheriff Harry Gauge rules the town of Trinidad, New Mexico, with an iron fist. His latest scheme is to force rancher George Cullen into selling his spread and to take Cullen's beautiful daughter, Willa, for his bride --- whether she's willing or not. The old man isn't about to go down without a fight. He sends out a telegram to hire the west's toughest gunslinger to kill the sheriff. But when a stranger rides into Trinidad, no one's sure who he is --- but it's deadly clear he's a man who won't be pushed. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

BENEATH THE BONFIRE: Stories by Nickolas Butler (Fiction/Short Stories)
Young couples gather to participate in an annual "chainsaw party," cutting down trees for firewood in anticipation of the winter. A group of men spend a weekend hunting for mushrooms in the wilderness where they grew up and where some still find themselves trapped. An aging environmentalist takes out his frustration and anger on a singular, unsuspecting target. Together, the 10 stories in Nickolas Butler’s collection evoke a landscape that will be instantly recognizable to anyone who has traveled the back roads and blue highways of America. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

MARTIN MARTEN by Brian Doyle (Fiction)
Dave is 14 years old, eager and headlong. He is about to start high school, which is scary and alluring. Martin is a pine marten, a small, muscled hunter of the deep woods. He is about to leave home for the first time, which is scary and thrilling. Both of these wild animals are setting off on adventures on their native Mount Hood in Oregon, and their lives, paths and trails will cross, weave and blend. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol.

THE BRINK: Stories by Austin Bunn (Fiction/Short Stories)
The stories in Austin Bunn’s collection explore the existential question: What happens at “the end” and what lies beyond it? In “How to Win an Unwinnable War,” a summer class on nuclear war for gifted teenagers turns a struggling family upside down. A young couple’s idyllic beach honeymoon is interrupted by terrorism in the lush, haunting “Getting There and Away.” When an immersive videogame begins turning off in the heartbreaking “Griefer,” an obsessive player falls in love with a mysterious player in the final hours of a world. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

SEEING HOME: The Ed Lucas Story: A Blind Broadcaster's Story of Overcoming Life's Greatest Obstacles by Ed Lucas and Christopher Lucas (Memoir)
Soon to be a major motion picture, SEEING HOME is the incredible true tale of beloved Emmy-winning blind broadcaster Ed Lucas, who refused to let his disability prevent him from overcoming many challenging obstacles and achieving his dreams. Over his long and amazing life, Ed has collected hundreds of anecdotes from his personal relationships and encounters with everyone, from kings and presidents to movie stars and sports Hall-of-Famers. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

THE SILENCE THAT SPEAKS: A Forensic Instincts Novel by Andrea Kane (Psychological Thriller)
The first order of business for Forensic Instincts is to find out who's targeting their client, Madeline Westfield. Under the leadership of Casey Woods, the investigative team has the resources to do just that, working inside the law --- and outside it. FI's strength is its members, among them Casey's associate Marc Devereaux, former navy SEAL and a man who's equal to any situation. Except maybe this one… Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

GRAVE CONSEQUENCES: A Charlie Henry Mystery by David and Aimée Thurlo (Mystery)
A young Navajo man comes into Charlie Henry's pawn shop, claiming that his girlfriend mistakenly pawned a beautiful family heirloom, a turquoise necklace that she desperately needs back. When he's unable to produce any proof of this tale, Charlie is immediately suspicious. Then the young man returns with reinforcements --- and guns --- making it abundantly clear that there's more to this story than a family treasure. This necklace quickly becomes the focus of a case where everyone lies, and every question seems to answer with gunfire. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
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