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June 2012

Whet Your Appetite for Emily Giffin's Latest Book, "Where We Belong"

The Diary of Darcy J. RhoneEmily Giffin, the New York Times best-selling author of Something Borrowed and Something Blue, has just written and released The Diary of Darcy J. Rhone--an e-original. The free Diary chronicles the high school adventures of the eponymous and always entertaining Darcy and her low-key and lovable best friend, Rachel White. The characters were recently brought to life on the big screen in the hit movie Something Borrowed which starred Kate Hudson as Darcy and Ginnifer Goodwin as Rachel. The movie introduced millions of new fans to two of Emily’s timeless characters; a distinct duo that are drawn to each other despite their opposing personalities.Whether facing boy troubles, groundings, or the perils of the prom; Darcy and Rachel always provide perfect entertainment. 

Where We BelongOnly available until July 31, Diary is an ideal idyll that leads right into the blockbuster summer release of Emily Giffin’s new novel, Where We Belong (Diary includes a sneak peek!).

On-sale July 24th and available for pre-order now, Where We Belong is an unforgettable story of two women, the families that make them who they are, and the longing, loyalty, and love that binds them together.

War Brides: Intrigue and Romance During WWII

BryanAs the second World War descends on the sleepy English village of Crowmarsh Priors, fear has become a way of life. Air raids light up the town at night, supplies are tightly rationed, and men leave every day to join the front lines—many of them never to return. Against this ominous backdrop, five women form an unexpected friendship in Helen Bryan's moving new novel, War Brides.

Alice Osbourne, a vicar's daughter who has always stayed close to home, is thrilled when her handsome childhood friend Richard Fairfax asks for her hand. But when Richard leaves home shortly after their engagement for an assignment in New Orleans, he returns with a beautiful new American wife on his arm: Evangeline Fontaine. She's an 18-year-old Southern belle with a shocking secret and a habit of getting what she wants. Tanni Zayman, a young Jewish girl who escaped the terrors of the war in Europe, arrives in Crowmarsh Priors with a brand-new son and a desperate wish to see the rest of her family safe. Frances Falconleigh is a feisty debutante with a spirit her parents would like to see kept in check, and Elsie Pigeon is a poor lass from London who evacuated the city in search of a better life.

As the situation in the village worsens, these five friends grow closer. Facing unimaginable nightmares—hunger, falling bombs, the looming threat of a Nazi invasion, and a traitor in their midst—they discover extraordinary strength in each other and in themselves. But their personal lives are often divisive, as they find and lose love over the course of their wartime experience.

Fifty years later, four of the five women return to Crowmarsh Priors for a VE Day celebration. Will it be a joyful reunion, or will the most difficult moments from their pasts come back to haunt them? Find out in War Brides, available now for readers who love historical fiction with a side of romance and intrigue.

Beloved Children's Authors Robert Munsch and Roslyn Schwartz Come to Kindle

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert MunschRobert Munsch is one of North America’s bestselling children’s authors, best known for The Paper Bag Princess, now available on Kindle. His books have sold over 30 million copies and have been translated into over a dozen languages.

“I got into it backwards!” says Munsch about becoming a children’s author. He makes up most of his stories on the spot, and tells them over and over to kids before he writes them down.

“I didn’t know I was writing, but I had discovered that was my writing process. The kids were my filter; I tried out lots of stories and the ones they liked were the good ones. The text would slowly evolve,” Munsch explains. “I might have this story about Elizabeth and a dragon, and after 250 tellings it would turn out to be The Paper Bag Princess.”

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Munsch studied for seven years to be a Jesuit priest before deciding to work with children instead. For the next five years he taught in a variety of nursery schools and daycare centers while he earned a master’s degree in early childhood education. In 1975, Munsch and his wife, Ann, moved to Guelph, Ontario, where he became an associate professor of family studies and teacher at the University of Guelph’s preschool. Then his reputation as a storyteller began to grow.

Every year Munsch receives thousands of letters from young fans. He likes to meet the children who send him mail, which sometimes leads to another story. Of his hectic touring schedule, he says simply, “I love it! One of the nicest things about my job is traveling across North America and meeting all kinds of people.”

The Mole Sisters and the Way Home by Roslyn Schwartz The Mole Sisters and the Moonlit Night by Roslyn SchwartzRoslyn Schwartz was born in Montreal but moved with her family to England when she was two years old. She grew up in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and has written and illustrated a series of books for very young readers that follow the adventures of the Mole Sisters, including the two volumes newly available on Kindle, The Mole Sisters and the Way Home and The Mole Sisters and the Moonlit Night. Over the years, Schwartz has always kept a pet rodent or two in the form of guinea pigs and a rabbit, and these stories were inspired by Schwartz's life experiences.

With its positive approach to life and unrelenting optimism, The Mole Sisters series has become a favorite of children and parents alike.

 

Guest Blogger: James Rollins, on Four-Legged War Heroes

BloodlineJames Rollins is the New York Times best-selling author of international thrillers. Here, he talks about the inspiration behind his latest novel, Bloodline.

For me, the inspiration for a book comes in many shapes and sizes. In the case of my latest novel, Bloodline, that inspiration arrived in the shape of a dog wearing a combat vest, attached by a leash to a man wearing body armor.

In the winter of 2010, I participated in a USO tour of authors to bases in Iraq and Kuwait. It was a great opportunity to give back and thank the warriors out there in harm’s way. But as a veterinarian myself, I was drawn to those four-legged warriors and the men and women who “handled” them. I was lucky enough to see these pairs working and training, but also playing. It was abundantly clear that there was a strikingly unique bond between handler and war dog, and I wanted to learn more.

At a base in Mosul, I ran into a veterinary school classmate of mine from the University of Missouri. We were both equally surprised to have this mini-reunion in the deserts of Iraq. Twenty-five years had passed since we’d both graduated, and we were a long way from our old school. He was a member of the Army veterinary corps, and in addition to catching up, I learned about his role working with these war dogs, along with what it’s like to be a veterinarian in the military.

After that talk, after seeing those dogs in the field, I knew I wanted to try to bring these unique heroes to the page and that became the drive to create Tucker Wayne, an army ranger, and his war dog, Kane—who are both featured in my e-novella Tracker and this summer’s big blockbuster, Bloodline.

But what I found the most enlightening and moving about this relationship between dog and handler is their unique and surprisingly deep bond. The pair work, train, eat, and often sleep together. As a result of this intimacy, handlers have developed a phrase to define their relationship with their dogs—It runs down the lead—describing how the emotions of the pair become shared over time, binding them together as firmly as any leash. And it’s that bond and ability for the two to operate as one that I wanted to try to capture with Tucker and Kane.

Also, as a veterinarian myself, I wanted to portray these stalwart war heroes as they really are—not just as soldiers with four legs, but as real dogs. In this book, I wrote several scenes from a dog’s perspective. I wanted readers to experience what it’s like to be a war dog--to be in their paws--to paint an accurate portrayal of how a dog perceives the world, of how he functions in combat with his unique talents and senses.

It was my small way of giving back, of honoring these exceptional American heroes. I hope I did them justice—because they deserve it.

--James Rollins

The Tweets of Flowertown Never Get Out

Guest post by S.G. Redling author of Flowertown, a high-intensity conspiracy thriller that brings the worst-case scenario vividly to life and keeps readers riveted until the final haunting page.  

FlowertownWhen Feno Chemical spilled an experimental pesticide in rural Iowa, scores of people died. Those who survived contamination were herded into a U.S. Army medically maintained quarantine and cut off from the world. Welcome to Flowertown where the chemicals contaminating your body make you smell like too many flowers in too small a room.

Flowertown is neglected. The only thing less reliable than the plumbing is the internet connection. But even in Flowertown, there is no escaping social media. Amazingly enough, its crappy internet service can handle Twitter’s 140 character blasts and Flowertown’s citizens love to share their thoughts in the social sphere.

Here’s a peek at a few Twitter threads from some Flowertownians. Ellie Cauley (SmellyEllieFT) seems to spend the most time tweeting since she’s probably not doing much else at work, while her roommate Rachel (PrettyRachelFT) chimes in only once in a while. Guy (RomanArmyFT) usually pipes up to arrange a hook-up with Ellie. Ellie’s best friend, Bing, refuses to participate in any social media. He’s too busy worrying about conspiracy theories.

Don’t bother looking for any of these Twitter handles because you won’t find them. They seem to have disappeared. Bing may be right. Someone must be tracking the communication in and out of Flowertown…

  1. SmellyEllieFT: @RomanArmyFT is trying to woo me. Sent flowers. #fail Flowertown Tweet
  2. RomanArmyFT: @SmellyEllieFT like you’re so hard to win over ;) PS: 10pm tonite #Likeyadirty
  3. SmellyEllieFT: ARG! This freaking internet sux! Everytime I try to cli
  4. SmellyEllieFT: Mailman brought Euro cruise catalog. Worst. Target. Marketing. EVER.
  5. SmellyEllieFT: My BFF Bing is pitching woo to @PrettyRachelFT. He actually used the words ‘pitching woo’ Nerd.
  6. RomanArmyFT: @PrettyRachelFT You can do so much better than Bing. He’s a tool. Trust me.
  7. PrettyRachelFT: @RomanArmyFT <- swagger ain’t no match for sweet! Oh Bing Y U no here to defend yourself?
  8. SmellyEllieFT: Bing? on Twitter? Ha! Too too paranoid. Says THE MAN is always watching us. Ooooh.
  9. PrettyRachelFT: @SmellyEllieFT Ask Bing if THE MAN knows where I left my pink sweater. I mean, he’s always watching… *snort*
  10. SmellyEllieFT: UGH! WHAT IS THAT SMELL? Oh it’s me. #nevermind Water’s brown #again

The Best Books of the Year So Far

The Best Books of the Year So FarMasterful nonfiction, thrilling page-turners, fast-paced literary novels, even a young adult pick. There's something for everyone in our top 10 editors' picks for Best Books of the Year So Far.

1. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo: From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century’s great, unequal cities.

2. Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn: Marriage can be a real killer. Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong.

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

4. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel by Ben Fountain: A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents is caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew, and transformed the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad into America's most sought-after heroes. This is the story of the fallout for one particular soldier, who ends up confronting difficult truths about himself, his country, his struggling family, and his brothers-in-arms.

5. The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert A. Caro: This book follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career—1958 to1964.  It is a time that would see him trade the extraordinary power he had created for himself as Senate Majority Leader for what became the wretched powerlessness of a Vice President in an administration that disdained and distrusted him.

6. The Orphan Master’s Son: A Novel by Adam Johnson: This is the story of a young man’s journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea.

7. Tell the Wolves I'm Home: A Novel by Carol Rifka Brunt: A moving story of love, grief, and renewal as two lonely people become the unlikeliest of friends and find that sometimes you don’t know you’ve lost someone until you’ve found them.

8. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) by Cheryl Strayed: A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.

9. The Age of Miracles: A Novel by Karen Thompson Walker: On a seemingly ordinary Saturday, Julia and her family awake to discover that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life. As she adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

10. Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power by Steve Coll: This book pulls back the curtain, tracking the corporation’s recent history and its central role on the world stage, beginning with the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 and leading to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

To see the complete lists of the Best Books of the Year So Far, go to www.amazon.com/bestbookssofar.

Top 10 Kindle Books for June

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This month's editors' picks include richly imagined debut novels, riveting investigative journalism, and spine-tingling thrillers, as well as more new fiction and nonfiction for every kind of reader:

The Age of Miracles: A Novel by Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of Miracles-A Novel by Karen Thompson WalkerWith its distinctive, original voice, this luminous debut novel about coming of age is set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.

 

 

 

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges and Joe SaccoA veteran journalist and an award-winning illustrator traveled to the most depressed pockets of our country to report America's Great Recession. This is the harrowing, deeply moving chronicle of what they found.

 

 

Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and... by Alex Stone

Fooling Houdini-Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and... by Alex StoneIn his quest to understand how magicians manipulate our minds, journalist Alex Stone taps into New York's vibrant underground magic scene and uncovers a wealth of insight into human perception.

 

 

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh BardugoThis lush, dark adventure introduces an unforgettable young woman with the power to save her ravaged nation, if only she can find the strength to face an army of monsters.

 

 

 

The Lost Bank by Kirsten Grind

The Lost Bank by Kirsten GrindThis compelling work of investigative reporting takes us into suburban homes and Seattle office buildings to decipher the largest bank failure in American history.

 

 

 

Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl-A Novel by Gillian FlynnFrom best-selling suspense writer Gillian Flynn comes a brilliantly plotted, nerve-racking portrait of a marriage gone horribly wrong.

 

 

 

The Watch: A Novel by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya

The Watch-A Novel by Joydeep Roy-BhattacharyaBased on the myth of Antigone, this haunting novel takes a timeless tragedy and hurls it into present-day Afghanistan, as the chaos of battle intertwines with one woman's mission to find her brother's body.

 

 

Tell the Wolves I'm Home: A Novel by Carol Rifka Brunt

Tell the Wolves I'm Home-A Novel by Carol Rifka BruntIn debut novelist Carol Rifka Brunt's eloquent story of love, grief, and renewal, two lonely people--a teenage girl and a friend of her beloved uncle's--build an unexpected friendship that heals them both.

 

 

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek and Steve Friedman

Eat and Run-My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek and Steve FriedmanScott Jurek has won ultramarathons worldwide, an extraordinary achievement. This book tells his story and challenges stereotypes about what it takes to succeed as an athlete.

 

 

 

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth HaynesCatherine Bailey barely survived her last relationship, and now her dangerous ex may be on her trail again. Lock the doors and dive into this terrifying debut thriller.

Noah Gordon’s "The Winemaker" Debuts in English

For the first time ever, Kindle owners can read seven titles by internationally best-selling author Noah Gordon, including his long-awaited novel The Winemaker.

The Winemaker by Noah GordonAlready an international best seller, The Winemaker is now available for the first time in English. Also, it’s available as an e-book before its traditional print publication.

Gordon, a master of historical fiction, takes readers to the vineyards of 19th-century Spain, where he portrays the life of a vintner—the grapes he grows, the wine he makes, the women he loves—and his struggle against an evil that seeks to destroy him.

The Winemaker is a classic Gordon novel in the depth of its research, the beauty of its descriptions, and its epic story arc.

The Physician by Noah GordonSix other Gordon classics join The Winemaker on Kindle, including The Physician, the start of the well-loved Cole Family trilogy. This sweeping tale of an 11th-century British man who travels to Persia to learn healing arts was voted “one of the ten best-loved books of all time” at the 1999 Madrid Book Fair.

The two other Cole Family titles for Kindle include Shaman, which won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for historical fiction, and the contemporary Matters of Choice. In The Rabbi, The Death Committee, and The Jerusalem Diamond, Gordon explores histories both vast and personal.

Whether you’re a longtime fan or new to Gordon’s work, these e-books make a wonderful addition to any library.

In this video, watch Gordon describe his passions for both medical and historical fiction, as well as his near brush with a career as a doctor.

“I could think of absolutely nothing finer in the world than to become a writer,” Gordon says.

Fortunately, he followed that dream.

 

Kirk Douglas's Memoir Recalls "Spartacus" and Breaking Hollywood's Blacklist

“Kirk Douglas is many things. A movie star. An actor. A producer. But he is, first and foremost, a man of extraordinary character... the kind we always look for at our darkest hour.”

    — George Clooney in the foreword to I Am Spartacus!

I Am Spartacus by Kirk DouglasCelebrated actor, director, and producer Kirk Douglas has one noble accomplishment that may be unknown to many: he broke the Hollywood blacklist.

In his new memoir, I Am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist, Douglas reveals the true story behind the making of the Academy Award–winning classic film, Spartacus, and the political implications of his decision to defy the Hollywood blacklist by publicly giving writing credit for the film to Dalton Trumbo, a blacklisted screenwriter.

This gripping, candid book describes the drama, struggles, and triumphs of bringing Spartacus to the big screen. In his own words and from his own heart, Douglas tells a story that needs to be told, as only he could tell it.

I Am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist is available now for Kindle readers and features a foreword from George Clooney along with a collection of never-before-seen photos from on, and off, the set.

Watch Kirk Douglas, his wife Anne, Universal Studios President Ron Meyer, and Jeff Pirtle, archive director for NBC Universal, talk about the movie that changed it all.

 

 

Guest Blogger: Barbara Delinsky

This is a guest post by best-selling author, Barbara Delinsky:

Dear Friend,

I have written a lot of books. The earliest were romances, published under pseudonyms at the start of my career but stashed away while I focused on mainstream fiction. As my books grew longer, their style and content changed, but I missed the intensity of those early love stories, and I missed writing those racy sex scenes! So, after twenty years, we’ve brought back these classics, and I couldn’t be more proud. Rereading them now, I see the germs of my current work in character development and plot – though, being romances, they’re also very steamy.

Edit them, Barbara. That was the Nervous Nellie in me, saying that after so much time, I needed to bring these oldies up to date. It never happened. Totally engrossed, I read through each book, red pencil in hand, without making a mark. What you’ll get with each book is the original in its sweet, fun, sexy entirety.

Scent of JasmineTake The Scent of Jasmine. First published as Jasmine Sorcery, the heroine drives a Rabbit, has a huge collection of records, and is waiting for the pictures to be developed from her recent trip. But her emotions are as current as those in our lives today.

And The Forever Instinct? The heroine in this one is caught in a vise between rival The Forever Instinctquarterbacks the likes of Dan Marino and Boomer Esiason. And yes, as in their time, if you were flying, a lover could walk you all the way to the gate, wave while you went down the jet way, then stand at the window and watch the plane push off. But isn’t it nice to remember the innocence of pre-September-11 once in a while?

Straight from the HeartThere are definitely vintage moments in Straight from the Heart. There are no cell phones, and the heroine loves Duran Duran and Wham! But she faces a medical dilemma, as others of my recent heroines have, and the emotional intensity is high.

Finally, consider First Things First. I set this one in Cancun after my husband and I First Things Firstvisited there and saw Mayan ruins, rustic villages, and sleep hammocks firsthand. And the theme? Learning to recognize the stress in our lives and slow down the pace – how many of my current books deal with that? How many of our lives do?

Just writing this blog, I’m involved in these books all over again. I fantasize that my readers will feel the same and will identify with these characters as I do. What do you think. Do you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Truly,
Barbara Delinsky