What’s on my iPod: “You and I” by Lady Gaga
What I’m reading: “Parisian Style”  by Inès de la Fressange
The last person I followed on Twitter: @lafressange

1. STAY on Pop Culture Junkie

Allie Larkin‘s novel STAY was featured on Pop Culture Junkie in a poll asking if readers preferred the novel’s hardback cover or paperback cover. Which do you prefer?  Here is what Pop Culture Junkie had to say on STAY:

“Let me start by saying I absolutely loved this book! Both covers are cute but there is something so cute about the paperback and it speaks a little to how Van got Joe. And the typeface of the title on the paperback has a little more character. ”  

Let her know your thoughts at Pop Culture Junkie!

More on STAY

Savannah “Van” Leone has loved Peter since the day they met. The problem is, Peter has loved Van’s best friend, Janie, since the moment they met. And now they’re walking down the aisle, with Van standing nearby in a Halloween orange bridesmaid dress, her smile as hollow as a jack-o-lantern. After the wedding, Van drowns her sorrows in Kool Aid-vodka cocktails and reruns of Rin-Tin-Tin, and does what any woman in her situation would do: She buys a German Shepherd over the internet.

The pocket-sized puppy Van is expecting turns out to be a clumsy, hundred-pound beast that only responds to Slovakian. Van is at the end of her rope—until she realizes that this quirky giant may be the only living being who will always be loyal to her, no matter what. And thus begins a friendship that will alter Van’s life in ways she never imagined.

Joe leads Van to Dr. Alex Brandt, a rugged vet with floppy blond hair and winning smile. But just as things are starting to heat up, the newlyweds return from their honeymoon, forcing Van to decide just how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to have everything she ever wanted. Warm and witty, poignant and funny, Stay marks the arrival of an irresistible new voice.

2. THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME on Publisher’s Weekly 

THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME by Allison Winn Scotch received a spectacular review from Publisher’s Weekly! Here is what PW had to say:

Bestseller Winn Scotch (The Department of Lost & Found) sparkles in her captivating fourth novel. Nell Slattery, one of only two survivors of a jet crash, wakes up in a hospital in rural Iowa with complete amnesia, surrounded by family and friends. As they present her with pieces of her past, a question arises: who can she trust? Everyone in her life—husband Peter, mother Indira, best friend Samantha, younger sister Rory—wants her to recover, but they are all also determined to rewrite history for their own benefit. Music, which Nell learns was once a passion of hers, helps the past emerge somewhat, as does the other crash survivor and an opportunistic journalist. But as half-truths begin to explode around Nell like land mines, she comes to understand that she can only rely on—or completely trust—herself. Winn Scotch vividly illustrates the confusion, frustration, and anger of not being able to remember or trust. She particularly shines in creating secondary characters—especially Rory and Anderson—flawed but engaging. Readers will love Nell and won’t be able to put the book down until they know how much of her past she wants to bring into her future. Agent: Elizabeth Weed, Weed Literary. (Apr.)


Coming April 2012

From the New York Times-bestselling author comes a novel that asks the question, who are we without our memories?  And how much of our future is defined by our past?

One of only two survivors of a plane crash, Nell Slattery wakes in the hospital with no memory of the crash – or who she is, or was. Now she must piece together both body and mind — with the help of family and friends who have their own agendas.  She filters through photos, art, music and stories, hoping something will jog her memory, and soon – in tiny bits and pieces –Nell starts remembering…It isn’t long before she learns to question the stories presented by her mother, her sister and business partner, and her husband.  In the end she will learn that forgiving betrayals small and large will be the only true path to healing herself — and to finding happiness.

3.  Toby Neal on A Cozy Reader’s Corner

Toby Neal – author of BLOOD ORCHIDS – stopped by A Cozy Readers Corner and wrote a great guest post called “The Reluctant Crime Writer”. Here is a small highlight of Toby’s post:

Here’s how it happened:
I wrote a short story on my anonymous blog about a policewoman who’d been sexually abused, who was brave and a little crazy in her persuit of justice. I wrote about the drowning of two young girls, a situation  that I’d dealt with in my real life role as a therapist, helpless to do anything but grieve and help others grieve. I wrote this story to try to work through the trauma of it, to understand it all better somehow.
People wanted to know what happened next so I posted chapters. About 60 pages in, further than I’d ever made it on any of my other attempts, I realized I was so into Lei’s story I was going to be interested enough to actually finish a novel (after about 10 aborted novelets? Novelinas? No-vellums that petered out.)
And I finished Blood Orchids.
“Blood Orchids is that rarity among debut crime novels, in that it satisfies on every level. A powerful new talent is on the scene.

– Drew Cross, former police officer and author BiteMarks

Hawaii is palm trees, black sand and blue water— but for policewoman Lei Texeira, there’s a dark side to paradise.

Lei has overcome a scarred past to make a life for herself as a cop in the sleepy Big Island town of Hilo. On a routine patrol she finds two murdered teenagers—one of whom she’d recently busted. The girl’s harsh life and tragic death touches a chord with Lei, and she becomes obsessed with the case. The killer is drawn to her intensity and stalks her, feeding on her vulnerabilities and toying with her sanity.

Steaming volcanoes, black sand beaches and shrouded fern forests are the backdrop to Lei’s quest for answers. She finds herself falling in love for the first time—but the stalker is closer than she can imagine, and threads of the past are tangled in her future. Lei is determined to find the killer—but he already knows where she lives.

4. NOMAD BRUSH at Macworld in San Francisco!
Hey there, Northern California folks and tech-junkies! If you haven’t already, stop by Macworld and say hi to the innovative and creative Nomad Brush team! They will be in Macworld all day. Here is a excerpt from an All Voices article about the event:
For people more interested in the visual arts, there is the Nomad Brush, a stylus for the iPad that emulates traditional paint brushes by incorporating synthetic and natural fibers into its bristled tip. The result is a stylus that feels like you’re painting with analog materials.

Nomad Brush’s CEO Don Lee, who will be hosting the “SpeedSketch Portrait Siri-es” Tech Talk at Macworld on Saturday morning, described his experience in developing his buzz-catching product. “I found

[the iPad] to be a great digital sketchbook and canvas for painting. However, I found drawing with my finger to be awkward and unnatural,” Lee said. He tried other styluses on the market, but none of them reproduced the act of painting adequately enough. Thus, Lee concluded that “the paintbrush seemed to be a natural evolution for a stylus.”

Nomad Brush’s motto echoes Wright’s thoughts on the portability of iOS devices, imploring users to “Paint Anywhere.”

5. USA Today columnist Jinny Gudmundsen features VAN GOGH AND THE SUNFLOWERS by Auryn as one of the “Top Five Amazing Apps for Kids”

USA Today columnist Jinny Gudmundsen features the vibrant and art-filled app Van Gogh and The Sunflowers by Auryn as on the “Top Five Amazing Apps for Kids”. Here is what Gudmundsen had to say:

Auryn Inc., best for ages 6-11, 99 cents, iPad. 4 stars (out of 4)

Drawing from actual events in Van Gogh’s life, Laurence Anholt’s book weaves a story about how a little boy named Camille befriends the artist. Camille and his family appeared in paintings created by Van Gogh. This interactive story reveals how, although Van Gogh painted vibrant paintings of the village people and its surroundings, the townspeople of Camille’s village thought the painter was odd and ostracized him. But Camille and his family accepted Van Gogh and saw the genius of his work. The book contains 19 puzzles which kids play to bring the characters within the book to life. By tapping illustrations of characters, kids can activate a mode that lets them see the gears and mechanisms that would make the character move. By tapping again on the character, the mechanisms spring apart so that kids can connect them once again. When they do, the character will now appear to animate in the story. Kids can also use simple art tools to repaint the characters so that they appear on the pages how they would like them to look. With soothing background music and the ability to be transported to a museum for closer inspection of Van Gogh’s work, this is a great way for kids to learn about this artist and 10 of his famous paintings.



We’re feeling extra happy today so we’ll give all our fans a bonus. Leon Gildin stopped by Lilac Wolf and Stuff and wrote a great, captivating guest post called “Holocaust Events Set the Stage for 1970s Family Drama” in honor of International Holocaust Day, today.

Here is an excerpt:

Once at the Hotel Polski, they were matched with other survivors and given new names to correspond to the visas, exit permits and other identification documents that were found on the bodies of Jews who perished in the Warsaw ghetto. While Jews made it out of the Hotel Polski with their new identities and exit papers in hand, few made it out of Poland alive. Shulman’s work included interviews with those who survived.

The historic portion of The Polski Affair tells the story of not only what the Nazis planned in order to accomplish their goal, it speaks of existing sites such as the Hotel Polski; Pawiak, a prison built by the czar of Russia in the 19th Century which was located in the center of the Warsaw ghetto; the Jewish cemetery on the outskirts of the ghetto; and the city of Vittel in France where foreigners were confined. The characters, their relationship to each other and their experiences in the Hotel Polski and elsewhere are fiction.


Winner of the International Book Award for Historical Fiction, The Polski Affair is the story of Rosa Feurmann and others who found themselves as “guests” of the Hotel Polski during the Nazi occupation of Warsaw. Rumor had it the Nazis were attempting to lure Jews out of hiding by the sale of exit visas from Poland; the Hotel Polski drew in Jewish survivors who wished to buy their way to freedom. Rosa, a Jewish partisan, goes undercover as a maid and infiltrates the hotel. She is detected and comes under the personal control of the hotel’s Nazi Commandant.

Living in Israel as Anna Adler some thirty years later, she can’t escape the memory of what she did to survive. She is called as a witness at the Commandant’s War Crimes Trial in Heidelberg and years later, she attends a reunion of the surviving hotel “guests” . It is upon her return to Israel that Anna must reconcile her inner conflicts of guilt, survival and haunting secrets.

More on the sequel THE FAMILY AFFAIR

How can a woman’s struggle to reconcile her guilt of survival both unite and divide her family for years to come? It is some two years since Anna Adler returned from a reunion of the survivors who were “guests” of the Hotel Polski after the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. At the reunion, she was applauded for her courage in testifying against the Commandant of the Polski at his War Crimes Trial. Despite the accolades, Anna’s obsession with what took place at the hotel during her period of imprisonment continues to haunt her.

The Family Affair, a sequel to The Polski Affair, tells of the fortuitous discovery of new members of Anna’s family, bringing her both joy and torment. For Anna, the ties that bind run deeper than she cares to remember … or admit. This results in explosive revelations and a family forever changed, proving that some things are better left unsaid.



2017-09-07T03:19:01+00:00 January 27th, 2012|Friday Five!|


  1. Anonymous January 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for linking to my blog. I was happy to post the article by Leon Gildin, as I found both the Family Affair and the article fascinating reads. I think now is a good time to be reminded how ugly reality can get if we don’t step in early.

    • Kim January 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      Indeed, a sober reminder for all of us. Thank you, Angie!

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