Genre Spotlight News and Views

Cover Breakdown: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

BY DJ DeSmyter, AUGUST 27, 2014 | PERMALINK

The moment I saw the cover for The Miniaturist, I knew it would be perfect for our Cover Breakdown series, and as soon as you see it, you'll know why. I'm not usually big on Historical Fiction, but Jessie Burton's novel sounds like a mesmerizing read that may satisfy my need for a book as enchanting as Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus. Let's get started!

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office–leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella's life changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist–an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways ...


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mainstream, Romance
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Madame Picasso's Gold Experience Giveaway

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, AUGUST 26, 2014 | PERMALINK

Picasso has certainly left an impression on the world thanks to his now famous paintings. Even author Anne Girard has taken to the artist for her debut novel, Madame Picasso, a stirring fictionalized biography that dives into Picasso's world, France, World War I and the Moulin Rouge through the eyes of his mistress, Eva Gouel. Because really, if you want to know the true story of a renowned historical figure, you ask the mistress. Today we're giving away a special prize pack to celebrate the book's release.

A photo of the prizes

Enter to win this gold experience prize package that includes one copy of Madame Picasso and DVDs of The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge and Midnight in Paris. Sounds like the makings for a cozy weekend! This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and one winner will be chosen at random on September 5. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mainstream, Romance
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Extended Review: How To Tell Toledo From The Night Sky By Lydia Netzer

BY Cyndy Aleo, JULY 03, 2014 | PERMALINK

The cover of How to Tell Toledo From the Night SkyWhen Lydia Netzer's first book, Shine, Shine, Shine, was released, it was amazing, and quirky ... and it was at the forefront of a small recent trend of quirky, socially impaired characters.

I wasn't sure how well it would be received. It was smart — so smart it involved complicated equations as love notes — and super-quirky, and I wasn't sure of its mass market appeal in an industry that sometimes seems dominated with "more of the same." 

Seeing how well that book did was great, but Netzer's sophomore effort (if we don't count June's novella "Everybody's Baby"), How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky, is astounding. Netzer manages to take a blend of magical realism, the quirk factor of her previous novel, and her own unique voice to create a novel that stands out from the crowd being created by authors like Matthew Quick and Graeme Simsion.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mainstream
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Cover Breakdown: Rooms by Lauren Oliver

BY DJ DeSmyter, JUNE 25, 2014 | PERMALINK

In our Cover Breakdowns feature, I've been taking closer looks at recently revealed covers that have caught my eye. Today, I examine the cover for Lauren Oliver's upcoming adult novel, Rooms, due out on September 23. As a major Lauren Oliver fan, I'm super excited to read Rooms and I'm rather in love with the cover. Take a look:

Isn't it pretty?

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family — bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton and unforgiving daughter Minna — have arrived for their inheritance.

But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mainstream
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Five Books Karen White Can't Do Without

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JUNE 09, 2014 | PERMALINK

Karen White's June release, A Long Time Gone — about a woman who returns home only to become tangled up in a murder-mystery, earned a rare Gold rating from RT reviewer Debbie Haupt, a rating that typically indicates that a book has earned a spot on that reviewers keeper shelf. So we decided to ask the author which books she keeps coming back to. Below are five of the books Karen White just can't do without.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I still have stiff thumbs from holding this book open while I pushed my two children on swings at the park. All day. To the point that they were asking to go home because it was getting dark and they were hungry. It transported me to a different place and time, to a different world where I knew these characters like family, and felt their hurts as if they were my own. Beautiful writing, mesmerizing characters, a blazing romance, and a page-turning plot makes this book #1 on my keeper shelf.

Lord of the Far Island by Victoria Holt


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mainstream
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