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May 20, 2016 Newsletter May 20, 2016
Gardening Still on Hiatus
When we left off, I was in Chicago at BookExpo America, which is some version of “book heaven.” All day we were hearing about the long TSA lines, so I was really happy I had booked myself on a 9pm flight, so there was no stress about getting to the airport. I had applied for TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry on the previous Tuesday night, and I was thrilled that it came through in 48 hours so I could express my way through Pre-Check on the way home. I hit the United Lounge where things have been way upgraded. There was a salad bar, as well as a hot food station, which is a huge step up from the packaged cheese and crackers --- though I usually grabbed extras of those for the plane.

On the flight home, I had a really nice chat with a first-year med student who was sitting next to me; actually, we had a seat between us, which we decided that in these days of air travel is something like hitting the lottery! He had a backpack under his seat where he had stuffed the suit that he planned to wear to a wedding that weekend, and in the cup holders on either side of the backpack, he had his dress shoes. He said that he thinks he may just about be old enough to carry a garment bag instead of using the backpack method. As the mother of two sons, I laughed. He told me about his classes and his future training, which kept us chatting until landing. He had a copy of SIDDHARTHA with him and told me that even with his heavy course load, he always reads for pleasure.

On Saturday, all that plane talk about medicine had me pick up THE SHIFT: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives by Theresa Brown, which is just out in paperback. I have zip medical aptitude beyond applying Neosporin and Band-Aids, but the stories of what goes on in hospitals always interests me. In this book, Brown looks at what happens in one day in the life of a nurse on a hospital’s cancer ward. She is also a New York Times columnist, and her prose is page-turning. Another book that I highly recommend along these lines is THE NURSES: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital by Alexandra Robbins, which also is now out in paperback.

I really kicked it back a notch over the weekend and logged lots of couch time. At some point, I half-unpacked and also made some half-hearted efforts to shelve the books that I had read for the interviews I did at BEA. I still have much more book organization to be done.

Ever dreamed of that perfect reading space? Well, we have a special opportunity for you to win just that! Room & Board and Penguin Random House are giving you a chance to win a fully furnished reading nook, complete with chair, end table, floor lamp and, most importantly, bookshelf --- plus a library of books in the genres you love. Nice, eh? Click here to learn more about the giveaway and enter to win by Wednesday, June 8th at 11pm ET.

And now to this week’s update…

It’s not truly summer until you have the latest Mary Kay Andrews novel tucked in your beach bag, and THE WEEKENDERS, our latest Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight title now in stores, promises to be another perfect blend of warmth and intrigue. Riley Griggs is looking forward to an idyllic summer on the island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. But when her husband disappears, Riley must turn to her island friends for support --- and the secrets she discovers could change her forever.

Reviewer Jamie Layton calls THE WEEKENDERS “a wonderful mix of drama, southern life, rich characters and love --- a page-turner that won’t last a long weekend!” I had the pleasure of interviewing MKA (as we affectionately call her in the office) about the book and what inspired her to revolve the plot around a definitive mystery; you can take a look at our conversation here. We also share a link where you can see her own beach houses, which are available for rent. She includes signed books with her rentals.

And in more MKA news, we’re giving away her previous novel, BEACH TOWN, which released in paperback earlier this month, in our “What’s Your Book Group Reading This Month?” contest over on Three winners will receive 12 copies of the book for their book group to read and discuss. Be sure to enter here by Wednesday, June 1st at noon ET.

Psychological thriller master Mary Kubica is at it again with her electrifying new novel, DON’T YOU CRY, which we’ve been featuring in our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight and is now in stores. In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan vanishes without a trace. The only clue is a chilling letter addressed to My Dearest found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate wondering just how well she really knew Esther. Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town, a mysterious woman appears in the coffee shop where 18-year-old Alex Gallo works. He’s immediately drawn to her, but as all these lives intersect, what starts as a crush spirals into a taut and twisted thrill ride.

According to reviewer Joe Hartlaub, “Kubica does a neat thing here, drawing two storylines toward each other without actually fully intersecting them, at least until the dust settles and the smoke clears. While both a mystery and a thriller, DON’T YOU CRY is also a story of revenge, contrition, forgiveness, redemption and nobility.” I was fortunate enough to interview Mary about the book, its various themes and two parallel stories; click here to read the Q&A.

Please keep in mind that we’re giving away the audio version of DON’T YOU CRY (performed by Kate Rudd and Kirby Heyborne), in addition to Phaedra Patrick's THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER (performed by James Langton), in this month’s Sounding Off on Audio contest. Let us know by Wednesday, June 1st at noon ET what audiobooks you’ve finished listening to, and you’ll be in the running to win both audio prizes.

Funny story: When I was at BEA, I told Mary Kubica’s publicist that I was hoping to get to Mary's event in New York the following week, as I had not yet met her. As I turned to leave their booth, I realized that Mary had been sitting at the signing table behind me; I knew that author looked familiar! Talk about walking around in a convention-inspired fog.

This past Tuesday turned out to be a pretty big day for book releases. In addition to THE WEEKENDERS and DON’T YOU CRY, we have reviews of THE FIREMAN by Joe Hill, a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it (note that the audiobook is narrated by Kate Mulgrew; you know her most recently from "Orange is the New Black"; BEYOND THE ICE LIMIT by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, in which Gideon Crew takes on his most dangerous and most high-stakes assignment yet; and THE HIGHWAYMAN, a novella set in the world of Craig Johnson’s Longmire series that finds Sheriff Walt Longmire and Henry Standing Bear embarking on their latest adventure.

All five of these novels are choices in our current poll question, where we’re asking which fiction titles releasing in May you’re planning to read. We always love finding out what new and upcoming books have caught your eye, so please be sure to click here and cast your vote (or votes)!

EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN, Chris Cleave’s first foray into historical fiction and one of my recent Bets On selections, is our latest New Release Spotlight title. It’s 1939, and Mary, a young socialite, volunteers for the war effort. She ends up teaching children who have been evacuated from London but rejected by the countryside due to disability or race. Tom, an education administrator, is distraught when his best friend, Alastair, enlists. Alastair, an art restorer, has always seemed so removed from the violence of war --- and so Tom finds distraction in Mary. When Mary meets Alastair as the war escalates around them, the three are drawn into a tragic love triangle and further into a new world unlike any they’ve ever known. Click here to read our review and here for an interview with Chris, as well as some terrific videos where he shares more about his inspiration for the book. You can see why I so enjoyed interviewing him at BEA.

Our new Paperback Spotlight features HOW TO START A FIRE by Lisa Lutz, which just released in paperback this week. When college roommates Anna and Kate find Georgiana Leoni passed out on a lawn, they wheel her to their dorm in a shopping cart. Twenty years later, they gather around a campfire at a New England mansion. The story unfolds as what came between --- the adventures, the jealousies, and the night that changed everything. We reviewed the book last year when it released in hardcover; Norah Piehl had this to say at the time: “Over the course of Lutz's energetically plotted novel, we have the opportunity to piece together what happened to these three promising young women.”

THE ATOMIC WEIGHT OF LOVE by Elizabeth J. Church is my latest Bets On selection. Click here to read my comments on this fabulous debut novel. When I left for Chicago, I had 30 pages left to read, and as tired as I was when I got back from my late-night flight, I read those pages before I went to sleep on Friday night (actually early Saturday morning). We’ll have our review next week!

Our Summer Reading contests kicked off this week! We gave away the aforementioned THE WEEKENDERS, in addition to DEAD WAKE: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson and JUST LIFE by Neil Abramson. Next week’s prize books will be DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY by Bill Clegg (a Bets On selection), the aforementioned HOW TO START A FIRE, MURDER ON THE QUAI: An Aimée Leduc Investigation by Cara Black, and MARLENE by C.W. Gortner. The first 24-hour contest of the week will go live on Monday, May 23rd at noon ET. It’s quite a lineup, so be sure to sign up for our Summer Reading newsletters --- to date, we have 42(!) contests lined up --- or check the site each day for these contests!

Also returning this week is our Father’s Day Contest, which we’ve brought back for an 11th year. Five readers will be awarded a prize package that includes all of this year’s featured titles, along with some special treats we know dad will enjoy. Click here to see the prize books and enter for your chance to be one of our big winners. The deadline for your entries is Monday, June 20th at noon ET.

Huge thanks to our staffer Nicole Sherman, who built both of these features. Last week, she was adding titles right down to the 11th hour. I really appreciate her and how she ensures that every detail is organized on these features and contests, which have MANY moving pieces to them.

There’s still time to enter our special contests for BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by B. A. Paris (which releases on August 9th and is a future Bets On pick) and THE NEW NEIGHBOR by Leah Stewart (which will be available in paperback on June 28th). Click on each of the titles to read all about the books and fill out the contest forms; the deadline for your entries in both contests is Thursday, May 26th at noon ET.

You have one more week (until Friday, May 27th at noon ET) to enter our current Word of Mouth contest, where we’re giving away BOAR ISLAND: An Anna Pigeon Novel by Nevada Barr (don’t miss our review next week!) and the aforementioned THE FIREMAN. Let us know what books you’ve finished reading for your chance to win both these highly anticipated novels.

News and Pop Culture:

Reader Mail: Joe Hartlaub, our mystery/thriller reviewer, shared this note with us from author Robin Yocum: "I wanted to drop you a note to A) thank you for the very nice review of A BRILLIANT DEATH, and B) tell you about the response. I had more emails and calls from friends and family than any other review. I’ll bet I heard from eight or nine folks who saw the review on, including a publicist and editor at one of my former publishing houses. I got a few calls after getting reviews on other websites, but nothing like yours. I was impressed with the reach."

Lots of emails from readers who attended our Book Group Speed Dating session at BEA last week. Click here to see all the titles that were presented.

"The Family": I binge-watched this series on ABC, which had some of the best thriller writing that I have seen. Amazing pacing and twists. It’s not renewed, so where it left off last Sunday is all we will know. I am ready to pull together a group of thriller author friends to ask them to write the next episode.

"The Catch": This is not a brilliant show, but it’s escape TV that works for me on a Thursday night as I tap the keys answering email or writing this newsletter.

Aloha: Watched it the other night because I like Bradley Cooper. And the preview I saw on Netflix looked good. It was a fun rental.

"Game of Thrones": Amazing ending on last week's episode.

I missed seeing Robert Dugoni at BEA; our schedules did not jive. I am looking forward to reading his new book, IN THE CLEARING, his latest Tracy Crosswhite thriller, just out this week.

Mercury leaves retrograde on Sunday at 9:20am, not that I am counting down the minutes or anything. My laptop completely crashed when I was in Chicago --- as in, I hit the start button and nothing happened. I have not had a minute this week to turn it over to our tech guys. My seldom-used iPad has now become my best tech companion (it needed two software updates and a number of downloads to catch me up to all I needed), and it’s been a lifesaver. Of course, since nothing can go smoothly in retrograde-land, I also had to deal with getting the Wi-Fi to work steadily.

I am ready for outdoor reading, so bring on the warmer weather. Speaking of such, my husband Tom has been making the fabulous lamps that you see above for outdoor reading after so many people came over to our house and admired the one we have. It’s completely weatherproof. We have had one outside since 2012 (even leaving it out there in winter!). They are dimmable, and have an electric outlet and USB outlet for your iPad or phone or baby monitor. If you would like to know more about them, I can put you in touch with him.

Cory is home for the summer, and he and Stephen, son 2B, have been going back and forth to each other’s houses for the last 72 hours. Yes, the boys are back in town. Josh, son 2A, will be home for a week shortly (of course, none of them can lock down exactly when that will be), and then there will be migration to three houses. We are pretending it is summer (after all, it was 36 degrees the other morning, so pretending is what we are doing), so we opened the pool. The water is clear, which is wonderful, though still way too cold. Here’s to warm evenings so we can get the heater turned on! I have not done one lick of gardening yet; the weeds are flourishing beautifully, however.

Greg is at his World Ship Society meeting tonight and tomorrow up to Connecticut to attend a board meeting for the New England Lighthouse Lovers. Tom and I have dinner plans tonight with our friend Moe and tomorrow with our friend Cathy. Both these folks read, so I am looking forward to seeing what they have been reading recently. Beyond that, more of the usual reading and knitting (this week, I managed to cast on 450 stitches for a scarf, get three inches finished and realized it should be 300 stitches, so here we go with more reverse knitting). And maybe, just maybe, tackling some of the weeds.

Read on, and have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])

P.S. For those of you who are doing online shopping, if you use the store links below, gets a small affiliate fee on your purchases. We would appreciate your considering this!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound Talks to Mary Kay Andrews, Author of THE WEEKENDERS --- A Women's Fiction Author Spotlight Title

Some people (everyone) refer to Mary Kay Andrews as the “Queen of the Summer Beach Read," while others (the Bookreporter staff) refer to her as “MKA.” Whatever you happen to call her, one thing's for sure: She knows how to deliver a compulsively readable summer book. In this interview, MKA talks to Carol Fitzgerald about THE WEEKENDERS, another trademark beach read...with a dark twist. She discusses the importance of female friendship, how her ever-optimistic outlook finds its way into all her stories, and tips for decorating her summer homes --- which make it no wonder she’s so good at writing “house porn”!

THE WEEKENDERS by Mary Kay Andrews (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Kathleen McInerney
Riley Griggs has a season of good times with friends and family ahead of her on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina, when things take an unexpected turn. While waiting for her husband to arrive on the ferry one Friday afternoon, Riley is confronted by a process server who thrusts papers into her hand. And her husband is nowhere to be found. So she turns to her island friends for help and support, but it turns out that each of them has their own secrets. The clock is ticking as the mystery a murderous way. Riley must find a way to investigate the secrets of Belle Island, the husband she might not really know, and the summer that could change everything. Reviewed by Jamie Layton.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Mary Kay Andrews' bio.
-Visit Mary Kay Andrews' official website and Pinterest.
-Connect with Mary Kay Andrews 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. Talks to Mary Kubica, Author of DON’T YOU CRY --- A Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight Title

Mary Kubica is the New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL and PRETTY BABY, and her latest book, DON'T YOU CRY, continues her tradition of riveting, character-driven thrillers. In it, one woman’s disappearance may or may not be related to the mysterious arrival of a stranger in a small town, although only one thing is certain: The past will always catch up to us in the end. In this interview conducted by Carol Fitzgerald, Kubica reveals why she is drawn to characters who are experiencing inner turmoil, the themes that keep coming up unexpectedly in her work, and a surprising detail about her personal life.

DON'T YOU CRY by Mary Kubica (Psychological Thriller)
Audiobook available, performed by Kate Rudd and Kirby Heyborne
In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate, Quinn Collins, to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she's the person Quinn thought she knew. Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where 18-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.

-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 see the 25 winners selected to read and comment on the book.
-Click here to read more in our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight.

Click here to read our interview.
New Release Spotlight: EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN by Chris Cleave
EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN by Chris Cleave (Historical Fiction)
London, 1939. The day war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to ignore the war --- until he learns his roommate, Alistair Heath, has unexpectedly enlisted. Then the conflict can no longer be avoided. Young, bright and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is --- bewilderingly --- made a teacher, she finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget. Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary. And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams.

Set in London during the years of 1939-1942, when citizens had slim hope of survival, much less victory; and on the strategic island of Malta, which was daily devastated by the Axis barrage, EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN features little-known history and a perfect wartime love story inspired by the real-life love letters between Chris Cleave’s grandparents. This dazzling novel dares us to understand that, against the great theater of world events, it is the intimate losses, the small battles, the daily human triumphs that change us most.

-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 an interview with Chris Cleave.
-Click here to read Chris Cleave's bio.
-Click here to visit Chris Cleave's official website.
-Connect with Chris Cleave on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to read more in our New Release Spotlight.
New Paperback Spotlight: HOW TO START A FIRE by Lisa Lutz
HOW TO START A FIRE by Lisa Lutz (Fiction)
When college roommates Anna and Kate find Georgiana Leoni passed out on a lawn, they wheel her to their dorm in a shopping cart. Twenty years later, they gather around a campfire at a New England mansion. What came between --- the wild adventures, unspoken jealousies and one night that changed everything --- is the witty, poignant story of our strongest friendships, the people who know us better than we know ourselves. Anna is the de facto leader, as fearless as she is reckless. Quirky Kate is the loyal sidekick, until she’s pushed too far. And stunning George is always desired but just as frequently dumped.

Alive with Lisa Lutz’s crackling dialogue and propulsive storytelling, HOW TO START A FIRE pulls us into the tangled bond shared by three intelligent, distinctive and deeply real women and pays homage to the abiding, irrational love we have for the family we choose.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.

-Click here to read Lisa Lutz's bio.
-Click here to visit Lisa Lutz's official website.
-Connect with Lisa Lutz on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our Paperback Spotlight.
Special Contest: Enter to Win an Advance Copy of BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by B. A. Paris
We are celebrating the August 9th release of BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by B. A. Paris --- a debut psychological thriller that exposes the realities of a "perfect marriage" ---with a special contest that will give 35 readers the opportunity to win an advance copy of the book. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, May 26th at noon ET.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by B. A. Paris (Psychological Thriller)
Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace's friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call --- so why doesn't Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read B. A. Paris' bio.
-Click here to connect with B. A. Paris on Twitter.

Click here to enter the contest.
Special Contest: Enter to Win a Paperback Copy of THE NEW NEIGHBOR by Leah Stewart
We are celebrating the June 28th paperback release of THE NEW NEIGHBOR by Leah Stewart --- in which an old woman’s curiosity turns into a dangerous obsession as she becomes involved in her mysterious new neighbor’s complicated life ---with a special contest that will give 10 readers the opportunity to win a copy of the book. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, May 26th at noon ET.

THE NEW NEIGHBOR by Leah Stewart (Psychological Thriller)
Ninety-year-old Margaret Riley is content hiding from the world. Stoic and independent, she rarely leaves her Tennessee home, finding comfort in the mystery novels that keep her company --- until she spots a woman moving into the long-empty house across the pond.

Her new neighbor, Jennifer Young, is also looking to hide. On the run from her old life, she and her four-year-old son, Milo, have moved to a quiet town where no one from her past can find her.

In Jennifer, Margaret sees a potential companion for her loneliness and a mystery to be solved. But Jennifer refuses to talk about herself, her son, his missing father or her past. Frustrated, Margaret crosses more and more boundaries in pursuit of the truth, threatening to unravel the life Jennifer has so painstakingly created --- and reveal some secrets of her own.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Leah Stewart's bio.

-Click here to visit Leah Stewart's official website.
-Click here to connect with Leah Stewart on Twitter.
Click here to enter the contest.
Special Contest from Room & Board and Penguin Random House: Enter to Win a Modern Reading Nook and Library!
Calling all bookworms! This is your chance to win a fully furnished reading nook courtesy of Room & Board and Penguin Random House, complete with chair, end table, floor lamp and, most importantly, bookshelf --- plus a library of books in the genres you love.
Click here to learn more and enter to win!
Announcing's 11th Annual Father's Day Contest: Best Books for Dad
Father’s Day is a time to celebrate the men in our lives who have raised and loved us. Why not show him your appreciation by inspiring him with a great book? In our 11th annual "Best Books for Dad" contest, we have five books that are perfect gift-giving suggestions for dad, keeping him busy through the rest of the year. Five readers will be awarded a prize package that includes these titles, along with some special treats. To enter, please fill out this form by Monday, June 20th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles are:

Click here to read more about the prize books and enter the contest.'s Summer Reading Contests and Feature
Summer will be here before you know it! At, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contests and Feature. We will be hosting a series of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days through August 25th, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter to win. We also will be 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, May 23rd at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to read all the contest details and learn more about our featured titles.
Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: THE PROGENY by Tosca Lee
THE PROGENY by Tosca Lee (Supernatural Thriller)
Emily Jacobs is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted.

She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders --- one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she ultimately must save.

Filled with adrenaline, romance and reversals, THE PROGENY is the present-day saga of a 400-year-old war between the uncanny descendants of “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, the most prolific female serial killer of all time, and a secret society dedicated to erasing every one of her descendants. It is the story about the search for self amidst centuries-old intrigues and Europe’s underground scene…and one woman’s mission to survive.

THE PROGENY releases on May 24th.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

-Click here to read Tosca Lee's bio.
-Click here to visit Tosca Lee's official website.
-Connect with Tosca Lee 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 Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight.
What's New This Month on
We currently are giving away the following books on

  • BEACH TOWN by Mary Kay Andrews
    Deadline for entries: Wednesday, June 1st at noon ET
The following guides are now available:

Please note that these titles, for which we already had the guides when they appeared in hardcover, are now available in paperback:

Click here to visit
More Reviews This Week
THE FIREMAN by Joe Hill (Supernatural Thriller/Horror)
Audiobook available, performed by Kate Mulgrew
A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies --- before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected, and blazes erupt everywhere. A mysterious and compelling stranger straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted…and as a weapon to avenge the wronged. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

BEYOND THE ICE LIMIT: A Gideon Crew Novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by David W. Collins
Five years ago, the mysterious and inscrutable head of Effective Engineering Solutions, Eli Glinn, led a mission to recover a gigantic meteorite from a remote island off the coast of South America. The mission ended in disaster when their ship foundered in a vicious storm and broke apart, sinking to the ocean floor. The tragedy revealed something truly terrifying: the meteorite they tried to retrieve was not simply a rock. Instead, it was a complex organism from the deep reaches of space. That organism has now implanted itself in the sea bed two miles below the surface --- and it’s growing. As Gideon Crew and his colleagues soon discover, the "meteorite" has a mind of its own and has no intention of going quietly. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

THE HIGHWAYMAN: A Longmire Story by Craig Johnson (Mystery)
Audiobook available, narrated by George Guidall
When Wyoming highway patrolman Rosey Wayman is transferred to the beautiful and imposing landscape of the Wind River Canyon, an area the troopers refer to as no-man's-land because of the lack of radio communication, she starts receiving “officer needs assistance” calls. The problem? They're coming from Bobby Womack, a legendary Arapaho patrolman who met a fiery death in the canyon almost a half-century ago. With an investigation that spans this world and the next, Sheriff Walt Longmire and Henry Standing Bear take on a case that pits them against a legend: The Highwayman. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

GIRLS & SEX: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein (Family & Relationships/Social Science)
Audiobook available, read by Peggy Orenstein
A generation gap has emerged between parents and their girls. Even in this age of helicopter parenting, the mothers and fathers of tomorrow’s women have little idea what their daughters are up to sexually or how they feel about it. Drawing on in-depth interviews with over 70 young women and a wide range of psychologists, academics and experts, renowned journalist Peggy Orenstein goes where most others fear to tread, pulling back the curtain on the hidden truths, hard lessons and important possibilities of girls’ sex lives in the modern world. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

IMAGINE ME GONE by Adam Haslett (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Ellen Archer and Robert Fass
When Margaret's fiancé, John, is hospitalized for depression in 1960s London, she faces a choice: carry on with their plans despite what she now knows of his condition, or back away from the suffering it may bring her. She decides to marry him. IMAGINE ME GONE is the story of what unfolds from this act of love and faith. At the heart of it is their eldest son, Michael, a brilliant, anxious music fanatic who makes sense of the world through parody. Over the span of decades, his younger siblings struggle along with their mother to care for his increasingly troubled and precarious existence. Reviewed by Rebecca Kilberg.

GIRLS ON FIRE by Robin Wasserman (Thriller)
Audiobook available, performed by Cassandra Campbell, Soneela Nankani and Allyson Ryan
On Halloween in 1991, a popular high school basketball star ventures into the woods and disappears. Three days later, he’s found with a bullet in his head and a gun in his hand. In the wake of this incident, bright but lonely Hannah Dexter is befriended by the charismatic, seductive Lacey Champlain. Lacey forges a fast, intimate bond with the impressionable Dex, making her over in her own image and unleashing a fierce defiance that neither girl expected. But as Lacey gradually lures Dex away from her safe life into a feverish spiral of obsession, rebellion and ever greater risk, an unwelcome figure appears on the horizon --- and Lacey’s secret history collides with Dex’s worst nightmare. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

MY LOST BROTHERS: The Untold Story by the Yarnell Hill Fire's Lone Survivor by Brendan McDonough with Stephan Talty (Memoir)
Audiobook available, narrated by John Glouchevitch
Brendan McDonough was on the verge of becoming a hopeless, inveterate heroin addict when he, for the sake of his young daughter, decided to turn his life around. He enlisted in the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team of elite firefighters based in Prescott, Arizona. On June 30, 2013, a freak, 3,000-degree inferno ultimately trapped his hotshot brothers, tragically killing all 19 of them. MY LOST BROTHERS traces McDonough's story of finding his way out of the dead end of drugs and the minute-by-minute account of the fateful day he lost the very men who had saved him. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

LOST AND GONE FOREVER: A Novel of Scotland Yard's Murder Squad by Alex Grecian (Historical Mystery)
Audiobook available, read by John Curless
Many changes have happened to the Murder Squad. Rash actions have cost Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith his job, and in response he has set up his own private detective agency. Inspector Walter Day has been missing for a year, and no one knows where he is --- though there is a strong suspicion that Saucy Jack has him. Hammersmith has made finding Day his primary case, and he has company --- a pair of bounty hunters, a man and a woman. It is only gradually that he has come to realize that they are not what they seem. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

THE NAZI HUNTERS by Andrew Nagorski (History)
Audiobook available, read by Kevin Stillwell
After the Nuremberg trials and the start of the Cold War, most of the victors in World War II lost interest in prosecuting Nazi war criminals. Many of the lower-ranking perpetrators quickly blended in with the millions who were seeking to rebuild their lives in a new Europe, while those who felt most at risk fled the continent. THE NAZI HUNTERS focuses on the small band of men and women who refused to allow their crimes to be forgotten --- and who were determined to track them down to the farthest corners of the earth. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

PRAYERS THE DEVIL ANSWERS by Sharyn McCrumb (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Candace Thaxton
Suddenly thrust into the role of primary caretaker for her family following the tragic death of her husband, Ellie Robbins is appointed to serve out his term as sheriff of their rural Tennessee mountain town. She has long proven she can handle herself. But becoming sheriff is altogether different, and the demands of the role are even more challenging when she is forced to combat society’s expectations for a woman. Soon enough, dark secrets come to light, and Ellie must grapple with small town superstitions and the tenuous ties she shares with a condemned killer as she carves out a place for herself in an uncertain future. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

ZIGZAG: A Nameless Detective Collection by Bill Pronzini (Mystery)
Audiobook available, read by Nick Sullivan
ZIGZAG includes two novellas and two short stories featuring Bill Pronzini's iconic Nameless Detective. “Zigzag” is an original novella, in which a safe and simple accident investigation becomes the unraveling of a twisted murder scheme. “Grapplin” deals with the kind of missing person case that can end in only one of two ways: closure or heartbreak. In the second short, “Nightscape,” readers discover how, indeed, one thing just leads to another. The final work, “Revenant,” is another original novella and entangles Nameless in a weird crime with fearful occult overtones. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

THE DEFENSE by Steve Cavanagh (Legal Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Adam Sims
Former con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn gave up the law a year ago after a disastrous case, and he vowed never to step foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn't have a choice. The head of the Russian mob in New York City, on trial for murder, has kidnapped Eddie's 10-year-old daughter: Eddie has to take this case whether he likes it or not. Using his razor-sharp wit and every con, bluff, grift and trick in the book, Eddie has 48 hours to defend an impossible murder trial. And if he loses this case, he loses everything. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

MASKS AND SHADOWS by Stephanie Burgis (Historical Fantasy)
The year is 1779, and Carlo Morelli, the most renowned castrato singer in Europe, has been invited as an honored guest to Eszterháza Palace. Already at Eszterháza is Charlotte von Steinbeck, the very proper sister of Prince Nikolaus Esterházy's mistress. Charlotte has retreated to the countryside to mourn her husband's death. Now, she must overcome the ingrained rules of her society in order to uncover the dangerous secrets lurking within the palace's golden walls. Music, magic and blackmail mingle in a plot to assassinate the Habsburg Emperor and Empress --- a plot that can only be stopped if Carlo and Charlotte can see through the masks worn by everyone they meet. Reviewed by Carly Silver.
Next Week's Notables: Noteworthy Books Releasing on May 24th
Below are some notable titles releasing on May 24th that we would like to make you aware of. We will have more on many of these books in the weeks to come. For a list of additional hardcovers and paperbacks releasing the week of May 23rd, see our “On Sale This Week” newsletter here.

THE CITY OF MIRRORS by Justin Cronin (Post-Apocalyptic Thriller)
In this breathtaking finale to The Passage trilogy, Amy --- the Girl from Nowhere and humanity’s only hope --- must face the enemy: Zero. The First. Father of the Twelve.

THE FOUR-NIGHT RUN by William Lashner (Thriller)
After winning the biggest trial of his career, J.D. Scrbacek flees into the city’s forgotten underbelly, a ruined corridor called Crapstown, where he is forced to confront the ghosts of his past, present and future.

A GAME FOR ALL THE FAMILY by Sophie Hannah (Psychological Thriller)
Pulled into a deadly game of deception, secrets and lies, a woman must find the truth in order to defeat a mysterious opponent, protect her daughter and save her own life.

MARLENE by C.W. Gortner (Historical Fiction)
From the gender-bending cabarets of Weimar Berlin to the tyrannical movie studios of Los Angeles, C.W. Gortner pens a story of passion, glamour, art and war about one of the most alluring legends of Hollywood’s golden age: Marlene Dietrich.

THE PROGENY by Tosca Lee (Supernatural Thriller)
Emily Porter --- the descendant of a serial killer --- embarks on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders: one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive and one she must ultimately save.

THE SORCERER'S DAUGHTER: The Defenders of Shannara by Terry Brooks (Fantasy)
The mysterious, magic-wielding Druid order has existed for long ages, battling any evil that threatens the Four Lands. But when a demon’s murderous rampage at a peace summit ruins all their hopes of building goodwill, Paxon Leah --- the order’s appointed protector --- must save the order and battle the vile sorcerer, Arcannen Rai.

TRIBE: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger (Social Science)
Combining history, psychology and anthropology, Sebastian Junger’s latest book explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging and the eternal human quest for meaning.

THE WOLF OF SARAJEVO by Matthew Palmer (Thriller)
Twenty years after the Srebrenica massacre that claimed the life of his friend and colleague, Eric Petrosian is back in Sarajevo at the American embassy. As a Bosnian Serb leader threatens to pull Bosnia apart in a bloody struggle for control, Eric is faced with an impossible choice: use the information he’s uncovered to achieve atonement for the past or use it to shape the future.

Click here to see the latest "On Sale This Week" newsletter.
Our Latest Poll and Word of Mouth/Sounding Off on Audio Contests


Which fiction titles releasing in May are you planning to read? Please check all that apply.

  • 15th AFFAIR by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  • ALL SUMMER LONG by Dorothea Benton Frank
  • THE APARTMENT by Danielle Steel
  • BEYOND THE ICE LIMIT: A Gideon Crew Novel, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
  • BOAR ISLAND: An Anna Pigeon Novel, by Nevada Barr
  • BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE by Fredrik Backman
  • THE CITY OF MIRRORS by Justin Cronin
  • DON'T YOU CRY by Mary Kubica
  • EVERYBODY'S FOOL by Richard Russo
  • THE FIREMAN by Joe Hill
  • THE HIGHWAYMAN: A Longmire Story, by Craig Johnson
  • I LET YOU GO by Clare Mackintosh
  • LaROSE by Louise Erdrich
  • MODERN LOVERS by Emma Straub
  • REDEMPTION ROAD by John Hart
  • ROBERT B. PARKER’S SLOW BURN: A Spenser Novel, by Ace Atkins
  • THE VERSIONS OF US by Laura Barnett
  • THE WEEKENDERS by Mary Kay Andrews
  • WILDE LAKE by Laura Lippman
  • ZERO K by Don DeLillo
  • None of the above

-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 May 13th to May 27th at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of BOAR ISLAND: An Anna Pigeon Novel by Nevada Barr and THE FIREMAN by Joe Hill.

-Click here to enter the contest.
-To see reader comments from previous contest periods, click here.

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 May 2nd to June 1st at noon ET, two lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the audio versions of Phaedra Patrick's THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER, performed by James Langton, and Mary Kubica’s DON'T YOU CRY, performed by Kate Rudd and Kirby Heyborne.

-Click here to enter the contest.
-To see reader comments from previous contest periods, click here.

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