"Nothing makes me happier than finding that little-known or first-time author who really deserves to make it, and selling a boatload of their books -well, that and putting just the right books into each customer's hands.." jill
It's been five years since Greg Iles - who has written several mysteries that I love to sell - has given us a new book. Natchez Burning is a novel worth the wait. It is the first in an epic trilogy set in Iles' familiar Natchez and peopled by former prosecutor, author, and now Mayor Penn Cage and his family.
In Natchez Burning, old, unsolved racial murders have a local newspaperman obsessd. When Penn's beloved father, Dr. Tom Cage, is somehow implicated, the town is divided and the good guys aren't readily distinguishable from the bad.
This is a huge book, and one of those you just want to race home to continue. It's one of those novels that makes you reluctant to get to the final page, but in this case, at least we can take comfort in knowing there are two more to come.
Husband and Wife Marisa de los Santos and David Teague have teamed up to offer us this delightful, middle grade read about the O'Mally Clan from Victory, Arizona, who possess the ability to time travel (although a famous family maxim is 'history resists').
13-year-old Margaret's father sits on death row when Margaret and her friends, Charlie and grandpa Joshua, figure out that a quick visit to 1938 to prevent a murder among their coal mining community would almost certainly set him free.
A story about good vs evil, living in the present and doing the right thing, Saving Lucas Briggs will charm lots of boys and girls this school year!
The killer in Deaver's latest thriller appears to be inspired by one of Lincoln's most famous foes – the Bone Collector.
However, in this case, the killer is obsessed with skin. One of the victims he targets receives a tattoo made, not of ink, but of poison, and dies a horrific and painful death.
I loved the twists and complications of the first 300 or so pages, but then some of the logic used to deduce the identity and next moves of the killer rang false with me.
Still, Deaver kept the surprises coming until the very end and set his next mystery up perfectly. And since part of the fun of a detective story is trying to out-think the other guys, even stepping out of the story to question Deaver's logic is kind of fun.
Yvonne is a renowned geneticist in London and the happily married mother of two. Except that she sits in the dock, charged with murder.
This is a fairly steamy tale of desire and the unexpected consequences, and about liars and the traps they lay for themselves.
Sometimes I really liked this novel, and sometimes I was disappointed. Mostly I was repulsed by the characters who are supposedly "normal" people and hope the rest of you out there aren't anything like them!
Chelsea Cain’s books are included in NPR’s list of the top 100 thrillers ever written and have been on Saturn’s staff pick wall since I read the very first one.
That being said, you have to wonder about the things going on in the recesses of Cain’s mind, because her bad guys are deeply sick and her heroes are completely messed up.
That’s not changed in One Kick – the start of Cain’s new series featuring Kick – a girl who was famously kidnapped at age six and just as famously rescued five long years later.
In the years since her rescue, Kick has made herself into a weapons expert, a martial arts expert, and an escape artist. In other words, she’s trained herself to be safe.
But when two children are abducted within a month, a mysterious man approaches Kick with an offer to help her find them – and down the rabbit hole she goes.
Twisted, satisfying, and left wide open for the sequel, One Kick will grab you at the beginning and never let you go.
The faint of heart need not attempt.
Nicolas' first novel was a smashing success-he's the man of the hour, his handsome face is plastered everywhere and women in countries all over the world are drooling over him, his novel, and the Oscar-winning movie made from it.
Nicolas loves the attention. Loves the interviews- loves everything but the question "What's your next book about?" Because, despite being under contract and deadline for hit #2, Nicolas has managed to write nothing but zillions of great tweets and Facebook posts.
He takes refuge in a swanky Italian resort with his girlfriend, Malvina, but there's nowhere to hide from his own vanity and the family secrets that are keeping him from putting pen to paper.
Beautifully written and honestly felt, The Other Story is another sure fire winner from an author with no problem keeping the hits coming- Tatiana de Rosnay.
I’ve long been a Joseph Finder fan, and I think Suspicion is his best yet.
Danny Goodman is a struggling writer and a single dad, and when he’s unable to make the tuition payment for his adored daughter’s private school, there is nowhere to turn.
But in one of those too good to be true moments, Danny meets Thomas Galvin, father of his daughter’s best friend, and one of the wealthiest men in Boston. Galvin, learning of Danny’s predicament, loans him $50,000.
Too-good-to-be true is, of course, just what it is. No sooner is the money wired into Danny’s account than the DEA contacts him. They put Danny in the impossible position of being indicted for laundering drug money or taking an incredibly risky undercover assignment to nail his new best friend.
Fast, furious, and impossible to put down, Suspicion will thrill Finder’s many fans and make him legions of new ones.
This book will make you so thankful for your own family – dysfunctional as they might sometimes seem.
On the surface, Josephine Hurst has the picture-perfect family – two beautiful daughters, a brilliant son, and a tech-guru husband - but when you peek behind the curtain, the oldest daughter is missing, the second daughter is institutionalized, the son is having seizures and exhibiting autistic behaviors, and the father's in AA. The secrets behind the Hurst's family facade are all chilling and grotesque, and Koren Zailckas' novel gives us the peek inside we almost wish we'd never had. Psychologically intriguing and dark, Mother, Mother is one that will stick with you.
I heartily concur with the Pulitzer judges who awarded The Goldfinch the prize for fiction.
Theo Decker is a 13-year-old born in New York City who loses his mother in a bombing in a museum that he narrowly escapes. Dazed and confused, he escapes with a rare painting, The Goldfinch, as well – his mother's favorite and the one they were admiring last.
The book follows Theo through a lost and troubled adolescence into adulthood when he's working as an antiques dealer for the rich and famous, and playing a dangerous game that's bound to catch up to him.
The Goldfinch works on so many levels – it’s a page turning story with unique, deeply human and flawed characters. But it also spins off into countless directions, ruminating upon and describing with a philosopher's eye life and love and loss and obsession and, perhaps most of all, fate.
Every serious reader should want to read and own The Goldfinch. Like the painting that is its namesake, it is truly a masterpiece.
Unexpected – in all the right ways! When Toika began, in the sassy voice of a Ft. Lauderdale stripper, what I did NOT expect was a surprisingly tender novel about the odd triangle comprised of the stripper, a wealthy Russian ex-pat with a hair-trigger temper, and his paralyzed wife – a story about coming to terms with the hand you are dealt, and discovering that the power to interpret your fate as nightmare or fairy tale informs your very existence. Nor did I anticipate such a remarkably sure-footed debut that will be a pleasure to sell, but that's what I got with Adam Pelzman's upcoming novel, Troika.
Decoding Your Dog is like a bible of dog behaviors and covers everything from choosing the best puppy, to training, to curbing bad behaviors, to dealing with elderly dogs. Dr. Houpt's chapter is entitled 'Creating a Mensa Dog' and is about both a dog's learning process and simple training commands. As a Mensan myself, I was excited to read her chapter, and then a little abashed to learn that a Mensan dog probably isn't what you want – she points out that the most unhappy dog owners are those with very smart dogs who are underemployed! Like each chapter, Dr. Houpt's concludes with bullet points under the heading 'What did we say?' that reinforce the main ideas of the chapter.
We know Kelly Corrigan from her NYT bestsellers Life and The Middle Place and from her magazine articles and YouTube videos. She's the kind of author of whom we take possession – she feels like our friend. She talks about our families. We know about her relationship with her happy, outspoken father and her fiercely-loved children.
And in Glitter and Glue, Kelly's new memoir, we get to pull up to the table with a big cup of coffee and talk about mothers.
Growing up, Kelly tells us she didn't really get it when her mom told her "your father's the glitter, but I'm the glue." She spent her teens, like many of us, trying not to listen to her stoic, practical mother.
But when she ran out of money traipsing through Australia after graduation, and had to take a job nannying, she found it was her mother's voice that she couldn't get out of her head. Although this book is about Kelly's family in particular, it's about a lot of moms in general. it's about when we grow up enough to see ourselves through their eyes. It's about learning who you admire and why, and about why we all laugh when we tell people that we are becoming our mothers.
Imperfection: when I read Wally Lamb's new novel, We are Water, I started thinking about how imperfect people really are. In a perfect world, everyone would always do what we all know would be the best thing for them, and lives would always have a fairy tale ending.
But take the characters who alternate telling us the story in We Are Water. Dr. Orio Oh is a psychologist who needs to take care of people. When he met his wife, Annie, 20-some years ago, she was uniformed, unschooled, and in need of a lot of care. In a perfect world, he could balance the need to take care of his family with the need to take care of his patients and career – but this is not what happens.
Arianne, the eldest child, has the first-born's proclivity for pleasing, and in a perfect world, she could reconcile the many personalities in her family and use her penchant for doing good to be good to herself. But that's not what happens.
Arienne's twin, Andrew, has always been far from perfect. He was the child who always rebelled, who left school for the army and ended up with the political views that were polar opposite of those of the rest of his family. In a perfect world, he could put his past and his temper behind him and get along with everyone. But that's not what happens, of course.
Marissa, the youngest child, has always been a free spirit, and now, as a young adult, her "it is what it is" attitude lands her in an awful situation. In a perfect world, Marissa would learn from her mistake and quit her risky behaviors. But nope. That doesn't happen.
And mother Annie Oh has found her muse and her art has been discovered. In a perfect world, Annie would use her new-found self-confidence to become a better mother and to let go of the secrets that torment her and drive her to torment her son. But that's not what happens at all!
Wally Lamb has a gift for illuminating our everyday imperfections – the ones that make us all-too-human. So when we read his novels, the characters are as alive as they can be. We know what they should do because they are our odd ball neighbors, our dysfunctional families, the people we know from work. And we recognize them because they are so very humanly imperfect. And that makes Wally Lamb's writing just about as perfect as it can be!
This book is like Room with some ambiguity.Marta quits taking her pills because she wants to feel emotion again. Her son has grown up and moved out, and with just her husband around their chilly Scandinavian home, she is ready to see what’s so awful about life that she has had to be medicated to overlook.But, is her mind playing tricks or is she being visited by a thin girl with grey eyes – a girl who is constantly pleading her help? Marta can barely remember the time before she was married, and she’s beginning to doubt if the things she thinks she remembers are memories or stories told to her so often by her husband Hector that she thinks they happened.This one will creep you out and leave you wondering. If you loved Emma Donohue’s Room or SJ Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep, How to Be A Good Wife belongs on your shelves alongside them.
The author of this non-fiction book was the NE Asian correspondent for the Washington Post when he first encountered Shin – the only known escapee from a North Korean political labor camp who was actually BORN there...he was the result of a 'reward' marriage between two prisoners who likely worked hard and snitched on fellow prisoners to earn the right to 'marry', i.e. sleep together, five times a year. Shin was their second son.
Camp 14 is one of 15 labor camps that have been verified by satellite photos to exist in North Korea. Enemies of the royal family of dissidents are sent there to mine coal and farm for the state. Although N. Korea has denied charges by human rights advocates, other prisoners have escaped to South Korea or China to tell tales similar to Shin's and verify that the horrific places do exist.
What makes Shin's story so unique is that, because he was born there and had never even heard of the rest of the world, he had no values or knowledge that weren't instilled in him by his 'teachers’ – the camp guards.
He viewed his mother as competition for food.
He watched a classmate beaten to death by a teacher for having five kernels of corn in her pocket.
He himself participated in beating other children for infractions real and imaginary, mostly involving trying to survive on a diet or corn porridge, pickled cabbage and cabbage soup every day of their lives. The kids would sneak away to catch and roast rats or insects in order to stay alive.
Shin was also tortured, along with his father, for the attempted escape of his mother and brother. Convinced that the duo knew nothing of the plot, they were released for a front row seat at the mother and brother's execution.
Shin would tell you that he hated his mother. He is certain that she and his father both hated him. At the time, hate, love, and all other emotions were foreign to the boy. All he knew was to obey, try to survive, and to earn favor by snitching on others.
This is an unbelievable story. While reading it you will feel as if you are reading about a dystopian society – like in Hunger Games or a fantasy novel. But, as Harden points out, even though it has no celebrity spokesperson like Darfur has George Clooney or Tibet has the Dalai Lama, Camp 14 exists just the same.
This is a horrifying read, but definitely an eye-opener. Everyone concerned about the welfare of others should read this book.
Hannah has it all – a rich, handsome husband in a gorgeous old house in London.
But, when Mark fails to return when expected from a business trip to New York, Hannah starts to worry, then starts to make some calls. His colleagues think he’s taken her on a surprise vacation. His usual hotel in New York has no record that he’s been there.
The more she digs, the more revelations she uncovers that make her doubt everything she thinks she knows about him and their life together.
The creepiness that overtakes you as you read Before We Met reminded me of S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep.
Before We Met is a thoroughly satisfying story that will keep you up at night – first reading late, and then checking the locks!
Lisa Unger scores again with a very creepy thriller where the characters are all suspicious and the plot twists and turns until the very end.
Lana Granger attends a small private college in upstate New York. She leads a very private life because of an awful trauma in her youth – her father murdered her mother and is on death row.
But now, the second girl Lana was seen arguing with has gone missing on campus and all of her usual places of comfort – her therapist’s office, her advisor’s office, and her after school job babysitting a troubled youth – have lost the power to make her feel safe.
And, because this is a Lisa Unger novel, there’s good reason Lana doesn’t feel safe – she definitely isn’t.
Even as you’re congratulating yourself for figuring out a part of the puzzle, Unger throws you another twist, and doesn’t quite put all the pieces together until the very end.
Another good, creepy read from Saturn favorite Lisa Unger.
Part Downton Abbey, part Thirteenth Tale, Tyringham Park is an Irish estate that is home to Charlotte Blackshaw, a temperamental child who has lost her little sister, and who is treated abominably by a cruel nanny and an uncaring mother while her father is off serving the country.
As time passes, Charlotte grows into a functioning and talented young woman, but her past and that of Tyringham Park are such a part of her that she may never fully escape.
Full of historical details and sweeping, emotional storylines, Tyringham Park also simmers with a touch of madness just below the surface. A fully engaging read.
This is an enchanting book about a curmudgeonly bookstore owner whose life takes a 180 when a baby is abandoned in his shop on a small New England island.
It’s about a publisher’s rep who is just quirky enough to relate to the odd duo.
It’s about love, about love of books, about selflessness and friendship and all of the things that make ordinary lives extraordinary.
This is one of those books that went straight to the staff pick shelf – that everyone in the door is being told about this spring, and that everybody in the door will want to talk about this summer.
It’s this year’s Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society or Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.
It’s the book that will make you smile at strangers on the street and want to pay it forward.
It’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and it’s the next book you’re gonna want to read!
I freely admit it: I chose this book because of the title – who could resist?
It’s 1924 in Wales and Wilfred Price is a bachelor who, in the heat of the moment on a picnic with a lovely girl in a yellow dress, asks her to marry him. Grace says yes. Wilfred is instantly remorseful – his proposal had just popped out.
What follows is a lovely tale, written in an almost old-fashioned language that makes you feel as if you are reading one of the classics. And indeed, The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price Purveyor of Superior Funerals will delight you to the very end.
I have a good read for all of you thriller lovers – Lee Child and Vince Flynn readers.
The Runner is Sam Dryden – he’s out pounding the boardwalk in the dead of night again – only this time there are other feet pounding, too.
Soon, a young girl runs almost headlong into him – and begs him to save her from the men who are pursuing her. And sure enough, a whole group of men with flashlights emerge, intent on finding and killing Rachel.
Sam, an ex-soldier who has been privy to some pretty unbelievable things, is drawn right into a plot so twisted, you’ll find yourself wondering how much of The Runner might be based on fact.
Rights to this book have already been sold in 7 countries, and a heated auction for the film rights landed them with Warner Brothers. You’ll be hearing about Patrick Lee and The Runner. Don’t forget you heard it here first.
Tyler has a rare condition that makes him allergic to light. And that has changed the dynamic of his family drastically. Eve, his mother, has given up everything to create a safe environment in which Tyler’s waking hours – between sunset and sunrise – are the family hours with them and his sister Melissa. Their father works an extra-long week at a remote job to make ends meet. At 14, Tyler roams the cul-de-sac at night, snapping pictures of people in their “normal” lives. Then the unthinkable happens – a little girl on their street goes missing and everyone’s secrets start to come out.
Despite Eve’s desperate bid to shield her children from the horrors of the world, she finds that there are some things even a mother can’t control.
Although there is a bit of a mystery here, this book is really a remarkable story about the power of love, and a fantastic read for fans of Judith Guest or Jodi Picoult.