Shelf Awareness for Readers for Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Poisoned Pen Press: That Night in the Library by Eva Jurczyk

From My Shelf

Buy Local

The controversy surrounding last week's visit by President Obama to an Amazon warehouse for a speech on the economy and jobs and yesterday's news that the founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is buying the Washington Post highlight a brave new world in which books and culture are treated by some powerful companies like commodities. It also reminds many of us yet again of the vital importance of bricks-and-mortar bookstores, some of which are sending this e-publication to you in association with Shelf Awareness and all of whom stand, proudly, for reading and literature and writing.

Bookstores are valued for finding and promoting exciting new authors and for connecting writers and readers--by recommending and highlighting books, as well as introducing authors in person at signings and readings. They also support their communities and local organizations. They help downtowns and neighborhoods thrive. They offer real jobs. They pay and collect local and state taxes that help fund schools, police and fire departments, roads and more. They provide all kinds of services, from making books available at events all over town to gift wrapping to home delivery and more. They offer digital books and reading devices to those who prefer e-reading. Bookstores are "third places," where people can indulge in one of the greatest pleasures in life: meeting and talking with other people about books and authors and reading.

What can readers who rightfully treasure their indie bookstores do? A key way to show support is to shop at your local store. Buying books there helps local booksellers to continue doing the sterling job of connecting you with books in ways no other company or organization can. --John Mutter, editor-in-chief, Shelf Awareness

The Writer's Life

Book Brahmin: Laura Andersen

photo: Mandy Baker

Laura Andersen has one husband, four children and a college degree in English that she puts to non-profitable use by reading everything she can lay her hands on. Books, shoes and travel are her fiscal downfalls, which she justifies because all three "take you places." She loves the ocean (but not sand), forests (but not camping), good food (but not cooking) and shopping (there is no downside.) She lives in Massachusetts with her family. Her first book, The Boleyn King, was published last month by Ballantine.

On your nightstand now:

Quiet by Susan Cain: for the introvert in me. Jane by April Lindner: Who doesn't love a good Jane Eyre re-imagining? The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey: Who doesn't love a second good Jane Eyre re-imagining? Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley: because I'm always reading a mystery and I adore Bradley's young narrator, Flavia de Luce.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. I must have checked this book out of my school library 50 times. I adored the eccentric characters, the brilliant puzzle, and especially Turtle Wexler, the 13-year-old genius who puts it all together.

Your top five authors:

Do you have any idea how painful it is to winnow down this number? I decided to narrow the field to my Top Five Authors Who are Alive and Currently Writing. Louise Penny: for the generosity and humanity of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and her other flawed and complex characters. P.D. James: for the elegance of her writing and the psychological depth of her mysteries--and also the enigmatic Adam Dalgliesh. Sharon Kay Penman: for the details and brilliance of her settings and the emotional relevance she brings to history. Juliet Marillier: for the way she weaves magic and folklore into the fabric of history and for her enduringly powerful women. Brandon Sanderson: for epic original fantasy that creates worlds that make me say, "I want to believe."

Book you've faked reading:

My mother: "You've never faked reading a book in your life!"
Me: "I was an English major; I've faked reading many."

But the first was in high school, for junior year honors English: As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. The title perfectly described how I felt while attempting to read it.

Book you're an evangelist for:

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. Through the centuries of the Dark Ages, literary scholarship almost vanished from continental Europe. Only on the remote, unconquered island of Ireland was the heritage of Western learning valued. Irish scribes labored lovingly to preserve the written records, and Irish missionaries returned those records to Europe. A must-read book for any lover of language and literature.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt. As a young teenager, I stumbled upon Holt's gothic novels and discovered I'm a sucker for covers featuring stormy weather, shadowy architecture, and darkly dangerous heroes.

Book that changed your life:

One Corpse Too Many by Ellis Peters. My senior year of college, I took a mystery novels seminar in which I encountered the 12th-century crime-solving monk Brother Cadfael. Before then, I had read mysteries and I had read historical fiction, but this book introduced me to a combination that had me singing: "I didn't know you could do this!" This book led me into an entirely new arena of fiction that I continue to revel in today.

Favorite line from a book:

"I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
--From The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. I have delivered that last line so often to my children that they have been known to say, "Watch out--mom's going all Gandalf again."

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. Just to relive those hours of fulfillment for which I had waited so many years. Though I can (and have) re-read all the Harry Potter books, nothing matches the experience of discovering for the first time the fullness of what happens to Harry and Ron and Hermione and weeping right along with them.

Which English royal would you most like to meet?

I should probably say a Tudor, but frankly every single one of them scares me to death. I would probably choose Henry V, to see if he's as noble as history makes him out to be. Or Anne Neville, so briefly queen to Richard III, to see what a wife has to say of her much-maligned husband.

Book Candy

100 Must-Reads for Kids 9-14; Books Every Woman Should Read

"The Ultimate Backseat Bookshelf: 100 Must-Reads For Kids 9-14" were recommended by NPR's audience, who chose "a little bit of everything: tales of trying to fit in, escaping to magical lands, facing prejudice, coming of age and fighting to survive. There are animal stories, pioneer sagas, science-fiction adventures and, of course, beloved classics."


The Huffington Post suggested "10 books every woman should read."


The Guardian offered a photo tour of the "10 best writers in novels."


Historical photo shoot: the Huffington Post highlighted a rare photograph of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) at home in 1957.


Evie Wyld, author of All the Birds, Singing, recommended "five books about farmers" in the Telegraph.


"From honey bears to sign posts," Buzzfeed highlighted "23 lovely DIY bookends to adorn your shelves."

Book Review


The Sound of Things Falling

by Juan Gabriel Vasquez

For many years, when the country of Colombia was mentioned, the first thing that came to mind to was the Medellín cartel. Throughout the 1970s and '80s, until 1993, when he was killed, drug lord and narcoterrorist Pablo Escobar warred against anyone who got in his way.

Juan Gabriel Vasquez uses this history as a backdrop in The Sound of Things Falling, as he tries to come to terms with years of drug-related violence that many Colombians would prefer to forget. For Vasquez and his narrator, young attorney and teacher Antonio Yammara, those bygone events were formative, leaving a legacy of fear.

The novel begins in 2009 with the killing of a hippo that escaped from what was the private zoo on Escobar's estate. When Yammara reads of this, he is besieged by memories of the mid-1990s, starting with a casual encounter in a Bogotá billiard parlor. Antonio develops a sort of friendship with Ricardo Laverde, despite his secretiveness; then, one day, Laverde is murdered on the street. Yammara, also wounded in the attack, is compelled to find out Laverde's story and, in the process, sees his own life fall apart. He discovers that Laverde was a pilot and drug trafficker, a mule for Escobar.

Yammara's obsession with Ricardo leads him to Maya Laverde, his 28-year-old daughter, who believed that her father was dead long before he was murdered. She, too, has been damaged by a past whose events she did not participate in. She and Antonio share this bond, one which challenges his shaky marriage.

Vasquez examines, eloquently, how memories can cripple and heal at the same time, how the past must be exorcised before a real future is viable. --Valerie Ryan

Discover: In a story beautifully told--and masterfully translated by Anne McLean--Juan Gabriel Vasquez explores the impact that an unexamined past has on the present.

Riverhead, $27.95, hardcover, 9781594487484


by Mark Slouka

Was there a young man anywhere in the 1960s who didn't substitute his home town's name for that of Mobile in Bob Dylan's "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again?" In the case of 16-year-old Jon Mosher, that town is Brewster, N.Y--a blue-collar, small-minded place that he and his unlikely three best friends can't wait to escape. As he watches the "children of God... hitching backward up Route 22," he says, "Woodstock may have been just across the river, but Brewster was a different world."

Jon's German-Jewish immigrant father owns the town's shoe store. After the childhood death of his older brother, his parents turn inward, leaving the alienated Jon on his own to befriend Ray Cappicciano, the brawling son of an abusive alcoholic ex-cop; Frank Krapinski, a zealous Christian track teammate; and Karen Dorsey, a brainy beauty who chooses the pugnacious Ray over the introverted Jon. Together they navigate high school, smoke, drink beer, huddle in their bedrooms "listening to the Stones turned low, which doesn't work," and discuss Camus's The Stranger.

The tight foursome find strength in the shared challenges they face at home and their naïve dreams of escaping to a better future. However, just as Woodstock had its Altamont, a violent confrontation between Ray and his father changes the fates of all of them.

Slouka (God's Fool; Lost Lake) has an ear for the conversational ambivalence of the young in the tumultuous '60s of small-town America as well as a clear view of the fatalism such small-town life engenders. Sometimes, Bob Dylan notwithstanding, Memphis is no better than Mobile. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Discover: Mark Slouka perfectly captures the voices and frustrations of four young friends in a small town during "the winter after the summer of love."

W.W. Norton, $25.95, hardcover, 9780393239751

Mystery & Thriller

The Last Alibi

by David Ellis

David Ellis shakes up his Jason Kolarich legal thriller series in The Last Alibi. Though the previous three novels have been in the voice of Kolarich, Ellis pulls in his law partner, Shauna Tasker, to share the narration this time around. Alternating voices and time periods, The Last Alibi proves Newton's first law: once Ellis puts this novel in motion, the forces acting on the story work only to make it move faster.

Kolarich is recovering from a knee injury, and the novel opens with him addicted to painkillers. The problem is exacerbated when court reporter Alexa Himmel shows a romantic interest in Kolarich and takes on the role of his enabler. Then a client appears, insinuating he murdered multiple women--bound by attorney-client privilege, Kolarich can't report anything.

As more women end up dead, Kolarich is ethically torn. The plot's momentum increases when the client's identity comes into question and Kolarich realizes those closest to him are in grave danger.

Though Kolarich remains the lead protagonist, Ellis's additional focus on Shauna gives readers a closer look at the other half of Tasker & Kolarich. The character takes on more depth as Ellis highlights both her strengths and her insecurities, successfully broadening the storytelling palette for the larger series. The Last Alibi is exciting, fresh and suspenseful--and Ellis fails to halt the momentum of this book with "the end." The series is still very much an object in motion. --Jen Forbus of Jen's Book Thoughts

Discover: Drug addiction, brutal murders and exceptional plot twists mark the return of Chicago's favorite defense attorney.

Putnam, $26.95, hardcover, 9780399158803

Misery Loves Company

by Rene Gutteridge

Juliet "Jules" Belleno is a 34-year-old widow who rarely leaves her house in Wissberry, Maine, since her police officer husband, Jason, died in the line of duty. Every Tuesday, Jules reviews a book on her blog, but when she's disappointed in the latest novel by her favorite author, Patrick Reagan, and posts an unfavorable review, her life changes in unexpected ways.

On the day that would've been her wedding anniversary, Jules sets out to the grocery store to buy ingredients to re-create their favorite meal. Along the way, she meets Reagan, who ultimately kidnaps her, ushering her into a nightmare where she's taken to task and forced to explain her review--and herself--to a deeply troubled man who has suffered heart-wrenching personal losses of his own.

With Jules missing, her worried, alcoholic father, a retired military officer, enlists the help of Jason's former partner on the force. As the two search for Jules, startling revelations begin to emerge about Jason's death. Was it really an accident? Or might Jason's death be connected to Jules's kidnapping?

Misery Loves Company is categorized as "spiritual suspense." The flawed, lonely characters grapple with ideas of faith amid loss, evil and corruption. However, as in Gutteridge's other novels (Listen; Possession), the narrative is never preachy. The fast-paced twists and turns of the plot present an insightful, chilling look at how privacy is often compromised in the Internet age and how choices in life can ripple beyond the scope of personal existence. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Discover: A book blogger is taken hostage by her favorite author after she posts an unfavorable review of his latest novel.

Tyndale House, $12.99, paperback, 9781414349336

City of Mirrors

by Melodie Johnson-Howe

Retired actress Diana Poole, the star of Melodie Johnson Howe's City of Mirrors, goes back to work after her screenwriter husband dies, leaving her with a rundown Malibu house and not much money. On her first movie back, Diana discovers her troubled, young costar's dead body. Then another corpse shows up at an old house where Diana used to live as a child with her movie-star mother, Nora. Diana gets drawn into the mystery surrounding these deaths and sets out to solve them, finding she has to not only act like a tough broad but be one if she wants to come out of the experience alive.

Howe was a TV and film actress in the mid-1960s through the late '70s, so the details about Diana's life on set and around Los Angeles ring true. The film industry people are full of insecurities and vapidity and ego, but Diana is sympathetic as a woman over 40 who has to jumpstart her life and career in a make-believe world even harsher than the real one. She wants happiness more than an Oscar, but it's hard to escape her mother's shadow and the lingering sense of loneliness after her husband's death.

Howe has a bit of trouble with dialogue, with characters sometimes speaking melodramatically, sounding like narrative, saying exactly what they mean. Diana quotes Oscar Wilde's observation that when people talk about the weather, they mean something else. One wishes some of the characters would "talk about the weather" more. But the story moves fast enough, and Diana is a clear-eyed narrator to guide readers through the land of illusions. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, writer/editor blogging at Pop Culture Nerd

Discover: A tale about murder and the dark side of Hollywood from a former insider.

Pegasus, $25.95, hardcover, 9781605984681

The Collini Case

by Ferdinand von Schirach, trans. by Anthea Bell

Ferdinand von Schirach's The Collini Case takes off running and, without manipulation or stunts other than a brilliantly orchestrated plot, proceeds to tell a whopper of a tale.

When an 85-year-old industrialist is brutally murdered, Collini, the huge, sweaty brute who fired four bullets into the back of his head and stamped on the old man's face, refuses to reveal his reason. Caspar Leinen is an idealistic but inexperienced defense lawyer going up against a legendary prosecutor. What Leinen doesn't expect is a phone call from his childhood best friend's sister, sobbing and furious that he is defending Collini. Her reason is a shocker, and it's enough to make Leinen almost back out of defending Collini--until a minor character reminds him, "You're a lawyer, you have to do what lawyers do."

The Collini Case is a novel where the crime and the killer are known from the outset, but not the reasons behind them. The mystery is an eternal one: How can a gentle, loving family member become, in another context, a ruthless killing machine?

Von Schirach is one of Germany's most prominent defense lawyers, and his voice is authoritative and deceptively simple. His non-sensational style only makes his surprises more jolting. As a compassionate, smart and sensitive hero, Leinen is irresistible. The courtroom scenes are riveting without being melodramatic; the wartime sequences at the novel's end are appropriately harrowing. And the undetected loophole in German law around which the plot revolves came under fire just four months after the book's publication in Germany, with legal activists citing this streamlined tour-de-force and its painfully human tragedy. --Nick DiMartino, Nick's Picks, University Book Store, Seattle, Wash.

Discover: A nightmarish murder that seems open-and-shut turns out to be something much else in a lean, perfectly constructed mystery that led to changes in German law concerning the Nazi era.

Viking, $25.95, hardcover, 9780670026524

Biography & Memoir

Hungry: What Eighty Ravenous Guys Taught Me About Life, Love, and the Power of Good Food

by Darlene Barnes

Darlene Barnes never expected to become a frat cook, but after quitting a soul-sucking job as a personal chef and finding herself in a new city, she was hired by the Alpha Sigma Phi house on Seattle's University of Washington campus. She quickly gained a reputation as a tough customer by demanding fresh, local food from her suppliers, and gradually found herself embracing the wildly diverse group of college boys who called "the House" their home.

Barnes swings between snark and warmth as she details her time at the House, sharing incidents both cringe-worthy (exploded beer cans in the freezer, food left out overnight) and affecting (the way the community pulled together after the deaths of two members). She debunks a few fraternity clichés while admitting some others often ring true. Her guys may drive her crazy, but she loves them deeply and takes pride in their successes.

The memoir's chronology jumps around a bit, veering from Barnes's previous jobs to her Louisiana childhood (and its simple, delicious food) before settling into a more ordered account of her years with the Alpha Sigs. As she takes command of the kitchen, convinces her customers to try new foods and even helps set up a pig roast, she realizes how much this job is nourishing her as well as her guys.

Witty and irreverent (with a handful of mouthwatering recipes), Hungry provides an inside look at fraternity living and an unconventional story of life around the table. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Discover: A chef offers an inside look at fraternity life and an unconventional story of food and community.

Hyperion, $24.99, hardcover, 9781401324773


Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East

by Scott Anderson

T.E. Lawrence has been the subject of many biographies--and, famously, an epic motion picture--so it's not easy to find a new way of looking at him. But that's exactly what Scott Anderson (The Man Who Tried to Save the World) has done in Lawrence in Arabia.

In addition to Lawrence, Anderson focuses on three young men who set the stage for what would happen in the Middle East through the 20th century: Curt Prufer, an academic who also worked for the German embassy in Cairo; Aaron Aaronsohn, a celebrated agronomist who played a "signal role in the creation of the Jewish homeland;" and William Yale, a member of the American aristocracy and a "secret agent" for Standard Oil.

Lawrence was posted to Cairo in 1914, where he helped convince Arab leaders to work with the British to defeat the Turks and worked toward the establishment of a provisional Arab government. Meanwhile, Prufer did his best to foment Arab hatred toward Britain, while Aaronsohn spied on and duped the Ottomans. Yale, present at the Paris Peace talks, quit in disgust when he observed the deceit inflicted upon the Arabs as everything Lawrence fought for was "turned to ashes."

Anderson's genius is to show how the actions of these four men intertwined, setting the Ottomans on a course that would "unleash forces of such massive disintegration that the world is still dealing with the repercussions a century later." His research is extensive and well integrated into the story, while the prose is as addictive and sophisticated as the best John le Carré thriller. --Tom Lavoie, former publisher

Discover: A masterful piece of historical research and writing that sheds new light on Lawrence of Arabia and others to show how the Middle East became the mess it is today.

Doubleday, $28.95, hardcover, 9780385532921

Essays & Criticism

Among the Janeites: A Journey Through the World of Jane Austen Fandom

by Deborah Yaffe

Although Deborah Yaffe has loved Jane Austen since she was a child, she had no idea how huge, diverse and sometimes bizarre the Janeite world could be. But after an auspicious reading from an Austen-themed tarot card (yes, they exist), she set out to explore the broad spectrum of Austenmania. Among the Janeites is a fascinating blend of memoir and reportage that chronicles her adventures with Austen fans of all stripes.

For decades, most Austenites loved Jane in relative solitude--reading and rereading the novels, memorizing favorite passages. (Yaffe is partial to Captain Wentworth's letter from Persuasion, known to devotees as The Letter.) But since several screen adaptations (including the famous version of Pride & Prejudice starring Colin Firth) and the rise of the Internet, Austenmania has exploded, attracting fans with Austen obsessions ranging from couture to psychology, social history to social graces.

Yaffe's interviewees span the gamut of Austenmania, from pedantic (and passionate) academics to writers of fan fiction, from a psychologist who uses Austen in her therapy sessions to a Texan who orders custom-made Regency gowns every year. She tours Austen spots in England with a group of fellow Janeites and recounts her travails with a bespoke Regency ball gown (and corset). And she is ever mindful of the facets of Austen's enduring appeal over two centuries: her wit, her sharply observed social satire, her complex, skillfully drawn characters and her happy endings.

Like the novels themselves, Yaffe's tour of Austenmania is witty, informative, clever and warmhearted. Jane would approve. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Discover: A witty, informative, warmhearted tour of the broad (and sometimes bizarre) spectrum of Jane Austen obsession.

Mariner, $15.95, paperback, 9780547757735

Psychology & Self-Help

Falling into the Fire: A Psychiatrist's Encounters with the Mind in Crisis

by Christine Montross

When the mind is in crisis, it can force the human body to do strange and powerful things to itself and to others. "Mental illness pierces the veil [of invulnerability] and those who suffer from it dwell with their fragility in plain view," psychiatrist Christine Montross writes in Falling into the Fire. "My role is not to try to repair the veil but to strengthen my patients so that they can live, so that they can suffer less, so that they can hope."

Readers are plunged into the depths of mental illness as Montross revisits case studies from her residency and early years as an attending physician. There's the woman who's been admitted 23 times over four years for swallowing items such as broken curtain rods, knives, nails and barbecue skewers; the three men who all believe they are Jesus (arguing among themselves as to who is legitimate and who's lying); and the patients capable of inducing psychogenic nonepileptic seizures in order to receive drugs.

Montross is pragmatic and compassionate in her attempts to understand the complexities of each individual's neurosis, intertwining research into early medical and psychiatric practices with reflections on her family as she searches for a medical treatment that will be effective--and that her patients will be willing to follow. Empathetic and informative, Falling into the Fire is a fascinating look into the convoluted world of psychiatry and mental illness. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

Discover: Christine Montross (Body of Work) considers the intricacies of the mind as she looks back on several case studies from her psychiatric career.

Penguin Press, $25.95, hardcover, 9781594203930

Children's & Young Adult

Jazzy in the Jungle

by Lucy Cousins

All the animals come together to help Mama JoJo (a lemur) find her Baby Jazzy in a game of hide-and-seek. Thick, cut-out pages in shapes that emphasize the edges of giant leaves, flowers and trees evoke readers' feeling of searching through a lush, dense environment.

Lucy Cousins (the Maisy books) employs her signature bright colors and thick black line to make the jungle come alive. She states up front that "Mama JoJo and Baby Jazzy are playing hide-and-seek in the jungle," so youngest readers know that Jazzy is not lost, just playing a game with Mama JoJo. The baby on the cover, waving, and a picture of mother and offspring on the title page reinforce this message.

The lemur mother (recognizable from her striped tail) calls out, "Where are you, Baby Jazzy?" as Anteater, Snake, Hummingbird and other animals reply, "Not here." Leopard tells her to "try looking by the tum tum trees" (which Lewis Carroll fans may recognize as a nod to "Jabberwocky"), and Gorilla suggests looking by the "fliff fluff flowers." But Elephant is the one to recruit the whole crowd: "Let's all look by the big boo trees." Mama JoJo, either in jest or in earnest says, "Oh Baby Jazzy, will I ever find you?" A chorus of yeses follows, as all of the previously mentioned creatures point toward Jazzy's hiding place, and a spectacular trifold reveals the baby lemur's confounding spot. Cousins's message that it takes a village (or a jungle) to keep it inhabitants safe will resonate reassuringly with toddlers and preschoolers. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

Discover: An innovative, interactive die-cut game of hide-and-seek from the creator of Maisy.

Candlewick, $14.99, hardcover, 32p., ages 2-5, 9780763668068

Prep School Confidential

by Kara Taylor

This first murder mystery in a series will appeal to fans of Allie Carter's Gallagher Girls series, who enjoy a bit of humor and fashion with their detective work. 

Debut author Kara Taylor emphasizes the dynamics of a pretty good girl/bad boy attraction. Anne Dowling is not a mean girl, though her sometimes snarky attitude as a New York City private school girl "sentenced" to a Boston boarding school could cause people to think of her as one. She's kind to her roommate, Isabella, and they discover they have some quirky things in common, such as their mutual appreciation for Les Miserables. But Anne's been sent away to boarding school for accidentally setting on fire the auditorium of her Manhattan elite school. As her former headmaster, Bailey, told her, "Trouble has a way of showing up wherever you are, Anne." And now Anne's roommate of less than a week is found in the woods, a victim of a homicide.

Taylor threads the plot with narrator Anne's smart humor. She sizes up her class's queen bee his way: "Alexis is not only a bitch, but a passive-aggressive, Post-it-not-leaving bitch." A detail Anne uncovers early on in the novel, involving an unsolved homicide 30 years ago, links to Isabella's death. Taylor solves the mystery but leaves some open ends for Anne to put to rights in the next book. A guilty pleasure and a fun summer read. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

Discover: The launch of a new prep school detective series that will appeal to fans of Allie Carter's Gallagher Girls.

St. Martin's Griffin, $9.99, paperback, 336p., ages 12-up, 9781250017598


Author Buzz

The Rom-Commers

by Katherine Center

Dear Reader,

Famous screenwriter Charlie Yates wrote a romantic comedy screenplay--and it’s terrible. Aspiring writer Emma Wheeler just got hired to fix it. But Charlie doesn't want anyone rewriting his work--least of all a "failed nobody," and Emma can't support a guy who doesn't even like rom-coms, adding another bad one to the pantheon. So what choice does Emma have but to stand up for herself, and rom-coms, and love in general--and, in the process, to show her nemesis-slash-writing-hero exactly how to fall stupidly, crazily, perfectly in love?

Email with the subject line "The Rom-Commers sweepstakes" for a chance to win one of five copies.

Katherine Center

Buy now and support your local indie bookstore>

AuthorBuzz: St. Martin's Press: The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center

St. Martin's Press

Pub Date: 
June 11, 2024


List Price: 
$29.00 Hardcover

Blue Moon
(A Smoke and Mirrors Novella)

by Skye Warren

Dear Reader,

When I started writing Ringmaster Emerson Durand in the Smoke and Mirrors series, I knew he would get his own story. Insouciant. Charming. And he's actually the villain of that book. So can he be redeemed? It's the question I'm always working to answer in my books.

If he's going to deserve his own happily ever after, it's going to be a journey. A scorching hot journey!

That's what BLUE MOON illuminates. A dangerous ringmaster claims his rebellious acrobat for a sensual show you cannot miss.

Skye Warren

Available on Kobo

AuthorBuzz: 1001 Dark Nights Press: Blue Moon (A Smoke and Mirrors Novella) by Skye Warren

1001 Dark Nights Press

Pub Date: 
March 12, 2024


List Price: 
$2.99 e-book

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