Friday, May 14, 2010

BEA and the Book Blogger Convention - May 25 to May 28

Are you thinking of going to the BEA and/or the Book Blogger Convention?  I'll definitely be there and would love to meet up.   Comment or email me at gaby317nyc at gmail.com


Dawn of She's Too Fond of Books is compiling the contact info of bloggers who will be at the BEA & the Book Blogger Convention.  Do sign up - let us know that you're coming & how to get in touch!


Dawn has also come up with a Spotlight on NYC Bookstores that gives the address, closest subway station, and basic info on the many bookstores in the 5 boroughs. 

Book Review of Laura Kinsale's Uncertain Magic

Uncertain Magic
The blurb:
A man damned by suspicion and innuendo. Dreadful rumors swirl around the impoverished Irish lord known as the "Devil Earl."  But Faelan Savigar hides a dark secret for even he doesn't know what dreadful deeds he may be capable of. . .

A woman cursed by the gift of "sight" Roderica Delamore fears no man will ever want a wife who can read his every thought and emotion, until she encounters Faelan.  As the two find their way to each other against all odds, Roddy becomes determined to save Faelan from his terrifying and mysterious ailment.  But will their lover end up saving him...or destroying her?

Review:
Uncertain Magic is a fun regency romance with a full complement of villains. The romantic lead, Faelan Savigar, the "Devil Earl," has a dangerous reputation and dark moods.  While his reputation would lead most women to avoid him, Roderica Delamore isn't like most other women. She has a gift of being able to see what is actually there - she isn't tempted away or fooled by the fae.  Somehow she sees the good in the Devil Earl and she's able to draw out his better nature.

Not everyone is happy for the two lovers.  They come across danger and opposition soon enough.  When Roderica and the Earl try to stand true to each other and their love,  it seems like everything will work against them.

Uncertain Magic is a lovely historical romance -- full of ups and downs,  excitement and romance.  It's the sort of historical romance that's perfect for a lazy day in the park or a rainy day at home.

ISBN-10: 1402237022 - Mass Market Paperback $7.99
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (May 4, 2010), 385 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author, courtesy of Amazon:

Laura Kinsale is a New York Times bestselling author and both winner and multiple nominee for the Best Book of the Year award given by the Romance Writers of America. Her novel Flowers from the Storm was chosen by readers of Glamour Magazine and the Washington Post as one of the Greatest Love Stories of All Time.

Laura believes that a romance novel can be more. More fascinating characters than you ever anticipated. More unexpected depth. Emotion to engage your heart and your mind. Stories that keep you awake and words you will remember long after you close the book.

Whenever readers list their "Desert Isle Keepers," the books they couldn't live without, Laura Kinsale's award-winning historical romances are included near the top.

Thank you so much to Laura Kinsale, Danielle, and SourceBooks for this review opportunity!

Audio Book Giveaway: The Language God Talks by Herman Wouk

Anna and Hatchette Book Group are sponsoring this audiobook giveaway!



About the Book:
More years ago than I care to reckon up, I met Richard Feynman." So begins THE LANGUAGE GOD TALKS, Herman Wouk's gem on navigating the divide between science and religion. In one rich, compact volume, Wouk draws on stories from his life as well as on key events from the 20th century to address the eternal questions of why we are here, what purpose faith serves, and how scientific fact fits into the picture. He relates wonderful conversations he's had with scientists such as Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann, Freeman Dyson, and Steven Weinberg, and brings to life such pivotal moments as the 1969 moon landing and the Challenger disaster.

About the Author:
Herman Wouk's acclaimed books include The Will to Live On, This Is My God, Pulitzer Prize winner The Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War, and War and Remembrance.

Listen to an excerpt at http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_9780316078450.htm


CONTEST DETAILS:

To enter leave a comment below.

Rules:
1. Please include your email address, so that I can contact you if you win. No email address, no entry.
2. You must be a follower to join the contest.

The contest is limited to US and Canada only. No P.O. boxes. The contest ends at noon on June 15, 2010.

Thank you so much Anna and Hatchette for sponsoring this giveaway!

Book Review of Corked by Kathryn Borel

Corked: A MemoirCorked: A Memoir by Kathryn Borel
The blurb:
Meet Philippe Borel, retired hotelier, former chef, and eccentric genius, and his daughter, Kathryn Borel. Kathryn is a clone of her father in every way except one: he is a wine expert and she couldn't care less.  Philippe has dedicated the better part of his life to researching, collecting, and studying wine.  And since Kathryn's birth, he has dedicated the better part of his parenting to teaching her about wine, to no avail.

After an accident and a death, Kathryn realizes that by shutting herself off to her father's relentless wine-stained orations, she has shut herself off from an integral part of him.  And so, she proposes a father-daughter road trip.  Corked is her no-holds-barred account of their tour through Alsace, Burgundy, Cotes du Rhone, and the Languedoc.

Though Corked is a book for anyone who has never understood how wine can taste like beetroot, wet dog, cigar smoke, coffee bean, or anything other than "wine," it is, above all, for anyone who has awoken one morning glove-slapped by the realization that his or her parents will die one day, and in the name of love and genes and existential insight and friendship, has wanted to figure out who they are.


Review:
I was excited to read Corked largely because of the father-daughter story behind the book.  It was interesting to read about this family of gourmets and wine aficionados.  I think that someone more knowledgeable about wines and vineyards would have gotten much more out of the book.  I personally found Philippe to be such an unsympathetic character and poor father that it diminished my enjoyment of their journey.   Instead of chuckling at Phillipe's selfishness and petty whims, I found myself wanting to skim over the passages where he appeared.   If you can muster sympathy for Philppe and Kathryn Borel, then in reading Corked, you will uncover a story of love, friendship and family.

ISBN-10: 0446409502 - Hardcover $23.99
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (February 16, 2010), 272 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author, courtesy of the publisher:
Kathryn Borel was born in 1979 in Toronto, the daughter of a hotelier. / After several years, she became the older sister to Nico, who was named after the family cat. She spent her early years living in hotels in Paris, Bermuda, Dallas, and New Jersey, finally settling in Quebec City.

Thank you to Anna and Hatchette Book Group for this review opportunity!

Book Review of I Has A Hotdog: What Your Dog Is Really Thinking by Professor Happycat

I Has a Hotdog: What Your Dog Is Really Thinking
I Has a Hotdog: What Your Dog Is Really Thinking by Professor Happycat

The blurb:
I HAS A BWAIN!!1!
An you thawt we dint!  Now Professor Happycat tells you what's in it and, from I HAS A HOTDOG.com and beyond lets over 200 LOLdogs loose on the world, all barking the truth about kibble, toys, and bad kitties.  This collection of favorites and never-before-seen photos will have you barking for more!

{For all you hoomins, a LOLdog is a kay-nine picture with a funny, misspelled caption.}


Review:
I HAS A HOTDOG is a fun collection of humorous photos. The captions communicate the point of view of a fun loving, smart alec dog.  There are puppies and dogs of all sorts - poodles, bulldogs, terriers, chihuahuas, labs, pugs.  Sleepy dogs, manic dogs, cute dogs, and not so cute dogs.  They all share the same attitude of spark and fun.    I HAS A HOTDOG! is the sort of book that will provide chuckles and a diversion after a long day - for dog lovers only.

ISBN-10: 0446566381 - paperback $12.00
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (April 20, 2010), 192 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.



About the Author:
Ben Huh (aka Professor Happycat)
is a former journalist turned dot-com entrepreneur who has a knack for nailing the zeitgeist.  He is the CEO of the Cheezburger Network, the company behind the hugely popular blogs I Has a Hotdog, I Can Has Cheezburger?, and FAIL Blog, among others.  Ben has been credited with bringing internet memes to the mainstream and popularizing Internet culture.  The success of his business is attributed to his knowledge of memes, viral content, and crowd sourcing.  Ben graduated with a BSJ from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.  Visit IHasaHotdog.com to learn more.

Want your own copy?  Join the contest by May 30.

Thank you to Anna and Hatchette Book Group for this review opportunity!

Book Review of Paula Quinn's Ravished by a Highlander & Giveaway

 I enjoy a good romance novel and I'm partial to the highlander and historical romances.  If you're looking for a fun historical romance, I recommend Paula Quinn's Ravished by a Highlander
Ravished by a HighlanderThe blurb:
Davina Montgomery is no ordinary English lady.  For her own protection, she has been locked away from society, her true identity the Crown's most closely guarded secret.  Until a shocking betrayal -- and a bold rescue -- land her in the arms of a fierce Highlander, a powerful warrior whose searing gaze and tantalizing touch awaken her body and soul.

As the firstborn son of a powerful Scottish laird, Robert MacGregor has no loyalty to the English throne, but he's not the kind of man to leave a woman in distress.  He vows to deliver Davina to safety, unharmed and untouched.  Yet one stolen kiss leaves them both smoldering with desire. . .and desperate for more.  With Davina's secret threatening to destroy his clan, Rob must choose between everything he holds dear and the one woman he can't live without.

Review:
I enjoy the historical romances with loyal, protective, and kind Scottish warriors who fall for intelligent, independent and witty young women.  In Ravished by a Highlander Paula Quinn introduces us to Davina Montgomery, a beautiful English lady who is of such high birth that she's been hidden for most of her life. We don't know who she is exactly, just that she's surrounded by soldiers and nuns in the middle of nowhere. 

Somehow, four Scottish warriors come across Davina just as the convent is under attack.  Robert MacGregor somehow finds himself agreeing to save the damsel in distress and is unwilling to leave her to her fate.  He joins the fight to protect her.  Though he tries to leave her somewhere safe, it soon becomes apparent that Davina will not be safe anywhere.

Davina knows the danger that she brings and tries to protect the MacGregors by refusing to tell them her background and her real name.  Davina's attempts to protect Robert MacGregor and his cousins amuses them at first, but as they realize who she must be, they gradually recognize the incredible risk that they take.  By the time that Davina admits her identity, Robert is willing to risk everything that he has to keep her safe. 

Davina's been protected all her life, so she's overwhelmed by the attraction that she feels towards Robert.   Robert has always been focused on his family and his responsibilities, so his willingness to risk everything for Davina is a measure of his love for her.  This seemingly hopeless love story is captivating.  Ravished by a Highlander is a keeper!

ISBN-10: 0446552380 - Mass Market Paperback  $6.99
Publisher: Forever; Original edition (May 1, 2010), 368 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About Paula Quinn, in her own words:
I was the kid in school who raced to get to English class, especially on Poetry day. There just wasn't anything better than standing in the front of an audience and reading moving prose. Of course, Sister Mary Elizabeth didn't consider Bad Company lyrics stunning verse, but I made sure to toss some Edgar Allen Poe into the pot for balance. The true thrill came from reading my own work. I still have every journal, and there were many, stashed away in my closet, each page filled with my careful script, i's dotted with hearts.

I typed my very first novel on an Adam computer. Yes, that's Adam, not Apple. A paranormal romance (the first one of it's kind in the early eighties) but no one was interested, much to my shock and amazement. Will I admit it was a cheesy novel? Never! I still have it, dot matrix as black as the day it was first printed up.

Putting away my trusty Adam, I went on to bigger and better things, like marrying my childhood sweetheart and having three children. But I once read that authors don't choose to write; writing chooses them, and there were an endless store of characters in my head to prove it. So we traded in the Adam for an Apple. I promised my husband that I wouldn't be gone long, and off to Camelot I went. Most of me returned home, but there's a part that remained in the medieval world of knights, castles, and chivalry. I've since brought my family there and they love it as much as I do, although I suspect my husband was a crusader knight long before I envisioned him in a red cross tabard. But that's another story entirely. I think I'll write it in pen and dot my I's with hearts.

I'm a disgustingly sappy romantic moved by music, beautiful words, and the sight of a really nice pen. I live in Manhattan with my knight in shining armor. We have three beautiful children, two dogs and too many reptiles to count. I love to read romance and science fiction and have been writing since I was eleven. I'm a faithful believer in God and thank Him daily for all the blessings in my life. I love all things medieval, but it’s my love for Scotland that pulls at my heartstrings.


Want to read more about Ravished by a Highlander and Paula Quinn?  Visit these participating blogs.

Participating Sites:
http://bookswithcoffee.wordpress.com/ 4/28/2010 Review, Giveaway, Guest Post
http://chrissysworldofbooks.blogspot.com/ 4/28/2010 Giveaway
http://skyreads.blogspot.com/ 4/28/2010 Giveaway
http://martasmeanderings.blogspot.com 4/28/2010 Feature, Review
http://dkay401-challenges.blogspot.com/ 4/28/2010 Giveaway
http://stacievaughansblog.blogspot.com 4/28/2010 Giveaway
http://www.mybookaddictionandmore.wordpress.com 4/29/2010 Review, Giveaway, Guest Post
http://seductivemusings.blogspot.com/ 4/29/2010 Review, Giveaway, Q&A
www.bibliophilicbookblog.com 4/30/2010 Review, Giveaway
http://thecajunbooklady.blogspot.com 4/30/2010 Feature, Giveaway
http://www.mindingspot.blogspot.com 4/30/2010 Review
inthehammockblog.blogspot.com 5/2/2010 Review, Giveaway
http://mommyreadstoomuch.blogspot.com 5/3/2010 Review, Giveaway
http://fallingofftheshelf.blogspot.com 5/3/2010 Giveaway
http://www.masoncanyon.blogspot.com 5/5/2010 Giveaway, Guest Post
http://www.saveyspender.com 5/5/2010 Review, Giveaway
www.booksoulmates.blogspot.com 5/5/2010 Review, Giveaway
www.booksoulmates.blogspot.com 5/5/2010 Review, Giveaway
www.mgpblog.com 5/5/2010 Review, Giveaway
http://bridget3420.blogspot.com 5/5/2010 Review, Giveaway
http://triciareads.blogspot.com 5/6/2010 Review, Giveaway
http://www.kballard87.blogspot.com 5/7/2010 Review, Giveaway
www.froggaritasbookcase.net 5/7/2010 Review, Giveaway, Q&A
http://www.literarylolita.com 5/9/2010 Review, Giveaway, Guest Post
www.bookwormygirl.blogspot.com 5/10/2010 Review, Giveaway
http://myfoolishwisdom.blogspot.com 5/10/2010 Review, Giveaway, Guest Post
www.rexrobotreviews.com 5/10/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway, Q&A
http://thebooktree.blogspot.com 5/10/2010 Feature, Giveaway
http://chickwithbooks.blogspot.com 5/11/2010 Review, Giveaway, Guest Post
www.justjenniferreading.blogspot.com 5/11/2010 Review, Giveaway
http://startingfresh-gaby317.blogspot.com/ 5/11/2010 Giveaway
http://www.renees-reads.blogspot.com/ 5/11/2010 Review, Giveaway
www.tarmyblogspot.com 5/11/2010 Review

Want your own copy of Ravished by a Highlander?  Join the contest below.

CONTEST DETAILS:

To enter, just comment below.

Rules:
1. Please include your email address, so that I can contact you if you win. No email address, no entry.
2. You must be a follower to join the contest.

The contest is limited to US and Canada only. No P.O. boxes. The contest ends at noon on June 15, 2010.

Thank you so much to Anna and Hatchette Book Group for sponsoring the giveaway and this review opportunity!

Book Review of Michael Harvey's The Third Rail

I was excited when Dana at Kaye Publicity offered me the chance to review the latest detective thriller by Michael Harvey.  The Third Rail is the third in the detective series set in Chicago with former detective turned PI, Michael Kelly.

The Third Rail

The Third Rail by Michael Harvey
The blurb:
A woman is shot as she waits for her train to work.  An hour later, a second woman is gunned down as she rides an elevated train through the Loop.  Two hours after that, a church becomes the target of a chemical weapons attack.  The city of Chicago is under siege and Michael Kelly, cynical cop turned private investigator, just happens to be on the scene when all hell breaks loose.

Kelly is initially drawn into the case by the killers themselves, then tasked by Chicago's mayor and the FBI to hunt down the bad guys and, all things being equal, put a bullet in them.  Kelly, of course, has other ideas.  As he gets closer to the truth, his instincts lead him to a retired cop, a shady train company, and an unnerving link to his own past.  Meanwhile, Kelly's girlfriend, Rachel Swenson, becomes a pawn in a much larger game, while a weapon that could kill millions ticks away quietly in the very belly of the city.

The Third Rail is stylish, sophisticated, edge-of-your-seat suspense from a new modern master.

Review:
The Third Rail opens on Chicago's "L" just as someone is killed by a sniper.  It soon becomes clear that the victim was selected almost at random, just as a means to capture Michael Kelly's attention. 

The killer has a hidden message that he expects Kelly to decipher.  Kelly's off the police force but has been called in to assist.  As it becomes increasingly clear that the Mayor, the FBI and the police would like to hunt down and stop -- preferably with lethal force -- this unknown killer, Kelly starts noticing how the killer is leaving clues that tie to a train crash from his childhood.

Michael Kelly is a private investigator that must have been an excellent detective - his instincts are spot on.   He's still well regarded by the Mayor and the top brass at the Chicago Police Department, but the reason for his going on his own is never hinted at.   I'm guessing that he was overzealous in his pursuit of a criminal and though his actions were privately applauded, he was publicly discharged and reprimanded? He's trusted and given much discretion to bring the current "terror" to justice.   Using his sharp powers of observation and deduction, Kelly pieces together the message behind these acts of violence.  As he moves to stop the next attack, Kelly suffers a personal loss of his own.

This is my first Michael Harvey novel, it's made me want to read his two earlier novels in the Michael Kelly series, The Chicago Way and The Fifth Floor,  to get a better understanding of his detective hero.

Action-packed and carefully crafted, The Third Rail is a fast-paced and satisfying detective thriller!

ISBN-10: 0307272508 - Hardcover $24.95
Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (April 20, 2010), 304 pages.
Review copy provided by Kaye Publicity and the publisher.

About the Author:
Michael Harvey is the author of The Chicago Way and The Fifth Floor, and is also a journalist and documentary producer.  His work has won numerous national and international awards, including multiple Emmy nominations and an Academy Award nomination.  He holds a law degree from Duke University, a master's degree in Journalism from Northwestern University, and a bachelor's degree in classical languages from Holy Cross College.  Find out more about him at www.michaelharveybooks.com


Thank you so much to Dana and Kaye Publicity for this review opportunity!

Book Giveaway: Babushka's Beauty Secrets by Raya Ruder and Susan Campos

Anna and Hatchette Book Group are generously sponsoring this giveaway of 3 copies of Babushka's Beauty Secrets: Old World Tips for a Glamorous New You by Raya Ruder and Susan Campos.

Babushka's Beauty Secrets: Old World Tips for a Glamorous New YouThe blurb:
DON'T SPEND A FORTUNE TO LOOK FLAWLESS Esthetician to the stars Raisa Ruder learned her time-tested beauty techniques from her Ukrainian grandmother (or babushka, as they say in the old country). Now everyone can discover the all-natural, better-than-botox secrets the Hollywood stars use to shine on the red carpet! Ruder reveals her sought-after beauty recipes that can fight wrinkles, plump lips, and eliminate crow's feet and acne, using inexpensive, everyday grocery items like eggs, honey, vegetable oil and strawberries (and a splash of vodka for freshness!). At last, by popular demand, Raisa Ruder opens up her babushka's secret pantry and shares her most amazing and effective beauty advice:

  • Skin-saving Souffl├ęs - whipped up wonders that shrink pores, brighten skin, and diminish lines
  • Chocolate weight-loss wrap- a moment on the hips, tightens, tucks, and nips!
  • Hot hair- a cayenne pepper blend that leaves locks silky, soft, and full
  • PediPure- a soothing, smoothing foot scrub made with milk and mint
  • Lustrous Lashes - a simple castor oil serum that thickens and lengthens
  • Perfect Pucker- a mix of salt, green tea, and fruit that plumps up lips naturally
  • And much more...
About the Author:
Raisa Ruder was a registered nurse in her native Ukraine when she decided to move to the United States fifteen years ago. For seven years she worked at the famed Anastasia salon doing eyebrows and facials until opening her own West Hollywood salon in 2005. She noticed the large amount of preservatives in American products and decided to introduce her Babushka's old world beauty recipes in her salon. She quickly became LA's go-to-girl. Her clients include: Madonna,Tyra Banks, Molly Simms, Ali Larter, Nicolette Sheridan and others. ...

CONTEST DETAILS:

To enter please share one of your own beauty secrets!

Rules:
1. Please include your email address, so that I can contact you if you win. No email address, no entry.
2. You must be a follower to join the contest.

The contest is limited to US and Canada only. No P.O. boxes. The contest ends at noon on June 15, 2010.

Thank you so much to Anna and Hatchette Book Group for sponsoring the giveaway!

Friday 56: Week 43 Ravished by a Highlander by Paula Quinn












Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions
on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*
Post a link along with your post back to this blog and to Storytime with Tonya and Friends at http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.


Ravished by a Highlander 

Here's mine from   Ravished by a Highlander by Paula Quinn.  It's a book that I've just started. It's a light, highlander romance - fun reading!
The blurb:
Davina Montgomery is no ordinary English lady.  For her own protection she's been locked away from society, her true identity the Crown's most closely guarded secret.  Until a shocking betrayal -- and a bold rescue -- land her in the arms of a fierce Highlander, a powerful warrior whose searing gaze and tantalizing touch awaken her body and soul.


As the firstborn son of a powerful Scottish laird, Robert MacGregor has no loyalty to the English throne, but he's not the kind of man to leave a woman in distress.  He vows to deliver Davina to safety, unharmed and untouched.  Yet one stolen kiss leaves them both smoldering with desire. . .  and desperate for more.  With Davina's secret threatening to destroy his clan, Rob must choose between everything he holds dear and the one woman he can't live without.

Here's my Friday 56:
She needed to eat something besides berries, but there was no time to hunt.  He prayed they were not being followed.  "If we ride hard," he told them all, stepping out from behind the tree, "we can reach Ayrshire in a few hours."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Book Review of The Man in Saigon by Marti Leimbach

Thanks to Judy and Doubleday for the ARC of The Man from Saigon: A Novel by Marti Leimbach!

The Man from Saigon: A Novel


The lieutenants leading platoons were targets.  They allowed her to tag along with her steno pad. They allowed her to ask questions, to share C rations and cigarettes, to dig a hole at night and sleep among the men, but not to walk point with them up front.  They did not want her killed.  It wasn't that a lieutenant had any reason to favor her.  She was of no use to them -- if she died, if she didn't -- but she would not know to be wary of dead leaves, which can sometimes be old camouflage hiding an explosive.  Or than an unusual object on the ground -- a VC scarf or helmet -- would blow her arm off if she touched it.  They protected her by keeping her among them, and she cherished that protection.  The commanding officers would not say this to her face, but a dead woman was not good for morale. - The Man from Saigon: A Novel by Marti Leimbach



The blurb:
It's 1967 and Susan Gifford is one of the first women correspondents in Saigon, dedicated to her job and passionately in love with an American TV reporter.  Son is a Vietnamese photographer anxious to get his work to get his work into the American press.  Together they cover every aspect of the war from combat missions to the working of field hospitals.  Then one November morning, after narrowly escaping death during an ambush, they find themselves the prisoners of three Vietcong soldiers who have been separated from their unit.  Helpless in the hands of the enemy, they face the jungle, living always with the threat of being killed.  But Son turns out to have a secret history that one day will separate Susan from her American lover.  As they are held under terrifyingly harsh conditions, it becomes clear just how profound their relationship is, and how important it has become to both of them.

Review:
The Man in Saigon is different from and more than what I'd expected.

I'd  worked as a journalist and with foreign correspondents in the Philippines during a time of upheaval and I'd met friends who had lived in Vietnam during the Vietnam War,  The Man from Saigon vividly painted a picture of what Vietnam must have been like at that time. What fascinated me most about the book was her detailed and clear description of what life must have been like for the locals, the expats, the soldiers (on both sides) living in Saigon and its environs during the Vietnam War: the bars and parties with the local elite and expats,  the scenes and smells of Vietnam's streets and jungles, and the complex social structure.

Just as Marti Leimbach presented Vietnam and the war in its complexity, she also introduces us to complex and unusual characters.  Susan, her concerns, desires and thought processes are of an intelligent, brave, and nonpartisan woman who has taken on the challenge of reporting stories of human interest during an unpopular and losing war.  Susan finds her way in among the expats, doctors, US military and locals, with the help of two men that she meets. There is Susan's American lover, a TV journalist who has been in Vietnam for a long time, has taken significant risks and attempts to report the war fairly but has suffered for it.  There is Son, a Vietnamese national and photographer who helps Susan understand the country around her, but has secrets of his own.   Here's a glimpse of the characters:

M was what Son called "not so cautious,"  but which he meant the guy had a death wish.  Susan and his was a misguided, amorphous, sprawling kind of relationship with no obvious direction or end in sight.  In other words, perfect for the time being.  They met between stories, holing up in his hotel or anywhere else they could find, disappearing for a day and then emerging again, rushing out to get another story.  It was exhausting and addictive.  And among many other things, it had the effect on Susan of knocking away whatever remnants of common sense and perspective were left.  She went out on more missions.  She took more risks.

The characters of Susan, her American lover, and Son take the story forward, take us through unexpected twists, and an unexpected conclusion. I highly recommend The Man from Saigon: A Novel by Marti Leimbach.

ISBN-10: 0385529864 - Hardcover $25.95
Publisher: Nan A. Talese (February 23, 2010), 352 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Marti Leimbach is the author of several novels, including the international bestseller Dying Young, which was made into a major motion picture starring Julia Roberts, and most recently Daniel Isn't Talking.  Born in Washington, D.C., she attended the creative writing program at the University of California, Irvine, and Harvard University.  She currently lives in England and teaches at Oxford University's creative writing program.

Thanks so much, Judy and Doubleday for this review opportunity!
CymLowell