Friday, August 6, 2010

Book Giveaway of David Rosenfelt's New Tricks

Valerie and Grand Central Publishing (Hatchette Book Group) are sponsoring this giveaway of David Rosenfelt's New Tricks.  It's latest adventure with Attorney Andy Carpenter

New Tricks
The blurb:
Attorney Andy Carpenter is about to represent an adorable Bernese mountain dog puppy, whose owner was brutally murdered, in a custody fight.  Few can rival Andy's affection for dogs, and he's determined to keep Waggy from falling into the wrong hands.  But this playful pup possesses a valuable secret that some peopel will resort to violence to obtain.  It will take more than Andy's usual courtroom theatrics to save Waggy, including help from the lawyer's golden retriever, Tara.  Andy soon discovers that everyone around him is in danger, including his longtime girlfriend, Laurie -- and only some high-risk new tricks will save those he cherishes most.

About the Author, in David Rosenfelt's own words (they're far wittier than mine!):

I am a novelist with 27 dogs.

I have gotten to this dubious position with absolutely no planning, and at no stage in my life could I have predicted it. But here I am.

My childhood was relentlessly normal. The middle of three brothers, loving parents, a middle-class home in Paterson, New Jersey. We played sports, studied sporadically. laughed around the dinner table, and generally had a good time. By comparison, "Ozzie and Harriet's" clan seemed bizarre.

I graduated NYU, then decided to go into the movie business. I was stunningly brilliant at a job interview with my uncle, who was President of United Artists, and was immediately hired.  It set me off on a climb up the executive ladder, culminating in my becoming President of Marketing for Tri-Star Pictures. The movie landscape is filled with the movies I buried; for every "Rambo", "The Natural" and "Rocky", there are countless disasters.

I did manage to find the time to marry and have two children, both of whom are doing very well, and fortunately neither have inherited my eccentricities.

A number of years ago, I left the movie marketing business, to the sustained applause of hundreds of disgruntled producers and directors. I decided to try my hand at writing. I wrote and sold a bunch of feature films, none of which ever came close to being actually filmed, and then a bunch of TV movies, some of which actually made it to the small screen. It's safe to say that their impact on the American cultural scene has been minimal.

About fourteen years ago, my wife and I started the Tara Foundation, named in honor of the greatest Golden Retriever the world has ever known. We rescued almost 4,000 dogs, many of them Goldens, and found them loving homes. Our own home quickly became a sanctuary for those dogs that we rescued that were too old or sickly to be wanted by others. They surround me as I write this. It's total lunacy, but it works, and they are a happy, safe group.

Visit David Rosenfelt's website for more information.

To enter,  tell us about your favorite detectives.  And tell us if you prefer cozies to thrillers.

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.
3. One entry per household.

The contest is limited to US and Canada only. No P.O. boxes. The contest ends at noon on August 15, 30, 2010.

Thank you so much to Valerie and Hatchette Book Group for sponsoring this giveaway!

Friday 56: Week 53 - Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

* 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.

I just received Tom Franklin's Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter today and am excited to start reading!
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel
Here's the blurb:
In rural Mississiippi, in the late 1970s.  larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were unlikely boyhood friends.  Larry the child of white, lower-middle-class parents and Silas the son of a poor, single black mother.  Within a few years, though, tragedy struck.  Larry took a local girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again.  No body was found, and there was no confession.  The incident shook the county, including Silas.   Their friendship was broken, and Silas left town to play college baseball.

More than twenty years have passed.  Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion that still shadow him.   When Silas returns to south Mississippi as the constable of a nearby town, he and Larry have no reason to cross paths...until another girl disappears and Larry is blamed again.  Now two men who once called each other friend are forced to confront the painful past they've buried and ignored for decades.

About the Author:
Tom Franklin is the author of Poachers: Stories, Hell at the Breach, and Smonk.  Winner of a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship, he teaches in the University of Mississippi's MFA program and lives in Oxford, Mississippi. with his wife, the poet Beth Ann Fennelly, and their children.

Here's my Friday 56:
"He gone make it?"
"Don't know yet."  Breathless.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Book Giveaway: She's Gone Country by Jane Porter

Brianne and Five Spot, a Hatchette imprint, are sponsoring a giveaway of 3 copies of She's Gone Country by Jane Porter.  The book comes out on August 23.  The giveaway starts today and ends on September 15. She's Gone Country

The blurb:
Shey Darcy, a 39-year-old former top model for Vogue and Sports Illustrated led a charmed life in New York City with a handsome photographer husband until the day he announced he'd fallen in love with someone else. Left to pick up the pieces of her once happy world, Shey decides to move back home to Texas with her three teenage sons. Life on the family ranch, however, brings with it a whole new host of dramas starting with differences of opinion with her staunch Southern Baptist mother, her rugged but overprotective brothers, and daily battles with her three sons who are also struggling to find themselves.

Doesn't it sound like fun?  Read an excerpt now. Check out the reading group guide as well.  Then sign up for the giveaway below!

About the Author:

Jane Porter lives in Seattle, Washington, with her two children. You can find out more about her at 

To enter, please just share a book that you read and enjoyed lately. List the title, author, and what you liked best about it.

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 September 15, 2010.

Thank you so much to Brianne and Five Spot (Hatchette Book Group) for sponsoring this giveaway!

Audio and Video

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Borders Encourages Reading by Giving Kids Free Books

Did you read the NY Times article that described how giving kids their own books does as much to combat the summer slide as hours of summer school?

Despite having had to layoff personnel, Borders has organized this '10 Summer Reading Double Dog Dare for kids 12 years old and younger.  If they read 10 books this summer AND there is no requirement that any of the books be purchased at Borders -- they are offered a free book at Borders.

Kids can choose from:
Ramona the Brave  Flat Stanley   Hoot   Miss Daisy is Crazy #1 My Weird School   The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Johnny Tremain   The River   Kristy's Great Idea (The Babysitters Club)   The Ruins of Gorlan (The Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1)   Dear Mr. Henshaw   [DEAR MR HENSHAW] [Paperback]

Beverly Cleary's Ramona the Brave  or Dear Mr. Henshaw
Jeff Brown's  Flat Stanley
Carl Hiaasen's Hoot
Dan Gutman's Miss Daisy is Crazy 
Elizabeth George Speare's The Witch of Blackbird Pond 
Esther Forbes's Johnny Tremain 
Gary Paulsen's The River 
Ann Martin's Kristy's Great Idea (The Babysitters Club)
John Flanagan's The Ruins of Gorlan (The Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1) 

I just wanted to share Borders' Double-Dog Dare  Program - please pass on the word to kids that you know!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Book Review of Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth

Blood Oath is NOT just another vampire story.  It's more a story of a loyal secret agent (and the corresponding government agency created to "assist"), the supernatural around us (and in our imagination), power plays in Washington D.C.and the foggy (dark?) corridors of the alphabet soup that covers national security in all its permutations.

Blood Oath

The blurb:
The Ultimate Secret.  The Ultimate Agent.  The President's Vampire. 

Incredibly clever and compulsively readable, Blood Oath is a debut political thriller packed with enough action to out-Bourne Jason Bourne and out-Bauer Jack Bauer.

Zach Burrows is an ambitious young White House staffer whose career takes an unexpected turn when he's partnered with Nathaniel Cade, a secret agent sworn to protect the president. But Cade is no ordinary civil servant.  Bound 140 years ago by a special blood oath, Nathaniel Cade is a vampire.  He battles nightmares before they can break into the daylight world of the American dream, enemies far stranger -- and far more dangerous -- than civilians have ever imagined.

Blood Oath is the first in a series of novels featuring Nathaniel Cade, the president's vampire.

Even if you think that you're thoroughly sick of stories of vampires and the supernatural BUT you enjoy detective thrillers, action (novels and/or movies), I would still recommend Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth.

Blood Oath is nothing like the usual vampire novels -- the vampire has taken a blood oath to protect the President of the United States and his agents.   is less about vampires and more about loyalty, about unbreakable oaths and unworthy masters.  It's about nationalism -- in a superhero sort of way -- and about friendship and, again, loyalty. 

The story is made more interesting by the way that Farnworth creates a secret and independent government agency created and dedicated to battling supernatural and extraordinary threats to national security.  The infrastructure and beaucracy adds a layer of humor and takes the story to another level of the absurd.  Blood Oath is a fun read -- an escapist novel for those who love thrillers, political intrigue, tales of loyalty and betrayal, and the occasional vampire. 
ISBN-10: 0399156356 - Hardcover $24.99
Publisher: Putnam Adult; 1 edition (May 18, 2010), 400 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Christopher Farnsworth is a scriptwriter and a former journalist. He lives in Los Angeles.  Learn more about him and Blood Oath on his website


Barnes & Noble's September First Look Selection: The Wake of Forgiveness by Bruce Machart

Barnes & Noble has just announced their September First Look Book Club selection.  This time it's a real book (not an e-book) but the free books will only be sent to US addresses.

 About The Wake of Forgiveness by Bruce Machart (courtesy of Barnes & Noble):

BRUCE MACHART's fiction has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, Glimmer Train, Story, One-Story, and elsewhere, and has been anthologized in Best Stories of the American West. A graduate of the MFA program at Ohio State University, he currently lives and teaches in Houston.

Sign up opened today!   The spaces fill up quickly, so head over to the Barnes & Noble Book Club page