Award-winning Author Ada Palmer

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Ada Palmer is the winner of the 2017 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Now, she’ll be at the Poisoned Pen on Friday, April 20 at 7 PM to talk about her book, Too Like the Lightning. Palmer’s books are available through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2J77D2K

too LIke the Lightning

Here’s the description of Too Like the Lightning.

From the winner of the 2017 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, Ada Palmer’s 2017 Compton Crook Award-winning political science fiction,Too Like the Lightning, ventures into a human future of extraordinary originality

Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer–a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away.

The world into which Mycroft and Carlyle have been born is as strange to our 21st-century eyes as ours would be to a native of the 1500s. It is a hard-won utopia built on technologically-generated abundance, and also on complex and mandatory systems of labelling all public writing and speech. What seem to us normal gender distinctions are now distinctly taboo in most social situations. And most of the world’s population is affiliated with globe-girdling clans of the like-minded, whoseendless economic and cultural competion is carefully managed by central planners of inestimable subtlety. To us it seems like a mad combination of heaven and hell. To them, it seems like normal life.

And in this world, Mycroft and Carlyle have stumbled on the wild card that may destablize the system: the boy Bridger, who can effortlessly make his wishes come true. Who can, it would seem, bring inanimate objects to life…

Terra Ignota
1.Too Like the Lightning
2.Seven Surrenders
3.The Will to Battle


In a recent article in The Phoenix New Times, Michael Senft said, “Ada Palmer is a true polymath. In addition to her day job as a history professor, the Harvard-educated Palmer performs with the filk group Sassafrass at cons and Ren fairs across the country. She’s also an award-winning science-fiction novelist.

“That’s the hat Palmer will be wearing when she visits the Poisoned Pen on Friday, April 20. Palmer will discuss her “Terra Ignota” series, set in a 25th-Century Earth ruled according to Enlightenment philosophy. Alas, all is not for the best in that best of all possible worlds, as a criminal and a spiritualist attempt to hide the existence of God in a society where religion is outlawed.”

Hot Book of the Week – David Baldacci’s The Fallen

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Amos Decker, the Memory Man, is back in David Baldacci’s The Fallen. The Fallen is the current Hot Book of the Week at the Poisoned Pen. You can order a signed copy of it through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2HvV1oG


Here’s the description of The Fallen.

Amos Decker is the Memory Man. Following a football-related head injury that altered his personality, Decker is now unable to forget even the smallest detail–as much a curse as it is a blessing. And in #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci’s gripping new thriller, Decker’s life might be about to change again…

Something sinister is going on in Baronville. The rust belt town has seen four bizarre murders in the space of two weeks. Cryptic clues left at the scenes–obscure bible verses, odd symbols–have the police stumped.

Amos Decker and his FBI colleague Alex Jamison are in Baronville visiting Alex’s sister and her family. It’s a bleak place: a former mill and mining town with a crumbling economy and rampant opioid addiction. Decker has only been there a few hours when he stumbles on a horrific double murder scene.

Then the next killing hits sickeningly close to home. And with the lives of people he cares about suddenly hanging in the balance, Decker begins to realize that the recent string of deaths may be only one small piece of a much larger scheme–with consequences that will reach far beyond Baronville.

Decker, with his singular talents, may be the only one who can crack this bizarre case. Only this time–when one mistake could cost him everything–Decker finds that his previously infallible memory may not be so trustworthy after all…

“Decker is one of the most unusual detectives any novelist has dreamed up.” –-Washington Post

Fantasy Novels & Food

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When I read Anne Ewbank’s recent article in Atlas Obscura, I immediately thought of Kevin Hearne and his Iron Druid Chronicles. Or, I should say, I thought of Kevin Hearne and Oberon, the Irish Wolfhound. Ewbank’s article is called, “Why Do Fantasy Novels Have So Much Food?”, http://bit.ly/2H6ODVC

Way back in 2012, the release party for the fourth Iron Druid Chronicles book, Tricked, was held at Rula Bula, an Irish pub in Tempe, Arizona.


Why was it held at an Irish pub? Atticus, the Druid, hung out at Rula Bula. But, the real answer was beer, whiskey, and sausages. Those sausages were for Oberon, the Irish Wolfhound in the book. In fact, the release party was called Atticus & Oberon’s Sausage Fest.

Atticus & Oberon's Sausage Fest - Best (1)

Have you read Tricked? The description of the food at the Double Dog Dare Gourmet Cafe in Flagstaff, Arizona is outrageous. But, it fits Ewbank’s account of food in fantasy novels.

If you’re interested in the food in Kevin Hearne’s books, check out the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2Glm6Lt


You can also find J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, and other fantasy novels if you’re looking for other stories featuring food.

K.J. Howe & “A Female Action Hero”

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K.J. Howe

K.J. Howe will be at the Poisoned Pen on Wednesday, April 18 at 7 PM. She’ll be joined by Alex Grecian, author of The Saint of Wolves and Butchers. Howe will discuss and sign her latest Thea Paris thriller, Skyjack. Signed copies of that book and Howe’s other ones are available through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2JN7xOP


Here’s the summary of Skyjack.

International kidnap expert Thea Paris is escorting two former child soldiers on a plane from an orphanage in Kanzi, Africa, to adoptive parents in London when the Boeing Business Jet is hijacked and forced to land on a deserted airstrip in the Libyan desert.

On the ground, Thea comes face-to-face with a former nemesis, a Sicilian don who wants something, or someone, on that plane. Her old foe imprisons her in the hangar and takes to the air with the boys and the passengers still aboard, mysteriously demanding that Thea use the resources of Quantum International to hijack a truckload of Syrian refugees bound for Budapest. He makes it clear he will return the passengers only when the truck and its contents are in his possession.

Thea, Rif, and the Quantum team must race against the clock to discover the don’s true motives before any harm comes to the two boys and their fellow passengers. Revealing a deadly conspiracy that connects the dark postwar legacy of World War II to the present, this case will bring all parties to an explosive conclusion that will decide the fate of millions across Europe and the Middle East.


Do you want to know more about Howe and Thea Paris? Peter Larsen recently covered both of them in an article for The Orange County RegisterHowe talks about creating a strong female character in the thriller genre, a kidnap specialist. Check out the article, and then listen to Howe on Wednesday night at the Poisoned Pen. http://bit.ly/2EMlSHC

Lee Goldberg & True Fiction

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Lee Goldberg will be at the Poisoned Pen Monday, April 16 at 7 PM to discuss his latest novel, True Fiction. Signed copies are available through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2quRso2

True Fiction

Here’s the summary of True Fiction.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Goldberg hits the ground running in a breakneck thriller where truth and fiction collide for the unluckiest writer alive.

When a passenger jet crashes onto the beaches of Waikiki, bestselling thriller writer Ian Ludlow knows the horrific tragedy wasn’t an accident.

Years before, the CIA enlisted Ian to dream up terrorism scenarios to prepare the government for nightmares they couldn’t imagine. Now one of those schemes has come true, and Ian is the only person alive who knows how it was done…and who is behind the plot. That makes him too dangerous to live.

Ian goes on the run, sweeping up an innocent bystander in his plight—Margo French, a dog walker and aspiring singer. They are pursued by assassins and an all-seeing global-intelligence network that won’t stop until Ian and Margo are dead. Ian has written thrillers like this before, but this time he doesn’t know how it’s going to end—or if he will be alive to find out.


Monday night, Goldberg will be in conversation with Grace Doyle, his Amazon publishing editor. In the meantime, you can catch another interview with him. Dave Simms interviewed Goldberg for Publishers Weekly in an article called “The Opposite of Jack Reacher”. http://bit.ly/2EGNYE9

Anne Perry Introduces Daniel Pitt

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Anne Perry 2018

Anne Perry was just here to introduce a new character, Daniel Pitt, in the book Twenty-one Days. Yes, he’s the son of Thomas and Charlotte Pitt, but the young barrister is the hero of her new series. You can order a signed copy of Twenty-one Days through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2qtUOZh

Twenty-one Days

Here’s the description of Twenty-one Days.

In the first book of an all-new series, a young lawyer races to save his client from execution, putting him at odds with his own father: Thomas Pitt, head of London’s Special Police Branch.

1910: Twenty-five-year-old Daniel Pitt is a junior barrister in London and eager to prove himself, independent of his renowned parents’ influence. And the new case before him will be the test. When his client, arrogant biographer Russell Graves, is found guilty of murdering his wife, Daniel is dispatched to find the real killer before Graves faces the hangman’s noose—in only twenty-one days.

Could Mrs. Graves’s violent death have anything to do with her husband’s profession? Someone in power may be framing the biographer to keep damaging secrets from coming to light. It is a theory that leads Daniel’s investigation unexpectedly to London’s Special Branch—and, disturbingly, to one of his father’s closest colleagues.

Caught between duty to the law and a fierce desire to protect his family, Daniel must call on his keen intellect—and trust his natural instincts—to find the truth in a tangle of dark deception, lest an innocent man hang for another’s heinous crime.


If you would like to hear about the new series and British law, you can watch the conversation between Anne Perry and Poisoned Pen bookstore owner, Barbara Peters.


Anne Perry and Barbara
Left to right – Anne Perry and Barbara Peters

Hot Book of the Week – Madeline Miller’s Circe

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Madeline Miller’s follow-up to the New York Times bestseller, The Song of Achilles, is Circe. The novel is the current Hot Book of the Week at the Poisoned Pen. Signed copies are available through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2v6Evqg


Here’s the description of Circe.

The daring, dazzling and highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Song of Achilles

One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2018

“An epic spanning thousands of years that’s also a keep-you-up-all-night page turner.” – Ann Patchett

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world.