Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Author Guest , Guests / April 30, 2010

I read a blog post recently, written by a woman who was announcing that she was “quitting” Urban Fantasy. She stated that the genre was so glutted, and there were so many substandard books–all apparently filled with the same tropes–that there was nothing in urban fantasy worth reading anymore. Moreover, the comments section was filled with people expressing similar “I’m done!” sentiments. This made me sad for a number of reasons, the first of which is–of course–because I write urban fantasy. But the biggest reason this announcement saddened me was the pure illogic of it, coupled with the self-denial on the part of the blogger. She was obviously once a fan of urban fantasy, and now in her desire to steer well clear of it, she was going to be denying herself all of the potential that urban fantasy (and paranormal romance) has to offer. That being said, I could see why she’d grown weary and jaded. It seems impossible to turn around without seeing something related to Twilight or True Blood or any of the other vampire-inspired media. When it’s this “in your face” the impulse to draw back and get some space is practically reflexive. On the one…

MARK TERRY | Doppelganger
Author Guest , Guests / April 29, 2010

These days I’m the author of a series of thriller novels featuring Dr. Derek Stillwater, a troubleshooter for Homeland Security. Derek’s particular area of expertise is biological and chemical terrorism. He’s been favorably compared by reviewers and readers to Jason Bourne, Jack Bauer and Jack Reacher. (Yes, I’m flattered). The most recent Stillwater novel is THE FALLEN. In March I had a book launch party at Aunt Agatha’s Mystery Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and I wisely stocked the store with family members. While I was giving my spiel, apparently Robin Agnew, Aunt Agatha’s owner, leaned over to my brother and asked him if I looked like Derek Stillwater. To which he responded, “When he was younger.” I can’t tell you how bizarre an exchange that is to me. In addition to the Derek Stillwaternovels I’ve had a couple standalones. One is an e-book for Kindle, DANCING IN THE DARK, which features Joanna Dancing, a high-level bodyguard and security expert. She ain’t me. My first novel, DIRTY DEEDS, features Meg Malloy, a computer troubleshooter who made a fortune before the dot-com bubble burst and now spends her time doing short-term computer projects. She ain’t me, either. What brought this home…

SUSAN MALLERY | Turns Out Size Matters After All!
Author Guest , Guests / April 28, 2010

I grew up in Los Angeles, one of the largest, loudest cities in the world. There’s a lot to love about living in a city. The sights, the sounds, the colors are exciting and energizing. No matter what your interests, you can always find classes and groups where you can meet like-minded people. Then there are the events. Every day, a hundred ways to answer the question, “What should we do today?” Art shows and museums. Live music and theater. Baseball and basketball. (I’ll confess. My answer to the aforementioned question would only be “Let’s go to the game” if there was a high-end luxury spa around the corner named The Game.) I’m big on luxury, and I enjoy instant gratification. I like that cities are on the cutting edge of technology. I like thorough cell phone coverage. When smart phones move to 5G, city people will be the first to be wowed by everything they can do. I love living in a cultural melting pot. I love walking down the street and not understanding all the languages I hear. I love the cosmopolitan feeling that comes from mingling with people from all over the world. Immigrants bring the colors…

Fresh Pick | THE MAPPING OF LOVE AND DEATH by Jacqueline Winspear
Fresh Pick / April 27, 2010

Maisie Dobbs #7 May 2010On Sale: April 22, 2010Featuring: Maisie Dobbs352 pages ISBN: 0061727660EAN: 9780061727665Hardcover$25.99 Mystery Historical Buy at The Mapping Of Love And Deathby Jacqueline Winspear In 1932 London, Maisie Dobbs must unravel a case of wartime love and death–an investigation that leads her to a doomed affair between a young cartographer and a mysterious nurse. In the latest mystery in the New York Times bestselling series, Maisie Dobbs must unravel a case of wartime love and death—an investigation that leads her to a long-hidden affair between a young cartographer and a mysterious nurse. August 1914. Michael Clifton is mapping the land he has just purchased in California’s beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, certain that oil lies beneath its surface. But as the young cartographer prepares to return home to Boston, war is declared in Europe. Michael—the youngest son of an expatriate Englishman—puts duty first and sails for his father’s native country to serve in the British army. Three years later, he is listed among those missing in action. April 1932. London psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs is retained by Michael’s parents, who have recently learned that their son’s remains have been unearthed in France. They want Maisie to…

Author Guest , Guests / April 27, 2010

I don’t know whether accountants hear about children who dream of doing taxes or if parents brag to plumbers about kids gifted with a plunger and wrench. But I’ll tell you this much: parents (mothers especially) frequently confide that their son or daughter (daughter, usually) loves to write and hopes to be an author someday. They say that like it’s a good thing. And I kind of don’t get it. That is, I understand the kids’ ambition – if that’s the right word. When I grow up, I want to stay at home in my pajamas and make stuff up about people who don’t exist. But why do parents want that for their children? Is it because they think that if your name is on a book, you must be making a lot of money? Or do they not realize that most authors – at least the ones I know – consider themselves to be just a little bit . . . off? It’s not just that some (most) of us have certain slacker tendencies. I recently asked twelve author friends, “What three adjectives best describe yourself or most writers you know?” Four of the twelve authors responded (there’s that…

Marie Bostwick | Choices Choices Everywhere a Choice
Author Guest / April 26, 2010

Paper or plastic? Decaf or regular? Debit or credit? Every day, every one of us makes hundreds of decisions. As a matter of fact, a study by Cornell University found that we make more than 200 daily decisions just about food! (Personally, I suspect I’m above the curve on that score. For me, chocolate choices alone “tip the scales” in that direction.) I have no statistical information on this, but instinct tells me that the average woman has to make more decisions in a day than the average man. And one thing I am absolutely certain: today’s women face more decisions, and weightier ones, than our grandmothers ever did. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not pining for the old “Father Knows Best” days when men made all the choices for their wives and the only career paths open to women were nursing, teaching, or marriage. But, no matter your age or level of life experience, the smorgasbord of choices we face today – marital, relational, educational, vocational, reproductive, domestic, professional, and financial – can be daunting, even paralyzing. Liza Burgess, one of the main characters in A Thread So Thin, the third of my Cobbled Court novels, understands exactly what…

Fresh Pick | IN A GILDED CAGE by Rhys Bowen
Fresh Pick / April 26, 2010

Molly Murphy March 2009On Sale: March 17, 2009Featuring: Molly Murphy288 pages ISBN: 031238534XEAN: 9780312385347Hardcover$24.95 Mystery Historical, Mystery Woman Sleuth Buy at In A Gilded Cageby Rhys Bowen Irish immigrant Molly Murphy and her New York City P.I. business are in the midst of a sweeping influenza epidemic and a fight for women’s suffrage that lands her in jail. Her betrothed, Police Captain Daniel Sullivan, finds her, but he hardly has time to bail her out, what with Chinese gangs battling for control of a thriving opium trade. The only consolation Molly can take from her vexing afternoon in the clink is that it made her some new friends among the Vassar suffragists—and brought her a pair of new cases. For the first, Emily Boswell is convinced her miserly uncle stole her inheritance and wants Molly to uncover the truth behind her parents’ lives and deaths. Second, Emily’s college roommate Fanny Poindexter wants Molly to find proof of her husband’s philandering so that she can leave him without one red cent. But when Fanny dies and her husband claims she’s a victim of the epidemic, it’s more than Molly’s conscience can take. Rhys Bowen’s Agatha and Anthony Award–winning historical series…

Fresh Pick | A DUTY TO THE DEAD by Charles Todd
Fresh Pick / April 25, 2010

A Bess Crawford Mystery #1 September 2009On Sale: September 1, 2009Featuring: Bess Crawford; Jonathan Graham336 pages ISBN: 0061791768EAN: 9780061791765Hardcover$24.99 Mystery, Mystery Historical Buy at A Duty To The Deadby Charles Todd From the brilliantly imaginative New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd comes an unforgettable new character in an exceptional new series England, 1916. Independent-minded Bess Crawford’s upbringing is far different from that of the usual upper-middle-class British gentlewoman. Growing up in India, she learned the importance of responsibility, honor, and duty from her offi­cer father. At the outbreak of World War I, she followed in his footsteps and volunteered for the nursing corps, serving from the battlefields of France to the doomed hospital ship Britannic. On one voyage, Bess grows fond of the young, gravely wounded Lieutenant Arthur Graham. Something rests heavily on his conscience, and to give him a little peace as he dies, she promises to deliver a message to his brother. It is some months before she can carry out this duty, and when she’s next in England, she herself is recovering from a wound. When Bess arrives at the Graham house in Kent, Jonathan Graham listens to his brother’s last wishes with surprising indifference….

Sundays with Sandi / April 25, 2010

This last week I read Death by Darjeeling by Laura Childs. I picked this book because the DFW TeaReaders is having Ms. Childs as a call in guest in May, and I decided that a different genre would be fun to read, and what if I discovered a new fun author in the process. I really enjoyed Death by Darjeeling, and look forward to continuing with this series, and perhaps exploring the other series that Laura Childs writes. Had it not been for my desire to more fully participate in the conversation I would have missed a delightful series. I got lucky and Laura Childs was an author that worked for me. However not every new author I try does that. A friend in book club read and loved Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl…. I mean to the point where she wasn’t participating in pre dinner conversation because she was so engrossed in the book (and no Ms. Dahl wasn’t the phone in guest that night). Her enthusiasm for Talk Me Down and the newly published author had me thinking I needed to read it for myself. I did, and have read at least one other book by Ms….

Sara Reyes | New, Updated, Reissue…or a Cheat?
Saturdays with Sara / April 24, 2010

On Sara’s Bookshelf: Mary Balogh classics and latest from Jacqueline Winspear Last week I whined, moaned and generally threw a fit over something that usually doesn’t bother me too much — reading a series out of order. And let me tell you, my friends and acquaintances heard it over and over. I was SO unhappy and felt the need to share. Aren’t you lucky you only had to read about it? Trust me, you should be! But during all my whining I must admit that I continued to read Christine Warren‘s books. I’ve now finished all that are available (still missing the two which were released as e-book and not yet “rewritten”) and I’ve got some semblance of order in my mind. I’ve also had a few good hours of reading enjoyment. And in the end, isn’t that what is important? But my moaning to others brings to mind, how do you feel about books that are initially issued in a format and then re-written or expanded into another format and you as the unsuspecting reader purchase said “new” book? Are you upset? Do you take it in stride? Happy to have more material? Or do you feel the original…