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System Messages

When the Moon Is Low by Nadia Hashimi

July 2015

I approached WHEN THE MOON IS LOW by Nadia Hashimi with the typical trepidation I feel when an author whose previous work I loved delivers her second novel. Her debut, THE PEARL THAT BROKE ITS SHELL, was brilliant and one that I saw as on par with Khaled Hosseini’s three works. But oh, does Nadia deliver! This book is just as brilliant. I loved the characters, the pacing, the story, and the way I empathized for all those who struggle each day to find new homes and lands when the worlds that they know have been forsaken by violence. The fear and sadness that is part of these people's lives is quite overwhelming.

Interview: Emilie Richards, author of The Color of Light

Jul 31, 2015

Emilie Richards has written over 70 novels, beloved for their complex characterizations and in-depth explorations of social issues --- a result of her training and experience as a family counselor. THE COLOR OF LIGHT is the fourth installment in her Goddesses Anonymous series, and it spotlights another Goddess, Minister Analiese Wagner, whose faith is put to the ultimate test when she takes homeless teenager Shiloh Fowler under her wing. In this interview, Richards talks to’s Jamie Layton about the significance of her characters’ names and how they took on a life of their own, to no one’s surprise more than her own. She also discusses how serious the issue of homelessness is, and the strides and setbacks churches experience when dealing with matters of social justice.

William Arthur Ward

A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.


William Arthur Ward
There are certain moments in my adventures in the publishing business that stand out --- ones that I will remember for a long time. Amongst many evenings of author meetings and book discussions, one dinner in July 2012 is certainly among the most memorable.

Author Talk: J. Ryan Stradal, author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest

Jul 30, 2015

Although he now lives in Los Angeles, J. Ryan Stradal was born and raised in Minnesota, so it’s no surprise that his debut novel is titled KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST. It’s one of the most hotly anticipated books of the summer, about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation. In this interview, Stradal reveals why he chose to tell each chapter from a different character’s point of view and how that enabled him to capture the zeitgeist of the Midwest. He also discusses his philosophy when it comes to foodie culture, how food contributes to identity and community, and why he would never challenge a Midwesterner to a bake-off.

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

July 2015

June and Delia used to be closer than anything. But one night a year ago, everything changed. June, Delia, and June’s boyfriend, Ryan, were just having a little fun. Their good time got out of hand. And in the cold blue light of morning, June knew only this --- things would never be the same again. And now, a year later, Delia is dead. June is certain she was murdered. And she owes it to her to find out the truth…which is far more complicated than she ever could have imagined.

Naked by Stacey Trombley

July 2015

Anna could never fit in to the life her parents demanded. By the time she was 13, she ran away to New York City...and found a nightmare that lasted three years. A nightmare that began and ended with a pimp named Luis. But now,  for the first time, she has a chance to start over. Still, the rumors follow her everywhere. The only hope she can see is in Jackson, the boy next door. She lies to protect him from her past, but it's just a matter of time before the real Anna is exposed.

What We Knew by Barbara Stewart

July 2015

When Tracy and her best friend, Lisa, were kids, stories about a man --- a creep who exposes himself to little girls --- kept them out of the woods and in their own backyards. But Tracy and Lisa aren't so little anymore, and the man in the woods is nothing but a silly story. Right? But someone is in the woods. Someone is watching. And he knows all their secrets, secrets they can't tell anyone --- not even each other.

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2015

The longlist for the 2015 Man Booker Prize has been announced. This year’s longlist of 13 books was selected by a panel of five judges who considered 156 books for this year’s prize.

This is the second year that the prize, first awarded in 1969, has been open to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in the UK. Previously, the prize was open only to authors from the UK & Commonwealth, Republic of Ireland and Zimbabwe.

July 30, 2015

This Special Newsletter spotlights a book that we think is a great summer reading selection. Read more about it, and enter our Summer Reading Contest by Friday, July 31st at 11:59am ET for a chance to win one of five copies of DEAR DAUGHTER by Elizabeth Little, which is now available in paperback. Please note that each contest is only open for 24 hours, so you will need to act quickly!