Archive for February, 2011

Audio Book of the Year Awarded by PW

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Audio Book of the Year was awarded by Publishers Weekly to Room by Emma Donoghue, read by Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Suzanne Toren, and Robert Petkoff (Find it in our catalog).

Summary:  “To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world.  It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play.  At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.  Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years.  Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack.  But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him.  She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck.  What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.  Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.”

Audio Book Reader of the Year

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Avid audiobook “readers” wait impatiently for the annual Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Awards given for audiobooks the reviewing staff consider to have been the year’s best.  Listen-Up Audiobooks are chosen for the quality not only of the book but also of the narration.

  For 2010 PW chose Simon Vance as Audio Book Reader of the Year for The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest by Steig Larsson (Find it in our catalog) and also for Blood Safari by Deon Meyer.

Book/Film Discussion Program – Books Into Film

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

I just received this message from Alison K. Cody, Public Relations & Instruction Librarian Loyola / Notre Dame Library and I thought I would pass it on to you:

“Hello everyone – I wanted to share information about Books into Film — a program running this spring at five academic libraries in the state.  This is free and open to the public, thanks to a grant from the Maryland Humanities Council.  Participants in the program will read a book and attend a screening of a film adaptation, with discussion led by a humanities faculty member.  Spring selections are:

“Short Cuts,” Raymond Carver – Washington College
“The Name of the Rose,” Umberto Eco – Stevenson University
“The Lone Ranger & Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” Sherman Alexie – Loyola/Notre Dame Library
“The Dead,” James Joyce – Hood College
“Brick Lane,” Monica Ali – Goucher College.

The idea is to look at the transformation of the work from one media to the other, as well as look at the work’s social and cultural impact/commentary.  A limited number of free copies of the books are available at each site.  If this has caught your eye full details are available on our website.

Thanks for your time, Alison

Alison K. Cody Public Relations & Instruction Librarian Loyola / Notre Dame Library
(410) 617-6835
200 Winston Avenue Baltimore, MD 21212″

Posted by Elizabeth

Get Steamed Over Romantic Suspense – More Recommendations from Winter Readers

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Here are some top Romantic Suspense books recommended on our Winter Reading logs.

  First Impressions by Jude Deveraux (Find in catalog)

Summary in our catalog: “Eden Palmer knows how to make it on her own. The forty-something single mother has worked hard to raise her beloved daughter — now twenty-seven and recently married. The offspring of a terrible event, Eden’s daughter, Melissa, has long been the jewel of Eden’s life, the one for whom she would sacrifice anything and everything. But sooner or later a woman must come into her own, and that’s what Eden tries to do when she moves to Arundel, North Carolina, to take ownership of Farrington Manor, a beautiful old house filled with charm and memories that was willed to Eden by the person who cared for her when she needed it most. Torn between the desire to stay with her daughter and the need to build a separate life on her own, Eden opts for some distance and some much-needed perspective. But it’s not long before she realizes that sometimes you have to go back before you can start over.Arriving in Arundel — the South’s prettiest small town — Eden quickly learns that looks can be deceiving when her move is met with delight in some quarters and jealousy in others. Pursued by two eligible bachelors — the rugged Jared McBride and Braddon Granville, local lawyer and town catch — Eden is flattered, and more than a little suspicious. Juggling the attentions of two men is hard enough, but soon Eden’s bid to start over plunges her in the middle of a mystery that threatens not just her plans and reputation, but her very life. “Can she use one man to save her from the other?”"

  It All Began in Monte Carlo by Elizabeth Adler (Find in catalog)

Summary: “Sunny Alvarez and Mac Reilly always seem to find trouble in the south of France. This time, all the trouble began in Monte Carlo. Sunny’s relationship with Mac is in jeopardy and Monte Carlo beckons. Soon Sunny is pulled into a web of intrigue involving a series of robberies of high-end jewelry stores. Then there’s her wanna-be-new-friend, who turns out to be a sociopath, involved in the sale of sex and in blackmail. Plus there’s Sunny’s old friend, movie star Allie Ray, who owns a vineyard in France and who comes to help sort Sunny out, while at the same time sorting out the life and appearance of her old friend, Pru Holster, with a makeover that not only changes her dowdy overweight appearance, but changes Pru into an amateur detective. If Sunny doesn’t untangle this plot, she might end up an unwitting accomplice to theft, blackmail and even murder. When Mac shows up, he’s ready to do anything to get Sunny back, not the least of which is to solve the crimes and save her life.”

  The Search by Nora Roberts (Find in catalog)

Summary: “The #1 “New York Times”-bestselling author presents a riveting novel in which a canine search-and-rescue volunteer fights danger and finds love with a dog trainer in the Pacific Northwest wilderness. But a killer emerges out of the shadows, a man whose bloodlust has been channeled by a master with one motive: to reclaim the woman who slipped out of his hands.”

  Touch of Evil by Colleen Thompson (Find in catalog)

Summary: “Small-town corruption and a serial killer in the bayou threaten a female sheriff struggling to make her way in a mans world and keep herself from falling in love with the last man she should trust.”

  Death Echo by Elizabeth Lowell (Find in catalog)

Summary: “New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell cuts a new edge in suspense with this thrilling tale of passion, danger, and international intrigue in which a pair of former operatives must stop a deadly plot that threatens a major American city-and ultimately the world.  When she joined St. Kilda’s, the elite security consulting firm, Emma Cross thought she’d left behind the blood, the guilt, and the tribal wars that defined her life at the CIA. Yet, trading spying for investigating yacht thefts didn’t alleviate the danger-or melt away her professional paranoia. Now, the same good instincts that got her into trouble at the agency might be what will help her survive her latest case… Fortunately, she’s working with a new partner as menacing and distrustful as the worst enemy she’s ever faced-and as deadly.  A honed killer, MacKenzie Durand led a special ops team that was deployed to some of the world’s nastiest places… Thrown together by an organization of enemies with global ties more dangerous than either of them realize, Mac and Emma must put aside their growing attraction for each other to save more than just their own lives… A breathtaking tale of passion and danger…”

  Ice by Linda Howard (Find in catalog)

Summary: “Gabriel McQueen has only just arrived home on holiday leave from the service when his county-sheriff father sends him back out again with new marching orders.  A brewing ice storm, and a distant neighbor who’s fallen out of contact, have the local lawman concerned.  So he enlists Gabriel to make the long haul to the middle of nowhere, and make sure Lolly Helton is safe and sound. It’s a trip the younger McQueen would rather not make given the bitter winter weather – and the icy conditions that have always existed between him and Lolly.  But there’s no talking back when your dad is the town’s top cop.  And there’s no turning back when night falls just as Gabriel arrives – and discovers that the weather outside isn’t the only thing that’s frightful.  Spotting strangers in Lolly’ s home – one of them packing a weapon – is all it takes to kick Gabriel into combat mode.  And his stealth training is all he needs to extract Lolly from the house without alerting her captors.  But when the escape is discovered, the heat – and the hunt – are on.  And the winter woods are nowhere to be once the ice storm touches down, dropping trees, blocking roads, and trapping the fleeing pair in the freezing dark.”

Audiobook – Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

  Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson (Find this audiobook in our catalog)

Charming.  That’s the word that instantly comes to mind when describing Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. It is rare to find yourself recommending  a book to everyone in your acquaintance – your friends, the people you work with, even your mom.  Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand is that book.  It manages to have a delightful old-fashioned feel, while dealing with completely modern issues.  And it made me grin like a fool as I was driving down the road, listening to it in my car. 

The book is set in the type of quaint English town that I think only exist in books.  It features Major Pettigrew, a gentleman who “should be an old git,” as one character memorably opines.  Major Pettigrew, though is a very decent man; he may be a bit stuffy and old-fashioned, but he is always striving to do the right thing as he understands it.  Circumstances have him developing a friendship with Mrs. Ali, the widowed Pakistani shopkeeper in his town.  Major Pettigrew’s feelings for her deepen, while the people around them continue to cast them in their familiar roles and refuse to accept their relationship.  Major Pettigrew is torn between his sense of decorum and his feelings for Mrs. Ali.  Meanwhile, Mrs. Ali is struggling with her family and their desire to have her follow their sense of what she should do.  The various characters of the family and the town add gentle humor while the book deals with real issues, such as the role of immigrants in English society, in a meaningful way.

Posted by Tracy

(Tracy is an HCPL staff member who does most of her “reading” by audiobook.  She will be posting about once a month.  As Tracy gets more posts archived, you will be able to follow her by clicking on the category, “Audiobooks.” – Editor)

Get Steamed Over a Good Thriller – Readers’ Recommend

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Thrillers, action and adventure recommended by recent completers of the Winter Reading Program.

  The Sentry by Robert Crais (Find in catalog)

Summary in our catalog: “Dru Rayne and her uncle fled to L.A. after Hurricane Katrina; but now, five years later, they face a different danger. When Joe Pike witnesses Dru’s uncle beaten by a protection gang, he offers his help, but neither of them want it-and neither do the federal agents mysteriously watching them. As the level of violence escalates, and Pike himself becomes a target, he and Elvis Cole learn that Dru and her uncle are not who they seem- and that everything he thought he knew about them has been a lie. A vengeful and murderous force from their past is now catching up to them . . . and only Pike and Cole stand in the way.”

  The Judas Gate by Jack Higgins (Find in catalog)

Summary: “A disturbing tape has made its way to British intelligence, and from them to the new President of the United States: battlefield chatter from an ambush in Afghanistan, in which twelve U.S. Army Rangers and a British medical team died. Most of the Taliban voices are Afghan, but not all of them-the voice of the commander bears an Irish accent. The idea that one of their own could be responsible for such a massacre is appalling, and Sean Dillon is put in charge of hunting down the traitor. But Dillon has his own way of doing things and, he will eventually discover, so does his quarry. Dillon will not only be going to war-the war will be coming to him.”

  Foreign Influence: a Thriller by Brad Thor (Find in catalog)

Summary: “Buried within the black ops budgets of the Department of Defense, a new spy agency has been created. Unfettered by the oversight of self-serving politicians, it reports only to a secret panel of military insiders. Its job is to target America’s enemies – both foreign and domestic – under a charter of three simple words: Find, Fix, and Finish. Recruited as a field operative, Scot Harvath has just returned from his first assignment abroad when a bombing in Rome kills a group of American college students. The evidence points to a dangerous colleague from Harvath’s past and a plan for further attacks on an unimaginable scale. Harvath is tasked with leveraging his relationship to lure the man out of hiding and kill him on the spot. But what if it is the wrong man? Simultaneously, a young woman is struck by a taxi in a hit-and-run in Chicago. With only two intoxicated witnesses and over five thousand cabs in the city, the Chicago Police have given up on their investigation. But when the family’s attorney digs deeper, he will uncover a shocking connection to the bombing in Rome and the perpetrators’ plans for America. As the story rockets to its conclusion, the plots intersect in a race to prevent one of the most audacious and unthinkable acts of war in the history of mankind.”

  American Assassin: a Thriller by Vince Flynn (Find in catalog)

Summary: “Two decades of cutthroat, partisan politics has left the CIA and the country in an increasingly vulnerable position. Cold War veteran and CIA Operations Director Thomas Stansfield knows he must prepare his people for the next war. The rise of Islamic terrorism is coming, and it needs to be met abroad before it reaches America’s shores. Stansfield directs his protege, Irene Kennedy, and his old Cold War colleague, Stan Hurley, to form a new group of clandestine operatives who will work outside the normal chain of command—men who do not exist…”

  Dead Zero by Stephen Hunter (Find in catalog)

Summary: “Bob Lee Swagger tracks down an AWOL Marine sniper who resurfaces to complete his last mission, in the latest installment of Hunter’s bestselling series.”

  Silent Victim by C. E. Lawrence (Find in catalog)

Summary: “A serial killer claims two victims in one week–and as the death toll rises, each body is missing a small piece of flesh. NYPD profiler Lee Campbell joins a frantic pursuit that leads into a world of dark secrets and pain–as well as his own troubled past.”

  The Vigilantes by W. E. B. Griffin (Find in catalog)

Summary: “There’s a sudden spike in murders in Philadelphia, but no one seems to mind much because the victims all seem to be lowlifes. The more Homicide Sergeant Matthew Payne investigates, however, the more he gets a bad feeling – one that only gets worse when vigilante groups spring up claiming credit for some of the hits, even though Payne knows it can’t be true. As the targets get bigger and events start moving out of control, Payne realizes that if he and his colleagues can’t figure out who’s behind this very soon, the violence could overtake them all. Filled with authentic color and detail, this is a riveting novel of the men and women who put their lives on the line – storytelling at its absolute best.”

  The Spy by Clive Cussler (Find in catalog)

Summary: “It is 1908, and international tensions are mounting as the world plunges toward war. When a brilliant American battleship gun designer dies in a sensational apparent suicide, the man’s grief-stricken daughter turns to the legendary Van Dorn Detective Agency to clear her father’s name. Van Dorn puts his chief investigator on the case, and Isaac Bell soon realizes that the clues point not to suicide but to murder. And when more suspicious deaths follow, it becomes clear that someone-an elusive spy-is orchestrating the destruction of America’s brightest technological minds… and the murders all connect to a top- secret project called Hull 44. But that is just the beginning. As the intrigue deepens, Bell will find himself pitted against German, Japanese, and British spies, in a mission that encompasses dreadnought battleships, Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet, Chinatown, Hell’s Kitchen, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Isaac Bell has certainly faced perilous situations before, but this time it is more than the future of his country that’s at stake- it’s the fate of the world.”

  The Cobra by Frederick Forsyth (Find in catalog)

Summary: “An extraordinary cutting-edge thriller from the New York Times-bestselling grandmaster of international suspense. Meticulous research, crisp narratives, plots as current as today’s headlines – Frederick Forsyth has helped define the international thriller as we know it. And now he does it again. What if you had carte blanche to fight evil? Nothing held back, nothing off the table. What would you do? For decades, the world has been fighting the drug cartels, and losing, their billions of dollars making them the most powerful and destructive organizations on earth. Until one man is asked to take charge. Paul Devereaux used to run Special Operations for the CIA before they retired him for being too ruthless. Now he can have anything he requires, do anything he thinks necessary. No boundaries, no rules, no questions asked. The war is on – though who the ultimate winner will be, no one can tell…”

  Worth Dying For: a Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child (Find in catalog)

Summary: “There’s deadly trouble in the corn country of Nebraska . . . and Jack Reacher walks right into it. First he falls foul of the Duncans, a local clan that has terrified an entire county into submission. But it’s the unsolved case of a missing child, already decades-old, that Reacher can’t let go.  The Duncans want Reacher gone-and it’s not just past secrets they’re trying to hide. They’re awaiting a secret shipment that’s already late-and they have the kind of customers no one can afford to annoy. For as dangerous as the Duncans are, they’re just the bottom of a criminal food chain stretching halfway around the world.  For Reacher, it would have made much more sense to keep on going, to put some distance between himself and the hard-core trouble that’s bearing down on him.  For Reacher, that was also impossible.  Worth Dying For is the kind of explosive thriller only Lee Child could write and only Jack Reacher could survive-a heart-racing page-turner no suspense fan will want to miss.”

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

Friday, February 18th, 2011

(Find this book in our catalog) Set in 1940, this novel tells the story of three women, Frankie Bard, a radio journalist, Iris James, a postmistress living on Cape Cod & Emma Fitch, a newlywed.  At the start of the story the women are unknown to each other, but they will be brought together through the tragedy of war.  This book is interesting as it reveals life on Cape Cod just prior to America joining the war, & casts light on the blitz of London & the conditions in France & Germany as Jews seek to escape the Nazi threat.  It is not an easy read nor a happy one, but is well-written. Frankie’s radio broadcasts give it an immediacy & intensity that bring this period to life in a vivid way.

This title was the Abingdon Book Group choice for February. The group also recommends Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, which is also set in this period.

 Blake includes a quote at the beginning of the book from Martha Gellhorn, one of the greatest war correspondents. Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martha_Gellhorn to read about the fascinating life of a real war correspondent.

For reading groups. Find information & a selection of discussion questions at http://www.readinggroupguides.com/guides_P/the_postmistress1.asp

To read more about Sarah Blake, visit her website at http://www.sarahblakebooks.com/

Posted by Julia

Editor’s Picks – Stories of Science and Discovery

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

  Seeing Further: the story of science, discovery & the genius of the Royal Society edited & introduced by Bill Bryson ; contributing editor, Jon Turney (Find this book in our catalog)

Summary:  “Edited and introduced by Bill Bryson, with original contributions from “a glittering array of scientific writing talent” (Sunday Observer) including Richard Dawkins, Margaret Atwood, Richard Holmes, Martin Rees, Richard Fortey, Steve Jones, James Gleick, and Neal Stephenson, among others, this incomparable book tells the spectacular story of science and the international Royal Society, from 1660 to the present. Seeing Further is also gorgeously illustrated with photographs, documents, and treasures from the Society’s exclusive archives. On a damp weeknight in November three hundred and fifty years ago, a dozen men gathered in London. After hearing an obscure twenty-eight-year-old named Christopher Wren lecture on the wonders of astronomy, his rapt audience was moved to create a society to promote the accumulation of useful-and fascinating-knowledge. At that, the Royal Society was born, and with it, modern science. Since then, the Royal Society has pioneered global scientific exploration and discovery. Its members have split the atom, discovered the double helix and the electron, and given us the computer and the World Wide Web. Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, Joseph Banks, Humphry Davy, John Locke, Alexander Fleming, Stephen Hawking-all have been fellows. Bill Bryson’s favorite fellow is the Reverend Thomas Bayes, a brilliant mathematician who devised Bayes’ theorem. Its complexity meant that it had little practical use in Bayes’ own lifetime, but today his theorem is used for weather forecasting, astrophysics, and even stock-market analysis. A milestone in mathematical history, it exists only because the Royal Society decided to preserve it-just in case. Truly global in its outlook, the Royal Society now is credited with creating modern science. Seeing Further is an unprecedented celebration of its history and the power of ideas, bringing together the very best of science writing.”

  The disappearing spoon : and other true tales of madness, love, and the history of the world from the periodic table of the elements by Sam Kean (Find this book in our catalog)

Summary:  “The Periodic Table is one of man’s crowning scientific achievements. But it’s also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in THE DISAPPEARING SPOON follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.  We learn that Marie Curie used to provoke jealousy in colleagues’ wives when she’d invite them into closets to see her glow-in-the-dark experiments.  And that Lewis and Clark swallowed mercury capsules across the country and their campsites are still detectable by the poison in the ground.  Why did Gandhi hate iodine?  Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium?  And why did tellurium lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history?  From the Big Bang to the end of time, it’s all in THE DISAPPEARING SPOON.”

  Atlantic: great sea battles, heroic discoveries, titanic storms, and a vast ocean of a million stories by Simon Winchester (Find this book in our catalog)

Summary:  “Blending history and anecdote, geography and reminiscence, science and exposition, the New York Times bestselling author of  Krakatoa tells the breathtaking saga of the magnificent Atlantic Ocean, setting it against the backdrop of mankind’s intellectual evolution.  Until a thousand years ago, no humans ventured into the Atlantic or imagined traversing its vast infinity. But once the first daring mariners successfully navigated to far shores-whether it was the Vikings, the Irish, the Chinese, Christopher Columbus in the north, or the Portuguese and the Spanish in the south-the Atlantic evolved in the world’s growing consciousness of itself as an enclosed body of water bounded by the Americas to the West, and by Europe and Africa to the East.  Atlantic is a biography of this immense space, of a sea which has defined and determined so much about the lives of the millions who live beside or near its tens of thousands of miles of coast.  The Atlantic has been central to the ambitions of explorers, scientists and warriors, and it continues to affect our character, attitudes, and dreams.  Poets to potentates, seers to sailors, fishermen to foresters-all have a relationship with this great body of blue-green sea and regard her as friend or foe, adversary or ally, depending on circumstance or fortune. Simon Winchester chronicles that relationship, making the Atlantic come vividly alive.   Spanning from the earth’s geological origins to the age of exploration, World War II battles to modern pollution, his narrative is epic and awe-inspiring.”

Editor’s Book Club Suggestions – Nonfiction

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

  White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine by Carl Elliot (Find this book in our catalog)

Summary:  “Over the last twenty-five years, medicine and consumerism have been on an unchecked collision course, but, until now, the fallout from their impact has yet to be fully uncovered. A writer for The New Yorker and the Atlantic Monthly,  Carl Elliott ventures into the uncharted dark side of medicine, shining a light on the series of social and legislative changes that have sacrificed old-style doctoring to the values of consumer capitalism. Along the way, he introduces us to the often shifty characters who work the production line in Big Pharma: from the professional guinea pigs who test-pilot new drugs and the ghostwriters who pen “scientific” articles for drug manufacturers to the PR specialists who manufacture “news” bulletins.  We meet the drug reps who will do practically anything to make quota in an ever-expanding arms race of pharmaceutical gift-giving; “thought leaders” who travel the world to enlighten the medical community about the wonders of the latest release; even, finally, the ethicists who oversee all that commercialized medicine has to offer from their pharma-funded perches.  Taking the pulse of the medical community today, Elliott discovers the culture of deception that has become so institutionalized many people do not even see it as a problem.  Head-turning stories and a rogue’s gallery of colorful characters become his springboard for exploring larger ethical issues surrounding money.  Are there certain things that should not be bought and sold?  In what ways do the ethics of business clash with the ethics of medical care? And what is wrong with medical consumerism anyway?  Elliott asks all these questions and more as he examines the underbelly of medicine.”

  Nothing Was the Same: a Memoir by Kay Redfield Jamison (Find this boook in our catalog)

Summary:  “In spare and at times strikingly lyrical prose, Jamison (“An Unquiet Mind”) looks back at her relationship with her husband, Richard Wyatt, a renowned scientist who battled severe dyslexia to become one of the foremost experts on schizophrenia.”

  Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (Find this book in our catalog)

Summary:  “Two Pulitzer Prize winners issue a call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women in the developing world.” “Inspiring stories of extraordinary women show that the most effective way to fight global poverty is to unleash the potential of women.”

Jen’s Jewels with Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011


February 15, 2011

There is nothing better than reconnecting with an old friend. Years may have passed, yet once reunited, it feels as if it were merely days. The comfort of experiencing unconditional love quickly washes away life’s worries. Like that first cup of coffee in the morning, an old friend wakens your spirit like none other.

This month’s Jen’s Jewels Susan Elizabeth Phillips shares my love for reconnecting with old friends in her latest release CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE. Using former characters from previous bestselling novels, Phillips whips up an unforgettable romantic read about a free-spirited woman named Meg Koranda. Set in the tiny town of Wynette, Texas, the story takes off at full speed and never once slows down.

As part of this interview, William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers has donated five copies for you, my favorite readers, to try to win. So, don’t forget to look for the trivia question at the end. And as always, thanks for making Jen’s Jewels a part of your reading adventure.

Jen: A New York Times Bestselling romance writer, your exemplary career has been quite extraordinary. So that my readers may get a glimpse into the life of the woman behind the words, please share with us your educational and professional background.

Susan: I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Ohio University and did post graduate work at the University of Iowa. I taught high school until our first child was born.

Jen: Describe for us the defining moment when you decided to take the plunge and pursue your dream of becoming an author.

Susan: It’s a long story! The best place to read about it is right here. http://www.susanephillips.com/bio.html

Jen: After co-writing a novel, you were somewhat pushed into writing on your own. In terms of the creative process, what did you discover to be the most challenging part of writing solo? And, what did you enjoy most?

Susan: I quickly discovered it wasn’t nearly as much fun writing alone as it had been with a friend. I suppose there was more freedom, but I did miss the camaraderie.

Jen: Your latest endeavor CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE truly mirrors its title. I couldn’t put it down! What I found fascinating about it was its connection to three prior novels. Why did you choose to incorporate previous characters into one, new story? And, please give us a brief overview of the premise.

Susan: Thanks for the compliment. CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE is a novel for everyone who thinks life is too short to read depressing books. It’s a classic attraction of opposites. Ted Beaudine is Mr. Perfect. Meg Koranda is Ms. Screw Up. He blames her for the way his bride bolted from his wedding. Now she’s stuck in a town that hates her a town where he holds all the power. It’s a love story, but it’s also a story about friendships and how we have to carve our own path through life. Both the hero and heroine of CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE are children of the heroes and heroines of FANCY PANTS and GLITTER BABY; so of course, I had to check in on those characters. I’d also written about Wynette, Texas, twice before, and I sure didn’t want to ignore its citizens, especially Kenny Traveler and Lady Emma Wells-Finch from LADY BE GOOD. That said, even though my characters tend to wander between books, CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE can absolutely be read as a stand alone novel. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Jen: Lucy and Meg have a tight bond of friendship that spans many years. Like oil and water, these two girls are polar opposites when it comes to goals in life; however, they are the closest of friends. What makes these two click?

Susan: These two have more in common than is immediately evident. They’re both the children of high achieving celebrities, but each has handled that in her own way.

Jen: Ted Beaudine is your typical hunky Texan who oozes charm and charisma. Why is Meg so put off by this man’s presence? What makes her believe that he is up to no good?

Susan: I think I’ll let the readers figure this one out. (I love that man!)

Jen: From bad to worse, Meg’s life quickly falls apart. Stranded and penniless, she must fend for herself in a town where she is hated by almost everyone. Why does Meg refuse to reach out to her rich and famous parents for help? What makes this particular situation of hers different from past debacles?

Susan: Yes, why won’t she reach out? She’s certainly done it before. What makes this time different? Hmmm…

Jen: Like any small Southern town, the women in Wynette, Texas are a tight-knit group not willing to let outsiders into their circle. Why, then, do they feel so threatened by Meg?

Susan: These women love Ted Beaudine like mother wolves. Anyone who upsets him, upsets them, and they can be mighty ruthless. (I adore them. Does that make me a bad person?)

Jen: Let’s switch gears now and talk about your promotional plans. Will you be participating in a media tour?

Susan: My tour began in St. Louis the day before the book was published. I then hit Tulsa; Dallas; Austin; Rancho Mirage; Orange County, California; Cocoa Beach and Merritt Island, Florida; and the Chicago Area. 13 days…10 flights…a lot of fun!

Here’s a link with more details of some more upcoming appearances. Hope to see everyone! ttp://www.susanephillips.com/signings.html

Jen: Do you participate in Author Phone Chats? And if so, how may my readers go about scheduling one?

Susan: I don’t. As everyone knows, I’m one of the planet’s slowest writers. When I’m not on tour, I pretty much have to limit myself to daily posts on Facebook and my website message board. Otherwise, I’d never get a book finished.

Jen: Please take us on a tour of your website.

Susan: Gladly. Everybody take your shoes off and let me have your coats… Can I get you something to drink? There’s a lot to do here, so I take your time.

Jen: Are you currently at work on your next book? And if so, what can you share with us?

Susan: It will be evident to everyone who reads CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE that the story of Lucy Jorik, the runaway bride, is next up. As of this moment, I’ve written about 300 pages and I am loving her adventure.

Jen: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to stop by and chat with my readers. I highly recommend CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE to all of my readers. Best of luck in 2011!

Susan: Thank you, Jen. I hope you’ll all take a few moments to visit me on either Facebook or my Message Board. Happy reading, everybody!

I hope you have enjoyed my interview with Susan. Please stop by your favorite bookstore or local library branch and pick up a copy of CALL ME IRRESISTIBILE today.

Better yet, how would you like to win one instead? Okay, be one of the first five readers to e-mail me at jensjewels@gmail.com with the correct answer to the following trivia question and you’ll win. Good luck!

What is the name of the hunky guy in CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE?

Next month, I will be bringing to you my interview with one of my favorite authors, Linda Francis Lee. You won’t want to miss it.

Until next time…

Jen