Monday, August 31, 2015

"This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!"

New from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill: This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison.

About the book, from the publisher:

With Bernard, her husband of fifty-five years, now in the grave, seventy-eight-year-old Harriet Chance impulsively sets sail on an ill-conceived Alaskan cruise that her late husband had planned. But what she hoped would be a voyage leading to a new lease on life becomes a surprising and revelatory journey into Harriet’s past.

There, amid the overwhelming buffets and the incessant lounge singers, between the imagined appearances of her late husband and the very real arrival of her estranged daughter midway through the cruise, Harriet is forced to take a long look back, confronting the truth about pivotal events that changed the course of her life. And in the process she discovers that she’s been living the better part of that life under entirely false assumptions.

In This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! Jonathan Evison has crafted a bighearted novel with an endearing heroine at the helm. Through Harriet, he paints a bittersweet portrait of a postmodern everywoman, her story told with great warmth, humanity, and humor. Part dysfunctional love story, part poignant exploration of the mother-daughter relationship, nothing is what it seems in this tale of acceptance, reexamination, and forgiveness.
Learn more about the book and author at Jonathan Evison's website.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Pantheon: Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson.

About the book, from the publisher:

At once incendiary and icy, mischievous and provocative, celebratory and elegiac—here is a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, and American culture through the prism of the author’s rarefied upbringing and education among a black elite concerned with distancing itself from whites and the black generality while tirelessly measuring itself against both.

Born in upper-crust black Chicago—her father was for years head of pediatrics at Provident, at the time the nation’s oldest black hospital; her mother was a socialite—Margo Jefferson has spent most of her life among (call them what you will) the colored aristocracy, the colored elite, the blue-vein society. Since the nineteenth century they have stood apart, these inhabitants of Negroland, “a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty.”

Reckoning with the strictures and demands of Negroland at crucial historical moments—the civil rights movement, the dawn of feminism, the fallacy of postracial America—Jefferson brilliantly charts the twists and turns of a life informed by psychological and moral contradictions. Aware as it is of heart-wrenching despair and depression, this book is a triumphant paean to the grace of perseverance.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 30, 2015

"The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs: A Novel by Matthew Dicks.

About the book, from the publisher:

Caroline Jacobs has lost herself. She's a wife, mother (to a tattooed teenage daughter she avoids), Sears Portrait Studio photographer, and wimp. Asserting herself, taking the reins, or facing life head-on are not in her repertoire. So when Caroline suddenly cracks and screams "Fuck you!" at the PTA president, she is shocked. So is her husband. So is the PTA president. So is everyone.

But Caroline soon realizes the true cause of her outburst can be traced back to something that happened to her as a teenager, a scarring betrayal by her best friend Emily. This act changed Caroline's life forever. So, with a little bit of bravery flowing through her veins, Caroline decides to go back to her home town and confront Emily. She busts her daughter Polly out of school, and the two set off to deliver the perfect comeback, which is twenty-five years in the making. But nothing goes as planned. Long buried secrets begin to rise to the surface, and Caroline will have to face much more than one old, bad best friend.

A heartwarming story told with Matthew Dicks' signature wit, The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs is a deceptively simple novel about the ways in which our childhood experiences reverberate through our lives, and the bravery of one woman trying to change her life and finds true understanding of her daughter, and herself, along the way.
Visit Matthew Dicks' website and Facebook page.

Writers Read: Matthew Dicks (September 2010).

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Matthew Dicks & Kaleigh.

The Page 69 Test: Unexpectedly, Milo.

My Book, The Movie: Unexpectedly, Milo.

The Page 69 Test: Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.

Writers Read: Matthew Dicks (Septgember 2012).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Sit! Stay! Speak!"

New from William Morrow Paperbacks: Sit! Stay! Speak!: A Novel by Annie England Noblin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Echoing the novels of Mary Alice Monroe, Allie Larkin, and Holly Robinson, this charming debut novel tells the unforgettable story of a rescue dog that helps a struggling young outsider make peace with the past.

Addie Andrews is living a life interrupted. Tragedy sent her fleeing from Chicago to the shelter of an unexpected inheritance—her beloved aunt’s somewhat dilapidated home in Eunice, Arkansas, population very tiny. There she reconnects with some of her most cherished childhood memories. If only they didn’t make her feel so much!

People say nothing happens in small towns, but Addie quickly learns better. She’s got an elderly next door neighbor who perplexingly dances outside in his underwear, a house needing more work than she has money, a best friend whose son uncannily predicts the weather, and a local drug dealer holding a massive grudge against her.

Most surprising of all, she’s got a dog. But not any dog, but a bedraggled puppy she discovered abandoned, lost, and in desperate need of love. Kind of like Addie herself. She’d come to Eunice hoping to hide from the world, but soon she discovers that perhaps she’s finding the way back—to living, laughing, and loving once more.
Visit Annie England Noblin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 29, 2015

"Magazines and the Making of America"

New from Princeton University Press: Magazines and the Making of America: Modernization, Community, and Print Culture, 1741–1860 by Heather A. Haveman.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the colonial era to the onset of the Civil War, Magazines and the Making of America looks at how magazines and the individuals, organizations, and circumstances they connected ushered America into the modern age. How did a magazine industry emerge in the United States, where there were once only amateur authors, clumsy technologies for production and distribution, and sparse reader demand? What legitimated magazines as they competed with other media, such as newspapers, books, and letters? And what role did magazines play in the integration or division of American society?

From their first appearance in 1741, magazines brought together like-minded people, wherever they were located and whatever interests they shared. As America became socially differentiated, magazines engaged and empowered diverse communities of faith, purpose, and practice. Religious groups could distinguish themselves from others and demarcate their identities. Social-reform movements could energize activists across the country to push for change. People in specialized occupations could meet and learn from one another to improve their practices. Magazines built translocal communities—collections of people with common interests who were geographically dispersed and could not easily meet face-to-face. By supporting communities that crossed various axes of social structure, magazines also fostered pluralistic integration.

Looking at the important role that magazines had in mediating and sustaining critical debates and diverse groups of people, Magazines and the Making of America considers how these print publications helped construct a distinctly American society.
Visit Heather A. Haveman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Idyll Threats"

New from Seventh Street Books: Idyll Threats: A Thomas Lynch Novel by Stephanie Gayle.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the summer of 1997, Thomas Lynch arrives as the new chief of police in Idyll, Connecticut—a town where serious crimes can be counted on one hand. So no one is prepared when Cecilia North is found murdered on a golf course. By chance, Chief Lynch met her mere hours before she was killed. With that lead, the case should be a slam dunk. But there’s a problem. If Lynch tells his detectives about meeting the victim, he’ll reveal his greatest secret—he’s gay.

So Lynch works angles of the case on his own. Meanwhile, he must contend with pressure from the mayor to solve the crime before the town’s biggest tourist event begins, all while coping with the suspicions of his men, casual homophobia, and difficult memories of his former NYPD partner’s recent death.

As the case unfolds, Lynch realizes that small-town Idyll isn’t safe, especially for a man with secrets that threaten the thing he loves most—his job.
Visit Stephanie Gayle's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 28, 2015

"The White Ghost"

New from Soho Crime: The White Ghost by James R. Benn.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the Pacific during WWII, Billy Boyle must discover if skipper, and future president, Jack Kennedy is a cold-blooded killer.

1943: In the midst of the brutal, hard-fought Solomon Islands campaign between the Allies and the Japanese forces, Lieutenant Billy Boyle receives an odd assignment: he’s sent by the powerful Kennedy family to investigate a murder in which PT skipper (and future president) Jack Kennedy has been implicated. The victim is a native coastwatcher, an allied intelligence operative, whom Kennedy discovered on the island of Tulagi with his head bashed in. That’s Kennedy’s story, anyhow.

Kennedy was recovering in the Navy hospital on the island after the sinking of his PT-109 motor torpedo boat. The military hasn’t decided yet whether to make him a hero for surviving the attack, or have him court-martialed for losing the boat, and the last thing the Kennedy clan wants is a murder charge hanging over his head. Billy knows firsthand that he shouldn’t trust Jack: the man is a charmer, a womanizer, and, when it suits his needs, a liar. But would he kill someone in cold blood? And if so, why? The first murder is followed by two more, and to find the killer, Billy must sort through a tangled, shifting web of motives and identities, even as combat rages all around him.
Learn more about the Billy Boyle WWII Mystery Series at James R. Benn's website.

The Page 99 Test: The First Wave.

The Page 69 Test: Evil for Evil.

The Page 69 Test: Rag and Bone.

My Book, The Movie: Death's Door.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Vanishing Island"

New from Walden Pond Press: The Vanishing Island by Barry Wolverton.

About the book, from the publisher:

An engrossing fantasy, a high-seas adventure, an alternate history epic—this is the richly imagined and gorgeously realized new book from acclaimed author Barry Wolverton, perfect for fans of John Stephens's the Books of Beginning series.

It's 1599, the Age of Discovery in Europe. But for Bren Owen, growing up in the small town of Map on the coast of Britannia has meant anything but adventure. Enticed by the tales sailors have brought through Map's port, and inspired by the arcane maps his father creates as a cartographer for the cruel and charismatic map mogul named Rand McNally, Bren is convinced that fame and fortune await him elsewhere.

That's when Bren meets a dying sailor, who gives him a strange gift that hides a hidden message. Cracking the code could lead Bren to a fabled lost treasure that could change his life forever, and that of his widowed father. Before long, Bren is in greater danger than he ever imagined and will need the help of an unusual friend named Mouse to survive.
Visit Barry Wolverton's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 27, 2015

"Eden's Wish"

New from Disney-Hyperion: Eden's Wish by M. Tara Crowl.

About the book, from the publisher:

All twelve years of Eden’s life have been spent in an antique oil lamp. She lives like a princess inside her tiny, luxurious home, but to Eden, the lamp is nothing but a prison.

She hates being a genie. All she wants, more than anything, is freedom. When Eden finds a gateway to Earth inside the lamp, she takes her chance. In a moment, she’s entered the world she loves. And this time, she won’t be sent back after three wishes.

Posing as the new kid at a California middle school, Eden revels in all of Earth’s pleasures-but quickly learns that this world isn’t as perfect as she always thought it was.

Eden soon finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between powerful immortals. A ruthless organization run by a former genie will stop at nothing to acquire the lamp and its power—including hurting Tyler and Sasha, the mortal friends who have given Eden a home. To save her friends—and protect the magic of the lamp—Eden will have to decide once and for all where she belongs.
Visit M. Tara Crowl's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Ivory Vikings"

New from St. Martin's Press: Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them by Nancy Marie Brown.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the early 1800's, on a Hebridean beach in Scotland, the sea exposed an ancient treasure cache: 93 chessmen carved from walrus ivory. Norse netsuke, each face individual, each full of quirks, the Lewis Chessmen are probably the most famous chess pieces in the world. Harry played Wizard's Chess with them in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Housed at the British Museum, they are among its most visited and beloved objects.

Questions abounded: Who carved them? Where? Nancy Marie Brown's Ivory Vikings explores these mysteries by connecting medieval Icelandic sagas with modern archaeology, art history, forensics, and the history of board games. In the process, Ivory Vikings presents a vivid history of the 400 years when the Vikings ruled the North Atlantic, and the sea-road connected countries and islands we think of as far apart and culturally distinct: Norway and Scotland, Ireland and Iceland, and Greenland and North America. The story of the Lewis chessmen explains the economic lure behind the Viking voyages to the west in the 800s and 900s. And finally, it brings from the shadows an extraordinarily talented woman artist of the twelfth century: Margret the Adroit of Iceland.
Visit Nancy Marie Brown's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"High Holiday Porn"

New from St. Martin's Press: High Holiday Porn: A Memoir by Eytan Bayme.

About the book, from the publisher:

Eytan Bayme went to Jewish day school and Jewish camp. He lived across the street from a synagogue in the Bronx, which he attended weekly, and ate strictly kosher food for most of his childhood. Yet even at the age of six, he wanted to know what the deal was with those Pizza Huts and Burger Kings that he wasn't allowed into "God wouldn't put them on earth if He didn't mean for us to try them," he thought. Wasn't that obvious? Also, why can't he stop thinking about his female classmates in bed, late at night, with his little brother not five feet away; and how come the starting line-up for the 1986 Mets keep creeping into those fantasies? Religious life is difficult enough without the urges of a typical adolescent boy, yet Eytan's urges develop well before his teens, and they just keep on developing and developing.

High Holiday Porn is a heartwarming and hilarious story about learning to become an adult. It chronicles how an anxious boy finally stops masturbating in public, gets the girl, grows up, and begrudgingly makes peace with the unfairness of life and love. It's a funny, fantasy-laden, usually embarrassing, sometimes raunchy and always outrageous look at coming of age that will resonate with anyone who ever felt awkward growing up.
Visit Eytan Bayme's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"Don't Fail Me Now"

New from Razorbill: Don't Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of Like No Other, the novel Entertainment Weekly calls “One of the most poignant and star-crossed love stories since The Fault in Our Stars“: What if the last hope to save your family is the person who broke it up to begin with?

Michelle and her little siblings Cass and Denny are African-American and living on the poverty line in urban Baltimore, struggling to keep it together with their mom in jail and only Michelle’s part-time job at the Taco Bell to sustain them.

Leah and her stepbrother Tim are white and middle class from suburban Maryland, with few worries beyond winning lacrosse games and getting college applications in on time.

Michelle and Leah only have one thing in common: Buck Devereaux, the biological father who abandoned them when they were little.

After news trickles back to them that Buck is dying, they make the uneasy decision to drive across country to his hospice in California. Leah hopes for closure; Michelle just wants to give him a piece of her mind.

Five people in a failing, old station wagon, living off free samples at food courts across America, and the most pressing question on Michelle’s mind is: Who will break down first–herself or the car? All the signs tell her they won’t make it. But Michelle has heard that her whole life, and it’s never stopped her before….

Una LaMarche triumphs once again with this rare and compassionate look at how racial and social privilege affects one family in crisis in both subtle and astonishing ways.
Visit Una LaMarche's website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Massacre on the Merrimack"

New from Globe Pequot Press / Lyons Press: Massacre on the Merrimack: Hannah Duston's Captivity and Revenge in Colonial America by Jay Atkinson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Early on March 15, 1697, a band of Abenaki warriors in service to the French raided the English frontier village of Haverhill, Massachusetts. Striking swiftly, the Abenaki killed twenty-seven men, women, and children, and took thirteen captives, including thirty-nine-year-old Hannah Duston and her week-old daughter, Martha. A short distance from the village, one of the warriors murdered the squalling infant by dashing her head against a tree. After a forced march of nearly one hundred miles, Duston and two companions were transferred to a smaller band of Abenaki, who camped on a tiny island located at the junction of the Merrimack and Contoocook Rivers, several miles north of present day Concord, New Hampshire.

This was the height of King William’s War, both a war of terror and a religious contest, with English Protestantism vying for control of the New World with French Catholicism. After witnessing her infant’s murder, Duston resolved to get even. Two weeks into their captivity, Duston and her companions, a fifty-one-year-old woman and a twelve-year-old boy, moved among the sleeping Abenaki with tomahawks and knives, killing two men, two women, and six children. After returning to the bloody scene alone to scalp their victims, Duston and the others escaped down the Merrimack River in a stolen canoe. They braved treacherous waters and the constant threat of attack and recapture, returning to tell their story and collect a bounty for the scalps.

Was Hannah Duston the prototypical feminist avenger, or the harbinger of the Native American genocide? In this meticulously researched and riveting narrative, bestselling author Jay Atkinson sheds new light on the early struggle for North America.
Visit Jay Atkinson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Among the Swamp People"

New from The University of Alabama Press: Among the Swamp People: Life in Alabama’s Mobile-Tensaw River Delta by Watt Key.

About the book, from the publisher:

Among the Swamp People is the story of author Watt Key’s discovery of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. “The swamp” consists of almost 260,000 acres of wetlands located just north of Mobile Bay. There he leases a habitable outcropping of land and constructs a primitive cabin from driftwood to serve as a private getaway. His story is one that chronicles the beauties of the delta’s unparalleled natural wonders, the difficulties of survival within it, and an extraordinary community of characters—by turns generous and violent, gracious and paranoid, hilarious and reckless—who live, thrive, and perish there.

There is no way into the delta except by small boat. To most it would appear a maze of rivers and creeks between stunted swamp trees and mud. Key observes that there are few places where one can step out of a boat without “sinking to the knees in muck the consistency of axle grease. It is the only place I know where gloom and beauty can coexist at such extremes. And it never occurred to me that a land seemingly so bleak could hide such beauty and adventure.”

It also chronicles Key’s maturation as a writer, from a twenty-five-year-old computer programmer with no formal training as a writer to a highly successful, award-winning writer of fiction for a young adult audience with three acclaimed novels published to date.

In learning to make a place for himself in the wild, as in learning to write, Key’s story is one of “hoping someone—even if just myself—would find value in my creations.”
Visit Watt Key's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"The Gilded Hour"

New from Berkley: The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati.

About the book, from the publisher:

The international bestselling author of Into the Wilderness makes her highly anticipated return with a remarkable epic about two female doctors in nineteenth-century New York and the transcendent power of courage and love…

The year is 1883, and in New York City, it’s a time of dizzying splendor, crushing poverty, and tremendous change. With the gravity-defying Brooklyn Bridge nearly complete and New York in the grips of anti-vice crusader Anthony Comstock, Anna Savard and her cousin Sophie—both graduates of the Woman’s Medical School—treat the city’s most vulnerable, even if doing so may put everything they’ve strived for in jeopardy.

Anna’s work has placed her in the path of four children who have lost everything, just as she herself once had. Faced with their helplessness, Anna must make an unexpected choice between holding on to the pain of her past and letting love into her life.

For Sophie, an obstetrician and the orphaned daughter of free people of color, helping a desperate young mother forces her to grapple with the oath she took as a doctor—and thrusts her and Anna into the orbit of Anthony Comstock, a dangerous man who considers himself the enemy of everything indecent and of anyone who dares to defy him.

With its vivid depictions of old New York and its enormously appealing characters, The Gilded Hour is a captivating, emotionally gripping novel that proves Sara Donati is an author at the height of her powers.
Visit Sara Donati's website.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Katherine Tegen Books: Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers.

About the book, from the publisher:

A breathtaking debut brings us the unforgettable story of a small-town love, big dreams, and family drama.

Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck's small-town life. Brand-new to town, Silas is different from the guys in Green Lake. He's curious, poetic, philosophical, maddening—and really, really cute. But Silas has a sister—and she has a secret. And West has a boyfriend. And life in Green Lake is about to change forever.

Truest is a stunning, addictive debut. Romantic, fun, tender, and satisfying, it asks as many questions as it answers. Perfect for fans of The Fault in Our Stars and Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have).
Visit the official Jackie Lea Sommers website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 24, 2015


New from Tor Books: Updraft by Fran Wilde.

About the book, from the publisher:

Welcome to a world of wind and bone, songs and silence, betrayal and courage.

Kirit Densira cannot wait to pass her wingtest and begin flying as a trader by her mother's side, being in service to her beloved home tower and exploring the skies beyond. When Kirit inadvertently breaks Tower Law, the city's secretive governing body, the Singers, demand that she become one of them instead. In an attempt to save her family from greater censure, Kirit must give up her dreams to throw herself into the dangerous training at the Spire, the tallest, most forbidding tower, deep at the heart of the City.

As she grows in knowledge and power, she starts to uncover the depths of Spire secrets. Kirit begins to doubt her world and its unassailable Laws, setting in motion a chain of events that will lead to a haunting choice, and may well change the city forever-if it isn't destroyed outright.
Visit Fran Wilde's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"A Curious Beginning"

New from NAL: A Curious Beginning: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery by Deanna Raybourn.

About the book, from the publisher:

In her thrilling new series, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries, returns once more to Victorian England…and introduces intrepid adventuress Veronica Speedwell.

London, 1887. As the city prepares to celebrate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee, Veronica Speedwell is marking a milestone of her own. After burying her spinster aunt, the orphaned Veronica is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as she is fending off admirers, Veronica wields her butterfly net and a sharpened hatpin with equal aplomb, and with her last connection to England now gone, she intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans, as Veronica discovers when she thwarts her own abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron with ties to her mysterious past. Promising to reveal in time what he knows of the plot against her, the baron offers her temporary sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker—a reclusive natural historian as intriguing as he is bad-tempered. But before the baron can deliver on his tantalizing vow to reveal the secrets he has concealed for decades, he is found murdered. Suddenly Veronica and Stoker are forced to go on the run from an elusive assailant, wary partners in search of the villainous truth.
Visit Deanna Raybourn's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 23, 2015


New from Feiwel & Friends: Firewalker by Josephine Angelini.

About the book, from the publisher:

I'm a Witch and Witches burn.

Lily is back in her own universe, and she's ready to relax with Rowan. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape, and must hide her magic for the safety of the world, but compared to fighting the monstrous Woven and leading armies in the alternate Salem, life is looking good.

You think I'm a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified.

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can't persuade Lily to return to her world, she'll have to find a way to make her come back.

Picking up right where Trial By Fire left off, Firewalker is another sexy, fast-paced, heartbreaking thrill ride from internationally bestselling author Josephine Angelini!
Learn more about the book and author at Josephine Angelini's website and blog.

Writers Read: Josephine Angelini (June 2011).

My Book, The Movie: Dreamless.

--Marshal Zeringue

"American Apostles"

New from Hill and Wang: American Apostles: When Evangelicals Entered the World of Islam by Christine Leigh Heyrman.

About the book, from the publisher:

The surprising tale of the first American Protestant missionaries to proselytize in the Muslim world

In American Apostles, the Bancroft Prize-winning historian Christine Leigh Heyrman brilliantly chronicles the first fateful collision between American missionaries and the diverse religious cultures of the Levant. Pliny Fisk, Levi Parsons, Jonas King: though virtually unknown today, these three young New Englanders commanded attention across the United States two hundred years ago. Poor boys steeped in the biblical prophecies of evangelical Protestantism, they became the founding members of the Palestine mission and ventured to Ottoman Turkey, Egypt, and Syria, where they sought to expose the falsity of Muhammad's creed and to restore these bastions of Islam to true Christianity. Not only among the first Americans to travel throughout the Middle East, the Palestine missionaries also played a crucial role in shaping their compatriots' understanding of the Muslim world.

As Heyrman shows, the missionaries thrilled their American readers with tales of crossing the Sinai on camel, sailing a canal boat up the Nile, and exploring the ancient city of Jerusalem. But their private journals and letters often tell a story far removed from the tales they spun for home consumption, revealing that their missions did not go according to plan. Instead of converting the Middle East, the members of the Palestine mission themselves experienced unforeseen spiritual challenges as they debated with Muslims, Jews, and Eastern Christians and pursued an elusive Bostonian convert to Islam. As events confounded their expectations, some of the missionaries developed a cosmopolitan curiosity about-even an appreciation of-Islam. But others devised images of Muslims for their American audiences that would both fuel the first wave of Islamophobia in the United States and forge the future character of evangelical Protestantism itself.

American Apostles brings to life evangelicals' first encounters with the Middle East and uncovers their complicated legacy. The Palestine mission held the promise of acquainting Americans with a fuller and more accurate understanding of Islam, but ultimately it bolstered a more militant Christianity, one that became the unofficial creed of the United States over the course of the nineteenth century. The political and religious consequences of that outcome endure to this day.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 22, 2015

"The Courtesan"

New from Dutton: The Courtesan: A Novel by Alexandra Curry.

About the book, from the publisher:

A timeless novel of one woman who bridged two worlds in a tumultuous era of East meets West

The Courtesan is an astonishing tale inspired by the real life of a woman who lived and loved in the extraordinary twilight decades of the Qing dynasty. To this day, Sai Jinhua is a legend in her native land of China, and this is her story, told the way it might have been.

The year is 1881. Seven-year-old Jinhua is left an orphan, alone and unprotected after her mandarin father’s summary execution for the crime of speaking the truth. For seven silver coins, she is sold to a brothel-keeper and subjected to the worst of human nature. Will the private ritual that is her father’s legacy and the wise friendship of the crippled brothel maid be enough to sustain her?

When an elegant but troubled scholar takes Jinhua as his concubine, she enters the close world of his jealous first wife. Yet it is Jinhua who accompanies him–as Emissary to the foreign devil nations of Prussia, Austro-Hungary, and Russia–on an exotic journey to Vienna. As he struggles to play his part in China’s early, blundering diplomatic engagement with the western world, Jinhua’s eyes and heart are opened to the irresistible possibilities of a place that is mesmerizing and strange, where she will struggle against the constraints of tradition and her husband’s authority and seek to find “Great Love.”

Sai Jinhua is an altered woman when she returns to a changed and changing China, where a dangerous clash of cultures pits East against West. The moment arrives when Jinhua’s western sympathies will threaten not only her own survival, but the survival of those who are most dear to her.

A book that shines a small light on the large history of China’s relationship with the West, The Courtesan is a novel that distills, with the economy of a poem, a woman’s journey of untold miles to discern what is real and abiding.
Visit Alexandra Curry's Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Tin House Books: Dryland by Sara Jaffe.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s 1992, and the world is caught up in the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the Balkan Wars, but for fifteen-year-old Julie Winter, the news is noise. In Portland, Oregon, Julie moves through her days in a series of negatives: the skaters she doesn’t think are cute, the trinkets she doesn’t buy at the craft fair, the umbrella she refuses to carry despite the incessant rain. Her family life is routine and restrained, and no one talks about Julie’s older brother, a one-time Olympic-hopeful swimmer who now lives in self-imposed exile in Berlin. Julie has never considered swimming herself, until Alexis, the girls’ swim team captain, tries to recruit her. It’s a dare, and a flirtation—and a chance for Julie to find her brother, or to finally let him go. Anything could happen when her body hits water.
Visit Sara Jaffe's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 21, 2015

"Last Ragged Breath"

New from Minotaur Books: Last Ragged Breath by Julia Keller.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the night-black depths of a coalmine to the sun-struck peaks of the Appalachian Mountains, from a riveting murder mystery to a poignant meditation on the meaning of love and family, the latest novel in the critically acclaimed series strikes out for new territory: the sorrow and outrage that spring from a real-life chapter in West Virginia history.

Royce Dillard doesn't remember much about the day his parents-and one hundred and twenty-three other souls-died in the 1972 Buffalo Creek disaster. He was only two years old when he was ripped from his mother's arms. But now Dillard, who lives off the grid with only a passel of dogs for company, is fighting for his life one more time: He's on trial for murder.

Prosecutor Bell Elkins faces her toughest challenge yet in this haunting story of vengeance, greed and the fierce struggle for social justice. Richly imagined, vividly written and deeply felt, Last Ragged Breath is set in West Virginia, but it really takes place in a land we all know: the country called home.
Learn more about the book and author at Julia Keller's website.

Writers Read: Julia Keller (September 2012).

Writers Read: Julia Keller (September 2013).

Writers Read: Julia Keller (September 2014).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Wolf Wilder"

New from Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers: The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell.

About the book, from the publisher:

A girl and the wolves who love her embark on a rescue mission through Russian wilderness in this lyrical tale from the author of the acclaimed Rooftoppers and Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms.

Feo’s life is extraordinary. Her mother trains domesticated wolves to be able to fend for themselves in the snowy wilderness of Russia, and Feo is following in her footsteps to become a wolf wilder. She loves taking care of the wolves, especially the three who stay at the house because they refuse to leave Feo, even though they’ve already been wilded. But not everyone is enamored with the wolves, or with the fact that Feo and her mother are turning them wild. And when her mother is taken captive, Feo must travel through the cold, harsh woods to save her—and learn from her wolves how to survive.
Visit Katherine Rundell's Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 20, 2015

"Purgatory Gardens"

New from Skyhorse: Purgatory Gardens: A Novel by Peter Lefcourt.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sammy Dee is a mid-level Long Island mafioso in witness protection. Didier Onyekachukwu was the corrupt minister of finance of the former Upper Volta. Both men find themselves in middle age, living in the Southern California version of genteel poverty in a down-market condo complex called Paradise Gardens. Enter Marcy Gray, a “mature” actress barely getting by on a meager SAG pension. She is looking for a guy to help her through the duration and, frankly, at this point her standards are not as high as they should be; she’d settle for someone who doesn’t pick his teeth at the table and who drives at night. Occasional sex and some travel wouldn’t hurt. Her search has narrowed to two fellow residents: Sammy and Didier, who, being male, are mostly interested in getting into Marcy Gray’s pants. Though a little of the money they mistakenly think she has wouldn’t hurt either.

Once both men realize that the other is the primary obstacle to Marcy’s affections, each decides to put a hit on the other, and winds up unknowingly hiring the same father-son demolition squad.

As the contract killers play both of their clients against one another, Marcy manages to keep both men out of her bed until one or the other of her prospects passes muster. Poisoned pizza, blown-up cars, sex in the sauna, and media madness ensue. It’s Elmore Leonard meets Carl Hiaasen as directed by the Coen brothers.

With Purgatory Gardens, Lefcourt is back at the top of his game as one of America’s leading comedic writers.
Visit Peter Lefcourt's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Fall of Princes"

New from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill: The Fall of Princes: A Novel by Robert Goolrick.

About the book, from the publisher:

“When you strike a match, it burns brighter in the first nanosecond than it will ever burn again. That first incandescence. That instantaneous and brilliant flash. The year was 1980, and I was the match, and that was the year I struck into blinding flame.”

New York City. The 1980s. Young men, princes all. Too much money. Too much freedom. They thought it would never end.

In The Fall of Princes, bestselling author Robert Goolrick brings to vivid life a world of excess and self-indulgence, where limousines waited for hours outside Manhattan’s newest trendy club or the latest dining hot spot. Where drugs were bountiful and not refused. Where no price was too high and flesh was always on offer. Where a quick trip to Europe or a weekend on the coast or a fabulous Hamptons beach house were just part of what was expected. When the money just kept coming, and coming, and coming . . . until it didn’t.

Looking back on a Wall Street career that began with great success and ended with a precipitous crash, Rooney tells the story of how he and a group of other young turks made it to the top in the financial world and then, one by one, took a fall. For some, it was tragic; for others, it was the simple but bruising act of yielding to a life of mediocrity. For Rooney, however, it became a lifelong struggle to maintain a sense of dignity and to cling to the illusion of the life he once led.

Stunning in its acute observations about great wealth and its absence, and deeply moving in its depiction of the ways in which these young men learn to cope with both extremes, The Fall of Princes takes readers on a journey that is both starkly revealing and dazzlingly entertaining, a true tour de force.
Learn more about the book and author at Robert Goolrick's website.

The Page 69 Test: Heading Out to Wonderful.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine"

New from Harper: You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine: A Novel by Alexandra Kleeman.

About the book, from the publisher:

A woman known only as A lives in an unnamed American city with her roommate, B, and boyfriend, C, who wants her to join him on a reality dating show called That's My Partner! A eats mostly popsicles and oranges, watches endless amounts of television, often just for the commercials— particularly the recurring cartoon escapades of Kandy Kat, the mascot for an entirely chemical dessert—and models herself on a standard of beauty that exists only in such advertising. She fixates on the fifteen minutes of fame a local celebrity named Michael has earned after buying up a Wally's Supermarket's entire, and increasingly ample, supply of veal.

Meanwhile, B is attempting to make herself a twin of A, who in turn hungers for something to give meaning to her life, something aside from C's pornography addiction. Maybe something like what's gotten into her neighbors across the street, the family who's begun "ghosting" themselves beneath white sheets and whose garage door features a strange scrawl of graffiti: he who sits next to me, may we eat as one.

An intelligent and madly entertaining novel reminiscent of The Crying of Lot 49, White Noise, and City of Glass, Alexandra Kleeman's unforgettable debut is a missing-person mystery told from the point of view of the missing person; an American horror story that concerns sex and friendship, consumption and appetite, faith and transformation, real food and reality television; and, above all, a wholly singular vision of modern womanhood by a frightening, "stunning" (Conjunctions), and often very funny voice of a new generation.
Visit Alexandra Kleeman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Noah Webster: Man of Many Words"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Noah Webster: Man of Many Words by Catherine Reef.

About the book, from the publisher:

Noah Webster may be best remembered the enormous and ambitious task of writing his famous dictionary, but for him, this accomplishment was a means to an end. His true goal was to streamline the language spoken in our newly formed country so that it could be used as a force to bring people together and be a source of national pride. Though people laughed at his ideas, Webster never doubted himself. In the end, his so-called foolish notions achieved just what he had hoped.

Here, in the only account of Noah Webster for teens, the seasoned biographer Catherine Reef guides us through Webster's remarkable life, from boyhood on a Connecticut farm through the fight for American independence to his days as a writer and political activist who greatly influenced our Founding Fathers and the direction of the young United States.
Visit Catherine Reef's website.

The Page 69 Test: Frida & Diego.

Coffee with a Canine: Catherine Reef & Nandi.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

"Slasher Girls & Monster Boys"

New from Dial Books: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, edited by April Genevieve Tucholke.

About the book, from the publisher:

For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, American Horror Story and The Walking Dead comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best thriller and horror writers in YA

A host of the sharpest young adult authors come together in this collection of terrifying tales and psychological thrillers. Each author draws from a mix of literature, film, television, and music to create something new and fresh and unsettling. Clever readers will love teasing out the references and can satisfy their curiosity at the end of each tale, where the inspiration is revealed. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From blood horror, to the supernatural, to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for anyone looking for an absolute thrill.

Stefan Bachmann
Leigh Bardugo
Kendare Blake
A. G. Howard
Jay Kristoff
Marie Lu
Jonathan Maberry
Danielle Paige
Carrie Ryan
Megan Shepherd
Nova Ren Suma
McCormick Templeman
April Genevieve Tucholke
Cat Winters
Learn more about the book and author at April Genevieve Tucholke's website.

My Book, The Movie: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.

Writers Read: April Genevieve Tucholke (August 2014).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Yard War"

New from Wendy Lamb Books: Yard War by Taylor Kitchings.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s 1964 in Jackson, Mississippi, deep in the civil rights movement, and the one black person twelve-year-old Trip Westbrook knows well is Willie Jane, the family maid, who has been a second mother to him. When Trip invites her son, Dee, to play football in the yard, Trip discovers the ugly side of his smiling neighbors. Even his loving grandparents don’t approve. But getting to know Dee and playing football, being part of a team, changes Trip. He begins to see all the unspoken rules he lives by but doesn’t agree with, such as respect your elders. What if he thinks their views are wrong? This engaging, honest, and hopeful novel is full of memorable characters, and brings the civil rights–era South alive for young readers.
Follow Taylor Kitchings on Facebook.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 17, 2015

"Legacy of Kings"

New from Harlequin Teen: Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.
Visit Eleanor Herman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders"

New from Little, Brown: Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders: A Novel by Julianna Baggott.

About the book, from the publisher:

The reclusive Harriet Wolf, revered author and family matriarch, has a final confession-a love story. Years after her death, as her family comes together one last time, the mystery of Harriet's life hangs in the balance. Does the truth lie in the rumored final book of the series that made Harriet a world-famous writer, or will her final confession be lost forever?

Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders tells the moving story of the unforgettable Wolf women in four distinct voices: the mysterious Harriet, who, until now, has never revealed the secrets of her past; her fiery, overprotective daughter, Eleanor; and her two grown granddaughters-Tilton, the fragile yet exuberant younger sister, who's become a housebound hermit, and Ruth, the older sister, who ran away at sixteen and never looked back. When Eleanor is hospitalized, Ruth decides it's time to do right by a pact she made with Tilton long ago: to return home and save her sister. Meanwhile, Harriet whispers her true life story to the reader. It's a story that spans the entire twentieth century and is filled with mobsters, outcasts, a lonesome lion, and a home for wayward women. It's also a tribute to her lifelong love of the boy she met at the Maryland School for Feeble-minded Children.

Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders, Julianna Baggott's most sweeping and mesmerizing novel yet, offers a profound meditation on motherhood and sisterhood, as well as on the central importance of stories. It is a novel that affords its characters that rare chance we all long for-the chance to reimagine the stories of our lives while there's still time.
Learn more about the book and author at Julianna Baggott's website and blog.

Julianna Baggott also writes under the pen names Bridget Asher and N.E. Bode.

The Page 69 Test: Bridget Asher's The Pretend Wife.

The Page 69 Test: Pure.

Writer Read: Julianna Baggott (February 2012).

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 16, 2015

"The Flying Circus"

New from Gallery Books: The Flying Circus by Susan Crandall.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the bestselling and award-winning author of Whistling Past the Graveyard comes an adventure tale about two daredevils and a farm boy who embark on the journey of a lifetime across America’s heartland in the Roaring Twenties.

Set in the rapidly changing world of 1920s America, this is a story of three people from very different backgrounds: Henry “Schuler” Jefferson, son of German immigrants from Midwestern farm country; Cora Rose Haviland, a young woman of privilege whose family has lost their fortune; and Charles “Gil” Gilchrist, an emotionally damaged WWI veteran pilot. Set adrift by life-altering circumstances, they find themselves bound together by need and torn apart by blind obsessions and conflicting goals. Each one holds a secret that, if exposed, would destroy their friendship. But their journey of adventure and self-discovery has a price—and one of them won’t be able to survive it.

As they crisscross the heartland, exploring the rapidly expanding role of aviation from barnstorming to bootlegging, from a flying circus to the dangerous sport of air racing, the three companions form a makeshift family. It’s a one-of-a-kind family, with members as adventurous as they are vulnerable, and as fascinating as they are flawed. But whatever adventure—worldly or private—they find themselves on, they’re guaranteed to be a family you won’t forget.
Visit Susan Crandall's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Kandinsky and Klee in Tunisia"

New from the University of California Press: Kandinsky and Klee in Tunisia by Roger Benjamin with Cristina Ashjian.

About the book, from the publisher:

Paul Klee experienced his 1914 trip to Tunisia as a major breakthrough for his art: “Color and I are one,” he famously wrote. “I am a painter.” Kandinsky and Klee in Tunisia sets the scene for Klee’s breakthrough with a close study of the parallel voyage undertaken in 1904–5 by Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter, who would later become Klee's friends. This artist couple, then at an early stage in their celebrated careers, produced a rich body of painting and photography known only to specialists. Paul Klee’s 1914 trip with August Macke and Louis Moilliet, in contrast, is a vaunted convergence of cubism and the exotic. Roger Benjamin refigures these two seminal voyages in terms of colonial culture and politics, the fabric of ancient Tunisian cities, visual ethnography, and the tourist photograph. The book looks closely at the cities of Tunis, Sousse, Hammamet, and Kairouan to flesh out a profound confrontation between European high modernism and the wealth of Islamic lifeways and architecture. Kandinsky and Klee in Tunisia offers a new understanding of how the European avant-garde was formed in dialogue with cultural difference.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 15, 2015

"Little Beasts"

New from Kaylie Jones Books: Little Beasts by Matthew McGevna.

About the book, from the publisher:

Turnbull is a working-class town full of weary people who struggle to make ends meet. Evictions, alcoholism, and random violence are commonplace. In the heat of July 1983, when eight-year-olds James Illworth, Dallas Darwin, and Felix Cassidy leave their homes to play in the woods, they have to navigate between the potentially violent world of angry adults and even angrier teens. Little do they know that by the end of the summer, one of them will lay dead, after a bit of playful bullying from older teens escalates to tragedy.

Loosely based on a real crime that took place on Long Island in 1979, Little Beasts is a panorama of a poor, mostly white neighborhood surrounded by the affluent communities of the East End. After the murder, the novel’s main characters must come to grips with the aftermath, face down the decisions they’ve made, and reestablish their faith in the possibility of a better world.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Bright Lights, Dark Nights"

New from Roaring Brook: Bright Lights, Dark Nights by Stephen Emond.

About the book, from the publisher:

A story about first love, first fights, and finding yourself in a messed up world, from Stephen Emond, acclaimed author of Happyface.

Walter Wilcox has never been in love. That is, until he meets Naomi, and sparks, and clever jokes, fly. But when his cop dad is caught in a racial profiling scandal, Walter and Naomi, who is African American, are called out at school, home, and online. Can their bond (and mutual love of the Foo Fighters) keep them together?

With black-and-white illustrations throughout and a heartfelt, humorous voice, Bright Lights, Dark Nights authentically captures just how tough first love can be...and why it's worth fighting for.
Visit Stephen Emond's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Another Kind of Hurricane"

New from Schwartz & Wade: Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this stunning debut novel, two very different characters—a black boy who loses his home in Hurricane Katrina and a white boy in Vermont who loses his best friend in a tragic accident—come together to find healing.

A hurricane, a tragic death, two boys, one marble. How they intertwine is at the heart of this beautiful, poignant book. When ten-year-old Zavion loses his home in Hurricane Katrina, he and his father are forced to flee to Baton Rouge. And when Henry, a ten-year-old boy in northern Vermont, tragically loses his best friend, Wayne, he flees to ravaged New Orleans to help with hurricane relief efforts—and to search for a marble that was in the pocket of a pair of jeans donated to the Red Cross.

Rich with imagery and crackling with hope, this is the unforgettable story of how lives connect in unexpected, even magical, ways.
Visit Tamara Ellis Smith's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 14, 2015

"Best Boy"

New from Liveright: Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb.

About the book, from the publisher:

For fans of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time comes this landmark novel about autism, memory, and, ultimately, redemption.

Sent to a “therapeutic community” for autism at the age of eleven, Todd Aaron, now in his fifties, is the “Old Fox” of Payton LivingCenter. A joyous man who rereads the encyclopedia compulsively, he is unnerved by the sudden arrivals of a menacing new staffer and a disruptive, brain-injured roommate. His equilibrium is further worsened by Martine, a one-eyed new resident who has romantic intentions and convinces him to go off his meds to feel “normal” again. Undone by these pressures, Todd attempts an escape to return “home” to his younger brother and to a childhood that now inhabits only his dreams. Written astonishingly in the first-person voice of an autistic, adult man, Best Boy—with its unforgettable portraits of Todd’s beloved mother, whose sweet voice still sings from the grave, and a staffer named Raykene, who says that Todd “reflects the beauty of His creation”—is a piercing, achingly funny, finally shattering novel no reader can ever forget.
Learn more about the book and author at Eli Gottlieb's website.

The Page 69 Test: Now You See Him.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Zero Night"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Zero Night: The Untold Story of World War Two's Greatest Escape by Mark Felton.

About the book, from the publisher:

On August 30, 1942 - 'Zero Night' - 40 Allied officers staged the most audacious mass escape of World War II. Months of meticulous planning and secret training hung in the balance during three minutes of mayhem as the officers boldly stormed the huge double fences at Oflag Prison. Employing wooden ladders and bridges previously disguised as bookshelves, the highly coordinated effort succeeded and set 36 men free into the German countryside. Later known as the 'Warburg Wire Job', fellow prisoner and fighter ace Douglas Bader once described the attempt as 'the most brilliant escape conception of this war'.

The first author to tackle this remarkable story in detail, historian Mark Felton brilliantly evokes the suspense of the escape and the adventures of those escapees who managed to elude the Germans, as well as the courage of the civilians who risked their lives to help them in enemy territory. Fantastically intimate and told with a novelist's eye for drama and detail, this rip-roaring adventure is all the more thrilling because it really happened.
Visit Mark Felton's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 13, 2015


New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have pushed her into a life of dreary servitude. When she discovers a secret workshop in the cellar on her sixteenth birthday—and befriends Jules, a tiny magical metal horse—Nicolette starts to imagine a new life for herself. And the timing may be perfect: There’s a technological exposition and a royal ball on the horizon. Determined to invent her own happily-ever-after, Mechanica seeks to wow the prince and eager entrepreneurs alike.
Visit Betsy Cornwell's website.

--Marshal zeringue

"Lair of Dreams"

New from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Lair of Dreams (Diviners Series #2) by Libba Bray.

About the book, from the publisher:

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O'Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to "read" objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title, "America's Sweetheart Seer." But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners' abilities...

Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer?
Visit Libba Bray's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Landfalls: A Novel by Naomi J. Williams.

About the book, from the publisher:

In her wildly inventive debut novel, Naomi J. Williams reimagines the historical Lapérouse expedition, a voyage of exploration that left Brest in 1785 with two frigates, more than two hundred men, and overblown Enlightenment ideals and expectations, in a brave attempt to circumnavigate the globe for science and the glory of France.

Deeply grounded in historical fact but refracted through a powerful imagination, Landfalls follows the exploits and heartbreaks not only of the men on the ships but also of the people affected by the voyage-indigenous people and other Europeans the explorers encountered, loved ones left waiting at home, and those who survived and remembered the expedition later. Each chapter is told from a different point of view and is set in a different part of the world, ranging from London to Tenerife, from Alaska to remote South Pacific islands to Siberia, and eventually back to France. The result is a beautifully written and absorbing tale of the high seas, scientific exploration, human tragedy, and the world on the cusp of the modern era.

By turns elegiac, profound, and comic, Landfalls reinvents the maritime adventure novel for the twenty-first century.
Visit Naomi J. Williams's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Hostage Taker"

New from Bantam: Hostage Taker by Stefanie Pintoff.

About the book, from the publisher:

From Edgar Award winner Stefanie Pintoff comes the start of an electrifying new thriller series featuring Eve Rossi, head of a secret division of the FBI—one made up of ex-convicts with extraordinary talents, oversized egos, and contempt for the rules. Perfect for readers of Iris Johansen and Catherine Coulter.


In the hushed quiet of early morning Manhattan, in front of the towering bronze doors of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, a young woman holds a sign that reads: HELP ME. For one FBI agent, a madman’s terrified hostages, and an entire city, a long and harrowing day is about to unfold.

The hostage taker’s identity is unknown. But he knows who FBI agent Eve Rossi is—and everything about her past. Along with her presence, he demands five witnesses: ordinary people with some hidden connection. Defying her superiors, Eve begins a deadly dance with an adversary whose intentions are surely sinister, whose endgame is anything but certain, and whose cunning keeps him one step ahead at every turn.

As Eve manages a taut hostage situation, she relies on the combined skills of her team—a secret unit inspired by France’s most notorious criminal and made up of ex-convicts with extraordinary talents, oversized egos, and contempt for the rules.

Eve is up against a rapidly ticking clock. But the dangerous man calling the shots has a timetable of his own—and a searing question for his targets: What are you guilty of? As shocking revelations surface, so does another crisis nobody could anticipate—one not even Eve and her team may be able to stop.
Learn more about her books at Stefanie Pintoff's website.

The Page 69 Test: In the Shadow of Gotham.

The Page 69 Test: A Curtain Falls.

Coffee with a Canine: Stefanie Pintoff & Ginger.

The Page 69 Test: Secret of the White Rose.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

"Gone Cold"

New from Minotaur Books: Gone Cold by Douglas Corleone.

About the book, from the publisher:

Twelve years after a kidnapping destroyed former US Marshal Simon Fisk's family, he is newly determined to find the people responsible for taking his then-six-year-old daughter. He refuses to step away from the cold case, even after enduring months of dead ends and frustration.

And then, at last, he gets a break. On a brutal January night, Simon finds an urgent message on his computer. Attached are two images: one, a computer-generated image of Hailey Fisk had she reached eighteen years of age; the second, a sketch of a young woman wanted for murder in the Ireland. There are striking similarities. Within a matter of hours, Simon is on a flight to Dublin, setting off to find a girl who may be Hailey Fisk-before she's arrested for murder.

The chase will lead Simon through the UK and Ireland, where he learns secrets that have been kept far longer than the twelve years Hailey has been missing. It's Dublin where Simon hopes to find the people responsible for his daughter's disappearance and his wife's suicide. There he hopes to hold them accountable for what they've done. And, most importantly, it is there that Simon hopes to find Hailey, to bring her home once and for all.
Learn more about the book and author at Douglas Corleone's website.

The Page 69 Test: Good as Gone.

My Book, The Movie: Payoff.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Everybody Rise"

New from St. Martin's Press: Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford.

About the book, from the publisher:

It's 2006 in the Manhattan of the young and glamorous. Money and class are colliding in a city that is about to go over a financial precipice and take much of the country with it. At 26, bright, funny and socially anxious Evelyn Beegan is determined to carve her own path in life and free herself from the influence of her social-climbing mother, who propelled her through prep school and onto the Upper East Side. Evelyn has long felt like an outsider to her privileged peers, but when she gets a job at a social network aimed at the elite, she's forced to embrace them.

Recruiting new members for the site, Evelyn steps into a promised land of Adirondack camps, Newport cottages and Southampton clubs thick with socialites and Wall Streeters. Despite herself, Evelyn finds the lure of belonging intoxicating, and starts trying to pass as old money herself. When her father, a crusading class-action lawyer, is indicted for bribery, Evelyn must contend with her own family's downfall as she keeps up appearances in her new life, grasping with increasing desperation as the ground underneath her begins to give way.

Bracing, hilarious and often poignant, Stephanie Clifford's debut offers a thoroughly modern take on classic American themes - money, ambition, family, friendship - and on the universal longing to fit in.
Visit Stephanie Clifford's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 10, 2015

"Darkness the Color of Snow"

New from William Morrow: Darkness the Color of Snow: A Novel by Thomas Cobb.

About the book, from the publisher:

Like No Country for Old Men and Snow Falling on Cedars, a haunting, suspenseful, and dazzlingly written novel of secrets, corruption, tragedy, and vengeance from the author of Crazy Heart—the basis of the 2009 Academy Award-winning film—an electrifying crime drama and psychological thriller in which a young cop becomes the focal point for a community’s grief and rage in the aftermath of a tragic accident.

Out on a rural highway on a cold, icy night, Patrolman Ronny Forbert sits in his cruiser trying to keep warm and make time pass until his shift ends. Then a familiar beater Jeep Cherokee comes speeding over a hill, forcing the rookie cop to chase after it. The driver is his old friend turned nemesis, Matt Laferiere, the rogue son of a man as beaten down as the town itself.

Within minutes, what begins as a clear-cut arrest for drunk driving spirals out of control into a heated argument between two young men with a troubled past and ends in a fatal hit and run on an icy stretch of blacktop.

As the news spreads around town, Police Chief Gordy Hawkins remains certain that Ronny Forbert followed the rules, at least most of them, and he’s willing to stand by the young cop. But a few manipulative people in town see opportunity in the tragedy. As uneasy relationships, dark secrets, and old grievances reveal themselves, the people of this small, tightly woven community decide that a crime must have been committed, and someone—Officer Ronny Forbert—must pay a price, a choice that will hold devastating consequences for them all.
Learn more about the author and his work at Thomas Cobb's website.

In addition to the novels Crazy Heart and Shavetail, Thomas Cobb is the author of Acts of Contrition, a collection of short stories that won the 2002 George Garrett Fiction Prize.

The Page 69 Test: Shavetail.

My Book, The Movie: Crazy Heart.

--Marshal Zeringue

"We Never Asked for Wings"

New from Ballantine Books: We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers comes her much-anticipated new novel about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds.

For fourteen years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now fifteen, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life.

Navigating this new terrain is challenging for Letty, especially as Luna desperately misses her grandparents and Alex, who is falling in love with a classmate, is unwilling to give his mother a chance. Letty comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives, but one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh blends gorgeous prose with compelling themes of motherhood, undocumented immigration, and the American Dream in a powerful and prescient story about family.
Visit Vanessa Diffenbaugh's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 9, 2015

"Between the Living and the Dead"

New from Minotaur Books: Between the Living and the Dead: A Dan Rhodes Mystery by Bill Crider.

About the book, from the publisher:

Life is never easy for Texas Sheriff Dan Rhodes. When he is called in the middle of the night to investigate gunshots at a haunted house, Rhodes finds the body of meth dealer Neil Foshee. Recently released from jail, Foshee has his fair share of potential murderers, including former girlfriend Vicki, her new boyfriend, the nephew of Clearview's mayor, and Foshee's criminal cousins Earl and Louie.

Complicating matters is Seepy Benton, the community college math professor who has a new summer job. He's founded Clearview Paranormal Investigations and wants to solve the murder by communing with Foshee's ghost. But when Benton connects with something else instead and a second body is found, Rhodes is left with more questions than ever. Who's the dead person? How long has the body been hidden? Is Benton really able to communicate with ghosts? And, most important, what, if anything, does the body have to do with Neil Foshee's death?

Between the Living and the Dead, Bill Crider's latest installment in the critically acclaimed Sheriff Dan Rhodes mystery series, finds Rhodes dealing with ghost hunters, runaway bulls, and assorted low-level crimes, including people's failure to use their turn signals. It's all in a day's work in Clearview, Texas.
Learn more about the book and author at Bill Crider's website and blog.

Read the Page 69 Test entries for Crider's A Mammoth Murder, Murder Among the OWLS, Of All Sad Words, Murder in Four Parts, Murder in the Air, The Wild Hog Murders, Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen, Compound Murder, and Half in Love with Artful Death.

Learn about Crider's choice of actors to portray Dan Rhodes and Seepy Benton on the big screen.

--Marshal Zeringue