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Best Picks for Book Club Discussions: A New Season


Welcome to our new series on book clubs! At the beginning of every month, we’ll present our top recommendations for your club, as well as tips on how to shape your discussion and fun extra stuff to keep the conversation going. Many of us here belong to book clubs, and Open Road even has its own employee reading group. We love nothing more than book talk. So tune in, and read on!

Many book clubs have a summer hiatus, and return in September with that back-to-school feeling. Suddenly every book looks tempting, and the autumn beckons with a wide-open reading schedule. We want to make it easy for your book club to fill up the calendar with lots of great reading. Here are some of our favorites, for all seasons. 

The Hanging Judge, by Michael Ponsor

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Based on the experience of the author, a federal judge who in 2000 presided over the first capital case in Massachusetts in more than fifty years, this is an extraordinary thriller that offers an unprecedented inside view of a federal death penalty trial. A great discussion is in store for your group!

The Eternal Wonder, by Pearl S. Buck

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A novel that was lost for forty years, by the author of the long-loved classic, The Good Earth. Here is a coming-of-age story about an extraordinarily gifted young man whose search for meaning and purpose leads him to New York, England, Paris, a mission patrolling the DMZ in Korea that will change his life forever—and, ultimately, to love.  

The Republic of Love, by Carol Shields

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The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Stone Diaries gives us a love story for the ages: the tale of two polar opposites on a rocky road to romance. A thrice-divorced radio host and a folklorist who studies mermaids show us how love is expressed in all its guises. (And how often has your book club met a character who studies mermaids?!)

Foreign Affairs, by Alison Lurie

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Do you dream of sitting next to someone on a plane who might change your life? This one is for you! Alison Lurie’s supremely entertaining masterwork about two American scholars, both alone in London, who find romance in the most unlikely places. Everyone wants a foreign affair.

The Replacement Wife, by Eileen Goudge

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A poignant novel that asks the question, “What would you do if you were told you had only six months to live?” For one professional matchmaker the answer is heart-wrenching: She must find her husband’s next wife.

Household Saints, by Francine Prose

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It is the late 1940s, in Manhattan’s Little Italy when Joseph Santangelo, the neighborhood butcher, wins his wife in a pinochle game.  Defying all expectations, the new couple flourishes and as the years slide past, the city changes around them, but Little Italy’s household saints hold their world together.

Monkeys, by Susan Minot

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A decade in the life of the Vincents, a colorful Irish Catholic family from the Boston suburbs. On the surface of this remarkable novel, the family seems happy with their chaotic life. But underneath, the Vincents struggle to maintain the appearance of wealth and stability while dealing with the effects of their father’s alcoholism. When a sudden accident strikes, their love for one another is tested like never before.

To Sir, With Love, by E.R. Braithwaite

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The classic schoolroom drama of a black teacher in London’s tough East End who triumphs over bigotry and ignorance to change the lives of his students forever was hailed by the New York Times as “a book that the reader devours quickly, ponders slowly, and forgets not at all.” Based on actual events in the author’s life, this is a powerfully moving story that celebrates courage, commitment, and vision, and is the inspiration for the classic film starring Sidney Poitier.

The Lemon Grove, by Ali Hosseini

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A story of love, redemption, and the courage to survive in the face of calamity and loss. Twin brothers Behruz and Ruzbeh are in love with Shireen. When Behruz leaves America and returns to Iran to help his brother, who has been injured in the Iran-Iraq war, a series of events are set in motion that changes all of their lives.

The Translator, by Nina Schuyler

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When renowned translator Hanne Schubert falls down a flight of stairs, she suffers from an unusual but real condition—the loss of her native language. Speaking only Japanese, a language learned later in life, she leaves for Japan. There, to Hanne’s shock, the Japanese novelist whose work she recently translated confronts her publicly for sabotaging his work. Nina Schuyler offers a deeply moving and mesmerizing story about language, love, and the transcendence of family.

The Salinger Contractby Adam Langer

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This novel “came about through wanting to satirize the idea, so often repeated in interviews, that a book can change your life. It’s a cliché and so rarely true and so I wanted to write a book where that idea is literally true—a writer’s life depends on writing this book,” according to Langer. The result is a literary mystery that connects some of the world’s most famous writers—like Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, and J. D. Salinger—to a sinister collector in Chicago. A novel of literary crimes and misdemeanors, The Salinger Contract will delight anyone who loves a fast-paced story told with humor, wit, and intrigue. It’s particularly excellent for book club discussions about the value of books, writing, and art as property.

Hot Weather, Cold Killers


Hot Weather, Cold Killers

The Danish crime fiction writer Sara Blaedel says that when we have a normal, quiet, and pleasant life, we get an instant urge to read something dangerous. We are, according to the Scandinavian author, thrilled to read stories that we know are not going to happen to us.

Maybe that’s the reason why crime fiction is so popular during the summer. It’s the perfect time of the year to read the most disturbing stories with certainty that we’ll be fine. 

We know that the darkest, most complex crime fiction novels lay in the northern lands of Europe—in those deserted, cold, faraway countries referred to as Scandinavia. And we know this because we’ve read books written by the grand masters of Scandinavian crime fiction, such as the Swedish authors Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson, and of course the Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find a wide range of other Scandinavian crime fiction novels you may not have heard of.

Here’s a selection of our favorite Scandinavian crime fiction ebooks to accompany you on these sunny August days. Grab a towel, put on your sandals, and charge your ereader. Despite the heat, these novels will give you goose bumps. 

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Only One Life by Sara Blaedel

Jealousy, obsession, and family honor have fatal consequences for an immigrant community on the fringes of seemingly idyllic Copenhagen society.

Farewell to Freedom by Sara Blaedel

A shocking murder and a foundling baby reveal a perverse criminal underworld stretching across Europe—from the international bestselling author of Call Me Princess and Only One Life.

Silence: A Novel by Jan C. Wagner

A prize-winning psychological crime thriller featuring melancholy Finnish detective Kimmo Joentaa.

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The Stranger by

Camilla Läckberg

A string of suspicious deaths points to a potential serial killer who has turned his eye toward Fjällbacka and her dark forests, where two children vanished decades before.

Never Coming Back by Hans Koppel

A harrowing thriller that has taken Sweden and Britain by storm—a twisted plot of revenge and tragedy by a writer whose style evokes Henning Mankell and Hakan Nesser.

Happy Romance Awareness Month


If your love life were a romance novel, how would you write it? Would it be a casual contemporary romance? Or maybe dangerous erotica? It’s hard to find your perfect match, so this month, we want to help. Join Open Road in celebrating Romance Awareness Month! Because we adore authors and we adore you. Visit our Romance Awareness Month page to check out the different subgenres on our romance list and find which book is your beloved.

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Wait for Me by Mary Kay McComas

When an earthquake hits, Holly is saved from death by falling pieces of the Los Angeles Airport’s ceiling by a stranger who shoves her to safety. Locked in an embrace, the two fall for each other instantly. Is this true love? Or has dramatic circumstance falsely jolted their passions?


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Significant Others by Sandra Kitt
In bestselling author Sandra Kitt’s provocative urban romance, light-skinned Patricia Gilbert has spent much of her life passing as white, but her identity becomes much more complicated when she falls in love.

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Sex and the Single Girl by Helen Gurley Brown
In a trailblazing book that jump-started the sexual revolution, Brown offers advice to unmarried women as relevant today as it was when it burst onto the scene in the 1960s.

12 Authors We’d Like to Drink a Beer With on International Beer Day


Beer Us! 

Today is International Beer Day! To commemorate the world’s love of pilsner, lager, stout, and more, we picked these quotes about beer from some of our favorite authors we wish we could to share a pint with. Read on for examples of how beer serves as inspiration and plays into classic works of literature.


“’Three beers,’ said Big Lawrence and he slapped two quarters onto the bar.

‘You boys ain’t old enough to drink beer,’ said the bartender.

‘Okay,’ said Lawrence, ‘give us two Cokes, and give him a beer — he’s old enough.’” —Terry Southern, Texas Summer

“When Eugene’s paintings are selling, he drinks Mexican beer. When they aren’t, it’s Genesee. Everyone knows this, and, insofar as you can kid Eugene, we kid him about it. Now Beth and I get our choice of Tecate or Sol.” —Francine Prose, The Peaceable Kingdom


“I lit a cigarette and began puffing on it as I drank one quick beer after another. I was neither a drinker nor a smoker nor a fighter, but I had planned to be all three on this day.” —Pat Conroy, The Lords of Discipline


The Love Object by Edna O'Brien“‘I’ll tell you a joke,’ said Long John Salmon, erupting out of his silence.

‘Good,’ said Brogan, as he sipped from his whiskey glass and his stout glass alternately. It was the only way to drink enjoyably.” —Edna O’BrienThe Love Object

“Far above him a few white clouds were racing windily after a pale gibbous moon. Drink all morning, they said to him, drink all day. This is life!” 
Malcolm LowryUnder the Volcano


“Okay, I’m flattered, I appreciate your attempt at making me feel better after the fiasco with the pita rolls, but please ring up this beer … I need it more than flattery.” —Amanda Filipacchi, Love Creeps



“I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That’s despair?” —Walker Percy


“‘Let’s drink something cool and refreshing,’ Phlox said, bobbing her head, widening then narrowing her eyes like some lustful and wily biblical queen.

‘Beer,’ said Arthur and I.” —Michael Chabon, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

“Feldman, who had not often drunk beer even before his illness, suddenly felt a desire to have some. ‘I’ll have some Pabst Blue Ribbon.’” —Stanley Elkin, Criers & Kibitzers, Kibitzers & Criers


“‘From now on I’m going to brew all my own drinks, thanks to toby. Here. Look at this,’ He indicated a grubby bottle full of some fiery-looking liquid. ‘It’s home-made beer’ he said, ‘and jolly good too. I made three, but the other two exploded. I’m going to call it Plaza beer.’ ” —Lawrence Durrell, Balthazar


The Gay Place by Billy Lee Brammer“Seldom in modern fiction have so many people remained drunk for so long as in ‘The Gay Place.’” —The New York Times Book Review, 1961 (Billy Lee Brammer)

“Michael was thinking of beer. He walked deliberately behind Ackerman, in the dusty heat, thinking of beer in glasses, beer in schooners, beer in bottles, kegs, pewter mugs, tin cans, crystal goblets. He thought of ale, porter, stout, then returned to thinking of beer. He thought of the places he had drunk beer in his time. The round bar on Sixth Avenue where the Regular Army Colonels in mufti used to stop off on the way uptown from Governor’s Island, where they served beer in glasses that tapered down to narrow points at the bottom and where the bartender always iced the glass before drawing the foaming stuff out of the polished spigots. The fancy restaurant in Hollywood with prints of the French Impressionists behind the bar, where they served it in frosted mugs and charged seventy-five cents a bottle. His own living room, late at night, reading the next morning’s paper in the quiet pool of light from the lamp, as he stretched, in slippers, in the soft corduroy chair before going to bed. At baseball games at the Polo Grounds in the warm, hazy summer afternoons, where they poured the beer into paper cups so that “you couldn’t throw the bottles at the umpires.” —Irwin Shaw, The Young Lions


We hope these authors inspired you to find the time today to share in the festivities. Whether you are among friends in your favorite bar, or at home with a good brew and book, there really is no wrong way to celebrate International Beer Day—as long as you do it responsibly. Happy drinking!

Military Monday: Robert Tonsetic inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame


Last month the Baseball Hall of Fame inducted its latest honorees, but baseball wasn't the only one handing out the honors in July. Our publishing partner Casemate Publishing’s Robert Tonsetic, a retired US Army Colonel and the author of Forsaken Warriors: The Story of an American Advisor with the South Vietnamese Rangers and Airborne, was one of ten Army Rangers inducted into the US Army Ranger Hall of Fame in a ceremony on July 16, 2014, at Fort Benning, GA

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The Ranger Hall of Fame was formed to honor and preserve the spirit and contributions of America's most extraordinary Rangers. Each nominee was subjected to the scrutiny of the Selection Board to ensure the most extraordinary contributions are acknowledged. Each selectee must have served in a Ranger unit in combat or be a successful graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School. Tonsetic joins the ranks of such luminaries as Captain Benjamin Church, Major Robert Rogers, Captain Nathan Hale and Generals William O. Darby, James E. Rudder, and Colin Powell, all of whom distinguished themselves in Ranger history.

Each inductee is presented with an engraved, specially cast bronze Ranger Hall of Fame medallion suspended from a red, white and blue ribbon. The medal signifies selfless service, excellence and remarkable accomplishment in the defense of the nation and to the highest ideals of service.

Arsène Lupin, el hombre de los mil disfraces

Arene Lupin

Arsène Lupin es uno de los personajes más célebres de la literatura policíaca y, a la vez, uno de los más misteriosos. A lo largo de sus diferentes aventuras, Lupin se muestra siempre como un hombre diferente. En una de las novelas, Lupin es un hombre de mediana estatura, de unos cuarenta años y con una apariencia de jinete. En otra, es un hombre joven con los ojos brillantes, pero al arquear la espalda muestra su barba y su pelo canoso.    

Arsène Lupin a menudo adopta la apariencia de alguien más. Se pone máscaras y disfraces para ocultar su identidad, hasta tal punto que engaña a su propio biógrafo, Maurice LeBlanc. Sabemos que Lupin es un ladrón de guante blanco, culto y seductor, que roba a los malos, pero no sabemos mucho de su apariencia.

¿Chófer, anciano, corredor de apuestas, médico ruso o torero español? Embárcate en las aventuras de Arsène Lupin y descubrirás los mil disfraces que porta el famoso personaje que para muchos es la versión francesa de Sherlock Holmes.

Arsene Lupin caballero ladron

Arsène Lupin, caballero ladrón

Cuando se produce la detención de Arsène Lupin al bajar del barco en Nueva York, ya su biógrafo le acompaña, como Watson acompañará siempre a Sherlock Holmes. La diferencia es que aquí es el propio Maurice Leblanc quien se transforma en personaje para contar las aventuras del protagonista de su invención. {buybutton id=15109/}

Los tres crímenes de Arsène Lupin

Arsène Lupin hace pública su voluntad de fugarse de la cárcel, pero su archienemigo LM logra cortarle todas las comunicaciones con el exterior. Un día, recibe una misteriosa visita en la celda. El Kaiser de Alemania sabe que Lupin anda detrás de unos papeles que podrían comprometer la paz de Europa y accede a lograr su libertad si los encuentra antes que nadie. Pero Herlock Sholmès ha sido llamado desde Londres por el mismo motivo.

La doble vida de Arsene Lupin

La doble vida de Arsène Lupin

Al lado del cadáver del millonario Kesselbach aparece una tarjeta de visita de Arsène Lupin. Opuesto a las teorías del fiscal general y el ministro del interior, el jefe de policía Lenormand defiende la inocencia del ladrón en el caso y dirige las pesquisas hacia una banda misteriosa: el asesino del estilete y su cómplice, el mayor Parbury, alias Ribeira, alias el barón Attenheim. {buybutton id=15110/}

Arsène Lupin contra Herlock Sholmès

Arsène Lupin se ve envuelto en dos robos y una estafa. Las tres víctimas deciden unirse y llamar a Herlock Sholmès para que viaje desde Londres y ponga las cosas en su sitio. Sholmès descubre tres secretos que están a punto de perder a Lupin: los túneles ocultos por los que se mueve, el pseudónimo con el que vive entre la gente honesta, y su amor apasionado por la hija del arquitecto Destange. Pero las tornas se vuelven y Lupin no solo consigue escapar de Sholmès sino que lo envía prisionero en un barco de vuelta a Inglaterra.

La aguja hueca

En medio de la noche, unos desconocidos desvalijan el castillo del conde de Gesvres. Su secretario resulta muerto y uno de los ladrones, herido. Cuando llega la policía no falta ningún objeto ni pueden encontrar al ladrón baldado que se esconde en la propiedad. Isidore Beautrelet, enigmático estudiante de retórica, se propone desentrañar el misterio. Todo parece llevar la firma de Arsène Lupin.

El tapon de cristalEl tapón de cristal

Daubrecq, un oscuro diputado de provincias, vive en una magnificencia sospechosa. Vigilado y también temido por la policía y el ministro del interior. Sin embargo, Gilbert y Vaucheray convencen a Lupin de dar el golpe. Las cosas salen mal. Hay un muerto, la policía detiene a los jóvenes y Lupin logra escapar con un tapón de cristal que le entrega Gilbert. Pero el tapón desaparece del escondite de Lupin antes de que logre inspeccionarlo. 

¿Qué tiene ese ordinario tapón de garrafa que provoca tanto interés? {buybutton id=15113/}

Glitz and Glamour: 5 Novels Inspired by Old Hollywood


Although American culture is currently in the midst of its own distinct film period, the glitz and glamour of “old Hollywood” continues to inspire popular culture. These novels represent the best and worst of this decadent era.


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No stranger to the Hollywood life, Darcy O’Brien’s parents were both famous actors, beginning in vaudeville and eventually ending up as film stars alongside some of the greatest actors of their time. His novel Margaret in Hollywood is based on his mother’s life and career. Despite Margaret’s antipathy towards becoming a Hollywood actress, her ability to use her brains and sexuality to advance her career and gain a sense of freedom is ahead of her time.


A real-life account of the Hollywood life, Budd Schulberg’s Moving Pictures is a glimpse into the filmmaking industry at its inception. Schulberg, the son of a Hollywood producer, recounts growing up with the giants of the film industry at the time, including Cary Grant and Clara Bow. Although Schulberg would eventually go on to create his own reputation in the industry, his memoir uniquely details the history of Hollywood before he made his own contributions.


Set during World War II, Gwen Bristow’s Tomorrow is Forever is not only a testament to the motion picture industry, but also a sweeping epic on love and life in the midst of war. The devoted wife of a big-shot executive, Elizabeth Herlong continues to long for the life she could have had with her first husband, who died in the First World War. When Elizabeth meets a German scriptwriter looking to make a new life for himself in Hollywood, her world is turned upside down as she is set on a journey to find true love.


Focusing on the tumultuous McCarthy era, Clancy Sigal’s Going Away helped to define 1950s America and the lives affected by the politics of that time. Both political and spiritual, the novel follows a blacklisted Hollywood agent who sets off on a road trip from Los Angeles to New York and reflects on his experiences in the aftermath of war. Along the way, he meets an array of characters whose stories he collects, while he analyzes what his own life has become.


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Taking place after the “golden age” of Hollywood, Steve Erickson’s Zeroville is a stunning commentary on the current state of the film industry, as it was emerging in the 1970s. Leaving behind a troubled childhood, Vikar sets his sights on moving to Hollywood after being inspired by watching classic films. As he quickly moves up the ranks in the film industry, he discovers a secret film hidden in the frames of every film, and the truth behind it threatens to destroy society.


If you find yourself yearning to be a part of the opulence of old Hollywood, any of these novels are sure to take you back. For more novels about this great period in America, be sure to visit the authors’ pages for similar reads.

August Retro Reads Selection: Wait for Me by Mary Kay McComas

Retro Reads  August is in full swing and so is Romance Awareness Month! Be sure to check out our custom landing page for great deals in romance—whether you’re looking for dangerous love, a casual encounter, or some spicy advice, we have romances for every reader! 

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For our August Retro Reads selection, we have chosen a title featured in our Romance Awareness Month promotion: Wait for Me by Mary Kay McComas. Two strangers from opposite walks of life find love during an earthquake. Can their love overcome their differences? Those of you looking for a little danger with your romance will love this read.

I love the build up to the romance, and even the first kiss, in Wait for Me. McComas really made me feel Holly and Oliver’s connection. Our lovers also come from very different backgrounds. Do you think issues of money and family are enough to end a relationship or that love can overcome anything?

Check back throughout the month for updates from our Retro Readers on this month’s pick and find us on Goodreads in the Retro Reads group. Click here for more information on joining our Retro Reads group or sign up for our romance newsletter and we’ll send you a monthly roundup of everything romance at Open Road, including Retro Reads updates and info on new releases, bonus content, giveaways, special offers, and more.

So Began the Clerical Mystery



In 1977, Ellis Peters brought us The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, a series of books that focused on a Welsh Benedictine monk, Brother Cadfael, who enters the cloisters in his forties after leading a secular life as a soldier and sailor in the years prior. So began the clerical mystery genre that intertwined religion and history with mystery storytelling.

It’s Brother Cadfael’s sense of worldly knowledge paired with his spiritual training that had abbots turning to him in need of a detective, doctor, and diplomat. Peters provided a wonderful example of how mystery and religion influence each other and come together harmoniously in the clerical mystery. The Chronicles of Brother Cadfaelserves as a rich example of how the tensions between the spiritual and secular worlds exist together.

“Ellis Peters has been regarded as the Queen of Historical Mystery Fiction for four decades—the British Crime Writers’ Association established their Ellis Peters Historical Award for the best historical crime novel of the year. The pinnacle of her achievements is the 21-volume series about Brother Cadfael, a medieval Benedictine monk, that combines romance and detective fiction and achieved best-seller status in both the United States and Great Britain, as well as inspiring a popular television series that starred Derek Jacobi.” —Otto Penzler, proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop and publisher, MysteriousPress.com

The 21 books from Peters’s The Chronicles of Brother Cadfaelseries will leave you thinking about how the spiritual and secular worlds can work together, while you’re solving a great mystery at the same time!

Can’t Stand the Heat? Cool Down Your Kitchen!


The summer heat can be brutal enough—so who wants to cook in it? 

Standing behind the stove or opening the oven to a face-full of hot smoke is no fun! During waves of humidity even toasting a slice of bread seems to make the kitchen hotter. For those home cooks sweltering through the summer months, a nice salad, refreshing smoothie, or whimsical cheese board are just what you need to brighten up your BBQs, picnics, or casual lunches. Even if you’re looking to serve friends some slow-simmered goodness, we have recipes that won’t have you spending hours over a steaming stovetop. 

Keep the cooking time to a minimum and the kitchen cool with our favorite summer recipes! 

Cucumber and Onion Salad
For a refreshing summertime side dish, whip up this cucumber and onion salad. Bring it to a potluck dinner or serve it up at a barbecue with friends. The crunchy veggies and tangy vinaigrette are sure to complement a grilled juicy hamburger. This old-fashioned wholesome dish comes from Lizzie’s Amish Cookbook by Linda Byler.

Green Sauce 
Looking for something to jazz up a boring piece of grilled meat or even fish? Whether you’re dabbing it on a hard-boiled egg or dipping celery in it, this all-purpose Green Sauce from Canal House Cookingwill brighten up your most basic meals. 

green sauce

Creamy Coleslaw 
In the mood for something tasty and easy-to-make? This Amish-style creamy coleslaw will never see the inside of an oven! Just mix together the ingredients and toss it in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to blend. Serve it up on a paper plate at your next picnic—it’s sure to be a hit.

Melon and Prosciutto 
Some say that food can transport you to another place. If that’s true, this Melon and Prosciutto from Canal Housewill take you straight to a dreamy summer day in Italy. The salty-sweet combination is mouthwatering!  


Pomegranate-Berry Smoothie 
Smoothies are great for outdoor entertaining, summer barbecues, or a healthy breakfast. This refreshing and colorful pomegranate-berry smoothie is low calorie and bursting with flavor. Take a break from the heat of the kitchen and bring your smoothie pool-side. Because it's from Delicious Mediterranean Diet Recipes by Hearst Magazines, you know it's heart-healthy.

Goat Cheese Logs
Win the host-of-the-year award without slaving away in the kitchen. These perfect cheese hors d’oeuvres will elevate any party. Treat your guests to Mediterranean goat cheese logs infused with parsley, dill, and fresh spices.

goat cheese 

Raw Baby Artichoke Salad 
Artichokes are plentiful at farmers markets and there are many ways to incorporate this summer vegetable into cook-free dishes. This creative recipe from Verdure keeps the integrity of the ingredients by using delicate raw baby artichokes tossed in a light vinaigrette. 

Cold Cucumber Soup 
Cool off with a chilled Mediterranean soup perfect for hot summer nights. This zesty cucumber soup is surprisingly hearty but won’t weigh you down. Enjoy the satisfying texture and rich taste. 

Raw Tomatoes Stuffed with Salsa Verde 
Tomatoes are flavorful and juicy in their natural, un-cooked state, so why not take advantage of the beautiful fruit during the summer months? This recipe from Verdureamplifies the freshness of the tomato by adding an Italian-style salsa verde. 

Corn Chowder 
Corn season is upon us and this sweet-and-savory corn chowder from Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetarian Soups, Stews, and Chiliscan be made in a slow-cooker.Slow-cookers may seem like a cold-weather essential but they are also great for the summer months. They keep the heat trapped inside, so they don't warm up the kitchen! Because you’ve got things to do (relax) and places to go (the beach), we figured its best you ditched the complicated appliances and allow your dinner to cook itself.

Taco Chicken Soup 
This five-ingredient soup only takes an hour in your slow-cooker and the result is a wonderful and tasty Taco Chicken Soup. The Southwestern flavors will bring you right back to the ranch!

taco soup

Party Meatball Subs 

Throwing a huge party but can’t figure out how to feed everyone? This one-dish meatball sub recipe makes 30 servings without the stress and heat of the kitchen. The cooking takes around nine hours, so leave those meatballs simmering and go enjoy the summer sun. 

Southwestern Rice and Beans 
Everyone loves a summer cookout with tacos and fajitas, but finding a good side dish to go with them isn’t always easy. Phyllis Good’s Southwestern Rice and Beans takes just two easy steps to complete and the bright ingredients really shine through.

southwest rice and beans 

Ellery Queen, el lógico incorregible


Ellery Queen

El detective Ellery Queen es un intelectual racional que investiga crímenes porque los encuentra estimulantes. Luego de iniciar sus actividades de detective como ayudante de su padre, un inspector de policía de Nueva York, Queen permanece en Hollywood durante un tiempo escribiendo guiones cinematográficos y otro tanto en el pueblo ficticio de Wrightsville. Luego regresa a su natal Nueva York, en donde continúa resolviendo crímenes como un detective extremadamente objetivo.

Ellery Queen fue, sin lugar a dudas, el detective más famoso de los años 30 y 40 en los Estados Unidos. Con extrema minuciosidad e inigualable transparencia, Ellery Queen le presenta al lector todas las pistas necesarias para resolver el crimen, de manera que tanto el detective como el lector están en igualdad de condiciones para desenmascarar al culpable. Esto significa que, a diferencia de muchos de los detectives contemporáneos, la solución a sus misterios jamás se encuentra en explicaciones sobrenaturales o desconocidas, sino que es fruto de la mera deducción lógica. No en vano Ellery Queen aseguró su puesto en la historia de la literatura como el más fiel representante del misterio de juego limpio.

Leer las novelas de Ellery Queen es como sumergirse en un juego en el que existe infinidad de pistas, pero solo una posible solución. Es un enorme reto, pero recuerda: no hay misterio que la razón no pueda solucionar. 

El misterio de cabo español

El misterio de Cabo Español

En la hacienda de Cabo Español, hogar de ricos y malvados, Walter Godfrey da una fiesta por todo lo alto. Pero la velada se verá interrumpida por un pistolero tuerto que secuestra a su hija y al tío de esta, confundiéndolo con su amante John Marco. El detective Ellery Queen, de vacaciones en Cabo Español, logra rescatar a la hija de Godfrey. Pero poco durará la alegría: a la mañana siguiente de su liberación aparece asesinado John Marco, desnudo y envuelto en una capa española.

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Las aventuras de Ellery Queen

Esta recopilación de relatos de intriga y suspense nos permitirán acompañar al hábil detective en sus pesquisas. Cada situación es un nuevo desafío. Unos estudiantes universitarios a los que pretende enseñar pero que parecen inmunes a la razón. Un ladrón de libros violento. Un asesino con una curiosa predilección por quitar la vida a acróbatas o la única mujer de Nueva York que se rasura escrupulosamente.

Cara a cara

Gloria Guild, millonaria cantante que fascinó a los americanos en los años 30, es asesinada a tiros en su loft neoyorquino el mismo día de su regreso de Londres en compalía de una prima perdida. La única clave para resolver el misterio son cuatro letras que ha dejado garabateadas en su libreta: F, A, C, E.

La ciudad contra Kowalsky

La ciudad contra Kowalsky

¡Que lo linchen! El cadáver de la frágil Fanny Adams todavía está caliente cuando la sed de venganza se apodera del pueblo de Shinn Corners. La única artista y benefactora del pueblo ha aparecido con el cráneo destrozado y sus vecinos exigen "ojo por ojo". Poco importa que no hayan huellas dactilares, ni manchas de sangre, ni testigos.

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El gato de muchas colas

En plena canícula de agosto, un asesino en serie que se hace llamar El Gato siembra el terror en las calles de Manhattan. Selecciona a sus víctimas al azar y las estrangula con una cuerda de seda. Rosa salmón para las mujeres; azul cielo para los hombres. Y escapa sin dejar huella.

La maravilla de los diez días

Howard van Horn, hijo del multimillonario Diedrich van Horn, despierta en un asilo para indigentes en el Bowery neoyorquino. Tiene los nudillos lastimados, costras de sangre en la cabeza, los bolsillos vacíos e impulsos suicidas. Ha estado inconsciente durante 19 días. Otro caso más de los recurrentes episodios de amnesia que han destruido su carrera. Pero en esta ocasión parece ser más grave al comprobar que la sangre no es suya. ¿Habrá quitado una vida durante esa laguna?

El misterio de los hermanos siameses

El misterio de los hermanos siameses

Durante un viaje en coche, Ellery Queen y su padre se topan con un increíble incendio que les obliga a desviarse de su camino. Ambos encuentran refugio en una mansión propiedad del misterioso doctor John Xavier, un cirujano que experimenta con animales. Cuando el cadáver de John Xavier aparece con la mitad de una jota de diamantes en la mano, los Queen saben que tendrán que resolver un complejo misterio antes de que la mansión caiga en las fauces del fuego.

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El misterio del ataúd griego

Georg Khalkis, eminente marchante de arte de Nueva York, fallece de un ataque al corazón tras haber pasado años recluido en su casa a causa de una ceguera degenerativa. Tras las exequias, su testamento desaparece. Las pesquisas de la policía no parecen dar fruto, motivo por el cual deciden pedirle consejo a un obstinado ratón de biblioteca, ávido lector de novelas policíacas. En el que será su primer caso como detective, Ellery Queen seguirá infinidad de pistas, casi todas ellas falsas.

Horror In the Halls: $1.99 Ebook Sale


horror in the halls  

We all expect the day after Labor Day to be complete torture. You can’t wear your favorite white jeans anymore, the weather is going to start getting colder, and, worst of all, it marks the first day of school for most kids in America. For all you students dreading your return, here are some books with characters who have it much worse than you. Whether it’s freakish accidents, supernatural elements, or crazy stalkers, these students have something truly terrible to fear as they return to school. With these stories, we guarantee you’ll be shaking in your boots. Shop our Horror In the Halls sale for $1.99 ebooks on sale through August 31.

Nightmare Hall Series by Diane Hoh

On a hill overlooking Salem University is an off-campus dormitory dubbed “Nightmare Hall” by many students, ever since a young woman committed suicide there. The series follows the frequent murders that occur at the dreary university. 

Teacher’s Petby Richie Tankersley Cusick

Aspiring horror writer Kate is offered a spot at an exclusive weeklong writing conference taught by the master of horror himself, William Drewe. Strangely, when Kate arrives, William Drewe is nowhere to be found. Filling in for him is his brother Gideon whose assignments give Kate the thrill she seeks. With a teacher like this, she’ll get all the material she needs to become a bestselling author . . . if she survives. 

The Yearbookby Peter Lerangis

Yearbook editor David Kallas, while taking a shortcut to spy on his crush and her boyfriend, stumbles upon something even nastier than two students making out: a butchered corpse floating in the creek. The body leads David to a disturbing secret about his school’s past. 

Night Schoolby Caroline B. Cooney

In a California high school, a signup sheet for a “night class” mysteriously appears on the bulletin board. Four kids, each with their own individual problems and desires, write their names on the sheet. These students will discover whether the night class is a place where dreams come true—or where nightmares are made real. 

Ransomby Lois Duncan

When the strange new bus driver passes the last stop on the ride home from school, the five teens onboard know they’ll be lucky if they make it home alive. 

Behind the Forbidden Bookshelf: The Phoenix Program by Doug Valentine

For over half a century, America’s vast literary culture has been disparately policed, and imperceptibly contained, by state and corporate entities well-placed and perfectly equipped to wipe out wayward writings. As America does not ban books, other means—less evident, and so less controversial—have been deployed to vaporize them. The purpose of Forbidden Bookshelf is to bring such vanished books back to life.

In this blog series we will look at each book in the Forbidden Bookshelf and discover how it was erased from the public consciousness.

Why The Phoenix Program Was Forbidden by Douglas Valentine

When I started working on The Phoenix Program in 1984, I approached the subject from two angles: I worked from the ground up, through veterans’ organizations, searching for enlisted men who had been part of the program; and I worked from the top down, by contacting William Colby. A former director of the CIA, Colby was the individual most closely associated with Phoenix, based on his staunch defense of the program before several Congressional committees.

To my surprise, Colby agreed to help me, and over the course of two years, he referred me to a number of senior CIA officers who had played prominent roles in Phoenix and its component parts. In many cases, these people spoke openly to me, and shared documents with me, in violation of their CIA oaths, simply because I carried Colby’s imprimatur.

Telling the truth about the CIA is forbidden, and the prohibitions encompass every facet of American life. When I initially decided to write the book, my first interview was with David Houle, the director of veteran services in New Hampshire. I asked David if there was a facet of the Vietnam War that had been concealed. Without hesitation he replied, “Phoenix.” After explaining a little bit about the program, he mentioned that one of the patients in the hospital had been in it. David added that his client’s service records had been altered to show that he’d been a cook in Vietnam.

I asked to meet Houle’s client, but the fellow refused to be interviewed: he was disabled and afraid the Veterans Administration would cut off his benefits if he talked to me. That fear of the government, so incongruous on the part of a war veteran, made me more determined than ever to uncover the truth about Phoenix.

In 1987, I filed a Privacy Act request. The ACLU took the case because the CIA initially used an obscure excuse to reject my request. They rejected it on the basis that it might reasonably lead to a “civil action or proceeding.” The ACLU assigned an intern to research the meaning of the clause and filed an appeal based on its interpretation. The CIA quickly changed its reason for rejecting my Privacy Act request to “national security.”

After several years of legal wrangling, a sympathetic judge, Michael Ponsor, in the federal district court in Springfield, Massachusetts, ruled that the CIA must release most of the documents in my file. Some remain classified.

Historian John Prados summarized the case in his book The Family Jewels (University of Texas Press, 2013):

Active measures can go beyond attempts to fiddle with the documentary record. Frank Snepp has written about how senior officers at Langley warned employees that he was at work on a CIA book and cautioned them against speaking to him. At least Snepp was a former CIA officer, but the agency applied the same logic in the late 1980s to a private individual, author Douglas Valentine, who was researching a book on the notorious “Phoenix” program during the Vietnam War. The historian collected numerous interviews for his research, and at first Langley had been cooperative, with CIA’s Retirement Division even forwarding his letters to former officers, and a number speaking with him on the strength of his early contacts with William E. Colby.

Valentine’s initial interviews proved the most productive. Elements at Langley became uncooperative after one retiree asked CIA lawyers, in the summer of 1986, what things were safe to talk about. When a Publications Review Board lawyer checked to see whether Phoenix was off-limits (the Board had previously cleared Phoenix material in works by Colby himself and agency officer Ralph McGehee), he was advised to caution interviewees not to talk to Valentine. The lawyer pointed out that the most he could do was warn veterans against unrehearsed, unprepared interviews and suggest that they “obtain the questions from Mr. Valentine in writing in advance and draft a written response for the Board to review.” Board lawyers gave this advice repeatedly, noting in an April 1987 instance that when Valentine’s questions were solicited and answers reviewed by the Board, “virtually all were found to be classified.” Some months later the same lawyer complimented an agency veteran for refusing to be interviewed.1

By April 1988 the Publications Review Board was advising clandestine service officers of a concern that Valentine’s “forthcoming book will contain so much detailed information about Agency operations and officers that . . . it may cause damage,” and asking that senior management of the Directorate of Operations should have the entire matter brought to their attention. Spooks, including some in the ostensibly impartial Inspector General’s office, were ranging the halls telling each other that the author was “bad news” and hoping they might escape his attention. Valentine eventually discovered this stonewalling due to the reticence of CIA veterans—and the materials quoted here emerged in the course of legal discovery in the lawsuit Douglas Valentine brought against the Central Intelligence Agency.1

As Prados explained in a recent essay on his blog, the CIA”s maneuvers to block my access and withhold my files failed the smell test:

Valentine was not an agency employee and its Review Board had no jurisdiction over him whatever. Second, the Board exists to approve written works and has no authority over speech. CIA officials exhorted colleagues to come to them if approached by Valentine, and congratulated those who did so. To give their intervention a patina of legality they encouraged employees to write down Valentine’s questions and the employees’ proposed answers–which could then be considered written materials that the Board could reject.

“Let me just emphasize,” Prados continued “that there was a category of information about the Phoenix program that was secret and could be denied under FOIA. But Doug Valentine’s approaches to retirees for interviews were, by definition, not secret. Derivatively, talks inside CIA about how to deal with Valentine’s interviews were also not secret. But CIA rejected the FOIA on national security grounds.”
However, the word that I was “bad news” had gotten out across the board. Indeed, it was the paragon of the establishment media, the New York Times, that dealt the death blow to my book The Phoenix Program when it came out in 1990. It did so because of the following passage on page 339:

Without the complicity of the media, the government could not have implemented Phoenix, in Vietnam or America. A full disclosure of the Province Interrogation Centers and the Provincial Reconnaissance Units would have resulted in its demise. But the relationship between the media and the government is symbiotic, not adversarial. The extent to which this practice existed was revealed in 1975, when William Colby informed a congressional committee that more than five hundred CIA officers were operating under cover as corporate executives and that forty CIA officers were posing as journalists. Case in point: reactionary columnist and TV talk-show host William Buckley, Jr., the millionaire creator of the Young Americans for Freedom and cohort of Howard Hunt's in Mexico in the 1950's.

When it comes to the CIA and the press, one hand washes the other. In order to have access to informed officials, reporters frequently suppress or distort stories. In return, officials leak stories to reporters to whom they owe favors. At its most incestuous, reporters and government officials are actually related-for example, Delta PRU commander Charles Lemoyne and his New York Times reporter brother, James. Likewise, if Ed Lansdale had not had Joseph Alsop to print his black propaganda in the United States, there probably would have been no Vietnam War.

In a democratic society the media ought to investigate and report objectively on the government, which is under no obligation to inform the public of its activities and which, when it does, puts a positive "spin" on the news. As part of the deal, when those activities are conducted in secret, illegally, reporters look away rather than jeopardize profitable relationships. The price of success is compromise of principles. This is invariably the case; the public is always the last to know, and what it does learn are at best half-truths, squeezed into five-hundred-word columns or thirty-second TV bites, themselves easily ignored or forgotten.

So it was with Phoenix.

In the course of four years researching and writing The Phoenix Program, Newsweek correspondent and author Nick Proffitt was the only Vietnam War news reporter to help me. Seymour Hersh refused. Gloria Emerson told me the story of the Phoenix program belonged to Hersh, and that because I was stealing his scoop, no one would help me.

Reporters, editors, and publishers have their own network, and it interlocks with the CIA’s. On many occasions, CIA officers told me of drinking in their offices in South Vietnam with specific reporters, who dutifully kept their mouths shut about the CIA’s murderous activities. So when the Times decided to kill my book, it got Vietnam War reporter Morley Safer to write a half-page review, ripping it to shreds. After that, my publisher William Morrow refused to spend a cent on promotion.

The Times allowed Safer to write the review, even though Safer’s book Flashbacks, about his 1989 return to Vietnam, was published only months before mine. I asked the Times why, in fairness, they didn't let me review Safer's book, given that they let him review mine? No response, of course. That’s how blatant the corruption is.

And the complicity is across the board. After Safer’s review, none of the publications representing the “compatible Left,” as the CIA calls it, would publish my writings on the CIA. That includes The Nation, The Progressive, and Democracy Now! As someone censored by it, I can testify that it becomes painfully clear who within the Left is “compatible,” not by what they say, but by the writers and subjects they intentionally ignore.

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The only publications that would accept my work were John Kelly’s National Reporter and Lou Wolf’s Covert Action Quarterly, both of which were dedicated to exposing the CIA. It was not until 1998, when Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair invited me to write for CounterPunch, that my work on Phoenix made it into the larger light of day.

After publication, I was subjected to other forms of harassment as well, the kind any investigator of CIA war crimes must endure, including midnight calls threatening to kill me and my wife and burn our house down. My wife got in the habit of telling the anonymous callers to “take a number and stand in line.” We never took the threats seriously. Everything I was doing was legal, as Prados noted above, and I wasn’t trying to hide anything.

My work was also falsely discredited by a boatload of former Navy SEALs, who were angry about my portrayal of them as psychopathic killers on a murder spree, as well as by a clique of former Phoenix advisors, upset at my portrayal of them as war criminals who had conducted Gestapo-style operations against Vietnamese civilians. These fellows engaged in “swift-boat” tactics, including a smear campaign of nasty reviews full of untruths on Amazon.

One Phoenix advisor, who became a high school teacher in civilian life, went so far as to prompt one of his students to write a book specifically dedicated to refuting everything I said in mine. As a graduate student at Harvard, Mark Moyar approached me. He said my Phoenix program book was great and that he wanted to write a dissertation based on it. He asked if I would refer him to a number of senior CIA officers I had interviewed. I kindly did so. Moyar then went to these people and—as one of them told me—said, “Now is your chance to do unto Valentine what Valentine did unto you.”

The harassment was international in scope. In 1990, the BBC hired me as a consultant on a documentary it was making about the CIA in Vietnam. As part of my contract, I was given an all-expenses trip to Vietnam. But when I got to Saigon in February 1991, I was told there was nothing for me to do. The other consultants were staying in one hotel, and I was exiled to a burned out wreck on the other side of town, all by myself. It was no accident: I was the only consultant who openly accused the CIA of committing war crimes, and the other consultants refused to work with me.

The CIA has collaborators in news organizations, universities, industries, and governments worldwide; and their alliance corrupts our knowledge of one another, as well as our understanding of who we are. My book was forbidden, merely because I explained one facet of this vast conspiracy.

1United States District Court for the Eastern District of Massachusetts, Douglas Valentine v. Central Intelligence Agency, 92-30025-F. The documents quoted (officials’ identities redacted) are a CIA/Publications Review Board (PRB) memorandum for the record of July 31, 1986, a PRB letter of April 7, 1987, a PRB letter (only referred to) of December 24, 1987, a memorandum from the PRB associate legal advisor to Directorate of Operations management staff of April 8, 1988, and an undated note (only referred to) from an employee of the Office of the Inspector General.

For more information visit ForbiddenBookshelf.com or DouglasValentine.com.

Two New Ebooks from Bill Gates' Favorite Business Writer


By now you've likely heard the buzz about Business Adventures, recently revealed to be the favorite business book of billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. A collection of twelve New Yorker essays by journalist John Brooks and published in 1969, this book has experienced a major resurgence and currently sits at number three on The New York Times Business Books Best Seller List.

In addition to releasing the first paperback edition of Business Adventures in over forty years, Open Road Media is pleased to bring back two additional John Brooks titles in ebook. Told with the same incisive reportage, wit and humor found in Business Adventures, Once in Golconda and The Go-Go Years offer insightful business advice through storytelling.

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The Go-Go Years, looks at the stock market’s boom and bust of the 1960s and 1970s, and is replete with “verve, color, and memorable one-liners” (The New York Times Review of Books). Includes the astounding story of H. Ross Perot’s loss of $450 million in one day; the tale of America’s “Last Gatsby,” Eddie Gilbert; and the account of financier Saul Steinberg’s failed grab for Chemical Bank.With a foreword by Michael Lewis. 

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Once in Golconda chronicles the stock market crash of 1929 and its aftershocks in a way that The Wall Street Journal calls “freshly shocking.” In fascinating detail, Brooks recounts the euphoric financial climb of the twenties as well as the vertiginous crash of 1929. Profiling some of the era’s most famous—and infamous—bankers, traders, and hucksters, Brooks gives a stunning and colorful account of this period of boom and bust. With a foreword by Richard Lambert. 

Read more from this best-selling author whose books have endured as classics.

Caroline B. Cooney: Why I Started Writing Horror Thrillers


Caroline B. CooneyWe are pleased to have a guest post from Caroline B. Cooney, author of more than ninety suspense, mystery, and romance novels for teenagers. Cooney’s books have sold over fifteen million copies and are published in several languages. In honor of our Horror In the Halls back-to-school ebook sale, Cooney shares insight into why she began writing horror thrillers.Check out Cooney’s ebooks and more thrilling reads on sale for just $1.99 through August 31.

Horror thrillers had become popular in YA, but I had never written any. My editor telephoned one day and said, “I have an assignment for you.” (It’s kind of like getting an English class assignment in school, except of course the author can say “No.”) “I want a trilogy,” she said, “that will be entry-level horror: horror for kids who want to be a little bit scared. Here are the rules: no blood, no gore, no violence, no drugs, no bad parents.”

FogWriting to assignment is probably like being an architect: Your client wants a particular type of house on a particular lot, and you have to make that work and make it terrific. I love the challenge of assignments. The original titles of that trilogy were Fog, Snow, and Fire. Later they were reissued as the Losing Christina series. Great fun to write, and the rules suited me. I think most parents are good, and work at being good. I like lots of action, but by the time I wrote Fog, I had lost my taste for gory detail.

Another assignment was crazy. The same editor called and said, “I’ve thought of a great title. The Perfume.” And so from that one word, I was to devise a terrifying story of 175 manuscript pages. This perfume, I realized, would have to do something dreadful, but since I wasn’t going to have violence, it would have to affect the soul. Should it damage the soul of the girl who wears the perfume? Or the souls of those who inhale the scent when she wears it? I needed a name for my perfume and I thought of many scary names, like Obsession. But that, like everything I came up with, actually was a perfume. I finally thought of Venom, and when I researched, it was not a copyrighted fragrance name. Of course once I’ve named my perfume Venom, I have to involve snakes—top-drawer horror material.

If you’re going to write horror stories, eventually you have to consider vampires. I don’t care for the whole neck bite, blood-sucking thing, but I figured, he’s my vampire; he’ll do what I tell him. The opening line in the first vampire book, Deadly Offer, is “‘Suppose,’ said the vampire, ‘that I could make you popular.’” So you, our heroine, will decide what aspects of popular girls in your school you wish to have. And it will be taken from them, and become yours. And that is the vampire’s pleasure: watching you destroy others. 

The PerfumeNames are such fun. In fantastical stories like these, you use names that otherwise you wouldn’t saddle a cat with. I collect names from newspaper lists of honor roll students, or sports teams, or just settle on some interesting noun. In The Perfume, the two girls are named Dove and Wing. Once you have chosen a name for your character, that girl or boy begins to live and the writing flies along.  

Sometimes people ask what the basic themes of my thrillers are. My main theme is to provide great entertainment for young readers. As a Christian, I also want to write parables. Very often it is the Parable of the Good Samaritan, in which we have to decide: Who is the good neighbor? The one who looks good or the one who pauses to help? No matter what your wonderful attributes, if you do not stop to help, you are not the good guy.   

It’s usually necessary in thrillers to keep the adults offstage. Loving parents are not going to permit most of the action in your story, nor will teachers. So these books acquire creepiness just from the fact that the parents seem weirdly missing and the time in which the teenagers are alone expands. Plus once you have parents in the action, they take over, and I like the hero/heroine to solve the nightmare himself/herself.

Freeze TagI think I liked Freeze Tag best. I grew up in the 1950s, when our mothers insisted on something called “fresh air.” We came home from school, changed into our play clothes, and were required to stay outside until supper, getting our fresh air. We played yard games, which usually involved every kid of every age on the street. Most were chase variations, like red rover or freeze tag. I was always slightly frightened by pursuit. (I’ve written a lot of pursuit adventures, too, like Fatality and Wanted.) I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to write a book in which a person actually can freeze anybody she wants?

My title choices rarely made it onto the book. The editors picked the titles. I was usually happy with their decisions, except for Fatality. I think it’s one of my best books and I wanted to call it, Stealing Police Cars. Perhaps they thought that would incite some of my readers to crime.

My hope is to incite more reading. Isn’t it marvelous that we can now read on our phones and devices and access practically any book any time anywhere? However, I think a book-lined room is the most beautiful sight in the world.

Haunted Halls: When College Is More Than Just Classes and Parties


College may be the prime example of “time flying when you’re having fun.” Eager freshmen become savvy graduating seniors in the blink of an eye. Near graduation, they wax nostalgic and lament the end of an era, wishing they could just stay on that campus forever. But for some, that wish comes true . . . and it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Betsy Aardsma famously haunts the halls of Penn State University after her untimely death in 1969. A seemingly ordinary session in the library turned disastrous when she was stabbed in the “stacks” and unceremoniously left on the floor to be discovered shortly after by a desk clerk. Two men fled the scene but were never identified. Students claim to see her roaming the aisles of Pattee Library, presumably in search of her killer(s) . . . or that thesis she never finished. The case remains unsolved to this day.

George Gipp, Notre Dame’s first All-American and second consensus All-American overall, is another infamous figure to meet his end at his alma mater, One night in 1920, the breakout football legend unsuccessfully trying to gain entry into his residence and then the University’s theater, Washington Hall. Left with nowhere to go, Gipp spent the night in the cold and came down with a fatal case of pneumonia. He passed away two weeks after his All-American election. He is said to haunt Washington Hall to this day: pacing the halls, slamming doors, and shoving unsuspecting students in the stairwells.

Nightmare Hall

Diane Hoh’s Nightmare Hall thriller series transports readers to Salem University—an institution riddled with mystery, murder, and intrigue. Join Hoh’s troupe of collegiate heroines as they negotiate the balance between studying, partying, and avoiding falling prey to the next line of dangerous scandals over the course of 14 nail-biting novels. Will these girls make it to graduation? Or will their membership into Salem’s student body extend into the afterlife?

Throughout the month, take advantage of the scary savings on these and other YA horror titles with our Horror in the Halls special: $1.99 on scary stories until August 31.

What does your Ereader have in common with a Xerox machine?


“Is publishing doomed?” It seems like everyone and their grandmother can’t stop asking this question.

In 1993, when Peter James published what many believe to be the first ebook, he received enormous backlash. People accused him of killing publishing, and journalists across the US furiously wrote about his betrayal of the literary world. All he had done was load his thriller novel, Host, onto two floppy disks.

Floppy disks, how the first ebook was published in 1993

In 1998, the first ereaders appeared on the market, and in 2000, Stephen King released the first book solely offered in digital form. Fear grew among those who loved the tactile nature of books—those who pressed books up to their faces to smell, toted them proudly under their arms, and could not imagine a day in which turning the page could be accomplished by the push of a button.

However, the ebook was not the first piece of technology to jumpstart this worry; in fact, the preoccupation with the death of publishing is nothing new.

Business Adventures—a collection of 1960s New Yorker essays written by John Brooks and recently endorsed by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett as the single best business book—touches upon the history of this publishing terror. One of its chapters, entitled “Xerox Xerox Xerox Xerox,” outlines the history of the Xerox Corporation and explains how their core piece of technology made them “a publishing firm as well as a copying-machine firm.”

By the 1950s, copiers had become an office staple. Yet, the copying machines available on the market were difficult to operate and only about 20 million copies were made annually. With the introduction of xerography in the early 1960s, the number of copies shot up to over 9 billion per year and up to 14 billion by 1966. This Xerox revolution stirred copy mania—or, as Brooks puts it, “a feeling that nothing [could] be of importance unless it [was] copied, or [was] a copy of itself.”

Edison Mimeograph Typewriter, 1894

With this copy mania came fear from publishers and writers: as Marshall McLuhan wrote in 1966 for the American Scholar, “every reader can become both author and publisher.” Issues of copyright law quickly came into play. Educators began producing copies of journal essays and sections from books for their students, either without realizing the illegality of their actions or without concern (how would they get caught?). As Brooks noted, “All that the amateur publisher need[ed] was to access a Xerox machine and a small offset printer.”

Authors and publishers protested this revolution, claiming that the ease of copying was depriving them of their livelihoods. And although the House Judiciary Committee approved certain bills that established more stringent copyright laws, Xerox machines were already out on the market and people knew how to use them.

Brooks shows us that while technology may have been different in the 1960s, people’s anxieties haven’t changed very much. Worry over renegade photocopiers has been replaced with complex piracy problems and the growing debate about digital rights management.

Yet, almost 50 years since the invention of xerography, and more than 15 since ebooks became mainstream, people are still buying books. Even the dot-com boom and the subsequent digitization of books and media haven’t managed to kill traditional publishing. Amidst this climate in which anyone can be an author or publisher and the access to information has become greater than ever, the book market is alive and continuing to adapt to innovations in the industry.

This all goes to say that publishing has found dynamic ways to not only combat but also take advantage of the changing technological environment. Brooks’s essay shows that even though technology is always evolving, the people who use that technology are much the same. In the words of Bill Gates, “John Brooks’s work is really about human nature, which is why it has stood the test of time.”

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Read more classic tales from American business history in John Brooks’s Business Adventures.

Maximize your daily commute or get ahead while at work with the audiobook edition of Business Adventures read by Johnny Heller. Available on CD and audiobook download from Random House Audio and BOT.


Back to School with Scary Savings: YA Horror for $1.99


If you suddenly feel the horror of going back to school, let us ease your nerves with these haunted teen ebook deals. Shop young adult mysteries and horror stories on sale for just $1.99 throughout August. These teen horror books are top of the class!

Adrenaline PumpingBone RattlingChillingDeadly

August is National Golf Month


August is National Golf Month, and whether you are a seasoned pro or have never swung a club before, golf clubs across the country are offering the opportunity to try out the sport. When you’re not playing the game, learn about it with one of our insightful books about golfing.

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Mind Over Golf: A Beginner’s Guide to the Mental Game by Tom Nieporte and Don Sauers
There’s an interesting point at which the psychological and technical sides of golf meet—and Tom Nieporte and Don Sauers discover this by talking with America’s leading golf professionals. The tips provided in this book will help golfers of any level discover or regain confidence that will drop strokes off of their score. Any golfer must know how to master the eight major golfing skills, and this book shows how easy it is to turn handicapping weaknesses into winning strengths. The most valuable advice here is sure to cultivate winners on the green!
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Golf in the Kingdom by Michael Murphy
This bestselling classic novel is a comic, philosophical, mythic, and autobiographical tale that traces the arc of 24 hours—from a round of golf on the links of Burningbush to a night fueled by whiskey, wisdom, and wandering. The story delves into the transformative power of golf and reveals a unique and unforgettable approach to the game.
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Chicken Soup for the Golfer’s Soul
A perfect gift for any golfing enthusiast, whether their drives land in the sand or on the green. This inspiring collection of stories from professionals, caddies, and amateur golfers shares the memorable moments of the game—when, despite all odds, an impossible shot lands in the perfect position; when a simple game of golf becomes a lesson in life. Chapters include: sportsmanship, family, overcoming obstacles, perfecting the game, and the nineteenth hole. This is a great read for any golfer, no matter what their handicap.

Philo Vance, el detective diletante


Philo Vance

Philo Vance es un neoyorkino rico y arrogante que investiga asesinatos por afición. Hábil esgrimidor, excelente golfista, pero sobretodo uno de los jugadores de póquer más confiados que ha existido, Vance es un detective que nunca pasa desapercibido. Ligeramente alto y vestido siempre a la moda, es extraordinariamente bien parecido y tiene un porte elegante que en ocasiones emana antipatía.

Su pasión por los objetos de arte y su conocimiento de la psicología humana siempre lo ponen un paso adelante en los crímenes que investiga. Tiene un asombroso instinto para juzgar a las personas, lo que le permite calar por debajo de los actos humanos. Libre de sentimentalismos convencionales y de supersticiones corrientes, la inteligencia fundamentalmente filosófica de Vance le obliga a resolver crímenes de una manera constante, fría y lógica.

Muchos llamarían a Vance un diletante.

El escarabajo sagradoEl escarabajo sagrado

¿Accidente o asesinato? Ante la duda y para no verse envuelto con la policía, Donald Scarlett, ayudante de Mindrum Bliss, recurre a Philo Vance. La policía cree tener en sus manos al asesino, pero Philo Vance tiene otras ideas. ¿No son demasiado obvias las pistas como para tomarlas en serio?

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El asesino fantasma

Las huellas de unas pisadas en la nieve convencen al sargento Heath de que la casa Greene ha sido atacada por un ladrón que, descubierto, ha disparado contra Julia y Ada. La obstinación del sargento Heath no se conmueve cuando un tercer ataque acaba con la vida de otro de los hermanos. Pero Philo Vance tiene la fuerte intuición de que la fuerza asesina está en los muros depravados de la casa. Le faltan las pistas, que deberá encontrar antes de que el asesino acabe con todos los herederos de Tobias Greene.

El asesinato de Benson

Bajo la atenta vigilancia de Philo Vance y el sargento Heath, Lynn resulta envenenado cuando toma un vaso de agua proveniente del decantador privado del gerente del casino, el tío Kinkaid.

Lynn, jugador empedernido y heredero de una enorme fortuna que maneja su madre dipsómana, sobrevive al atentado. Pero cuando todavía se retuerce por los efectos del veneno, llega la noticia de que su esposa Virginia acaba de morir envenenada en la mansión familiar. Virginia ha dejado una carta suicida, pero Lynn sospecha que todo es una fabulación de su excéntrica madre, a quien cree culpable del asesinato.

¿Están en peligro los herederos de la fortuna Llewellyn? ¿Qué pasará con Amelia, la sexy hermana de Lynn que ha seguido los pasos de su madre por la avenida del alcohol? Un caso que solo el poder psicológico de Philo Vance está en condiciones de desenredar entre las volutas de humo de sus cigarrillos de lujo.

Asesinato en el casinoAsesinato en el casino

Bajo la atenta vigilancia de Philo Vance y el sargento Heath, Lynn resulta envenenado cuando toma un vaso de agua proveniente del decantador privado del gerente del casino, el tío Kinkaid.

Lynn, jugador empedernido y heredero de una enorme fortuna que maneja su madre dipsómana, sobrevive al atentado. Pero cuando todavía se retuerce por los efectos del veneno, llega la noticia de que su esposa Virginia acaba de morir envenenada en la mansión familiar. Virginia ha dejado una carta suicida, pero Lynn sospecha que todo es una fabulación de su excéntrica madre, a quien cree culpable del asesinato.

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El caso Rexon

Philo Vance es invitado a una gran recepción. Vance llega, abriéndose paso en la nieve y acompañado por su fiel Van, justo a tiempo para presenciar varios asesinatos, un robo y admirar las sorprendentes virtudes de Ella Gunther como patinadora sobre hielo. No es el único secreto de Ella, quien se cuida de Joan, la hermana paralítica de Richard, con quien sostiene una aventura amorosa.

Vance deberá desarmar varias coartadas a prueba de balas y jugar sutiles partidas psicológicas antes de resolver los crímenes, mientras lucha por mantener el apellido Rexton lejos de los escándalos mediáticos.

El caso del dragón

Cuando Sanford Montague desaparece bajo las aguas y la extravagante señor Stamm insinúa que ha sido tragado por el dragón de los Lenape, Leland sospecha que hay juego sucio y llama a la policía. Pero después de drenar la piscina lo único que encuentran son las huellas de un dragón.

Será necesaria toda la erudición de Philo Vance sobre dragones y leyendas para descubrir que la desaparición de Montague tiene motivos mucho más pedestres que una venganza india.

El crimen de la Canario

El crimen de la Canario

Margaret Odell no tenía ninguna aptitud singular, excepto la belleza que la había convertido en un mito de Broadway surgido de la líneas del coro de un musical. Cuando aparece su cadáver estrangulado y el coqueto piso en el que vive saqueado y en total desorden, la prensa enloquece y la policía piensa que se trata de un robo con homicidio.

Será necesaria la erudición de Philo Vance para deshacer varios alibis y llegar al culpable. Mientras tanto, y gracias a la inoperancia policial, el asesino vuelve a golpear.

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Matando en la sombra

Cuando Archie Coe, el riquísimo y detestado coleccionista de porcelana china, aparece muerto en su habitación cerrada desde el interior, la primera hipótesis es suicidio. Pero una rápida inspección del doctor Doremus muestra que el cadáver de Archie ha sido golpeado con un objeto contundente y apuñalado antes de recibir el tiro en la sien.

Philo Vance no está de acuerdo con los derroteros de la investigación. Deberá recurrir a todos sus conocimientos sobre cría de perros y antigüedades chinas para resolver el puzzle del cuarto cerrado.