Friday, June 18, 2010

Book Review of Nelson DeMille's The Lion

Nelson DeMille's latest book, The Lion, the sequel to his best-selling thriller, The Lion's Game, has just come out!
  The Lion      The Lion's Game
To mark the release of The Lion, DeMille sent me (and the thousands of other people on his mailing list) this email about his BEA experience.  It's hilarious, so I thought I'd share it with you.  

Direct from Nelson DeMille:

At the end of May, I went to BookExpo, the annual publishing industry gathering which was held this year in New York City at the Javits Center. When I walked into the convention hall, there were thousands of people jammed into the huge lobby, dozens of photographers, reporters, and TV news crews, all facing me. I was totally overwhelmed by this turnout, and I waved and flashed the V sign to the assembled throng, then I shouted, "Lion!," and repeated it – "Lion, Lion, Lion!" – hoping that the crowd would take up the chant.

Then my publicist whispered in my ear, "They're waiting for Sarah Ferguson."
"The Duchess of York."
"She's here to sign her books. She writes children's books."
My wife advised, "Let's get a cup of coffee."
"Where's the bar?" I asked.

The rest of the day went better and I signed advance reading copies of The Lion, did a stage interview with Scott Brick, and went to the booth of my publisher, who does not publish the Duchess of York, and where I am appreciated.

It was a good BookExpo and there was a lot of buzz about 
The Lion, with many bookstore owners saying, "Nice cover." One book wholesaler commented, "Thank God it's shorter than your last three."

Afterwards, my wife and I went to a party that was generously sponsored by the 
New York Times and I started a rumor that Sarah Ferguson and Nelson DeMille were arriving together. This got everyone moving to the front door and away from the crowded bar where I was able to get a scotch and soda.

But I digress. 
The Lion is on sale today and I've already bought my copy. There are 999,999 left. Father's Day is June 20. Need I say more?

I recently read The Lion without having read the earlier novel and enjoyed it.  While the earlier novel would have informed my understanding of the characters and their history, The Lion can stand on its own. Curious?  Keep reading below!

The blurb:

The Lion is back.
The last time Federal Agent John Corey of the Anti-Terrorist Task Force heard from Asad Khalil -- known in the world of international terrorism as The Lion -- Khalil claimed he was defecting to the US. . . then he unleashed a deadly reign of destruction on American soil.   While Corey and his partner, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, pursued him across the country, Khalil methodically eliminated his victims one by one and then disappeared without a trace.
Now, after the horrific events of September 11th, Khalil has resurfaced, returning to America to take care of unfinished business -- murdering his select group of enemies, with Kate and John topping the list.  The Lion is a killing machine loose in America with a mission of revenge, and John Corey will stop at nothing to achieve his own goal: find and kill Khalil before Khalil kills him.
As suspenseful, gripping, and prophetic as The Lion's GameThe Lion is a chilling novel about global terrorism -- and the consequences of fighting a war with no end in sight.  Told with his signature dry wit and filled with the fast-paced action for which he is famous, this is DeMille at his very best.

With Father's Day coming up and the start of summer, complex and gripping thrillers are particularly welcome. (Though to be honest, I love reading them any time of the year.)

Assad Khalil, a.k.a. the Lion, is a deadly killer and a religious terrorist.   Now that he's back on U.S. soil, he is pursuing his personal vendetta.  He intends to annihilate all the people linked to his family's destruction from the U.S. Air Force pilots to Federal Agent John Corey and FBI Agent Kate Mayfield.  The Lion, like the fictional Jackal (from Return of the Jackal) is one of the world's most skilled assassins and Khalil enjoys the difficult kills.  

Corey tries to take advantage of Khalil's love for the dramatic and Corey needs all the advantages that he can garner.  Khalil seems to have unlimited resources, a wide range of targets, and no inhibitions.   But Corey has his own strengths -- careful detective work, his creative thinking, his deep determination and desire for vengeance.  The battle of between Corey and Khalil makes for an engrossing read and a satisfying thriller. 

If you're looking for a fun weekend read or a thriller to escape with, check it out.  Action-packed, complex, and engrossing, DeMille's The Lion will surely satisfy!

ISBN-10: 044658083X - Hardcover $27.99
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (June 8, 2010), 448 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher. 

About the Author:

Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23, 1943 to Huron and Antonia (Panzera) DeMille. He moved as a child with his family to Long Island. In high school, he played football and ran track.

DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army and attended Officer Candidate School. He was a First Lieutenant in the United States Army (1966-69) and saw action as an infantry platoon leader with the First Cavalry Division in Vietnam. He was decorated with the Air Medal, Bronze Star, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

DeMille returned to the States and went back to Hofstra University where he received his degree in Political Science and History. He has three children, Lauren, Alexander, and James, and still lives on Long Island.

DeMille's earlier books were NYPD detective novels. His first major novel was By the Rivers of Babylon, published in 1978 and still in print, as are all his succeeding novels. He is a member of The Authors Guild, the Mystery Writers of America, and American Mensa. He holds three honorary doctorates: Doctor of Humane Letters from Hofstra University, Doctor of Literature from Long Island University, and Doctor of Humane Letters from Dowling College.

Nelson DeMille is the author of: By the Rivers of Babylon, Cathedral, The Talbot Odyssey, Word of Honor, The Charm School, The Gold Coast, The General's Daughter, Spencerville, Plum Island, The Lion's Game, Up Country, Night Fall, and Wild Fire. He also co-authored Mayday with Thomas Block and has contributed short stories, book reviews, and articles to magazines and newspapers. Learn more about Nelson DeMille on his website at

Thank you to Henry and Grand Central Publishing for this review opportunity!

Book Blog Tour of Masked by Moonlight by Nancy Gideon

Welcome to the Blog Tour of Masked by Moonlight by Nancy Gideon - the first in a new romance/paranormal series.

Masked by Moonlight

The blurb:
All she wants is revenge.
New Orleans homicide detective Charlotte Caissie is dedicated to bringing down the crime boss responsible for her father's murder.  Using Jimmy Legere's mysterious and irresistible right-hand man is a dangerous gamble, and not only due to his reputation as more monster than man.  Because her feelings for Max Savole are . . .complicated.

Then he risks his life to save hers.
Rescued from the swamps as a child, Max exists silently in Legere's shadow, heeding only his voice -- until Charlotte Caissie awakens his emotions and tests his loyalties.  Stepping outside his cautious rules threatens more than just his heart.  He could expose his darkest secret.

Now they're both in over their heads.
Testing boundaries they weren't meant to cross means facing the truth about who and what they are -- and what they need from each other. If Max is the murderer she seeks, Charlotte could be his next victim.  She cant afford to trust any man.  Good thing Max isn't one.

I must admit a fondness for stories of revenge and redemption.  Masked by Moonlight gives us a strong woman detective in "Cee Cee" Caissie - she's bi-racial, gorgeous, tough, and sexy.  Cee Cee's enjoys her wearing the white hat - she's always had a strong sense of justice and enjoys the firepower to back up her beliefs.   When an unguarded moment leads her to danger, she welcomes the help of the gorgeous and deadly Max Savoie.

Max Savoie is a big unknown.  Though he serves as the muscle behind the largest crime boss in the area, there are no records of Max's past.  Everything points to a difficult childhood and a struggle to get where he is today.  When it becomes clear that Max and his family were always part of the undocumented class,  Cee Cee develops some sympathy for Max's position.

The attraction and unconventional courtship between Max and Cee Cee is a strong subplot in the novel.  The greater mystery of Max and Cee Cee's shared past moves the action forward and gives Masked by Moonlight a captivating storyline.  As I learned more about Max's unique problem and his struggle towards normal, I found myself on Max's side and thoroughly enjoying the mafia aspects and intrigues of the novel.

If you're looking for a fun, romantic thriller with some unconventional (read: paranormal) twists, I recommend Masked by Moonlight.  I can't wait to read what happens in the subsequent novels -- I certainly want to know what happens next with Max Savoie and Cee Cee Caissie.

ISBN-10: 1439149631 - Mass Market Paperback $7.99
Publisher: Pocket (May 25, 2010), 375 pages. 
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Nancy Gideon is the award-winning author of more than fifty romance novels under her own name and several pseudonyms.  A Michigan native, she works as a legal administrative assistant.  Masked by Moonlight is the first in her edgy Shape-shifter series, which also features the upcoming Chased by Moonlight and Captured by Moonlight.

Participating Sites:

The Book Lush:
The Bibliophilic Book Blog:
Starting Fresh:
Eclectic Book Lover:
Book Junkie:
Books, Books Everywhere:
Rex Robot Reviews:
What Book Is That?:
Books and Needlepoint:
Patricia’s Vampire Notes:
Books and Things:
Beguile Thy Sorrow:
DK’s Everything Books Blog:
Chrissy’s World of Books:
Revenge of the Book Nerds:
A Musing Reviews:
I Heart Book Gossip:
Star Shadow:
A Journey of Books:
Taking Time For Mommy:
My Five Monkeys:
Michelle & Leslie's Book Picks:
Books Gardens & Dogs:
Jeanne's Ramblings:
Pam’s Private Reflections:
My Guilty Pleasures:
Wendy’s Minding Spot:
Cheryl’s Book Nook:
Stephanie Suesan Smith Blog:
The Fiction Enthusiast:
A Room Without Books Is Empty:

Friday 56: Week 47 - You'll be Sor-ree: A Guadalcanal Marine Remembers the Pacific War by Sid Phillips

* 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
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

You'll Be Sor-ree!: A Guadalcanal Marine Remembers The Pacific War

Here's mine from You'll Be Sor-ree!: A Guadalcanal Marine Remembers The Pacific War   by Sid Phillips.   This is one of the books that formed the basis of the HBO series The Pacific.  I just received it on Thursday!

Here's my Friday 56:
Cardboard boxes of canned food fell apart and the labels washed off the cans.  Small mountains of useless, unlabeled cans were everywhere.  Therew ere no work gloves to be issued, and we had to handle thousands of rolls of barbed wire and thousands of cases of .30-caliber ball that were paced in dark green wooden boxes with stenciled letters stating each box weighed 110 pounds.

Book Review of Scott Turow's Innocent

Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent was suggested reading for law students years after it came out in 1987.  (See my review of Presumed Innocent here.)  The book was one of the earliest legal thrillers and has been credited with helping start and popularize the genre. 

Presumed Innocent    Innocent 

In the sequel, Innocent, Scott Turow returns to his protagonist Rusty Sabich twenty years later.  Sabich is retiring as an appellate judge and is being considered for the state Supreme Court.  But when his wife dies and Sabich fails to immediately report the death, flags are raised and Sabich finds himself the subject of yet another criminal investigation for murder.

The blurb:
More than twenty years after Rusty Sabich and Tommy Molto went head-to-head in the shattering murder trial of Presumed Innocent, the men are pitted against each once again in a riveting psychological match.  When Sabich, now over sixty years old and the chief justice of an appellate court, finds his wife, Barbara, dead under mysterious circumstances, Molto accuses him of murder for the second time, setting into motion a trial that is vintage Turow -- the courtroom at its most taut and explosive.

With his characteristic insight into both the dark truths of the human pysche and the dense intricacies of the criminal justice system, Scott Turow proves once again that some books simply compel us to read late into the night, desperate to know who did it.

My review:
In Innocent, Scott Turow seamlessly continues Rusty Sabich's story.  Rusty and Barbara have patched up their marriage and found their own peace over the last twenty years.  There are moments when Sabich is deeply aware of Barbara's volatility and he is too smart to feel completely at ease, "Barbara's rages always shake me, since sooner or later I look down through a tunnel in time to the crime twenty-one years ago, wondering what madness made me think we could go on."
Barbara's death draws attention to Sabich at the worst possible time,  with the evidence mounting against him, it is almost as if Sabich is back to where he was years ago -- living the nightmare of a murder trial, with the evidence piling up against him.  
In Innocent,  Turow builds a fuller picture of Tommy Molto's character and shows him to be an honorable man.  It becomes clear that Molto's earlier prosecution of Sabich isn't rooted in malice or spite,  but in his belief in Sabich's guilt.   As Molto "does not care for the insinuation he had  carried a long grudge against Sabich," Molto is not eager to explore Sabich's role in Barbara's death.  After all,  the verdict of not guilty that spared Sabich in the first murder trial had hinged upon the defense's assertions that the prosecution had misbehaved.   The allegations that the prosecution had manipulated the evidence in order to destroy an "innocent man" had damaged Molto's career.   Molto knew himself to be innocent of the charge that he had framed Sabich and just as he believed in his own innocence, Molto believed that Sabich was guilty. 
Their shared history made Molto cautious about bringing the second charge of murder against Sabich.  But with the evidence overwhelmingly pointing to Sabich's involvement in Barbara's death,  Molto again brings a charge of murder against Sabich.   Sabich calls on Sandy Stern to prepare his defense.   It is the courtroom scenes that stand out.  Turow uses the rules of evidence and procedure to create a captivating legal thriller and a fitting sequel to his earlier work, Presumed Innocent.   
If you're looking for a gripping legal thriller, Innocent will surely satisfy.  Turow's use of the rules of evidence and criminal procedure give the book an added layer of complexity and interest to lawyers.  Lawyer or layman, Innocent is a fun, satisfying read!
The WSJ recently published, Scott Turow's Retrial: The king of legal thrillers is back with a sequel to 'Presumed Innocent, " 

About the Author:
Scott Turow is the author of eight bestselling works of fiction, including Presumed Innocent and The Burden of Proof, and two nonfiction books that incude One L, which describes his experience as a first-year law student.   Turow's books have been translated into more than twenty-five language, have sold more than twenty-five languages, have sold more than twenty-five million copies worldwide, and have been adapted for film and television.  He also frequently contributes essays and op-ed pieces to such publications as The New York Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Playboy, and The Atlantic.

Join the contest for the audio book of Innocent by Scott Turow - ends 6/30.

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for sponsoring the giveaway and for this review opportunity!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Book Blog Tour of Knight of Passion by Margaret Mallory

Welcome to the Book Blog Tour of The Knight of Passion by Margaret Mallory.  This is the Margaret's third novel and the last novel in the series.*aNKyO*KsDEJVzpMD9jt9j1DKPiU4bHPTDR1ezZ229efjXlBDbfEBaGhwYQ9*/knightofpassiongraphicblogtour.JPG

This time, she tells the story of Sir James Rayburn.  We'd come across Jamie when his mother first fell in love in Knight of Desire (All the King's Men).   In Knight of Pleasure (All the King's Men), Jamie had squired the romantic lead, Sir Stephen.  This time, it's Jamie's turn.

Knight of Desire (All the King's Men)    Knight of Pleasure (All the King's Men)    Knight of Passion (All the King's Men)

The blurb:
Renowned beauty Lady Linnet is torn between two desires: revenge on those who destroyed her family or marriage to her childhood sweetheart Sir James Rayburn.  One fateful night, she makes a misguided choice:  She sacrifices Jamie's love for a chance at vengeance.

Jamie Rayburn returns to England in search of a virtuous wife -- only to find the lovely Linnet as bewitching as ever.  Their reckless affair ignites anew, even hotter than before, although Jamie vows to never again trust her with his heart.  Then just as Linnet begins to make amends, she's tempted by one last opportunity to settle old scores.  But a final retribution could cost her Jamie's love -- this time forever.

My thoughts:
Though Margaret Mallory is a relatively new writer of historical romance,  she crafts her stories with a deft hand.  Her "All the King's Men" series is consistently entertaining -- with the just right amount of romance, banter, and subplots so that each book offers the escape and lighthearted romance that mark a "keeper."

But in Knight of Passion, Mallory adds certain historical details and suspense that give the novel a little something extra and turn it into one of my favorites.   Mallory includes Owen Tudor as a character in the novel and weaves in his romance with King Henry V's widow, Katherine de Valois.  The start of the Tudor dynasty can be traced to  Katherine de Valois, Owen Tudor and their children.

But as interesting as the subplots may be, Knight of Passion is first and foremost a fun, satisfying romance novel.  As I read the book, I knew it was one of those rare romances that I'd want to reread every so often.  Knight of Passion is a book to share and to keep!

ISBN-10: 0446559865 - Mass Market Paperback
Publisher: Forever (June 1, 2010), 416 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Margaret Mallory started out as a Michigan girl. Except for two years in Africa, she grew up in small towns in northern Michigan, where her dad was a county extension agent. She received degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Michigan Law School, and then headed to Washington, DC to save the world.

When that failed, she packed up and moved to the Pacific Northwest for no reason except that it was beautiful and far from her last jobs and boyfriends. She admits to having a vague notion of finding herself a park ranger with a dog. The man she met was not a park ranger, but he was willing to get the dog. Marriage and children soon followed.

Margaret spent many rewarding — but tiring — years in jobs devoted to improving services for abused children and care for the elderly. Then, one day not long ago, she surprised (shocked?) her friends and family by abandoning her legal career — and her steady job — to write novels. She is thrilled to spend her days now writing stories of romance and adventure. At long last, she can satisfy her passion for justice by punishing the bad and rewarding the worthy. She loves romantic tales, heroic deeds, and happy endings.

With her two children off to college, Margaret devoted her time to completing her medieval romance series, All the King's Men. She would dearly love to hear from readers. Please contact her via her website

Want your own copy of Knight of Passion?  Enter the contest below!


To enter please recommend a romance novel that you particularly enjoyed. Share the title, author and what you liked about the book.

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 July 15, 2010.

Read more about Margaret Mallory and Knight of Passion at other blog tour stops!

Participating Blogs: 6/1/2010 Giveaway 6/1/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/1/2010 Feature, Giveaway 6/1/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/1/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway 6/1/2010 Review, Giveaway, Q&A 6/1/2010 Giveaway 6/2/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway, Q&A 6/2/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/2/2010 Giveaway 6/2/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/2/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/3/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway, Q&A 6/4/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/5/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway 6/5/2010 Review, Q&A 6/6/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/7/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/7/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/7/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/8/2010 Feature, Giveaway 6/9/2010 Review, Giveaway, Q&A 6/9/2010 Review, Giveaway
6/9/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/10/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/11/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/11/2010 Review 6/11/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/12/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway 6/12/2010 Review, Giveaway, Q&A 6/14/2010 Giveaway 6/14/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway 6/14/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/14/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/14/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/14/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/14/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway 6/14/2010 Review, Giveaway 6/14/2010 Review, Giveaway

Thank you again, Anna and Forever Books for sponsoring the giveaway and this review opportunity!