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August 7, 2015 Newsletter August 7, 2015
Color it Periwinkle with a Touch of Turquoise

Last week, I asked our readers their thoughts about coloring books, and I immediately got emails sharing what you love about coloring, what you color and what you color with. It was such fun. I compiled many of the comments, and you can read them here. Inspired, Tom, along with our intern Isabel, created one of our signature bookshelves, "20 Coloring Books for Adults: Inky Adventures, Stress Relievers, Mandalas and More," which features 20 coloring books to delight you. But what to color with? Have no fear, Nicole from our staff compiled a list of colorful pens, crayons, pencils --- and even an eraser --- which you can use to color your pages. I confess that I covet the 150-pencil collection...maybe they even have turquoise and periwinkle blue.

When I was little, all I wanted was 64 Crayola crayons. Why? I loved periwinkle blue. My mom would buy us presents for good report cards, and I came upon the precious box of 64 Crayolas hidden in a closet under the eaves in the attic. I carefully opened the box and confess to coloring in periwinkle ever so carefully before replacing the crayon in the box. Pure delight! And yes, my mom reads this newsletter, so the cat is now out of the bag!

Do you use coloring books or want to give them a try? Click here to let us know in our latest poll! In our previous poll, we were curious about where you got the book you’re currently reading. 47% of you picked it up at the library, while 20% ordered it from Amazon. Only 8% bought it at a chain bookstore such as Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million. Click here for the full results.

Last year, I read THE PARIS ARCHITECT by Charles Belfoure and selected it as a Bets On selection. Last weekend, I read Charles’ second book, HOUSE OF THIEVES, which will be in stores on September 15th. It is fabulous! Set in New York in 1886, it features John Cross, an architect who must work with a prominent underworld gang member to cover the debts of his gambling son, George. He’s charged with using his insider knowledge of high society homes and places of business to plot the perfect heists. This book had nary a dull moment, and it made me want to watch the Ken Burns documentary series on New York to see photos of this time period in the city as the descriptions are so wonderfully rich. It’s brilliant fun and will be a future Bets On pick.

Seven years ago, when the Romance Writers of America Conference was held in San Francisco, I had my sons in tow, and thus did not get to spend a fun day yarn store hopping with Debbie Macomber. The next time she was in New York, she came to the office to surprise me and bring me two cones of the most wonderful yarn from Artfibers, one of my favorite yarn shops, which is now closed. They created and dyed their own yarns, and the results were spectacular. I have long pondered what to make with this yarn and went on to create the shawl that you can see above as it is being blocked into shape. What fun it was to imagine it and knit it --- and re-knit it --- to get exactly what I wanted. I used every last inch of the yarn and look forward to the first cool night when I can enjoy this. This is a gift that has given me an awful lot of pleasure!

Thanks to all of you who participated in our Book Group Survey. We have listed the winners of the gift certificates here. We have been buying and sending out prizes all week (as promised, we are customizing them to whatever stores the winners requested) and still need time to get the last of them out to folks. So give us until next week if you are a winner!

From debut novelist Ruth Ware comes IN A DARK, DARK WOOD, a BEA Buzz Book already earning comparisons to Paula Hawkins’ THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN. Reclusive crime writer Leonora --- known to some as Lee and to others as Nora --- is not one to leave her apartment unless absolutely necessary. But when an old friend invites her to a weekend getaway in a spooky glass house situated in the remote English countryside, she cannot resist. Two days later, however, she wakes up in a hospital bed with the disturbing knowledge that someone is dead. As Nora/Lee struggles to put together a timeline of the past weekend, she is forced to revisit parts of herself that she has long attempted to bury.

Joe Hartlaub has our review and calls IN A DARK, DARK WOOD “a character-driven novel that cuts across genres as it builds in intensity and suspense.... [Ware] certainly gets points for combining elements of a number of genres --- suspense, romance, thriller and police procedural --- into a terse novel without making the proceedings feel crowded at all.” We also have a Q&A with Ruth where she talks about her exciting path to publication, the characters with whom she most identifies, and her extensive research for the novel. I had the pleasure of interviewing her at BEA, and she is just charming!

Above you can see the lovely cake that she sent to her publisher on the book's publication date. IN A DARK, DARK WOOD will be Bets On selection; find out why in next week’s newsletter! Read it, and you will never think of a bachelorette party the same way again.

Acclaimed author Alice Hoffman whisks readers away to the tropics with THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES, the dramatic story of the woman who birthed one of history’s greatest artists. Growing up in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of a life in glamorous Paris, so different from her home in a small Jewish refugee community in St. Thomas. Stubborn and fiercely independent, Rachel often butts heads with her mother, but finds support in their maid and her daughter. Still, many of Rachel’s choices are not her own, and she is married off to a widower with three children in an effort to save her father’s business. But when her husband dies and his handsome young nephew arrives to settle his affairs, Rachel seizes her chance at independence and begins a passionate affair. The ensuing scandal affects her whole family, including her favorite son --- a boy who will grow up to become painter Camille Pissarro, the legendary Father of Impressionism.

Jana Siciliano raves about the book in her review: “THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES is such a rich and delightful book that I recommend it wholeheartedly to EVERYONE. If you like intrigue, romance, historical fiction, art, religion or just plain old adventure, Hoffman has infused every page, every piece of punctuation, with bright complexity. Her language is sharp and incisive, and her pace gentle but steady.” Melanie, our "Word of Mouth" and "Sounding Off on Audio" editor, is listening to the audiobook of THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES. Click here to read her comments about it and listen to an excerpt. We’re also sharing interviews with two of the audiobook’s narrators: Gloria Reuben (of “ER” fame) and Santino Fontana (who voiced Hans in Frozen).

And speaking of audiobooks, don’t forget to enter our current Sounding Off on Audio contest, where three listeners will win the digital version or a CD of both GO SET A WATCHMAN, performed by Reese Witherspoon, and Daniel Silva’s THE ENGLISH SPY, performed by George Guidall. Let us know by Friday, August 21st at noon ET what audiobooks you’ve finished listening to for your chance to be awarded both prizes. I love reading a list of what you are listening to, so be sure to chime in!

As promised, we’re pleased to share a wonderful interview that Katherine B. Weissman conducted with Paula McLain, whose latest novel, CIRCLING THE SUN, we reviewed last week. Among many other topics, Paula explains why she felt compelled to write Beryl Markham’s story and how she thinks her protagonist’s resolute independence will inspire women today. We just got word that this book will hit the New York Times bestseller list at #4 on August 16th.

CIRCLING THE SUN is one of my latest Bets On picks; click here for my commentary. The other Bets On title for this week is Linwood Barclay’s new thriller, BROKEN PROMISE, which we featured in our New Release Spotlight and reviewed in last week’s newsletter. Click here to see why I’m betting you’ll love this book.

This week’s New Release Spotlight features Kim van Alkemade’s highly anticipated debut, ORPHAN #8. Inspired by true events, this poignant novel follows young Rachel Rabinowitz as she tragically loses her parents and is sent to a Jewish orphanage, separate from her brother. While there, she is subjected to unnecessary and cruel medical experiments by the ambitious Dr. Mildred Solomon. Unfortunately, Dr. Solomon’s studies horribly disfigure Rachel, who is mercilessly teased until she runs away, forging her own path as a nurse. Years later, she is assigned with caring for the cancer-stricken Dr. Solomon at Manhattan’s Old Hebrews Home and must make the impossible choice between mercy and revenge.

According to reviewer Rebecca Munro, “Rather than simply telling us that Rachel is conflicted, vulnerable and deeply hurt, van Alkemade does a spectacular job of truly showing us her pain, an impressive feat for a debut author. Equally admirable is van Alkemade’s careful, unflinching research into orphanages, medical experiments and cultural shifts of the 1900s. Instead of peppering in obvious facts, she creates truly immersive settings, allowing readers to jump back in time from the safety of their homes.” We also have the reading group guide for this book, which you can find here.

ORPHAN #8 is one of the books we’re featuring in this month’s New in Paperback roundups. Others include GRAY MOUNTAIN by John Grisham, TERMINAL CITY by Linda Fairstein, BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty, and TIMELESS: Love, Morgenthau, and Me by Lucinda Franks.

This week’s Paperback Spotlight shines on NATCHEZ BURNING, the first installment in Greg Iles’ epic trilogy featuring lawyer-turned-mayor Penn Cage. Born and raised in Natchez, Mississippi, Penn has learned everything he knows from his beloved father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now Tom stands accused of murdering an African American nurse he worked with in the 1960s, and Penn is determined to save him. However, Tom refuses to defend himself, invoking doctor-patient privilege. As Penn digs through his father’s past, chilling secrets come to light involving a powerful hate group and a brutal trail of corruption. We reviewed the book when it came out in hardcover last year; it is now available as a trade paperback after releasing as a mass market paperback in March. Over on, we’re giving 10 groups the chance to win 10 copies of the book. If you're in a group, click here to enter by Wednesday, September 9th at noon ET.

Last week, we shared our review of PRETTY BABY and our interview with the author, Mary Kubica, whose debut novel, THE GOOD GIRL, received countless rave reviews. This week, we’re giving 10 readers the chance to win a copy of PRETTY BABY and share their comments on it. Heidi Wood, Kubica’s protagonist, has always been the charitable sort and willing to help those less fortunate than her. Still, her husband and daughter are taken aback when she returns home one day with a homeless woman and her four-month-old baby. As the truth about this young lady comes to light, Heidi must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice to help a total stranger with a twisted past. Click here to enter by Thursday, August 20th at noon ET. Mary is a terrific writer and one you definitely want to keep an eye on!

Our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight on Jonathan Kellerman and his stand-alone novel, THE MURDERER’S DAUGHTER (releasing August 18th), continues. As a five-year-old, Grace Blades witnessed the horrifying murder-suicide that left her orphaned. Adopted by a charming family, Grace learned to channel her pain and intellect into helping others, resulting in a highly successful psychology practice. But Grace has a dark side as well and is horrified when she recognizes a new patient from a recent encounter. Although mild-mannered Andrew is happy to ignore their history, Grace refuses to take him on --- a decision she comes to regret when a detective appears on her doorstep, threatening to uncover her secrets. There is still time to enter to win one of 25 copies of THE MURDERER’S DAUGHTER if you would like to read the book and share your comments on it. Please fill out this form by Thursday, August 13th at noon ET. Joe Hartlaub, our thriller reviewer extraordinaire, is crazy about this book.

Our Books on Screen feature has been updated for August. In theaters today is Dark Places, based on Gillian Flynn’s 2009 mystery novel of the same name, and Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, based on the worldwide bestseller THE PROPHET, which was originally published back in 1923. CBS's “Under the Dome” and “Zoo” continue on the small screen, while DVD releases include The Divergent Series: Insurgent and Child 44.

In this week’s Summer Reading contests, we gave away the aforementioned IN A DARK, DARK WOOD and NATCHEZ BURNING, along with AFTER THE WIND: 1996 Everest Tragedy -- One Survivor's Story, by Lou Kasischke, and THE SECRET PLACE by Tana French. Next week’s prize books will be BRIGHT LINES by Tanwi Nandini Islam, THE GUILTY ONE by Sophie Littlefield, HOSTAGE TAKER by Stefanie Pintoff, and THE RACE FOR PARIS by Meg Waite Clayton. We’ll announce the first contest of the week on Monday, August 10th at noon ET.

THE RACE FOR PARIS is also one of our current Word of Mouth prize books. Let us know the books you’ve finished reading, and five of you will win this book, along with FRICTION by Sandra Brown and SILVER LININGS: A Rose Harbor Novel, by Debbie Macomber. To enter, please fill out the form on this page by Friday, August 21st at noon ET.

News and Pop Culture:

Jon Stewart: He signed off last night. I weighed in on USA Today about his impact on books and authors.

HORRORSTöR: This book was one of our Holiday Cheer selections last year. We got word this week that it is being developed as an hour-long dramedy; it’s been greenlighted for a “put pilot” for a television show on FOX. What is a put pilot? It means that the network has to pay a penalty if the pilot is not produced, and it's a virtual guarantee that it will be picked up. The book, designed in the format of a furniture catalog, is a classic old-fashioned haunted house story --- set in Orsk, a big-box Swedish-style furniture superstore. (Yes, you can think IKEA; we did.)

Recipes from "The Astronaut Wives Club": One of our readers, Reta, read about how much I enjoy this television show. She found this fun blog that features recipes from the program’s food stylist. Think mid-century cuisine. Jell-O, anyone?

"Prison Break": Loved that show and just learned that they are planning a limited run of a sequel on FOX. This amuses me: “The 10-episode limited series is ‘a bit of a sequel, it picks up several years after the end of the series.’ The new installment will largely ignore the straight-to-video finale, which saw the demise of Miller’s Michael, though the limited series will provide ‘a logical and believable explanation to why the characters are alive and still moving around the world.’” Ha, and I thought Wentworth --- I mean Michael --- was dead and was choked up about it! Made me think what it would be like to write a new ending to a favorite book.

"Ray Donovan": Screened Sunday’s upcoming episode. So much jammed into the hour! While many shows feel like they end too quickly, this one always feels like sooooo much happens.

Jennifer Aniston: Heard she got married this week. Reading the tabloids at the supermarket checkout, I thought it would be her fifth anniversary by now.

Speaking of anniversaries, my mom and dad celebrate 61 years of marriage today! I am hoisting a glass to toast them! Love that they are headed out to dinner aux deux tonight.

I'm plotting out a menu for dinner company on Saturday night and consulting cookbooks to try some new things. Summer is speeding by way, way too quickly. A friend reminded me of the title of Charles Schultz’s book, SUMMERS FLY, WINTERS WALK! Cory is going to be test-driving cars as he valet parks, Greg is going to an engagement party (friends marrying, woohoo), and mark it down folks, Tom said he is NOT going to play golf. I think it’s because he wants to spare me from carpal tunnel as I seem to hit those keystrokes every week when I update what he is doing. He DID play today.

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!

An Interview with Ruth Ware, Author of IN A DARK, DARK WOOD

Ruth Ware’s bachelorette weekend was very tasteful, unlike the one in her thrilling debut, IN A DARK, DARK WOOD. When a friend she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years invites reclusive crime writer Nora to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead. In this interview, Ware discusses drawing on memories of middle school to create the social dynamic of her characters, her fascination with unreliable narrators, and why we need to stop calling stories featuring violent women a “trend.” She also assures us that no one was murdered at her own bachelorette party, despite the startling vividness of the events described in her book.

IN A DARK, DARK WOOD by Ruth Ware (Psychological Thriller)
Leonora, known to some as Lee and others as Nora, is a reclusive crime writer, unwilling to leave her “nest” of an apartment unless it is absolutely necessary. When a friend she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years unexpectedly invites Nora (Lee?) to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.

Click here to read the interview.
Now in Stores: THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES by Alice Hoffman
THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES by Alice Hoffman (Historical Fiction)
Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father’s business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frédérick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family --- including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to listen to an excerpt from the audiobook.
-Listen to interviews from two of the audiobook narrators, Gloria Reuben and Santino Fontana.
Click here to read a review.
New Release Spotlight: ORPHAN #8 by Kim van Alkemade
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 a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here for advance readers’ comments.
-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 New Release Spotlight. Talks to Paula McLain, Author of CIRCLING THE SUN --- Our Latest Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight Title
Paula McLain’s 2011 foray into historical fiction, THE PARIS WIFE, went exceedingly well. Now she follows up that success with the highly anticipated CIRCLING THE SUN. Set in colonial Kenya in the 1920s, it tells the story of Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator with a fierce and fearless heart, who finds herself in a passionate love triangle with Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, author of OUT OF AFRICA. In this interview with’s Katherine B. Weissman, McLain explains why she felt instantly compelled to write Beryl’s story --- “fated,” even --- and how she thinks her protagonist’s resolute independence will inspire today’s women. She also talks about sharing Beryl’s passion (for horses, not flying!) and why we can expect plenty more historical fiction from her.

CIRCLING THE SUN by Paula McLain (Historical Fiction)
Beryl Markham's unconventional upbringing transforms her into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships. Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set. But it’s the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. Reviewed by Katherine B. Weissman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to see why we're betting you'll love this book.

-Click here to read Paula McLain’s bio.
-Click here to connect with Paula McLain on Instagram.
-Click here to read more in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight.
Click here to read our interview.
New Paperback Spotlight: NATCHEZ BURNING by Greg Iles
NATCHEZ BURNING by Greg Iles (Thriller)
Raised in the southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor has been accused of murdering the African American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Once a crusading prosecutor, Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses even to speak in his own defense.

Penn's quest for the truth sends him deep into his father's past, where a sexually charged secret lies. More chilling, this long-buried sin is only one thread in a conspiracy of greed and murder involving the vicious Double Eagles, an offshoot of the KKK controlled by some of the most powerful men in the state. Aided by a dedicated reporter privy to Natchez's oldest secrets and by his fiancée, Caitlin Masters, Penn uncovers a trail of corruption and brutality that places his family squarely in the Double Eagles' crosshairs.

With every step costing blood and faith, Penn is forced to confront the most wrenching dilemma of his life: Does a man of honor choose his father or the truth?

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read Greg Iles’ bio.
-Click here to visit Greg Iles’ official website.
-Connect with Greg Iles on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our Paperback Spotlight.'s Latest Bookshelf: 20 Coloring Books for Adults
Coloring books have been growing in popularity lately, and they’re not just for kids. Many of them, such as SECRET GARDEN and THE MINDFULNESS COLORING BOOK, have been designed especially for busy, stressed-out grown-ups who find the calming routine of working on sophisticated, beautifully crafted coloring books to be a welcome break from their hectic, everyday lives. Partially due to adult coloring book pages being featured on sites like Pinterest and partially due to the ease with which people can purchase them online, coloring books are increasingly in vogue with adults who feel the need to unplug and treat themselves to a form of art therapy that can be as simple and pleasing as choosing the perfect shade of blue.

Take a look at our bookshelf for a selection of gorgeous adult coloring books, some of which came from suggestions from our readers. Whether you’re after a break from your everyday routine, an opportunity for meditation Tibetan monk-style, or simply to have fun and feel like a kid again, we bet there’s something here for you. Also, as an added bonus, check out COLOR YOUR YEAR WALL CALENDAR 2016: Mindful Coloring Through the Seasons (releasing September 1st) for something beautiful to hang on your wall all year long.

And if you need some art supply suggestions, you've come to the right place! Click here to see a roundup of colored pencils, fine-tip markers, gel pens and more, all of which will get you started on your new hobby in no time.
Click here to see our "20 Coloring Books for Adults" bookshelf. Bets On: CIRCLING THE SUN by Paula McLain and BROKEN PROMISE by Linwood Barclay
CIRCLING THE SUN by Paula McLain (Historical Fiction)
I loved THE PARIS WIFE and thus eagerly anticipated Paula McLain’s new novel. I am happy to share that I feel the same way about CIRCLING THE SUN, which has Paula’s signature writing style --- it informs, engages and entertains. I received an early edition back in February, which had no flap description copy to orient me. I did no research about the book in advance and instead just started reading. I settled into the story of Beryl Markham, who grew up in Britain but moved to Africa as a young child. She is an accomplished horsewoman, aviator and adventurer.

-Click here to read more of Carol’s thoughts on the book.
-Click here to read more about the book.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read our interview with Paula McLain.

BROKEN PROMISE by Linwood Barclay (Thriller)
Linwood Barclay writes books that are fast-paced, full of drama and memorable characters. BROKEN PROMISE lives up to all of those expectations.

David Harwood is back in Promise Falls, NY, with his nine-year-old son. His wife has died, and his newspaper job has gone away; his life is unraveling. He’s way down on his luck. But life on the home front in Promise Falls has its own set of challenges as this sleepy town has its own problems.

To begin with, his cousin, Marla, has suffered a miscarriage and is having her own unraveling moments. When David sees her, he is taken aback to learn that she has “found” a baby on her porch and is now raising it. Clearly something is not right with this.

-Click here to read more of Carol’s thoughts on the book.
-Click here to read more about the book.

-Click here to read a review.
Click here for more books we're betting you'll love.
New Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight & Contest: PRETTY BABY by Mary Kubica
We have 10 copies of PRETTY BABY by Mary Kubica to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, August 20th at noon ET.

PRETTY BABY by Mary Kubica (Psychological Thriller)
She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can't get the girl out of her head…

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal --- or worse. But despite her family's objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow's past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she's willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read our interview with Mary Kubica.
-Click here to read Mary Kubica’s bio.
-Click here to visit Mary Kubica’s official website.
-Connect with Mary Kubica on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight & Contest: THE MURDERER'S DAUGHTER by Jonathan Kellerman
We have 25 copies of THE MURDERER'S DAUGHTER by Jonathan Kellerman, which releases on August 18th, to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, August 13th at noon ET.

THE MURDERER'S DAUGHTER by Jonathan Kellerman (Psychological Thriller)
A brilliant, deeply dedicated psychologist, Grace Blades has a gift for treating troubled souls and tormented psyches --- perhaps because she bears her own invisible scars: Only five years old when she witnessed her parents’ deaths in a bloody murder-suicide, Grace took refuge in her fierce intellect and found comfort in the loving couple who adopted her. But even as an adult with an accomplished professional life, Grace still has a dark, secret side. When her two worlds shockingly converge, Grace’s harrowing past returns with a vengeance.

Both Grace and her newest patient are stunned when they recognize each other from a recent encounter. Haunted by his bleak past, mild-mannered Andrew Toner is desperate for Grace’s renowned therapeutic expertise and more than willing to ignore their connection. And while Grace is tempted to explore his case, which seems to eerily echo her grim early years, she refuses --- a decision she regrets when a homicide detective appears on her doorstep.

An evil she thought she’d outrun has reared its head again, but Grace fears that a police inquiry will expose her double life. Launching her own personal investigation leads her to a murderously manipulative foe, one whose warped craving for power forces Grace back into the chaos and madness she’d long ago fled.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Jonathan Kellerman’s bio.
-Click here to visit Jonathan Kellerman’s official website.
-Click here to connect with Jonathan Kellerman on Facebook.
Click here to read more in our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
Women's Fiction Author Spotlight: THE COLOR OF LIGHT by Emilie Richards
THE COLOR OF LIGHT by Emilie Richards (Fiction)
For more than a decade, minister Analiese Wagner has felt privileged to lead her parishioners along a well-lit path. Her commitment has never been seriously tested until the frigid night she encounters a homeless family huddling in the churchyard. Offering them shelter in a vacant parish house apartment and taking teenage Shiloh Fowler --- a girl desperate to rescue her parents --- under her wing, she tests the loyalty and faith of her congregation.

Isaiah Colburn, the Catholic priest who was her first mentor and the man she secretly longed for, understands her struggles only too well. At a crossroads, he's suddenly reappeared in her life, torn between his priesthood and his growing desire for a future with Analiese.

Divided between love and vows they've taken, both must face the possibilities of living very different lives or continuing to serve their communities. With a defeated family's trust and her own happiness on the line, Analiese must define for herself where darkness ends and light begins.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read our interview with Emilie Richards.
-Click here to read Emilie Richards’ bio.
-Click here to visit Emilie Richards’ official website.
-Connect with Emilie Richards on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Click here to read more in our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight.
August's New in Paperback Roundups
August’s roundup of New in Paperback fiction titles includes John Grisham's latest bestseller, GRAY MOUNTAIN, in which Samantha Kofer’s new job at a legal aid clinic takes her into the murky and dangerous world of coal mining, and within weeks she finds herself engulfed in litigation that turns deadly; THE SECRET PLACE, a powerful, haunting exploration of friendship and loyalty, and a gripping addition to Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series; TERMINAL CITY, another breakneck thriller from Linda Fairstein, who this time turns her attention to one of New York's most iconic structures --- Grand Central Terminal; and BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty, a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

Among this month’s nonfiction offerings are THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan by Rick Perlstein, a dazzling portrait of America on the verge of a nervous breakdown in the tumultuous political and economic times of the 1970s; EISENHOWER, acclaimed historian Paul Johnson’s lively, succinct profile of Dwight D. Eisenhower's life and enduring legacy; Tom Clavin's RECKLESS, the unlikely story of a racehorse who truly became a war hero, beloved by the Marine Corps and decorated for bravery; and TIMELESS, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lucinda Franks' compelling memoir that tells the intimate story of her marriage to Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.

-Find out what's New in Paperback for the weeks of August 3rd, August 10th, August 17th and August 24th.'s Summer Reading Contests and Feature
Summer has arrived! At, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contests and Feature. We are hosting a number of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days throughout the summer, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter to win. We also are sending a special newsletter to announce the day's title, which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, August 10th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles.
More Reviews This Week
ALERT: A Michael Bennett Novel by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (Thriller)
After two inexplicable high-tech attacks, New York City is on edge. Detective Michael Bennett, along with his old pal, the FBI's Emily Parker, have to catch the shadowy criminals who claim responsibility. In the wake of a shocking assassination, Bennett begins to suspect that these mysterious events are just the prelude to the biggest threat of all. Soon he's racing against the clock to save his beloved city before everyone's worst nightmare becomes a reality. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

THE NOVEL HABITS OF HAPPINESS: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel by Alexander McCall Smith (Mystery)
Isabel Dalhousie is introduced to a six-year-old boy who has been experiencing vivid recollections of a past life, which include a perfect description of an island off the coast of Scotland and a house on the island where he claims to have lived. When the boy’s mother asks Isabel to investigate, Isabel, along with her husband and their son, set off for the island. They actually locate the house that the boy described, which leads to more complicated questions, as Isabel’s desire to find rational explanations comes up against the uncanny mystery unfolding before her. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

JOY: Poet, Seeker, and the Woman Who Captivated C. S. Lewis by Abigail Santamaria (Biography)
Joy Davidman is known, if she is known at all, as the wife of C. S. Lewis. Their marriage was immortalized in the film Shadowlands and Lewis’s memoir, A GRIEF OBSERVED. Now, through extraordinary new documents as well as years of research and interviews, Abigail Santamaria brings Joy Davidman Gresham Lewis to the page in the fullness and depth she deserves. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE BEST TEAM MONEY CAN BUY: The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Wild Struggle to Build a Baseball Powerhouse by Molly Knight (Sports)
In 2012, the Los Angeles Dodgers were bought out of bankruptcy in the most expensive sale in sports history. Los Angeles icon Magic Johnson and his partners hoped to put together a team worthy of Hollywood: consistently entertaining. By most accounts they have succeeded, if not always in the way they might have imagined. Now Molly Knight tells the story of the Dodgers’ 2013 and 2014 seasons with detailed, previously unreported revelations. Reviewed by Miriam Tuliao.

WOMAN WITH A SECRET by Sophie Hannah (Psychological Thriller)
A controversial newspaper columnist named Damon Blundy has been murdered, and the detectives begin peppering Nicki Clements with questions. Why was she seen fleeing the scene? What is her connection to the victim? Why was the knife that killed him used in such a peculiar way? Why were the words “HE IS NO LESS DEAD” painted on the wall of Blundy’s study, and what do they signify? One simple answer could clear her. But she can’t explain why she fled that day without revealing the secret that could ruin her. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

COMING OF AGE AT THE END OF DAYS by Alice LaPlante (Fiction)
Never one to conform, Anna always had trouble fitting in. When a sudden melancholia takes hold of her life at the age of 16, she loses her sense of self and purpose. Then the Goldschmidts move in next door. They're active members of a religious cult, and Anna is awestruck by both their son, Lars, and their fervent violent prophecies for the Tribulation at the End of Days. Within months, Anna's life will undergo profound changes. But when her newfound beliefs threaten to push her over the edge, she must find her way back to center with the help of unlikely friends. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE DOG MASTER: A Novel of the First Dog by W. Bruce Cameron (Historical Fiction)
Thirty thousand years ago, ice was storming the planet. No stranger to the experiences that make us human, our ancestors competed for scant resources in a brutal landscape. Mankind stood on the cold brink of extinction...but they had a unique advantage over other species, a new technology: domesticated wolves. Only a set of extraordinary circumstances could have transformed one of these fierce creatures into a hunting companion, a bodyguard, a soldier and a friend. Reviewed by Carly Silver.

THE OTHER DAUGHTER by Lauren Willig (Historical Fiction)
Raised in a poor yet genteel household, Rachel Woodley is working in France as a governess when she receives news that her mother has died suddenly. Grief-stricken, she returns to the small town in England where she was raised to clear out the cottage...and finds a cutting from a London society magazine, with a photograph of her supposedly deceased father dated all of three months before. He is an earl, and is standing with another daughter --- his legitimate daughter. Everything Rachel thought she knew about herself and her past --- even her very name --- is a lie. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

THE NAKED EYE by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen (Thriller)
Kendra Michaels was instrumental in bringing serial killer Eric Colby to justice. And yet, despite his apparent execution, Kendra is convinced that Colby is still alive. The problem is that she can't prove it. Even her razor-sharp powers of observation --- developed to an amazing capacity during the 20 years she spent blind and now in constant demand by law enforcement agencies --- have gotten her nowhere. But then a reporter who very publicly humiliated Kendra is murdered. Visiting the crime scene in search of anything that might link the brutal homicide to Colby, Kendra instead finds evidence that points to her. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

THIS IS NOT A LOVE STORY: A Memoir by Judy Brown (Memoir)
The third of six children in a family that harks back to a gloried Hassidic dynasty, Judy Brown grew up with the legacy of centuries of religious teaching, and the faith and lore that sustained her people for generations. But her carefully constructed world begins to crumble when her "crazy" brother, Nachum, returns home after a year in Israel living with relatives. Though supposedly "cured," he is still prone to retreating into his own mind or erupting in wordless rages. If God could perform miracles for Judy’s sainted ancestors, why can't He cure Nachum? And what of the other stories her family treasured? Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

SIGNAL: A Sam Dryden Novel by Patrick Lee (Thriller)
Sam Dryden lives quietly in a small coastal town in southern California, buying and fixing up old houses. But his peaceful life is shattered when he gets a phone call from an old friend in trouble. For FBI agent Marnie Calvert, it all begins at a secluded trailer in the Mojave Desert --- the scene of a horrifying crime, but also of an impossible and mysterious act of heroism. At least, it should have been impossible. Determined to learn the truth, what Calvert discovers leads her to Dryden --- an ex-Special Forces operative whose ordinary life has suddenly become anything but. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

OPEN GRAVE by Kjell Eriksson (Mystery)
Professor Bertram von Ohler has been awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine. This news causes problems in his otherwise quiet upper-class neighborhood in Uppsala, Sweden, as not everybody is happy with the choice of winner. Mysterious incidents start to occur. “Boyish pranks” say the police, but what follows is certainly not innocent amusement. Detective Inspector Ann Lindell becomes involved in the case and immediately is transported back into her own past. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
Our Latest Poll and Word of Mouth/Sounding Off on Audio Contests

Coloring books for adults are all the rage these days. Do you use them?

  • Yes, every chance I get.
  • Yes, occasionally.
  • No, but I would be interested in doing this.
  • I have no interest in coloring books.
-Click here to vote in the poll.

Word of Mouth:

Tell us about the books you’ve finished reading with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from August 7th to August 21st, five lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of FRICTION by Sandra Brown, THE RACE FOR PARIS by Meg Waite Clayton, and SILVER LININGS: A Rose Harbor Novel by Debbie Macomber.

-Click here to enter the contest.

Sounding Off on Audio:

Tell us about the audiobooks you’ve finished listening to with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars for both the performance and the content. During the contest period from July 31st to August 21st, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the digital version or a CD of both GO SET A WATCHMAN written by Harper Lee and performed by Reese Witherspoon, and THE ENGLISH SPY written by Daniel Silva and performed by George Guidall.

-Click here to enter the contest.

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