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December 7, 2018

Fiona Davis: A Sense of Place

Posted by tom
We are kicking off this year’s Holiday Author Blog series with Fiona Davis, the nationally bestselling author of THE DOLLHOUSE and THE ADDRESS. In her latest novel, THE MASTERPIECE, she takes readers into the glamorous lost art school within Grand Central Terminal, where two very different women, 50 years apart, strive to make their mark on a world set against them. Setting plays a key role in Fiona’s books; before determining the plot or developing her characters, she chooses a location (specifically, an iconic New York building) and lets her research guide the story. In this first blog post of the holiday season, Fiona explains how THE SECRET GARDEN (which she received as a Christmas present one year) and The Rookeries (her grandmother’s house in England) have served as inspiration for her work.
November 8, 2018

Reader Recommendations for a New Book Club

Posted by tom
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If a book group was brand new, what book would you suggest that they start with? We posed this question to our readers, and you came up with some terrific ideas. Many thanks to all who shared their recommendations with us; as always, your feedback is much appreciated!
After writing 12 novels set in the Victorian Era, Tasha Alexander shifts to the Edwardian Age in the latest installment of her Lady Emily mystery series, UNEASY LIES THE CROWN. Here, Lady Emily and her husband Colin must stop a serial killer whose sights may be set on the new king, Edward VII. In her blog post, Tasha talks about changing time periods and the challenges it posed; as she says, “[A]fter spending most of my adult life researching Victorian England, the period is as comfortable to me as a much-loved cashmere sweater: cozy, familiar and reassuring.” She also sheds some light on Edward VII’s reign and explains some of the key differences between the Victorians and Edwardians.
Spread throughout the grounds of the State Capitol and along Austin’s iconic Congress Avenue, the 23rd annual Texas Book Festival took place on October 27th and 28th. Founded in 1995 by Laura W. Bush, a former librarian and then First Lady of Texas, along with Mary Margaret Farabee and a dedicated group of volunteers, the Festival set out to honor Texas authors, promote the joys of reading, and benefit the state’s public libraries. The first Festival took place in November 1996 and has grown into one of the nation’s premier literary events. Nancy Sharko, one of our readers, was at the Festival and attended eight panels, featuring such authors as Chloe Benjamin, Sarah Smarsh, Casey Gerald, Tommy Orange and R.O. Kwon. In this blog post, Nancy reports on her three favorite sessions.
On Saturday, October 20th, Hachette Book Group held their seventh annual Book Club Brunch, a day for readers and book clubs to hear about new books directly from the authors. This year's event boasted readers from all over the tri-state area...and a bit beyond as well. I attended for the fourth year in a row, and I can honestly say that this program has gotten better and better each year.
On Wednesday, October 17th, Book Club Girl hosted its second Girls’ Night Out at William Morrow’s New York City office. For this event, the featured authors were New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White --- or "Team W," as they are adoringly known. Their feisty, funny and wine-fueled conversation was moderated by Carol Fitzgerald from The Book Report Network. At only $40, the tickets were a steal, and included a tote bag of books, wine, hors d'oeuvres and, of course, a scintillating night of conversation about Team W's latest book, THE GLASS OCEAN.
October 11, 2018

Reader Recommendations for a Men’s Book Club

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A publishing colleague recently told Carol Fitzgerald that her dad is in a men’s book group. They are trying to decide what to read next and can use suggestions. They read books like Amor Towles' A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW and are looking for that kind of accessible fiction. Carol recommended BENEATH A SCARLET SKY by Mark Sullivan, but we wanted readers to weigh in with their own suggestions --- and you responded in a big way! Many thanks to all of you who shared your ideas.
For years, I have heard about Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella’s Big Book Club Party and had wanted to experience it to share more about it with our readers. Last weekend, they hosted their 13th annual event. On Saturday, my son Greg and I were invited to Lisa’s 44-acre farm in Pennsylvania to attend the first day of what is a two-day celebration of book groups. One hundred groups attended each day on Saturday and Sunday, bringing somewhere between 500 and 600 people each day to Willow Farm, which is the name of Lisa’s farm. It was everything I hoped it would be --- and more.
This year's Bouchercon --- the world's largest mystery convention --- took place on September 6-9 in St. Petersburg, Florida, and brought together all parts of the mystery and crime fiction community for a weekend of exciting panels and awards. Although no one from our staff was able to attend, we were so pleased that 12 writers and publishing professionals were in St. Petersburg and eager to report back to us on their experiences at the convention. Many thanks to Linwood Barclay, Laura Benedict, Lou Berney, Alison Gaylin, William Kent Krueger, Clair Lamb, Carla Neggers, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Alex Segura, Wendy Corsi Staub, Sarah Weinman and Kate White for their enthusiastic participation!
Author and television writer Rebecca Serle is best known for her young adult books TRULY MADLY FAMOUSLY and FAMOUS IN LOVE, for which she also writes the screenplay of the television adaptation. This week, Rebecca made her adult book debut with THE DINNER LIST, a wistful, romantic and heartbreaking story based on the popular question, “If you could have dinner with any five people, alive or dead, who would they be?”