Three stars for STRANGE BODIES

Three stars for STRANGE BODIES

Whatever this is, it started when Nicholas Slopen came back from the dead.

Today's #FridayReads is STRANGE BODIES by the National Book Award finalist Marcel Theroux, a weird and wonderful novel that poses questions about identity, authenticity, and what it means to be truly human. It's received three starred pre-publication reviews: 

“A strange, satisfying novel about possession featuring a literary scholar, a music mogul, assorted East European thugs, and the long dead but still articulate Dr. Samuel Johnson... A thought-provoking and engaging fusion of comedy and horror.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Truly enthralling... An intense and nuanced examination of the plight of being... Philip K. Dick’s THE TRANSMIGRATION OF TIMOTHY ARCHER meets Stephanie Meyer’s THE HOST in this very highly recommended work.” — Library Journal, starred review

A labyrinthine exploration of identity and mortality, filled with big ideas....” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Get whitelisted and download your review copy. Let us know what you're reading @MacmillanLib for #FridayReads. And if you haven't been sharing your top 10 favorite books of 2013 via the #libfaves13 hashtag, there's still time! (running now through Dec. 10)

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Stars for Tor Books!

Stars for Tor Books!

It's only fitting that Tor Books has so many starred reviews, since many are set in outer space! 

More seriously though, whether set on distant planets or in fantasy lands, here are our favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy titles that have already received terrific early praise:

THE EMPEROR’S BLADES by Brian Staveley
“In this epic fantasy debut, Staveley has created a complex and richly detailed world filled with elite soldier-assassins, mystic warrior monks, serpentine politics, and ancient secrets. Readers of Sara Douglass's Wayfarer novels and George R.R. Martin's 'Song of Ice and Fire' series should enjoy this opener.” Library Journal, starred review and Debut of the Month selection

YEAR’S BEST SF 18 edited by David G. Hartwell 
“One of the best collections of the year, without a weak tale in its list, this is highly recommended for fans of the short story and of SF in general.” Library Journal, starred review
“Almost uniformly excellent—but then when was an anthology from Hartwell ever less?” Kirkus Reviews, starred review

FIDDLEHEAD by Cherie Priest 
“This is a compelling finale to a fantastic series. The good guys are complex and sympathetic; the villains are suitably clever and malign. The action rattles along at breakneck speed, and the reader can't resist coming along for the wild ride, which includes a climactic battle featuring a wheelchair-bound Abe Lincoln and a temporarily sober Ulysses S. Grant. Highly recommended for all readers of fantasy and steampunk.” Library Journal, starred review

A DARKLING SEA by James Cambias (THREE starred reviews!)
“An exceptionally thoughtful, searching and intriguing debut.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Like [Robert] Silverberg, who developed fully realized alien societies in such novels as Downward to the Earth…Cambias makes the Sholen and Ilmataran people and cultures as real as the more familiar human component. Beautifully written, with a story that captures the imagination the way SF should.” Booklist, starred review
“Cambias writes with a light touch and occasional flashes of humor, and the science supporting his novel is sound and unobtrusive. This is an impressive debut by a gifted writer.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

Get whitelisted on Edelweiss for Macmillan e-galleys and download your copy of these great titles. [...]

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Three stars for RUNNER!

Three stars for RUNNER!

Welcome back, friends! We hope you had a nice Thanksgiving break like we did. We're more than happy to shake off the tryptophan coma with some great news:

Patrick Lee’s explosive new thriller RUNNER has scooped up THREE starred advance reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist, plus a great one from Kirkus Reviews:

“Lee’s precise detailing of technology and medical science recalls the best of Tom Clancy and Robin Cook, while his believable hero adds a Jack Reacher vibe.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Tension mounts right from the start in this nonstop action-packed narrative and seldom flags….All in all, it’s a high-tech thriller that’s hard to put down.” — Library Journal, starred review

“Thriller fans, especially those drawn to conspiracies and espionage, will enjoy the cutting-edge weapons development, the anxiety-ridden showdown between cunning and technology, and the compellingly connected characters.” — Booklist, starred review

"Readers who pick up Lee’s latest should be prepared to miss their favorite television shows, since they won’t put this book down long enough to watch them.” — Kirkus Reviews

Most recently, RUNNER was named a March Indie Next pick

RUNNER is the first in a new series starring retired special forces operative Sam Dryden. It's sold international rights in seven countries and the film rights were optioned by Warner Brothers with director Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6) attached. It's one of Anne's personal favorites of the season and if you've heard her talk about it recently at book buzzes, then you know she's very vocal about her casting suggestion (Channing Tatum). 

Publishers Weekly interviewed Patrick Lee about the book (Dec. 30 issue):

PW: What was your inspiration for RUNNER and Sam Dryden?
PL: The idea’s initial germ was a protagonist protecting a character who seems entirely vulnerable, but who may turn out to be very dangerous. Sam Dryden emerged as a balance between two things I was looking for in a main character: someone who’s ordinary, and yet is capable of dealing with fairly dangerous situations. So his background is military, including time spent doing things off-the-books that he’s not entirely proud of. But all of that is several years behind him when this series begins.

PW: Why are your novels heavy on technology, à la Tom Clancy?
PL: That grew out of my own interest in technology, and how quickly things are changing around us. I think it’s about 99% good (self-driving cars, potentially improved medical treatments because of genome sequencing) and maybe 1% bad (tech forecasters aren’t optimistic about the future of privacy).

PW: How do you conduct your research?
PL: Pretty often I just draw upon knowledge I’ve already encountered when reading for fun. I love reading nonfiction by writers like Jared Diamond, Richard Dawkins, and Carl Sagan. Bill Bryson is another favorite.

PW: What did you base the mind control in RUNNER on?
PL: The mind-control/mind-reading part is made up, but most of the technical dialogue about how DNA works is based on real science. I tried to make the concept feel plausible by comparing it to abilities that really exist in nature, like the capability of salamanders to regrow limbs. Some scientists think our own ancient ancestors, hundreds of millions of years ago, could regrow limbs, too, and that the DNA instructions for doing so might still exist in us, long-since switched off by more recent genes. I liked the idea of framing mind reading that same way: as a scary thing buried deep in the genetic toy box, which science has managed to dig out.

PW: How close is RUNNER to becoming a movie?
PL: Warner Brothers has bought the film rights. I should probably err on the side of caution as far as talking about it, but some of the people involved at this point are Pouya Shahbazian, Justin Lin, and Adam Cozad. I’m crossing all digits that can be crossed.

PW: What’s next?
PL: The sequel to RUNNER, still untitled. It takes place a couple years after the events of RUNNER, and I probably shouldn’t reveal too much else. Plus I’m still writing it, so everything is subject to change.

If you haven't read it yet, don't wait. Get whitelisted and download your review copy today. Then nominate it for LibraryReads (the deadline for the February list is January 1, 2014). 

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For Your Consideration: January LibraryReads titles

For Your Consideration: January LibraryReads titles

With the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching, many of us are busy making lists. Grocery lists for the big meal, shopping lists for those Black Friday and Small Business Saturday sales, who's been naughty and who's been nice (OK, we didn't write that one)... Here's our list of new books we think are great, just in time for the January LibraryReads nomination deadline of December 1:

RADIANCE OF TOMORROW by Ishmael Beah
From the author of A LONG WAY GONE comes a “formidable and memorable novel” (Publishers Weekly) about a village trying to reclaim peace after war. “Beah, who broke our hearts with the haunting memoir of his life as a boy soldier, will render readers speechless with the radiance of his storytelling in this novel of grace, forgiveness, and a vision of a tomorrow without conflict." – Library Journal, starred review

THE LAST ENCHANTMENTS by Charles Finch
In this contemporary update of BRIDESHEAD REVISITED, William Baker is a recent graduate of Yale who embarks on a life-changing year at Oxford, complete with unexpected friendships and a romance with a beautiful and enigmatic woman. "In prose that glides effortlessly from scene to scene, Finch captures the fleeting time in people’s lives when their every decision, from career to lover, seems freighted with eternal consequence. Highly recommended for all collections." – Library Journal, starred review

THE ORPHAN CHOIR by Sophie Hannah
Sophie Hannah writes taut, psychological suspense novels and her latest takes domestic horror to a new level. Louise Beeston is haunted by choral music only she can hear. Hoping to find some peace, Louise convinces her husband, Stuart, to buy them a country house in an idyllic, sun-dappled community, but the new home brings her anything but that. Louise starts to suspect that this sinister choir is not only real, but a warning. But of what? “Absolutely haunting, in every sense of the word.” – Booklist

BEFORE I BURN by Gaute Heivoll
Heivoll's novel is inspired by a real-life arson spree that deeply affected him as he grew up in Norway. It's already received two starred reviews–Publishers Weekly called it, "A compulsively readable novel about identity and the increasingly blurred line between art and reality" and Booklist said, "Fans of IN COLD BLOOD and THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY will appreciate the chilling true-crime angle, while Heivoll’s dazzling prose will quickly enchant those unfamiliar with this Scandinavian writer. An absorbing story of compulsion, obsession, and the power of desire."

For more January LibraryReads title suggestions, view our collection on Edelweiss. Happy reading and happy nominating!

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Stars for THE WIVES OF LOS ALAMOS

Stars for THE WIVES OF LOS ALAMOS

Remember when we told you about Tarashea Nesbit's THE WIVES OF LOS ALAMOS? You know, the one told in the collective voices of the wives of the men who created the atom bomb (think THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY meets THE ASTRONAUT WIVES' CLUB, only fiction)? Well, it turns out there's even more great news about this incredible debut novel:

Barnes & Noble named it one of their Spring 2014 Discover Great New Writers Selections!

The ABA selected it for their Spring 2014 Indies Introduce program (meaning, they think it's one of the ten best Adult titles of the season)!

It's a March 2014 Indie Next selection!

It's received two starred reviews with more glowing praise to come:

"The author’s writing—by turns touching, confiding, and matter-of-fact—perfectly captures the commonalities of the hive mind while also emphasizing the little things that make each wife dissimilar from the pack. Engrossing, dense, and believable." Publishers Weekly, starred review

"That this novel about the lives of women whose husbands worked at Los Alamos during WWII achieves with no real plot and no real main character is astounding. Through their lives and, eventually, their varied reactions to the dropping of the first atomic bombs on Japan, Nesbit brings alive questions of war and power that dog us to this day." Booklist, starred review

"Recommended both for its important subject matter and for the author’s vivid storytelling.” Library Journal

Keep an eye out for reviews to come in O Magazine, More Magazine, Glamour, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe and many more!  

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Three stars for DANGEROUS WOMEN!

Three stars for DANGEROUS WOMEN!

We'd like to think that we're a couple of dangerous women, but we're softies at heart, kinda like these guys (awww...). The thing we're the most hazardous to is your "To Read" pile. 

spooning kittensWith that warning in mind, we've got a doozy for you: DANGEROUS WOMEN, an awesome collection of 22 original short stories co-edited by A Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, featuring contributions from bestselling authors, including Jim Butcher, Diana Gabaldon, Lev Grossman, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Brandon Sanderson, and Martin himself. Whether it's science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, or suspense, women are the stars, from feisty heroines down to villainess vixens.

Speaking of stars, DANGEROUS WOMEN already has THREE starred pre-publication reviews!

"Venerable editors Martin and Dozois (Warriors) have invited writers from many different genres of fiction to showcase the supposedly weaker sex’s capacity for magic, violence, and mayhem. These 22 brand-new short stories prove that women are men’s equals—at least—in lethal potential. This meaty collection delivers something for nearly every reader’s taste as it explores the heights that brave women can reach and the depths that depraved ones can plumb." Publishers Weekly, starred review

"VERDICT: The wide selection of authors guarantees something to please almost every reader's tastes." Library Journal, starred review

"When genre collections include this many big-name authors, they’re typically a grouping of series outtakes and Easter eggs. Readers...will surely be satisfied by these [series-related stories] and other entries. Everyone will find something to like here."Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 Get whitelisted and download your review copy on Edelweiss.
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What ho?! FOUR stars for JEEVES AND THE WEDDING BELLS!

What ho?! FOUR stars for JEEVES AND THE WEDDING BELLS!

P.G. Wodehouse was one of the finest comic English writers ever, gifting the world with his delightful duo Bertie Wooster (a young man about town) and his butler, the inimitable Jeeves (the very model of the modern manservant). Now the Wodehouse estate has given their blessing to internationally acclaimed novelist Sebastian Faulks, who has brought Bertie and Jeeves back for the first time in nearly forty years in JEEVES AND THE WEDDING BELLS

In this hilarious affair of mix-ups and mishaps, Bertie agrees to “help” his old friend Peregrine “Woody” Beeching regain his fiancée even though he's nursing a bit of his own heartbreak. Plan A fails spectacularly, and suddenly Jeeves ends up having to impersonate one Lord Etringham, while Bertie plays the part of Jeeves’ manservant “Wilberforce." From there the plot becomes even more hilarious and convoluted, in a brilliantly conceived, seamlessly written comic work worthy of the master himself. 

Critics agree, giving JEEVES AND THE WEDDING BELLS FOUR STARRED pre-pub reviews, with major publicity expected from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, CNN.com, and the Daily Beast (to name a few), as well as a December Indie Next pick:

“Faulks has captured Bertie’s voice, his innocent zest and his spirited banter with Jeeves to a fare-thee-well... Faulks has risen to the challenge splendidly with this ‘homage’ to Wodehouse. Jeeves and Wooster live again!”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"OK, fine, this P. G. poseur gets the plot right, but what about the all-important patter, the Bertie-isms and the priceless Bertie-Jeeves dialogue duets. But Faulksie nails it again, evoking rather than imitating, but doing so in perfect pitch. Top drawer!”
Booklist, starred review

Let word go forth, from Mayfair to Herald Square, from Piccadilly to Kansas City: Jeeves and Wooster are back and in fine fettle. After sampling this tasty bonbon, Wodehouse fans and new readers will want to go back to the original series.”
Library Journal, starred review

“In addition to concocting an intricate farce complete with fresh metaphors and literary allusions worthy of the master himself, Faulks has varied the standard Wodehouse formula in ways both subtle and daring. The heartwarming denouement, which reveals how the godlike Jeeves has manipulated the action from behind the scenes, humanizes Bertie and Jeeves as Wodehouse never did. In my humble opinion, Faulks has outdone Wodehouse.”
Publishers Weekly, starred & boxed review


Well done, old chap!
Want to read what all the hullabaloo is about? Make sure to get whitelisted on Edelweiss and download your review copy. 

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Thriller Thursday (9/12/13 Edition)

Thriller Thursday (9/12/13 Edition)

Happy #ThrillerThursday friends! Today we'd like to tell you about three suspenseful, spine-tingling mysteries that just went on sale this week: 

THE EDGE OF NORMAL by Carla Norton
The author of the #1 New York Times nonfiction bestseller PERFECT VICTIM (which the FBI have on their Behavioral Sciences Unit reading list), Norton makes her fiction debut with a perfectly crafted psychological thriller about a former kidnapping victim who must mentor and protect another young girl rescued from a similar situation. With three starred pre-publication reviews, THE EDGE OF NORMAL is a thriller with "the psychological depth of Jonathan Kellerman at his best.” (Booklist, starred review)

THE RED QUEEN DIES by Frankie Y. Bailey

Flash forward to the future: Albany 2019 where a street drug nicknamed "Lullaby" is all the rage. Originally used to treat soldiers with PTSD, it erases traumatic memories—including those of the star witness in a trial who now can't remember the crime. Biracial police detective Hannah McCabe faces similar perplexing problems as she attempts to solve the murders of three women, one of whom is a Broadway actress known as "The Red Queen." Now McCabe must sort through a tangled web of clues involving Alice in Wonderland to find the killer. 

THE WRONG GIRL
by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Award-winning and Boston Globe bestselling author Hank Phillippi Ryan continues her thrilling Jane Ryland and Jake Brogan series with a chilling new novel that explores a terrifying scenario: What if you didn’t know the truth about your own family? Boston reporter Ryland is tipped off that a respected adoption agency may be reuniting birth parents with the wrong children; meanwhile, detective Brogan's latest case is a domestic violence homicide resulting in two toddlers being shuttled into the foster care system. Then Brogan discovers an empty cradle at the murder scene. With a missing infant and a killer at large, Ryland and Brogan follow clues that threaten to blow the lid off an adoption agency scandal and lead them deeper into the heart of a foster care system in crisis. 
Can't wait to find out what happens next? Neither can we! Share what you're reading this #ThrillerThursday with us @MacmillanLib. Stay suspenseful, friends! [...]

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Two Stars for Dark Jenny

Two Stars for Dark Jenny

Alex Bledsoe continues his mysterious and scandal-riddled Eddie LaCrosse series with DARK JENNY, where once again classic fantasy meets hard-boiled detective fiction (after THE SWORD-EDGED BLONDE and BURN ME DEADLY). This case brings us back to Eddie's early years to solve an Aurthurian-type court murder and reviewers are delighted. 

"Bledsoe’s clever combination of noir and myth makes for an engaging story, and placing investigator Eddy at the center offers a fresh twist. Bledsoe’s characters are especially memorable, including Dave Agravaine, a bully who likes to hit women; overweight and overworked but loyal Bob Kay; and Marc’s nephew, Dread Ted Medraft—not to mention the giggleweed-smoking Kern. Fans of Bledsoe’s other blends of fantasy and noir will love his latest, and new readers will be able to jump right in. Try suggesting this to fans of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files." —Booklist, Starred Review

"The mystery and its ramifications for the Grand Bruan royals will seem familiar to readers of Thomas Malory, but Bledsoe skillfully combines humor, action, deduction, and emotion to make the material fresh and engaging for fans of both fantasy and noir." —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Chat with Alex Bledsoe (@AlexBledsoe) on Twitter!

Enter to win one of five copies available on the GoodReads giveaway page! [...]

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Happy March Minotaur Mystery Madness Day! GIVEAWAY

Happy March Minotaur Mystery Madness Day! GIVEAWAY

It's Tuesday and I'm feeling sassy, so I'm dubbing today March Minotaur Mystery Madness Day

I pulled together two delicious mystery snack packs* for you to get your hands on. Click either box to email library at macmillanusa dot com and add your preference for "Combo A" or "Combo B" in the Subject Line (yes, yes, you can enter to win both!). Get those entries in before Thursday.

UPDATE: Contest now closed. Thanks to those who entered. Winners have been notified!

THE LOCK ARTIST, by Steve Hamilton: This Alex Award winning thriller is, as The New York Times Book Review said, "too good for words."
BAD BIRD, by Chris Knopf: Knopf kicks off his second Hamptons mystery with an explosive beginning, then pulls us back to the past of roguish lawyer Jackie Swaitkowski, and throws in a few twists before the end. Hold on tight!
THE KENKEN KILLINGS, by Parnell Hall: There are actually KenKen and crosswords in the pages of this book so you can solve this fun and quick witted puzzle mystery!

36 YALTA BOULEVARD, by Olen Steinhauer: Steinhauer earned this subtle and intelligent political thriller starred reviews from both Booklist and Library Journal.
PAST TENSE, by Catherine Aird: This elegant and mischievious whodunit earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly.
THE CURSE-MAKER, by Kelli Stanley: Booklist calls this one "an engrossing mystery, in which the first murder leads to a typically Roman orgy of revenge," with "fascinating and never heavy-handed information on Roman life," (yep, a starred review for this one, as well).

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