Saturday, 30 April 2011

Cooking Books -- Random House

Title: Eva's Kitchen
Authors: Eva Longoria and Marah Stets
Synopsis: Eva Longoria may be most recognized for her role as Desperate Housewives’ saucy Gabrielle Solis, but on her own time, there are few places she would rather be than in the kitchen, cooking the food she loves for her family and friends. Here is the food Eva loves to eat, and the recipes in Eva’s Kitchen trace her life story, taking readers on her culinary journey—from the food she was brought up on to the recipes inspired by her travels abroad to the dishes she serves during casual nights at home.

Having grown up on a ranch with every meal based on what was in the family fields, Eva believes, like so many of us, that good cooking relies on local, fresh, easy-to-find ingredients. In Eva’s Kitchen, she teaches readers essential cooking skills and she sprinkles in the histories and traditions behind her favorite dishes, including personal stories and anecdotes that capture the warmth, humor, and joy of her most memorable meals.

In her first cookbook, Eva welcomes you into her kitchen, offering 100 of her favorite dishes—many of which are family recipes collected over the years—all fused with her passion for cooking. She also shares memories of her Texas ranch upbringing, her very first cooking adventures, vacations overseas, nights in with her girlfriends, and last-minute pre–red carpet meals.

Inspired by her heritage, Eva highlights the essentials of great Mexican cooking, Texas style—with her family’s recipes and techniques for making the world’s best tamales, homemade tortillas, Spanish rice, and Pan de Polvo (Mexican pastry), to name a few. She also offers dishes from a variety of international cuisines, from Latin American to Italian and French, inspired by her globe-trotting travels. A taste of Lemon Dover Sole whisks Eva to a tiny hotel-restaurant she once visited on a trip to Normandy; the recipe for Cannellini Beans with Crushed Red Pepper was a souvenir from a trip to Florence; kimchi adds a kick to her Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts, a Thanksgiving staple; and Yellow Squash Soup with Lemon brings her full circle, back to her family’s vegetable garden in Corpus Christi.

With full-color food photographs, intimate portraits of her family and friends, and a glimpse into Eva’s home and her lesser-known domestic side (family first, acting second, she says), Eva’s debut cookbook will entice her loyal fans and inspire home cooks to broaden their culinary horizons and create memorable meals for the people they love.





Title: The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up
Authors: Jamie Deen, Bobby Deen and Melissa Clark
Synopsis: Hungry for the great outdoors? Jamie and Bobby Deen know just what to make—whether it’s in your own backyard, on the beach, at a potluck picnic, or tailgating before the big game. In The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up, Paula Deen’s sons share a new batch of more than 125 mouthwatering recipes and entertaining ideas to make your outdoor dining a breeze.

Jamie and Bobby have always preferred eating at a picnic table to a dining room. For the guys, backyard grilling means more good eats and less mess, tailgating is all about friendship and fun, and a beach picnic is a chance to splash around in the sun between courses. Now the brothers are sharing their outdoor cooking know-how to help you wow your friends and family with everything from grilled meats and barbecue to sandwiches, pizzas, and smoky sides. This irresistible cookbook also offers up delicious nibbles, tasty salads, and refreshing Seaside Sippers. Featuring ingredients easily found at your local supermarket, these effortless dishes are made even more special with the Deen brothers’ signature Southern flare.

Fire up the grill for some Beer Can Chicken with Sweet and Spicy Pickled Vidalia Onions, Big Fat Garlicky Rib Eye, and Down-Home Baby Back Ribs. Whip up Hot Buffalo Burgers with Blue Cheese or Nutty Pimiento Cheese Balls in the parking lot before the game. Spread out the picnic blanket for some Red-Hot Mayo and Tomato Sandwiches, NOLA-Style Dirty Rice Salad, or Southern Biscuit Cheese Straws. Hit the beach with Glazed Barbecue Shrimp, Grilled Crab Cake Sammies, or Fire-Roasted Clams and Mussels. Then wash it all down with such lip-lickin’ concoctions as Pomegranate Punch, Cucumber Sangria, or a Savannah Sea Breeze. Jamie and Bobby also throw in something sweet with their Grilled Buttery Pound Cake and More and More S’mores.

Packed with gorgeous photographs of the whole family at work (cooking!) and at play, The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up is a celebration of the beautiful landscapes, the wonderful people, and the great meals we can all share together.




Title: Super Natural Every Day
Author: Heidi Swanson
Synopsis: HEIDI SWANSON'S approach to cooking whole, natural foods has earned her a global readership. From her Northern California kitchen, she introduced us to a less-processed world of cooking and eating through her award-winning blog, 101 Cookbooks, and in her James Beard Award–nominated cookbook, Super Natural Cooking, she taught us how to expand our pantries and integrate nutrient-rich superfoods into our diets.

In Super Natural Every Day, Heidi helps us make nutritionally packed meals part of our daily repertoire by sharing a sumptuous collection of nearly 100 of her go-to recipes. These are the dishes that Heidi returns to again and again because they’re approachable, good for the body, and just plain delicious. This stylish cookbook is equal parts inspiration and instruction, showing us how to create a welcoming table filled with nourishing food for friends and family.

The seductively flavorful vegetarian recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, treats, and drinks are quick to the table but tasty enough to linger over. Grab a Millet Muffin or some flaky Yogurt Biscuits for breakfast on the go, or settle into a lazy Sunday morning with a stack of Multi-grain Pancakes and a steaming cup of Ginger Tea. A bowl of Summer Squash Soup or a couple of Chanterelle Tacos make for a light and healthy lunch, and for dinner, there’s Black Sesame Otsu, Pomegranate-Glazed Eggplant with Tempeh, or the aptly named Weeknight Curry. Heidi’s Rose Geranium Prosecco is the perfect start to a celebratory meal, and the Buttermilk Cake with fresh plums or Sweet Panzanella will satisfy even the most stubborn sweet tooth.

Gorgeously illustrated with over 100 photos that showcase the engaging rhythms of Heidi’s culinary life and travels, Super Natural Every Day reveals the beauty of uncomplicated food prepared well and reflects a realistic yet gourmet approach to a healthy and sophisticated natural foods lifestyle.





Title: Sara Foster's Southern Kitchen
Author: Sara Foster
Synopsis: Sara Foster’s love of Southern fare began in her Granny Foster’s Tennessee kitchen. There, the combination of down-home comfort, fresh-from-the-farm ingredients, and dedicated preparation hooked her for life. Now the award-winning cookbook author and restaurateur serves up nearly two hundred contemporary interpretations of classic dishes—Shrimp Jambalaya, Slow-Roasted Pulled Pork Butt, Cheesy Grits Casserole; refreshing drinks, including Mint Juleps and Sweet Tea; and such satisfying breakfasts as Country Ham and Hominy Hash. And a table wouldn’t be Southern without the sides—Skillet-Fried Corn, Creamy Potato Salad, and Arugula Pesto Snap Beans. Be sure, too, to save room for Molasses-Bourbon Pecan Pie and Freestyle Lemon Blackberry Tart.

From revealing the secret to fluffy buttermilk biscuits to giving us ideas for swapping out ingredients to accommodate any season, from providing tips for frying up chicken like a true Southerner to detailing barbecue fundamentals that put you on par with any pitmaster, Foster’s helpful sidebars ensure that your dishes will turn out perfect every time. You’ll also get expert tips on the essential equipment (cast-iron skillets, griddles, casserole dishes) and the ingredients no Southern pantry should be without (from stone-ground grits to Carolina Gold rice). As a bonus, Foster offers her “Sidetracked” feature, profiles of tried-and-true roadtrip destinations throughout the South where you can find the best fried catfish, barbecued brisket, big breakfast plates, and more. And finally, Foster’s lessons in pickling and canning guarantee that you can enjoy your favorite flavors all year round.

With its handy list of resources and Southern pantry essentials, and entertaining stories, Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen is an all-inclusive collection of Southern cooking in which simple feasts meet artisanal ingredients, traditional tastes meet modern methods, and fantastic flavors make every bite a succulent mouthful of Southern comfort.




Title: An Invitation to Indian Cooking
Author: Madhur Jaffrey
Synopsis: This seminal book, originally published in 1973, introduced the richly fascinating cuisine of India to America—and changed the face of American cooking. Now, as Indian food enjoys an upsurge of popularity in the United States, a whole new generation of readers and cooks will find all they need to know about Indian cooking in Madhur Jaffrey’s wonderful book.
Jaffrey was prompted to become a cook by her nostalgia for the tastes of her Delhi childhood, but she learned to cook on her own, in a Western kitchen. So she is particularly skillful at conveying the techniques of Indian cooking, at describing the exact taste and texture of a dish. The many readers who have discovered her inspiring book over the years have found it deeply rewarding, with recipes for appetizers, soups, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, chutneys, breads, desserts, even leftovers, all carefully worked out in American measurements and ingredients for American kitchens.
This landmark of cookery makes clear just how extraordinarily subtle, varied, and exciting Indian food can be, and how you can produce authentic dishes in your own kitchen. From formal recipes for parties to the leisurely projects of making dals, pickles, and relishes, this “invitation” to Indian cooking has proved completely irresistible.
In 2006, the James Beard Foundation ushered this book into its Cookbook Hall of Fame.





Title: Cooking in the Moment
Author: Andrea Reusing
Synopsis: "If there’s one thing Reusing understands, it’s the power of a remarkable ingredient." – O Magazine

"[A] must-have title for both new and experienced cookes." --Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)

“Her enthusiasm is infectious, her approach, inviting.”—BookPage Top Pick and Cookbook of the Month

“I love Andrea Reusing’s Lantern in Chapel Hill. And her recipes in Cooking in the Moment are so approachable and her stories so insightful that they blaze a path toward great home cooking.”
—David Chang

“I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying many fine meals at Lantern. Andrea Reusing’s food is always fresh, seasonal, and as local as possible. Her recipes are creative and downright delicious.”
—John Grisham

For Andrea Reusing—an award-winning chef, a leader in the sustainable agriculture movement, and a working mother—“cooking in the moment” simply means focusing on one meal at a time. Tender spring broccoli given a smoky char on the grill, a summer berry pudding with cold cream, or a cider-braised pork shoulder served with pan-fried apples on a frosty night—cooking and eating this way allows food in season to become the foundation of a full life. Cooking in the Moment is a rich, absorbing journey through a year in Reusing’s home kitchen as she cooks for family and friends using ingredients grown nearby.

When seasonality is reimagined as a grocery list rather than a limitation, everyday meals become cause for celebration—a whole week of fresh sweet corn; a blue moon autumn asparagus harvest; a rich, spicy soup made with the last few sweet potatoes of winter. Reusing seamlessly blends down-to-earth kitchen advice with delicious, doable recipes, including childhood favorites (chicken and dumplings), simple one-pot dinners (shrimp, pea, and rice stew), as well as feasts to satisfy a crowd (roast fresh ham with cracklings). And while the action takes place in North Carolina, the kinds of producers and places that animate these pages—farmers, ranchers, cheesemakers, butchers, bakers, orchards, backyard henhouses, and fishing holes—can be found all over, producing the flavors that we crave.

With gorgeous photography throughout and more than 130 recipes, Cooking in the Moment will inspire cooks everywhere to embrace the flavors and bounty of each season.




Title: Smokin' with Myron Mixon
Authors: Myron Mixon and Kelly Alexander
Synopsis: The secret to the best barbecue from the man who barbecues the best: Keep it simple!

In the world of competitive barbecue, nobody’s won more prize money, more trophies, or more adulation than Myron Mixon. And he comes by it honestly: From the time he was old enough to stoke a pit, Mixon learned the art of barbecue at his father’s side. He grew up to expand his parent’s sauce business, Jack’s Old South, and in the process became the leader of the winningest team in competitive barbecue. It’s Mixon’s combination of killer instinct and killer recipes that has led him to three world championships and more than 180 grand championships and made him the breakout star of TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters.

Now, for the first time, Mixon’s stepping out from behind his rig to teach you how he does it. Rule number one: People always try to overthink barbecue and make it complicated. Don’t do it! Mixon will show you how you can apply his “keep it simple” mantra in your own backyard. He’ll take you to the front lines of barbecue and teach you how to turn out ’cue like a seasoned pro. You’ll learn to cook like Mixon does when he’s on the road competing and when he’s at home, with great tips on

• the basics, from choosing the right wood to getting the best smoker or grill
• the formulas for the marinades, rubs, injections, and sauces you’ll need
• the perfect ways to cook up hog, ribs, brisket, and chicken, including Mixon’s famous Cupcake Chicken

Mixon shares more than 75 of his award-winning recipes—including one for the most sinful burger you’ll ever eat—and advice that will end any anxiety over cooking times and temps and change your backyard barbecues forever. He also fills you in on how he rose to the top of the competitive barbecue universe and his secrets for succulent success. Complete with mouth-watering photos, Smokin’ with Myron Mixon will fire you up for a tasty time.





Title: A Southerly Course
Author: Martha Hall Foose
Synopsis: In the highly anticipated follow-up to her bestselling Screen Doors & Sweet Tea, Martha Hall Foose shares recipes and stories that are even closer to her home and heart.

A Southerly Course delves deep into Mississippi Delta flavors and foodways, where Martha finds inspiration in local ingredients—from figs and sweet potatoes to crawfish and venison. In her signature style, she pairs each recipe with an anecdote or words of advice, her memorable tales about each dish lingering long after the last bite has been polished off.

Martha’s beloved Southern cuisine is a fresh take on homey favorites fiercely protected by the locals, including Skillet Fried Corn, Sweet Pickle Braised Pork Shoulder, and Blackberry Jelly Roll. Dishes such as Sweet-and-Sour Salsify and Peanut Chicken, on the other hand, reflect the influence other cuisines have had on Southern cooking. Martha’s lifelong bond with Mississippi is most apparent when she introduces her friends and family; she dedicates Burgundy Duck to a fiery group of women duck hunters called the Swamp Witches, while her cousin’s new wife inspires Korean-style Grilled Green Onions. And in recalling her former neighbor, the famed author Eudora Welty, she reveals the secret to a perfect Custard Pie.

With more than 100 recipes and beautiful color photographs, this book is a wonderful, personal look into the South that Martha loves. Gather around her table in A Southerly Course for unforgettable food and vivid stories, both hallmarks in a rich Southern tradition.




Friday, 29 April 2011

New Mysteries -- Random House

Title: Breaking the Rules
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Synopsis: Izzy Zanella wasn’t looking for another reason to butt heads with his Navy SEAL teammate, and nemesis, Danny Gillman. But then he met Danny’s beautiful younger sister, Eden. When she needed it most, he offered her a place to stay, a shoulder to cry on—and more. And when she got pregnant with another man’s child, he offered her marriage. But Eden’s devastating miscarriage shattered their life together—and made the intense bad blood between Izzy and Danny even worse.

Now Eden’s back, and she’s on a mission to rescue her teen brother, Ben, from their abusive stepfather. Even if she and Izzy can prove that their broken marriage is still in one piece, winning legal custody of Ben is a long shot. But they’re not alone: Danny and his girlfriend, Jenn, offer to help, and he and Izzy agree to bury the past and fight for Ben’s future.

As they plan their strategy, Izzy and Eden grapple with the raw passion that still crackles between them—while Danny and Jenn confront new depths in their own rocky relationship. But events take a terrifying turn after Ben befriends a girl fleeing a child prostitution ring. When the young runaway seeks refuge with Eden and Izzy, her pursuers kidnap Ben—and a deadly standoff begins. Now they must all pull together like never before and strike back, swift and hard, to protect their unconventional little family and everything they hold most precious.




Title: The Godfather of Kathmandu
Author: John Burdett
Synopsis: John Burdett's famed Royal Thai detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is put to the test both as a Buddhist and as a cop as he confronts the most shocking crime of his career.

A rich American film director has been murdered. It is an intriguing case, and solving it could lead to a promotion for Sonchai, but, as always, he is far more concerned with the state of his karma than he is with his status in the earthly realm. To complicate matters his boss, Colonel Vikorn, has decided to make Sonchai his consigliere in a heroin smuggling operation. Sonchai travels to Kathmandu to meet Vikorn's connection Tietsin, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, and falls under the sway of this dark and charismatic guru.




Title: Treason at Lisson Grove
Author: Anne Perry
Synopsis: Anne Perry’s very special world of mystery, passion, and danger has attracted an entire generation of readers to her bestselling Victorian novels. Treason at Lisson Grove, her first Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novel in three years, is a masterpiece, inspired by history and spinning on a razor’s edge of tension, with a cast of characters as rich as the universe Perry evokes.

The man who lies bleeding to death in a London brickyard is no ordinary drifter but a secret informant prepared to divulge details of a potentially devastating international plot against the British government. Special Branch officer Thomas Pitt, hastening to rendezvous with him, arrives a second too late, preceded by a knife-wielding assassin. As the mortally wounded man’s life slips away, so too does the information Pitt desperately needs. The killer in turn flees on an erratic course that leads Pitt in wild pursuit, from London’s cobblestone streets to picturesque St. Malo on the French coast.

Meanwhile, Pitt’s supervisor, the formidable Victor Narraway, finds himself accused of embezzling government funds. With Pitt incommunicado in France, Narraway turns to Pitt’s clever wife, Charlotte, for help. The man who badmouthed Narraway and ruined his career with innuendo can be found in Ireland—so Charlotte agrees to pose as Narraway’s sister and accompany him to Dublin to investigate.

But unknown to Pitt and Narraway, a shadowy plotter is setting a trap that, once sprung, could destroy not just reputations but the British empire itself.




Title: The Troubled Man
Author: Henning Mankell
Synopsis: The much-anticipated return of Henning Mankell’s brilliant, brooding detective, Kurt Wallander.

On a winter day in 2008, Håkan von Enke, a retired high-ranking naval officer, vanishes during his daily walk in a forest near Stockholm. The investigation into his disappearance falls under the jurisdiction of the Stockholm police. It has nothing to do with Wallander—officially. But von Enke is his daughter’s future father-in-law. And so, with his inimitable disregard for normal procedure, Wallander is soon interfering in matters that are not his responsibility, making promises he won’t keep, telling lies when it suits him—and getting results. But the results hint at elaborate Cold War espionage activities that seem inextricably confounding, even to Wallander, who, in any case, is troubled in more personal ways as well. Negligent of his health, he’s become convinced that, having turned sixty, he is on the threshold of senility. Desperate to live up to the hope that a new granddaughter represents, he is continually haunted by his past. And looking toward the future with profound uncertainty, he will have no choice but to come face-to-face with his most intractable adversary: himself.




Title: Flip
Author: Martyn Bedford
Synopsis: One December night, 14-year-old Alex goes to bed. He wakes up to find himself in the wrong bedroom, in an unfamiliar house, in a different part of the country, and it's the middle of June. Six months have disappeared overnight. The family at the breakfast table are total strangers.
And when he looks in the mirror, another boy's face stares back at him. A boy named Flip. Unless Alex finds out what's happened and how to get back to his own life, he may be trapped forever inside a body that belongs to someone else.
Questions of identity, the will to survive, and what you're willing to sacrifice to be alive make this extraordinary book impossible to put down.


Tuesday, 26 April 2011

A Bouquet of New Novels -- Random House

Title: 44 Charles Street
Author: Danielle Steel
Synopsis: A magical transformation takes place in Danielle Steel’s luminous new novel: Strangers become roommates, roommates become friends, and friends become a family in a turn-of-the-century house in Manhattan’s West Village.

The plumbing leaked; the furniture was rescued from garage sales. And every inch was being restored to its original splendor—even as a relationship fell apart. Owner of a struggling art gallery and newly separated from her boyfriend, Francesca Thayer does the math and then the unimaginable. She puts out an advertisement for boarders, and soon her Greenwich Village house becomes a whole new world. First comes Eileen, a pretty L.A. transplant, now a New York City schoolteacher. Then there’s Chris, a young father struggling for custody of his seven-year-old son. The final tenant is Marya, a celebrated cookbook author hoping to heal after the death of her husband. Over the course of one amazing, unforgettable, life-changing year, the house at 44 Charles Street fills with laughter, heartbreak, and, always, hope. In the hands of master storyteller Danielle Steel, it’s a place those who visit will never want to leave.




Title: Please Look After Mom
Author: Kyung-Sook Shin
Synopsis: A million-plus-copy best seller in Korea—a magnificent English-language debut poised to become an international sensation—this is the stunning, deeply moving story of a family’s search for their mother, who goes missing one afternoon amid the crowds of the Seoul Station subway.

Told through the piercing voices and urgent perspectives of a daughter, son, husband, and mother, Please Look After Mom is at once an authentic picture of contemporary life in Korea and a universal story of family love.

You will never think of your mother the same way again after you read this book.




Title: A Game of Thrones
Author: Roy Dotrice
Synopsis: Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.




Title: The Bird Sisters
Author: Rebecca Rasmussen
Synopsis: When a bird flies into a window in Spring Green, Wisconsin, sisters Milly and Twiss get a visit. Twiss listens to the birds' heartbeats, assessing what she can fix and what she can't, while Milly listens to the heartaches of the people who've brought them. These spinster sisters have spent their lives nursing people and birds back to health.

But back in the summer of 1947, Milly and Twiss knew nothing about trying to mend what had been accidentally broken. Milly was known as a great beauty with emerald eyes and Twiss was a brazen wild child who never wore a dress or did what she was told. That was the summer their golf pro father got into an accident that cost him both his swing and his charm, and their mother, the daughter of a wealthy jeweler, finally admitted their hardscrabble lives wouldn't change. It was the summer their priest, Father Rice, announced that God didn't exist and ran off to Mexico, and a boy named Asa finally caught Milly's eye. And, most unforgettably, it was the summer their cousin Bett came down from a town called Deadwater and changed the course of their lives forever.

Rebecca Rasmussen's masterfully written debut novel is full of hope and beauty, heartbreak and sacrifice, love and the power of sisterhood, and offers wonderful surprises at every turn.




Title: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Author: Aimee Bender
Synopsis: On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein bites into her mother's homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the slice. To her horror, she finds that her cheerful mother tastes of despair. Soon, she’s privy to the secret knowledge that most families keep hidden: her father’s detachment, her mother’s transgression, her brother’s increasing retreat from the world. But there are some family secrets that even her cursed taste buds can’t discern.




Title: Claude & Camille
Author: Stephanie Cowell
Synopsis: Sometimes he dreamt he held her; that he would turn in bed and she would be there. But she was gone and he was old. Nearly seventy. Only cool paint met his fingers. “Ma très chère . . .” Darkness started to fall, dimming the paintings. He felt the crumpled letter in his pocket. “I loved you so,” he said. “I never would have had it turn out as it did. You were with all of us when we began, you gave us courage. These gardens at Giverny are for you but I’m old and you’re forever young and will never see them. . . .”

In the mid-nineteenth century, a young man named Claude Monet decided that he would rather endure a difficult life painting landscapes than take over his father’s nautical supplies business in a French seaside town. Against his father’s will, and with nothing but a dream and an insatiable urge to create a new style of art that repudiated the Classical Realism of the time, he set off for Paris.

But once there he is confronted with obstacles: an art world that refused to validate his style, extreme poverty, and a war that led him away from his home and friends. But there were bright spots as well: his deep, enduring friendships with men named Renoir, Cézanne, Pissarro, Manet – a group that together would come to be known as the Impressionists, and that supported each other through the difficult years. But even more illuminating was his lifelong love, Camille Doncieux, a beautiful, upper-class Parisian girl who threw away her privileged life to be by the side of the defiant painter and embrace the lively Bohemian life of their time.

His muse, his best friend, his passionate lover, and the mother to his two children, Camille stayed with Monet—and believed in his work—even as they lived in wretched rooms, were sometimes kicked out of those, and often suffered the indignities of destitution. She comforted him during his frequent emotional torments, even when he would leave her for long periods to go off on his own to paint in the countryside.

But Camille had her own demons – secrets that Monet could never penetrate, including one that when eventually revealed would pain him so deeply that he would never fully recover from its impact. For though Camille never once stopped loving the painter with her entire being, she was not immune to the loneliness that often came with being his partner.

A vividly-rendered portrait of both the rise of Impressionism and of the artist at the center of the movement, Claude and Camille is above all a love story of the highest romantic order.




Title: The Peach Keeper
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Synopsis: The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Chased the Moon welcomes you to her newest locale: Walls of Water, North Carolina, where the secrets are thicker than the fog from the town’s famous waterfalls, and the stuff of superstition is just as real as you want it to be.

It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather during Walls of Water’s heyday, and once the town’s grandest home—has stood for years as a lonely monument to misfortune and scandal. And Willa herself has long strived to build a life beyond the brooding Jackson family shadow. No easy task in a town shaped by years of tradition and the well-marked boundaries of the haves and have-nots.

But Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite do-gooder Paxton Osgood—of the very prominent Osgood family, has restored the Blue Ridge Madam to her former glory, with plans to open a top-flight inn. Maybe, at last, the troubled past can be laid to rest while something new and wonderful rises from its ashes. But what rises instead is a skeleton, found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, and certain to drag up dire consequences along with it.

For the bones—those of charismatic traveling salesman Tucker Devlin, who worked his dark charms on Walls of Water seventy-five years ago—are not all that lay hidden out of sight and mind. Long-kept secrets surrounding the troubling remains have also come to light, seemingly heralded by a spate of sudden strange occurrences throughout the town.

Now, thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the dangerous passions and tragic betrayals that once bound their families—and uncover truths of the long-dead that have transcended time and defied the grave to touch the hearts and souls of the living.

Resonant with insight into the deep and lasting power of friendship, love, and tradition, The Peach Keeper is a portrait of the unshakable bonds that—in good times and bad, from one generation to the next—endure forever.




Title: The Russian Affair
Author: Michael Wallner
Synopsis: An intriguing love and espionage story set in Moscow in the late 1970s, in the midst of the Cold War.

Twenty-nine-year-old Anna Viktorovna lives in Moscow with her young son and her father, a once popular and respected poet who has fallen into disgrace because of his dissident views. Her husband, a junior officer in the Red Army, is on active duty and living seven time zones away. Anna struggles gamely through her difficult existence, doing the best she can amidst the long lines, bureaucratic inferno, and corruption and incompetence of the police state. When she meets and makes an impression on a pow­erful Soviet official—Alexey Bulgyakov—her life begins to look a little brighter. Alexey is married and nearly twice her age, but he turns out to be a man of infinite patience and forbearance, and gradually a strange but solid bond grows between them. Though Anna still loves her mostly absent husband and harbors no illusions about the future, she and Alexey become lovers.

Soon Anna and Alexey’s burgeoning romance is irrevocably threatened when a KGB colonel forces Anna to spy on Alexey, who is suspected of disloyalty to the state. Though Anna loathes the notion of double-crossing the man she has come to love, when her family is threatened she must com­ply. But Anna isn’t the only character playing a double game.

With bravura storytelling, stunning authenticity, and com­plex yet sympathetic characterizations, The Russian Affair depicts a love that struggles to survive against all odds and despite its many-layered deceptions.




Title: The Tragedy of Arthur
Author: Arthur Phillips
Synopsis: The Tragedy of Arthur is an emotional and elaborately constructed tour de force from bestselling and critically acclaimed novelist Arthur Phillips, “one of the best writers in America” (The Washington Post).

Its doomed hero is Arthur Phillips, a young man struggling with a larger-than-life father, a con artist who works wonders of deception but is a most unreliable parent. Arthur is raised in an enchanted world of smoke and mirrors where the only unshifting truth is his father’s and his beloved twin sister’s deep and abiding love for the works of William Shakespeare—a love so pervasive that Arthur becomes a writer in a misguided bid for their approval and affection.

Years later, Arthur’s father, imprisoned for decades and nearing the end of his life, shares with Arthur a treasure he’s kept secret for half a century: a previously unknown play by Shakespeare, titled The Tragedy of Arthur. But Arthur and his sister also inherit their father’s mission: to see the play published and acknowledged as the Bard’s last great gift to humanity. . . .

Unless it’s their father’s last great con.

By turns hilarious and haunting, this virtuosic novel—which includes Shakespeare’s (?) lost King Arthur play in its five-act entirety—captures the very essence of romantic and familial love and betrayal. The Tragedy of Arthur explores the tension between storytelling and truth-telling, the thirst for originality in all our lives, and the act of literary mythmaking, both now and four centuries ago, as the two Arthurs—Arthur the novelist and Arthur the ancient king—play out their individual but strangely intertwined fates.




Title: Rotters
Author: Daniel Kraus
Synopsis: Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It's true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey's life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.

Everything changes when Joey's mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey's father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey's life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating.

Daniel Kraus's masterful plotting and unforgettable characters make Rotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about fathers and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of mortality.



Sunday, 24 April 2011

Put some spring in your step -- Random House

Title: The Chesapeake Diaries: Almost Home
Author: Mariah Stewart
Synopsis: “Warm romance that is as sweet as ice cream and just as perfect for a relaxing spring day.” - Parkersburg, W.V., News and Sentinel.

When she was young, Steffie Wyler always knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life: 1. Make ice cream. 2. Marry the coolest boy in town. 3. Live happily ever after. These days, Steffie is the proud owner of One Scoop or Two, a wildly popular ice cream parlor. But the cool guy left town right after high school, before they could scratch the surface of their mutual attraction to see what, if anything, lay beneath. Steffie’s made a great life for herself in St. Dennis, but true love has never come knocking.

Wade MacGregor left for college in Texas and remained there to start a successful business with his best friend, Robin Kennedy, but he’s always felt something was missing. Then life throws him a curveball: A third partner has robbed the company blind, and Robin has died—but not before entrusting Wade with a precious secret. Now back in St. Dennis, Wade’s determined to do whatever it takes to protect his friend’s legacy—and to figure out, once and for all, if the sparks that fly whenever he’s with Steffie are just temporary fireworks or the lights in the window leading him home.




Title: Breaking the Rules
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Synopsis: Izzy Zanella wasn’t looking for another reason to butt heads with his Navy SEAL teammate, and nemesis, Danny Gillman. But then he met Danny’s beautiful younger sister, Eden. When she needed it most, he offered her a place to stay, a shoulder to cry on—and more. And when she got pregnant with another man’s child, he offered her marriage. But Eden’s devastating miscarriage shattered their life together—and made the intense bad blood between Izzy and Danny even worse.

Now Eden’s back, and she’s on a mission to rescue her teen brother, Ben, from their abusive stepfather. Even if she and Izzy can prove that their broken marriage is still in one piece, winning legal custody of Ben is a long shot. But they’re not alone: Danny and his girlfriend, Jenn, offer to help, and he and Izzy agree to bury the past and fight for Ben’s future.

As they plan their strategy, Izzy and Eden grapple with the raw passion that still crackles between them—while Danny and Jenn confront new depths in their own rocky relationship. But events take a terrifying turn after Ben befriends a girl fleeing a child prostitution ring. When the young runaway seeks refuge with Eden and Izzy, her pursuers kidnap Ben—and a deadly standoff begins. Now they must all pull together like never before and strike back, swift and hard, to protect their unconventional little family and everything they hold most precious.




Title: Hummingbird Lake
Author: Emily March
Synopsis: Experience the magic of Eternity Springs, where broken hearts find healing, in this uplifting novel in Emily March’s unforgettable new series.

Haunted by painful memories, pediatric surgeon Sage Anderson gives up medicine and moves to Eternity Springs. There she finds a place to call home, but even her newfound success as a gifted artist isn’t enough to keep her nightmares at bay. Colt Rafferty is about to change all that.

Eternity Springs is a refuge for Colt, a place to ground himself when the stress of investigating tragedies takes its toll. He has come here for a little R & R, but instead of relaxing, he finds himself fascinated by the mysterious redhead whose secrets beg to be discovered—a beauty running from her past, a heartsick woman in desperate need of the sweet sanctuary of a devoted man’s embrace. And he is just the man to show her the true path to peace—by offering her the healing power of love.




Title: Once Upon a Time, There Was You
Author: Elizabeth Berg
Synopsis: From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of Home Safe and The Last Time I Saw You comes a beautiful and moving novel about a man and woman, long divorced, who rediscover the power of love and family in the midst of an unthinkable crisis.

Even on their wedding day, John and Irene sensed that they were about to make a mistake. Years later, divorced, dating other people, and living in different parts of the country, they seem to have nothing in common—nothing except the most important person in each of their lives: Sadie, their spirited eighteen-year-old daughter. Feeling smothered by Irene and distanced from John, Sadie is growing more and more attached to her new boyfriend, Ron.
When tragedy strikes, Irene and John come together to support the daughter they love so dearly. What takes longer is to remember how they really feel about each other.

Elizabeth Berg has once again created characters who embody the many shades of the human spirit. Reading Berg’s fiction allows us to reflect on our deepest emotions, and her gifts as a writer make Once Upon a Time, There Was You a wonderful novel about the power of love, the unshakeable bonds of family, and the beauty of second chances.




Title: The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party
Author: Alexander Mccall Smith
Synopsis: The latest installment in the beloved, best-selling series is once again a beautiful blend of wit and wisdom, and a profoundly touching tale of the human heart.

At a remote cattle post south of Gaborone two cows have been killed, and Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s No. 1 Lady Detective, is asked to investigate by a rather frightened and furtive gentleman. It is an intriguing problem with plenty of suspects—including, surprisingly, her own client.

To complicate matters, Mma Ramotswe is haunted by a vision of her dear old white van, and Grace Makutsi witnesses it as well. Is it the ghost of her old friend, or has it risen from the junkyard? In the meantime, one of Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni’s apprentices may have gotten a girl pregnant and, under pressure to marry her, has run away. Naturally, it is up to Precious to help sort things out. Add to the mix Violet Sephotho’s newly launched run for the Botswana Parliament and a pair of perfect wedding shoes—will wedding bells finally ring for Phuti Radiphuti and Grace Makutsi?—and we have a charming and delightful tale in the inimitable style of Alexander McCall Smith.




Title: Seduce Me in Dreams
Author: Jacquelyn Frank
Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author of the Nightwalkers and Shadowdwellers series, Seduce Me in Dreams begins a sexy new futuristic series featuring an elite group of military heroes.

Dark. Mysterious. Sensual. When Bronse Chapel, the commander of a specialized unit of the Interplanetary Militia, begins to dream about a beautiful and exotic brunette, he wants to dismiss it as being induced by lack of sleep . . . or perhaps lack of sex. But his instincts tell him it’s something different, something far more dangerous.

Ravenna is the leader of the Chosen Ones, a small group of people from her village born with extraordinary powers. She doesn’t know that draws her to Bronse’s dreams night after night, but she senses that he and his team are in jeopardy. Ravenna can help him, but first Bronse must save the Chosen Ones from those who plan to use their powers for evil. Together, Bronse and Ravenna will be unstoppable. But Ravenna is hiding something that could endanger them all.




Title: The Swimming Pool
Author: Holly LeCraw
Synopsis: Marcella Atkinson was a married woman when she fell in love with Cecil McClatchey, himself a married father of two. On the same night their romance abruptly ended, Cecil’s wife was found murdered.

Seven summers later, Marcella is divorced and estranged from her daughter, mired in grief and guilt. But when Cecil’s grown son, Jed, returns to the Cape and finds Marcella’s bathing suit buried in his father’s closet, this relic of the past sets in motion a passionate affair. In this twisting, sensuous novel of devotion and infidelity, mistakes of the past must rise to the surface.



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