Friday, August 13, 2010

Book Revew of Rules of Betrayal by Christopher Reich + book giveaway

DoubleDay is sponsoring a giveaway of 2 copies of Christopher Reich's latest thriller  Rules of Betrayal.   The book has attracted quite a lot of attention, including from the New York Times.  

Rules of Betrayal

The blurb:
 In 1980 an American B-52 bomber transporting a top-secret weapon crashes high on the peaks of a remote mountain range on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.  Nearly 30 years later, deep in the unforgiving, Taliban-controlled Lashkar Province of Afghanistan, Dr. Jonathan Ransom is making amends for the violence in his past.  the woman he married, Emma Ransom, a.k.a. Lara Antonova, is in fact a spy and an assassin who used his job with Doctors Without Borders as her cover story.  Now she is missing -- most likely in the hands of a charismatic and violent arms dealer who goes by the name Lord Balfour.  Emma is also being hunted by two conflicting shadow agencies -- Division in the U.S. and the FSB in Russia.

After Ransoms is nearly killed in a stunning double cross in Tora Bora, he is summoned by Frank Connor, the power broker at the helm of Division, and presented with an impossible choice.  Jonathan must undertake a harrowing one-man mission into Balfour's lair to save Emma or stand by while a weapon of mass destruction is acquired by the most dangerous terrorist in Afghanistan -- an unforgettable true believer known as The Hawk.

Rules of Betrayal is an electric, brilliantly plotted thriller.  Like his previous New York Times bestsellers, this novel is full of the magnificent twists and turns that have cemented Christopher Reich as one of the most talented suspense writers today.

Rules of Betrayal had me wondering how much of this was based on what really went on.  There were plenty of elaborate and seemingly crazy spy moments, but somehow the amount of detail and the strange twists seemed like they must have been based on careful research. 

The book reads as though it could easily be transformed into a high octane movie -- the sort that I'd try to catch on opening weekend.  As the skilled surgeon Jonathan Ransom is trying to atone for the violence during his marriage to secret agent Emma Ransom, he finds that much of his old life has followed him into his new one.   And a well crafted plea for help leads Ransom to attempt what would have been nearly impossible for a professional.  

Ransom turns out to be a natural -- the skills and training that made him a world class surgeon carry over to his undercover work.   Ransom must penetrate the defenses of an international arms dealer and a powerful terrorist with very limitless resources.   Training,  luck and some unexpected allies turn  Ransom into a formidable opponent - and make Rules of Betrayal a fast-paced and memorable thriller!

ISBN-10: 0385531540 - Hardcover $25.95
Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (July 13, 2010), 384 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Christopher Reich is the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of VengeanceRules of Deception, Numbered AccountThe Patriots Club, The First Billion.  Learn more on Christopher Reich's webste at

DoubleDay is sponsoring a giveaway of 2 copies of Rules of Betrayal.

To enter, share your favorite 3 books of the year (so far).   Tell us the titles, authors and  a little bit about each 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.
3. One entry per person and only one winner per household.

The contest is limited to US. No P.O. boxes. The contest ends at noon on September 15, 2010.

Book Blog Tour of Diana Gabaldon's An Echo in the Bone

Welcome to the TLC Book Tour of the latest in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series: An Echo in the Bone.   It's hard to describe the Outlander series. I first discovered Diana Gabaldon on the "new" and "one week only" section at the New York Public Library.   It was one of my weekend runs to the library and I found myself staying up all night reading the first in the series.  This is a series that you must read in order - the story is complex with many important characters, events and subplots.  Each installment is over 500 pages - and each chapter builds on the story.  I was lucky enough to discover the series in 2006, so I was able to read one book after another and lose myself in the adventures of Claire and Jamie.  

The books combine time travel, historical fiction,  and politics and unforgettable characters with an amazing love story.  As Gabaldon tells the story of Claire and Jamie, she takes us back to 1945 and 1743 and to Scotland, France, England and "the colonies".

What would you do if you went back in time to a place where you run the risk of being burned as a witch for by revealing what you know? 

That's what happens to Claire Randall as she finds herself transported from 1945 to 1743.   Things that she'd taken for granted  -- facts, history, basic knowledge are unknown to the inhabitants around her and are enough to mark her as a witch.  Claire acts bravely and with care -- balances her good sense with her sense of what is right.  Fortunately,  Claire meets young Jamie FraserClaire wins Jamie's loyalty and protection even though he doesn't comprehend the mystery that Claire hides or the danger that she brings.

An Echo in the Bone: A Novel (Outlander)
The blurb:
James Fraser is an eighteenth-century Highlander, an ex-Jacobite traitor, and a reluctant rebel in the American Revolution.  His wife, Claire Randall Fraser, is a surgeon -- from the 20th century.  What she knows of the future compels them to fight.  What she doesn't know might kill them both.

With one foot in America and one foot in Scotland, Jamie and Claire's adventure spans the Revolution, from sea battles to printshops, as their paths cross with historical figures from Benjamin Franklin to Benedict Arnold. 

Meanwhile, in the relative safety of the twentieth century, their daughter, Brianna, and her husband experience the unfolding drama of the Revolutionary War through Claire's letters.  But the letters can't warn them of the threat that's rising out of the past to overshadow their family.

I can't stress enough that the books must be read in sequence.   In this installment, An Echo in the Bone, Jamie and Claire are significantly older and are grandparents several times over but they retain their charisma and vigor.    A  respected physician and a member of the colonial militia in 1776, the revolution (a.k.a.Rebellion) force Claire and Jamie to action. The Frasers are forced to relocate and their travels introduce us to day-to-day life of colonial America.  Gabaldon weaves in historical figures and events and we are treated to memorable intrigue and adventures. 

What I enjoyed most was  catching up with some of my favorite characters and those I love to hate.  The best parts were the moments of tenderness between Jamie and Claire and the medical miracles that Claire pulls off with limited  resources and an abundance of skill.

If you're a fan of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, don't miss this latest installment!  And if you haven't yet read her books, if you enjoy historical fiction and fantasy/time travel - you'll surely love the series.  Be sure to approach the books in the proper sequence and be prepared to settle in for a nice long read!

ISBN-10: 0385342462 - Trade Paperback $17.00
Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (June 22, 2010), 848 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Diana Gabaldon is the New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Outlander novels-Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, and A Breath of Snow and Ashes (for which she won a Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize)-and one work of nonfiction, The Outlandish Companion, as well as the bestselling series featuring Lord John Grey, a character she introduced in Voyager. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.  You can learn more about her or read her blog at Voyages of the Artemis at

Friday 56: Week 54 - The Recessionistas by Alexandra Lobenthal

* 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've started Alexandra Lobenthal's The Recessionistas.  

The Recessionistas

Here's the blurb:
It's the day after Labor Day, 2008, and the elite universe of New York's Upper East Side is about to unravel along with the economy.  Socialite Grigsby Somerset is barely aware of her changing world and has no idea her investment banker husband, Blake, is about to enter into a devil's bargain with hedge fund owner John Cutter.  As autumn unfolds, Grigsby's fairytale life starts to unwind.  Street-smart Renee Parker has been hired as John's executive assistant and is convinced that something is amiss with her new boss.  Renee enlists her friend Sasha Silver, CEO of Silver Partners, to help her decipher what is happening.  They soon discover that John is nearly ruined, except for the assets he is hiding in the Cayman Islands from his wife, Mimi, and has concocted a scheme with Blake to redeem himself.  This tale of expulsion from a modern-day Garden of Eden captures what happens when economic decline spells ruin for Manhattan's pampered elite.

Here's my Friday 56:
"Amanda. What a surprise to see you as well. I am actually starting here today working for John Carter."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Regal Literary Summer Book Giveaways - Crime Spree Special!!

Just wanted to spread the word - Regal Literary is giving holding giveaways for these mystery titles:

Beat the Reaper: A Novel       

By Josh Bazell

To enter their giveaway for BEAT THE REAPER, please visit

“It’s too much fun and too much gore to take your eyes off the page.” – Ron Charles, Washington Post Book World

“Outrageously funny... BEAT THE REAPER may be the most imaginative debut of the year." – Carol Memmott, USA Today

"It's just what the doctor ordered....Think House meets The Sopranos." - Benjamin Svetkey, Entertainment Weekly

Dr. Peter Brown is an intern at Manhattan's worst hospital, with a talent for medicine, a shift from hell, and a past he'd prefer to keep hidden. Whether it's a blocked circumflex artery or a plan to land a massive malpractice suit, he knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men.

Pietro "Bearclaw" Brnwna is a hitman for the mob, with a genius for violence, a well-earned fear of sharks, and an overly close relationship with the Federal Witness Relocation Program. More likely to leave a trail of dead gangsters than a molecule of evidence, he's the last person you want to see in your hospital room.
Nicholas LoBrutto, aka Eddy Squillante, is Dr. Brown's new patient, with three months to live and a very strange idea: that Peter Brown and Pietro Brnwa might-just might-be the same person ...

Now, with the mob, the government, and death itself descending on the hospital, Peter has to buy time and do whatever it takes to keep his patients, himself, and his last shot at redemption alive.  

Spattered in adrenaline-fueled action and bone-saw-sharp dialogue, BEAT THE REAPER is a debut thriller so utterly original you won't be able to guess what happens next, and so shockingly entertaining you won't be able to put it down.

 The Legal Limit (Vintage Contemporaries)

By Martin Clark

To enter their giveaway for THE LEGAL LIMIT, please visit

"A deep yet playful story...Rather than bury the plot in violence, style and contrived momentum, Clark reaches for and achieves something grander...a novel of ample graces." –Allison Glock, The New York Times Book Review

"An engrossingly realized novel.... Elmore Leonard meets John Grisham, but smart and procedurally realistic with lots of crackling… dialogue and a plot wound as tightly as a watch."—Los Angeles Times

“A model of how to write a literary legal thriller with a wry sense of humor. This is probably the best courthouse story I've ever heard or read.”—Mark Lindquist, The Oregonian

A Washington Post Best Book of the Year

Martin Clark’s most remarkable novel yet is the gripping, complex story of a murder cover-up that wreaks widespread havoc even as it redefines the concept of justice—a relentlessly entertaining saga that delves deeply into matters at once ambiguous and essential.

While Gates Hunt chose to fight his abusive father head-on, his younger brother, Mason, eventually escaped their bitter, impoverished circumstances by earning a free ride to college and law school. And while Gates became an intransigent, compulsive felon, Mason met and married the love of his life, had a spitfire daughter, and returned to his rural hometown as the commonwealth’s attorney. But Mason’s idyll is abruptly pierced by a wicked tragedy, and soon afterward his life further unravels when Gates, convinced that his brother’s legal influence should spring him from prison, attempts to force his cooperation by means of a secret they’d both sworn to take with them to the grave. And with his closest friend and staunch ally suddenly threatened by secrets of his own, Mason ultimately finds himself facing complete ruin and desperately defending everything and everyone he holds dear.

Intricately plotted and shot through with authenticity, The Legal Limit is a roller coaster of moral relevance. What should govern our actions when family loyalty challenges personal integrity, when the letter of the law defies its spirit, and when fate plays dice with our best endeavors?

Huge: A Novel 
By James Fuerst

To enter their giveaway for HUGE, please visit

"James Fuerst is brilliant in the way he immerses the reader both in Huge’s mixed-up head and the world in which he lives. His take on the class warfare and teenage sexual politics of a small New Jersey town is at once hilarious and poignant...[a] wonderfully written debut.”—Arlene McKanic, Bookpage

“A coming-of-age tour de force…Huge will occupy a, yes, huge place in readers’ affections and memories.”—Booklist (starred review)

Life hasn’t been easy for Eugene “Huge” Smalls. Sure, his IQ is off the charts, but that doesn’t help much when you’re growing up in the 1980s in a dreary New Jersey town where your bad reputation precedes you, the public school system’s written you off as a lost cause, and even your own family seems out to get you.

But it’s not all bad. Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett have taught Huge everything he needs to know about being a hard-boiled detective . . . and he’s just been hired to solve his first case. What he doesn’t realize is that his search for the truth will change everything for him.

The Paris Enigma: A Novel
By Pablo De Santis

To enter their giveaway for THE PARIS ENIGMA, please visit

 “Luminous...a tightly spun thriller...Mr. De Santis effortlessly incorporates important historical events (the building of the tower and the World’s Fair) into his narrative, as well as capturing the turn-of-the-century uneasiness over the emergence of the machine age.”—Wall Street Journal

“[An] outstanding puzzler. . . . De Santis adroitly explores such issues as the difference between image and reality while providing intelligent and entertaining discussions of alternate approaches to detection.” - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Winner of the inaugural Premio Planeta Casa America award

In the tradition of The Alienist and The Devil in the White City comes a gripping, atmospheric tale of murder and the art of crime solving.

Paris, 1889: in anticipation of the World's Fair and the opening of Monsieur Eiffel's tower, a society of the world's most famous detectives convenes as a single body for the very first time. Sent in place of a conspicuously absent Renato Craig, founding member of The Twelve, his novice assistant Sigmundo Salvatrio arrives, bearing a secret message for the brilliant, brooding Viktor Arzaky, Craig's best friend and the society's cofounder. When one of The Twelve is discovered murdered at the Tower's base—the first in a series of grisly slayings—it falls to Arzaky and Salvatrio, the last remaining student of Craig's famed Academy for Detectives in Buenos Aires, to find and stop the killer. But what the two discover as they race around fin-de-si├Ęcle Paris—encountering secret societies, philosophical puzzles, and an imperiled, dangerously beautiful woman—has shattering consequences that will alter the fate of their precious brotherhood forever.