SIGN UP FOR THE MULHOLLAND BOOKS NEWSLETTER for breaking news, exclusive material, and free books

Sign Me Up

Start Reading SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Falcon

Dec 03, 2013 in Books, Excerpts, Fiction, Mulholland News

SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Falcon by Don Mann with Ralph PezzulloToday the newest adventure in Don Mann and Ralph Pezzullo’s SEAL Team Six series featuring Captain Thomas Crocker lands in bookstores, and reviewers are saying it “delivers exactly what fans want” (Publishers Weekly) and “puts the reader in the center of the action—the smells, sounds, savagery of war” (Kirkus Reviews). Below is an excerpt from Hunt the Falcon—enjoy, and don’t blame us if your heart starts racing!

Chapter One

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. —Rabindranath Tagore

John and Lenora Rinehart had just watched their thirteen-year-old son Alex dress himself for the first time. It was a special morning. Usually days at the Rinehart house started with a delicate dance, determined by their son’s moods.

Just because his son Alex was autistic didn’t mean he wasn’t smart, John Rinehart reminded himself as his shoes met the uneven surface of the slate walk and he punched the electronic button that opened the door to his dark blue Saab 900. His son was exceptional in the IQ department. But his brain’s ability to control the warp-speed flow of information, and his emotional impulses, was out of whack. When it didn’t work the way Alex wanted it to, the boy got frustrated. And when he got frustrated, he got mad as hell. Screaming, beat-the-shit-out-of-whatever-he-could-get-his-hands-on angry sometimes.

Ask him to find the positive difference of the fourth power of two consecutive positive integers that must be divisible by one more than twice the larger integer? No problem. But little things like buttoning a shirt or fastening a zipper often tripped him up.

“Little things…little victories,” forty-two-year-old John Rinehart said as he reached across the console between the front seats and squeezed his wife Lena’s hand.

She smiled past the straight black bangs that almost brushed her eyes and said, “I credit Alex’s new school. It’s been a major positive.”

“Yes,” John whispered back. His heart felt like it might leap out of his chest with delight.

John felt things strongly. Like his son. Sometimes so strongly that it scared him and he, too, had to fight hard to control himself.

His half-Asian wife was the more emotionally balanced of the two. She understood that tomorrow morning might be completely different; that life with a child like Alex was unpredictable at best.

John found it much harder to let go of the hope that his son would one day lead a normal life. He kept looking for a path, or an unopened doorway in his son’s psyche, that would lead to that result. Which made sense, because part of what he did for a living as the economic counselor at the U.S. embassy was to look for patterns of activity and use them to try to predict future events—Chinese-Thai trade, baht volatility, Thai-U.S. trading algorithms.

He was a brilliant man who studied the world and saw tendencies, vectors, roads traveled, like the one he steered the highly polished car onto now, into the knot of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles on what the Thais called Thanon Phetchaburi.

He’d learned to expect the eight-mile ride to the embassy to take forty minutes because of the traffic, but he didn’t mind. It gave him and his wife a chance to listen to music and spend some quiet time together.

This morning he didn’t want to think about the embassy where she also worked, as an administrative assistant in the CIA station. Nor did he want to consider the problems he’d deal with when he got there.

Instead he listened as Stan Getz played a smooth, moving “Body and Soul” over the stereo, and he hummed along, feeling unusually optimistic and calm. He even entertained the possibility that when his tour in Thailand ended in a year, he would return to teaching. Maybe even accept the position on the faculty of University of California, Berkeley that had been offered him a little while back. Lena would like that.

The sky above was a murky, almost iridescent yellow. Bangkok was a surreal blend of staggeringly beautiful and disgusting, rich and poor, spiritual and depraved, all living pressed together. He found the yin-yang dynamic of the city fascinating.

Adjusting the air-conditioning, he turned to his wife. “I’m proud of you, darling,” he said.

“I’m proud of you. And Alex, too.”

“Our Alex,” he added.

Through the windshield John noticed a battered blue truck squeezing into the little space between his front bumper and the Nissan taxi four feet to the right. He applied the brake, hit the horn, then turned to his wife.

He noticed the way the light accentuated her cheekbones, then out of the corner of his right eye glimpsed a motorcycle near the back bumper. Two helmets, both black with mirrored visors. The driver and rider looked like aliens.

Past the soaring saxophone solo and through the soundproof door panels, he heard a metal click. Seconds later the motorcycle roared past, narrowly avoiding a bus.

He was thinking about the first time he had seen Lena, standing near the entrance to the Georgetown University library. She was a sophomore; he was pursuing a master’s degree in economics.

He remembered how he had stopped to ask her for directions to White-Gravenor Hall even though he knew where it was. And how when she turned, he was struck by her beauty, and the strength and intelligence in her eyes.

John Rinehart opened his mouth to tell Lena how he had felt at that moment, how certain he had been that something important was happening. But before he could get the words out, the small but powerful explosive device that had been magnetically attached to the car’s rear fender exploded, tearing through the chassis, igniting the high-octane fuel in the gas tank and causing the car to burst into flames.

John and Lenora Rinehart were dead within seconds. Another eight poor souls riding bicycles and motorbikes in the vicinity also died. Twenty-three were seriously injured.

Continue reading ›

0 Comments

S. Cipher Contest Winner

Nov 25, 2013 in Mulholland Authors, Mulholland News

S. from J.J. Abrams and Doug DorstTo celebrate the publication of S., created by J.J. Abrams and written by Doug Dorst, Mulholland Books hosted a very special contest: if someone was able to decrypt the hidden message within the following poem, he or she could win lunch with Abrams and Dorst in New York City. Here were the instructions and the message:

Follow these lines, from first to last, and play fair—the bearded sailor sees all:

Midnight in the Old Quarter of a city where river meets sea. Hypnotic

fog caresses stone, glides over water, pulses in the dark beyond the harbor.

Never cry out when you’re shoved from the dock; never fear the sharks, the storms, the depths. This is the closest thing to freedom.

Swim like you still have power. Swim like they fear you’re able. Swim with

xebec swiftness through chop and wind, through blistering sun and frigid gloom.

Cherish each stroke, each breath, each gulp of ocean–the music of a mortally beautiful waltz, ever to ring through seas and skies.

Our winner, Kristopher Zgorski, not only decrypted the poem’s hidden meaning—STRAKA LIVES—but also presented his explanation as an acrostic spelling out the name of his book review blog, BOLO BOOKS:

Begin with the directions.
Obviously they provide cipher clues.
Luckily playfair was the encryption method and
Of course sailor Maelstrom was the keyword.
But digraphs came from the poem itself.
Oddly important, each lines first and last letters.
Omit “Z”.
Kindly read vertically to
See who wishes to dine.

For more detail on how the playfair cipher can be applied to the poem above, visit the contest page. And thank you to all who entered! If you’d like to read how Kristopher’s lunch with Abrams and Dorst went, check out this post on BOLO BOOKS.

1 Comment

The Lineup: Links for J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst’s S., Part II

Nov 22, 2013 in Mulholland Authors, Weekly links

Contrasted ConfinementIn the weeks since its October publication, the hits have just kept coming for S., created by J.J. Abrams and written by Doug Dorst. J.J was on PBS in an amazing, extensive interview with Tavis Smiley that you can watch right here, in which J.J. finally lays out some of the groundwork of the many layers of S., and in which a live unboxing of S. takes memorable shape.

If you live near New York City, this Saturday, November 23rd, at Symphony Space, is your chance to hear J.J. and Doug discuss S. and be introduced by Sarah Vowell of This American Life. More general info and ticket information can be found here. For more, see Time Out New York‘s Critic’s Pick coverage of upcoming event. (This week’s issue has a fantastic column on the book’s design as well.)

For more on S., check out CNN.com’s interview with Abrams and Dorst, Niall Alexander’s excellent review of the novel at Tor.com, and a great breakdown on Bookish on what fans of Abrams’ many projects will find to love about S. This Buzzfeed post has some great pics of S. and some great conversation about the novel in the comments.

Hey, you know who’s a fan of S.?Anthony Bourdain, who tweeted: “Just got my hands on JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst’s crazy, brilliant book/object of desire: “S” . Amazing.”

How do best approach reading S.? Redditors have some ideas.

Thanks to everyone out there reading and enjoying S.! We’re all so proud here of this New York Times bestseller’s amazing reception. More soon!

Did we missing something sweet? Share it in the comments! We’re always open to suggestions for next week’s post! Get in touch at mulhollandbooks@hbgusa.com or DM us on Twitter.

 

0 Comments

Start Reading The Lost Girls of Rome

Nov 20, 2013 in Excerpts, Mulholland Authors

This week, Donato Carrisi’s THE LOST GIRLS OF ROME, a “powerful psychological drama” (Kirkus, starred review), reaches bookstores across the country and is also available from your favorite e-tailer. Below is an excerpt from this amazing Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week. Enjoy! And don’t blame us if you end up running out to grab a copy of your own after reading this!

8:56 p.m.

The third lesson that Sandra Vega had learned is that houses and apartments have a smell. It belongs to those who live in them, and it’s always different and unique. When the occupants leave, the smell vanishes. That was why every time Sandra got back to her apartment on the Navigli, she immediately looked for David’s smell.

Aftershave and aniseed-flavored cigarettes.

She knew that one day she would come home, sniff the air and not smell it. Once the smell had gone, David really wouldn’t be there anymore.

That thought made her despair. And she tried to be out as much as possible. In order not to contaminate the apartment with her presence, not to fill it with her own smell.

At first, she had hated the cheap supermarket aftershave David insisted on buying. It seemed to her aggressive and all-pervading. In the three years they had lived together, she had tried many times to find him a replacement. Every birthday, Christmas or anniversary, in addition to the official gift there was a new scent. He would use it for a week, then put it away together with the others on a shelf in the bathroom. Each time he would attempt to justify himself with the words: “Sorry, Ginger, but it’s just not me.” The way he would wink as he said this was intensely irritating.

Sandra could never have imagined that a time would come when she would buy twenty bottles of that aftershave and sprinkle it around the apartment. She had bought so many out of the senseless fear that one day they would take it off the market. And she had even purchased those terrible aniseed-flavored cigarettes. She would leave them, alight, in ashtrays around the rooms. But the alchemy hadn’t worked. It was David’s physical presence that had linked those smells indissolubly. It was his skin, his breath, his mood that made that union special.

After a long day’s work, Sandra closed the apartment door behind her and waited a few seconds, motionless in the darkness. Then, at last, her husband’s smell came to greet her.

She put the bags down on the armchair in the hall: she would have to clean the equipment, but for now she was putting everything off. She would see to it after dinner. In the meantime she ran herself a hot bath and lay in the water until her fingers became wrinkled. She put on a blue T-shirt and opened a bottle of wine. It was her way of escaping. She couldn’t bear to switch on the television anymore, and she didn’t have the concentration necessary to read a book. So she spent her evenings on the sofa, with a bottle of Negroamaro in her hands and her vision gradually blurring.

She was only twenty-nine, and found it hard to think of herself as a widow. Continue reading ›

0 Comments

The Lineup: Weekly Links, Lost Girls of Rome edition

Nov 19, 2013 in Mulholland Authors, Weekly links

Contrasted ConfinementHappy publication day to Donato Carrisi’s THE LOST GIRLS OF ROME! Following in the footsteps of the “brilliant” (Ken Follett) debut THE WHISPERER, but with a vibrant international setting, Carrisi’s second thriller has been receiving great press.

THE LOST GIRLS OF ROME was named a Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week and is included in a round-up of recent releases from the Denver Post.

LOST GIRLS also received a starred review from Kirkus, who wrote of the novel: “Carrisi writes beautifully [and] intimately appreciates Rome, its chapels, its narrow alleyways, its fountains and gardens [with] references to the Monster of Florence…A powerful psychological drama.”

Library Journal also proclaims: “With a lot of separate subplots, intricate details, and twists, this novel has plenty for readers to follow…those who can keep up will be rewarded.”

Looking for more to whet your appetite? Strand Magazine features an essay by Carrisi on the intriguing inspirations for his newest.

Bloggers, too have been loving LOST GIRLS as well. My Bookish Ways includes it on a list of the Top Ten Must Reads of November 2013. Tor.com ran a popular giveaway for the novel, and IE Mommy raves: “I have not read a thrilling and more captivating novel than THE LOST GIRLS OF ROME in a long time…an incredible read!”

THE LOST GIRLS OF ROME is now available in bookstores across the country and from your favorite e-tailer!

Did we missing something sweet? Share it in the comments! We’re always open to suggestions for next week’s post! Get in touch at mulhollandbooks@hbgusa.com or DM us on Twitter.

0 Comments

The Amazing Noir Books You Have To Read

Nov 11, 2013 in Fiction, Guest Posts

This wonderful list of top noir novels comes to Mulholland Books courtesy of Reed Farrel Coleman. Tell us in the comments how many of these books you’ve read…and let us know of any omissions!

Red Cat by Peter SpiegelmanRed Cat by Peter Spiegelman

From one of the great underappreciated writers in the crime fiction genre. Red Cat has it all, including the sexiest cover image ever. But the real magic is in the writing. The best dovetailing of plot and subplot I have been fortunate to come across. A masterful PI story of blackmail, performance art, sex, and dysfunctional families.

The Shanghai Moon by SJ Rozan

The Shanghai Moon by SJ Rozan

Sometimes the best books about the Holocaust are not set in Europe. That is surely the case in The Shanghai Moon, a novel set in today’s New York Chinatown and in Shanghai’s Jewish Ghetto circa WWII. It is a heartbreaking tale of murder, robbery, romance, and myth drawn with Rozan’s deft and evocative hand. Why this book didn’t garner more attention is a mystery worthy of Lydia Chin and Bill Smith. Continue reading ›

3 Comments

The Nightrunners by Joe Lansdale is Back in Print!

Nov 04, 2013 in Mulholland Authors

The Nightrunners by Joe LansdaleIs your copy of The Nightrunners falling apart? Or have you—gasp—not yet had the pleasure of reading one of Joe Lansdale’s earliest horror novels? Fortunately for all of us, this book is back in print, thanks to the efforts of Behooven Press.

In The Nightrunners, a ’66 Chevy hurtles through the countryside, bearing a carful of vicious teenagers and evil of Biblical proportions. It’s a morality tale of sex and violence that showcases all the hallmarks of Lansdale’s evocative storytelling that I loved in his later novels like Edge of Dark Water and The Thicket.

Scott Montgomery of BookPeople in Austin, Texas (and one of Muholland’s favorite people) has this to say: “I forgot who said it, but there was an author who claimed there was no such thing as a horror novel, just novels with horror elements, because a writer cannot sustain mood and terror at book length. The Nightrunners challenges and defeats that thought. So glad this is back in print.”

Click here to read more about this exciting reissue, and order your copy today. As Tim Bryant of Behooven wrote me, “You haven’t completed your Lansdale Merit Badge until you’ve read this one.”

1 Comment

The Take Shelf

Nov 01, 2013 in Uncategorized

Ship of TheseusThe take shelf is as magical as it sounds. In the world of publishing, most companies have shelves of extra books, open to anyone for the taking. Sometimes the take shelf goes beyond books. I have seen DVDs, food, and even a baby—alright, that was a prank—on shelves, up for the taking. It is like a library with an extended group of friends. If you love a book, you might put it on the shelf for one of your friends to discover. But what would happen if an old library book, full of notes littering the margins and stuffed with post cards, newspaper clippings, and letters ended up on a take shelf. What would you do? Would you try to return it to its owner, to the library stacks from which it fled, or pick it up a read along?
Ship of Theseus
A copy of S., conceived by J.J. Abrams and written by Doug Dorst, recently appeared on a take shelf without the slipcase explaining the interior of the book. It became, simply, the Laguna Verde High School Library copy of the Ship of Theseus by V.M. Straka. Published by the Winged Shoes Press in 1949, stuffed with notes and ephemera from students Jen and Eric. An anonymous report has it appearing on a take shelf and disappearing on the same day. Now, someone else has it.

Do they know what it really is? I hope not. I hope they have a similar experience to J.J. Abrams. When he was at LAX, 15 years ago, he found a novel sitting on a bench. Inside someone had written on the title page, “to whomever find this book please read it and take it somewhere and leave it for someone else to read.” That event never left him and inspire S., a book that is more about the experience of reading it than anything else.

I hope whoever found the book reads along, follows the clues, keeps pursuing answers, and returns the book to a take shelf. For someone else to discover.

0 Comments

The Lineup: Links for J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst’s S.

Oct 29, 2013 in Guest Posts, Weekly links

Contrasted ConfinementThe day has come! At long last, S., conceived by J.J Abrams and written by Doug Dorst, is in bookstores across the country and we can finally start spreading the word about just what Abrams and Dorst have unleashed on the world.

News about Abrams’ and Dorst’s novel has spread far and wide. CBS News has some highlights from this morning’s interview with J.J. and Doug right here, as well as bonus content that didn’t air on CBS This Morning. Publishers Weekly gives S. a starred review, proclaiming the novel “multilayered and complex,” and going on to write: “the Talmudic commentary fascinate[s]…a must-read.”

Elsewhere, the New York Times has both a By the Book with J.J. Abrams and a great interview with Abrams and Dorst. Another interview with Abrams can be found at the L.A. Times Jacket Copy blog. There are also some truly mesmerizing, hour-long transmissions from Radio Straka you can listen to here for some great background from the world of S.

Curious just how ornate a package you’ll be receiving if you pick up a copy? Check out our Look Inside video and see for yourself. We’re also running a Cipher contest that is your chance to win a lunch meeting with Abrams and Dorst in New York City. (Yes, you read that right.) And if you weren’t one of the two million views on Bad Robot’s Stranger video, or missed the full version of the announcement trailer of S., we’ve included the full version of the trailer below.

2 Comments

Fund a New Novella by Joe R. Lansdale

Oct 21, 2013 in Fiction, Mulholland Authors

Black Labyrinth Book IIDark Regions Press has launched a Kickstarter campaign to support the creation of a new novella of psychological horror from Joe Lansdale, author of The Thicket and Edge of Dark Water. This novella will be the second book in Dark Regions’s Black Labyrinth series of handsome illustrated hardcovers. Not only do we know that Lansdale is the best writer for the job, but the proposed novella will also feature artwork by Santiago Caruso. Any contribution to the cause will earn you a copy of the book.

Here’s Joe Lansdale on the project:

“I’m currently working with Black Labyrinth to create a book of psychological horror, and well, a little bit of overt horror as well. It’s a novella, not a novel, but there will be plenty of room for shadow and sounds, and for whatever it takes to scare a reader. What if there is a prison graveyard on an island for the worst of the worst? A place where the unclaimed go? Those who have been executed or died by disease or old age would end up on this island. Taken there by ferry in the middle of the night to be deposited in the ground like rotten rutabaga seeds. And what if on that island are two caretakers, a gravedigger and the ferry man? And with the remains of all that evil there in this dark, lost place in the middle of a great bubble of sea and wind and starry night sky, something goes way damn wrong.

And it isn’t at all what you think it is.

That’s the premise of my novella for Black Labyrinth. The money for the writing of the book, the artwork by Santiago Caruso, and the actual construction and publication of the novella will be, hopefully, provided by a Kickstarter campaign run by Chris Morey, the editor of Black Labyrinth’s novellas.”

Can’t wait to get your hands on a copy? Only you can make this project a reality! Check out the Kickstarter page for Black Labyrinth for more information.

0 Comments