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Five-Star Fiction, March 2011: A Special Monthly Feature from Kindle Nation


Five-Star Fiction, March 2011A Special Monthly Feature from Kindle Nation
Greetings from Kindle Nation!


Betty and I have a friend named Smokey who has a great expression of which I have grown fond. You finish a project, accomplish something worthwhile, or do the right thing in any way significant or small, and Smokey will say, “Give yourself a biscuit!”

The fact that the expression may derive from the rigors of canine training doesn’t mean it isn’t nice to hear. And so, readers of Kindle Nation, if you were here and I perhaps knew you just a bit better, I’d be inclined to look at the great response with which you greeted last month’s first issue of our 5-Star Fiction feature and say, “Give yourself a biscuit!”

Our readers responded very enthusiastically to several of the books that we selected last month with the help of our 5-Star Fiction partner, bestselling novelist M.J. Rose. So this month, instead of a biscuit, we’re back with another mix of terrific new Kindle reads.

Once again we’re flirting with the boundaries between fiction and fact with selections such as Katharine Weber’s novel Triangle, a great potential book club selection based on the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire of March 25, 1911 …

or Amelia Grey’s fun frolic through the romantic lives of some of the world’s great romantic writers …

or a fascinating new novel by from the real-life star behind an only slightly fictionalized eponymous film, the Erin Brockovich.

Which one will be your favorite? All of them, we hope, but whether you choose one of the above or a Julia London romance, a Diana Orgain mystery, or a James Lepore thriller, all we ask is that you give yourself a biscuit, and …


Steve Windwalker

Triangle: A Novel by Katharine Weber
TRIANGLE: A NOVEL by Katharine Weber, just $9.99 on Kindle:
Click here to download a free sample or the entire book
“… a crackerjack historical mystery!” 

Dear Reader:

Katharine Weber
Katharine Weber


The Triangle shirtwaist factory fire of 1911 fascinated me as a child growing up inNew York City, because my father”s mother worked at the Triangle Waist Company in 1909, finishing buttonholes. It was her last sweatshop shop, before she married and gave birth to my father in the back of a grocery store in Brooklyn, and so she wasn”t there on the day of the fire. But the Triangle fire has always felt like an event in my family history. I was further inspired when the last living survivor of the Triangle fire died at the age of 107. What had it been like for her, telling her story about the day you didn”t die, for ninety years? The novelist in me took over. What would it be like to explain the events of that day for ninety years, if your story was a lie?

Katharine Weber

Triangle: A Novel

by Katharine Weber
Kindle Edition ~ Release Date: 2011-02-22


An Excerpt from the Novel

This is what happened. I was working at my machine, with only a few minutes left before the end of the day. I had only two right sleeves remaining in my pile — my sister Pauline, she did the left sleeves and I did the right sleeves and between us we could finish sometimes as many as twenty-four shirtwaists in an hour, three hundred shirtwaists on a good day, if the machines didn”t break down and if the thread didn”t break too often. My sister was a little faster than I was, and sometimes her finished pile would be high because she did her sleeve first and then I would take from her pile to do the right sleeve, but I have to say my seams were the ones always perfectly straight.

*     *     *

“Katharine Weber’s crackerjack historical mystery may be the most effective 9/11 novel yet written — and it isn’t even about 9/11.”

— Entertainment Weekly

*     *     *

Many book groups are reading TRIANGLE to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the fire, which will occur on March 25th, 2011. Katharine appears in the HBO documentary, “Triangle: Remembering the Fire,” which will air on HBO several times in March, starting March 21st at 9 p.m. Eastern time.


Blood of My Brother by James Lepore
Blood of My Brother
BLOOD OF MY BROTHER by James Lepore, just $6.39 on Kindle:  Click here to download a free sample or the entire book
… a fast-paced thriller … full of passion both of hate and love … 

James Lepore

Dear Reader,

If I was asked why I write novels, I think the answer I would be most comfortable giving would be: to explore the human heart, to try to understand why it makes the choices it does. Choice was the echo I kept hearing as I was writing Blood of My Brother. When we don’t have to choose, life is easy, or seems to be; when we do, it can become very difficult. Dan Del Colliano, Jay Cassio and Isabel Perez, the central characters in Blood of My Brother, make choices. Danny’s leads to his death, Jay and Isabel’s to a confrontation with evil that they may not survive, but which they both know is the only chance they have to live the lives they were meant to live.

James Lepore

Blood of My Brother
by James Lepore
The Story Plant
Kindle Edition ~ Release Date: 2010-12-07

List Price: $7.99

Kindle Price $6.39
Download a Free Sample or Buy Now


An Excerpt from the Novel

“Do you know Juan Paredes?” Herman asked Isabel.


“You never met him, not even once? He considered himself quite attractive to woman.”

“I would tell you if I did.”

“He’s dead,” Herman said. “His head is in the suitcase.”

Isabel gave Herman one of her nothing looks, and then glanced over at Jose, who was smiling. She had heard that Jose beheaded his victims, but had been reluctant to believe it, even of him. She looked back at Herman, remaining silent, her face a blank.

“Would you like to see it?”


“We’ll show you anyway.” Herman nodded at Jose, who deftly flipped up the suitcase’s clasps and lifted it open. There, laying on a creamy white towel, was indeed a human head, the face pallid and ghostly, the long dark hair greasy, the raw, jagged flesh of the neck, where Jose’s machete had done its work, ringed with dried blood.

*     *     *

Blood of my Brother is exciting, full of passion both of hate and love. It is a story that will captivate and keep you in your easy chair reading until you reach the satisfying conclusion. It is a great book deserving of a 9 out of 10 rating.”

– Mainly Mysteries

Blood of My Brother is a fast-paced thriller with twists and turns that defy reason. James LePore has again written a novel of suspense showing his maturing style is in even better form. A best seller for sure for those who love thrillers and a good mystery!”

– Crystal Book Reviews

Rock Bottom by Erin Brockovich
Rock Bottom
ROCK BOTTOM by Erin Brockovich, just $12.99 on Kindle: Click here to download a free sample or the entire book

” … Erin Brockovich continues to fight the good fight, now as a writer of fiction … in a story Erin Brockovich lived …”  

Dear Reader,

I noticed something happening in courts of law when juries deal with environmental issues like groundwater contamination. The repercussions of a case might be riveting but the scientific jargon is dry and becomes overwh

Erin Brockovich
Erin Brockovich

elming. In fiction, that same story can be told in a way that maintains its dangerous and heroic elements, enabling people to become aware, to believe that they can make a difference, and to become their own hero.

Rock Bottom is not only entertaining and suspenseful, but also informative about the environmental crises that affect us all as individuals, as a country, and as a global society. If a few people close the book with a renewed sense of what can be accomplished, and become proactive in taking on accountability and responsibility for spreading the word about environmental issues and clean up, the A.J. in all of us will be here for a good long time.

Erin Brockovich


Rock Bottom

Rock Bottom

by Erin Brockovich with CJ Lyons

Vanguard Press

Kindle Edition
Release Date: 2011-03-01



List Price: $25.99

Kindle Price: $12.99

Download a Free Sample or Buy Now


An Excerpt from the Novel


Once we’d left the concrete tangle of highways surrounding D.C. and made it over the West Virginia border we were on two-lane switchbacked highways crossing through the Appalachians. Home. The word filled me with dread-and yet also offered a tantalizing feeling of anticipation. Maybe this time. . . .

When we were kids, we used to whine that Scotia, West Virginia, was the town where dreams went to die.

But I’d escaped.

I’d lived my dreams. Lost most of them. Except the most important one, David. Almost ten years old and going to meet his grandparents for the first time. His first time leaving D.C. since he was an infant in my arms.

Was I crawling back, a failure, a fool for returning to the town that had tried so hard to assassinate my dreams? Or was I really still just a kid myself, coming home at twenty-seven to be healed?
*     *     *

“Everything a great thriller should be-action-packed, authentic, and intense.”

-New York Times bestselling author Lee Child

“A compelling new voice in thriller writing, Rock Bottom will keep you in its spell from beginning to end. I love how the characters come alive on every page.”

-New York Times bestselling author Jeffery Deaver

“Erin Brockovich continues to fight the good fight, now as a writer of fiction. Rock Bottom is a story Erin Brockovich lived. The heroine is brilliant and feisty. Tension and turmoil mount in a high stakes adventure with dire consequences. Nobody could tell this story better.”

-New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry



A Light at Winter’s End by Julia London
LightA LIGHT AT WINTER’S END by Julia London, just$7.99 on Kindle:

Click here to download a free sample or the entire book

” … As a writer, I am fascinated how ordinary people are thrust into extraordinary circumstances that forever alter their lives and their souls … “ 

Julia London
Julia London

I am delighted to announce the release of another Cedar Springs, TX book:  A Light at Winter’s End.

Hannah has always done everything right:  getting married, having a baby, and caring for her dying mother, all while performing impeccably in a high-level job.  Her sister Holly is the college dropout, the one who works at a coffee shop and wants to be a songwriter.  One day, Hannah suddenly-without explanation-leaves her baby with Holly and disappears.  While Holly struggles with the sudden upheaval, Wyatt Clark (Summer of Two Wishes), a mysterious cowboy who knows a lot about life-changing events, wanders into her life.

As a writer, I am fascinated how ordinary people are thrust into extraordinary circumstances that forever alter their lives and their souls.  This book is for everyone who believes that no matter how dark the journey, there is always a light at the end.

Follow me on www.facebook.com/julialondon or visit http://www.julialondon.com.

Julia London

A Light at Winter’s End
by Julia London
Kindle Edition
Release Date: 2011-02-22

List Price: $7.99

Kindle Price: $7.99
Download a Free Sample or Buy Now


An Excerpt from the Novel
The cowboy rose at dawn’s first light and pulled on a pair of worn, dirty denims. “Come,” he said to his dog and, scratching his bare abdomen, he padded down the hall of the nondescript red brick ranch house and into the kitchen.


There was something sticky underfoot on the linoleum, but he couldn’t really see. He sleepily made a note of it and thought Sunday, when he washed his clothes in that old harvest yellow washer, he might wash a few things around the house, as well.  He couldn’t remember ever mopping the floor here, and figured, after a year, it was as good a time as any.

He studied the row of buttons on the trendy contraption that some would call a coffee machine, and he called a pretentious piece of pain-in-the-ass machinery. It was one of the few things he’d kept from his marriage.  He’d bought it for her, of course, and she’d been ridiculously pleased with it.  He’d never quite figured out how to operate it correctly.  Why had he kept it?  He didn’t know anymore.  The only thing he did know was that Wyatt and Macy Clark were no more.

*     *     *

“A passionate, arresting story that you wish would never end.”

– Robyn Carr, New York Times bestselling author of Paradise Valley

“A fine story…London’s ability to draw real-life characters and settings is superb. The way her characters cope with life’s curve balls and keep on trucking is inspiring.”

RT Bookclub

“London’s effective wordcraft and plotting keeps readers engages as she draws drama from her charaters’ inner strife, breathing life into the journey from quiet desperation and loneliness to happiness and self-discovery.”

Publisher’s Weekly

Dear Reader,

Formula for Murder by Diana Orgain
FORMULA FOR MURDER by Diana Orgain, $7.99 on Kindle: Click here to download a free sample or the entire book

” … New mom starts her own business as PI in order to stay at home with her baby … only it’s not as easy as she thinks … “

Diana Orgain
Diana Orgain

Dear Reader,

I am proud to introduce The Maternal Instinct Mystery Series to you. I was inspired to write the series because when I was pregnant with my first child I was addicted to non-fiction baby developments books.  I read nightly how my little sprout was progressing, week 14 fingernails are well formed, week 26 eyelashes are present. Eyelashes? Really? I was fascinated.

Around week 35 I longed to escape into fiction. But every time I cracked open a mystery my mind drifted back to baby – how were the lungs developing?

After my baby was born, I hated the idea of returning to the corporate world and leaving her for a minimum of 40 hours a week. I had to be a work from home mom.

The idea for The Maternal Instinct Mystery Series was formed: New mom starts her own business as PI in order to stay at home with her baby … only it’s not as easy as she thinks.

Diana Orgain


Formula for Murder

by Diana Orgain
Kindle Edition ~ Release Date: 2011-03-01

List Price: $7.99

Kindle Price: $7.99
Download a Free Sample or Buy Now

An Excerpt from the Novel

I checked Laurie in the rearview mirror. She was sound asleep; as usual, the motion of the car had lulled her into slumber.

She looked adorable, wearing a tiny red satin dress with matching red booties. We were on our way to get her first holiday photos taken. I couldn’t believe three months had evaporated; it seemed like she was born just yesterday.

I cruised down the hill to the stoplight and stepped on the brake. Out of habit, I glanced in the rearview again and saw a silver SUV barreling down the hill.

Was the car out of control? It continued to speed and there was no telltale sign of the nose dipping as it would if the driver were braking.

They were getting closer! Almost on top of us.

My eyes were transfixed on the rearview mirror. I held my breath, bracing myself for the crash at the same time my brain screamed for a miracle.

Please stop in time. Please don’t hit me and my baby!

*     *     *

“If you were expecting warm and cute you’ll be mistaken. Fast paced and fun, this book gives a true feel of the modern mom, trying to juggle motherhood and career (when that career happens to be solving crimes). ”

Rhys Bowen – award-winner author of the Molly Murphy Series

“Skip your afternoon nap and cozy up to Diana Orgain’s Maternal Instincts Mysteries.  The series’ plucky protagonist gives ‘working mom’ a whole new meaning as she endearingly juggles bad guys and binkies.”

-Susan McBride, author of the Debutante Dropout Mysteries


Fall in Love Like a Romance Writer: Your Favorite Novelists Share Their Secret Keys to a Long and Lasting Love, by Amelia Grey
FALL IN LOVE LIKE A ROMANCE WRITER by Amelia Grey, just $9.99 on Kindle: Click here to download a free sample or the entire book

“… 67 amazing stories from some of the most famous names in romantic fiction …”

Amelia Grey
Amelia Grey

Dear Reader,

The publication of Fall In Love Like A Romance Writer has been a wild and crazy ride but worth every twist, turn, and roadblock that I’ve encountered.  I have collected 67 amazing stories from some of the most famous names in romantic fiction.  It all started with, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if…”

Imagine emailing an author out of the blue and asking her to write about her own true romance.  I was nervous, but I did it! What could be more exciting than to have a peek into the love life of the authors who write your favorite fictional love stories?

I was eager to find out how the masters of the fictional romance world were doing in their very own love life.  Were they all living the happily-ever-after life that they wrote about in their books?  Now is your chance to find out.

Please visit my website at ameliagrey.com to see a complete list of the fabulous sixty-seven authors featured in Fall In Love Like A Romance Writer.

Amelia Grey

Fall in Love Like a Romance Writer:
Your Favorite Novelists Share Their Secret Keys to a Long and Lasting Love
by Amelia Grey
Kindle Edition ~ Release Date: 2011-02-01

List Price: $14.95

Download a Free Sample or Buy now


Excerpts from the Book


Victoria Alexander writes: As for a sense of humor, you have to have one to live with me. But then I need one to live with him, too. He’s never read one of my books. He’s a nonfiction rather than a fiction reader. But since he doesn’t read my books, I started naming dead husbands after him in about my third book. It’s become a tradition. When I have a dead husband in a book and he wasn’t evil or a bad guy, I named him Charles. I have a dead Charles now in most of my books. At first, when he realized I named heroes after old boyfriends and dead husbands after him, he was a little annoyed. Now, he’s annoyed if I don’t name dead husbands after him. I think that keeps our marriage fresh. He thinks it keeps him safe. He’s mentioned that if anything ever happens to him I’d be the first suspect. He takes a great deal of comfort from that. And I like keeping him on his toes.

Heather Graham writes: Is my life, my romance, perfect? Never! His family is very Italian. My dad was Scottish and my mother fresh off the boat Irish. I like to say that Dennis has given me lots of conflict to write about. Do we get along now? Nope. He likes mountains. I love the sea. And it is such with many things. Dennis has learned to work around me and make sure he has my total attention when something is really important. We’ve weathered tragedy, we’ve had tremendous happiness. My husband and I have not traveled the path that we intended; we probably missed a few important forks in the road. But I am going to grow old with him. When the mind slips and the flesh fades, when beauty is memory, when passion is warmth, the love remains.

And more….

Teresa Medeiros: My husband and I met in a mental institution. Wait! Perhaps I should clarify that. My husband asked me out for the first time in a mental institution. But neither of us were patients. We were both nursing students.

Gayle Callen: I received my marriage proposal in a cemetery. This might seem very unromantic, but let me explain.

Eloisa James: I met the very man in my first year at Harvard: a would-be banker who drove a convertible and knew a lot about oriental rugs. His mother was horrified by my braless state; we were perfect for each other.

Elizabeth Grayson: I could tell they were watching me. I was stopped at a red light on a blustery Saturday night in downtown Rochester, N.Y. I was headed for an upscale bar called Shakespeare’s to meet a guy I’d been dating for a couple of weeks. While I sat waiting for the light to change, two guys in a Mustang pulled up beside me.

Every woman with a pulse knows when a guy notices her. These two had and were obviously talking about me. Of course, I pretended to ignore them. When the light changed, I peeled out and left them eating my dust – the automotive equivalent of flipping my hair.

And we’ll never say good-bye without sharing a parting treat….
Kindle Free for AllClick on the image to check out our guide to free content for your Kindle, Kindle Free for All! We’ve been working on some nice changes for our readers, so we’re especially excited to announce the launch of two new websites for Kindle readers! Well, almost new.First, here — http://www.kindlenationdaily.com — is a link to our totally revamped Kindle Nation Daily website, a much more stylish and easier-to-navigate site with all the same great daily and weekly posts including free book alerts, tips, news, excerpts, mailbag correspondence, and more.

Second, if there are kids of any age in, near, or otherwise appended to your personal Kindlesphere, you’re going to want to make sure to hook them up (can I say that here?) with the Kindle Kids’ Corner website that we launched just last week in collaboration with teachers and students at the Westwood Schools in Camilla, Georgia. We’ll be starting out with two kids’ ebook reviews for kids and by kids each week, in addition to tips and other content. You can read it free on the web here — http://kids.kindlenationdaily.com — or subscribe here to have each post sent directly to your Kindle in real time.

Finally, here’s a question for you: what do you when you finish reading a book on Kindle? The laundry? Read another book? We’ve heard from a few Kindle readers that they like to clear their heads by playing a game on Kindle. If you’d like to try that, but you’d rather not set yourself back more than a dollar or so, we’re here to be helpful: at the bottom of this issue we’ll provide links to 5 Kindle games that are available now for just 99 cents each!

So, check them out, and we’ll see you soon for our regular weekly blast of Kindle Nation and, in about a month, another issue of 5-Star Fiction.

Subscribe to Kindle Nation on Kindle

Click here for a comprehensive list of over 200 free contemporary titles in the Kindle Store

Product Details
Flip It! (A Game for Kindle) by 7 Dragons (Kindle Edition – Jan. 31, 2011) – Kindle Active Content
Product Details
Tic Tac Toe  (A Classic Game for Kindle) by 7 Dragons (Kindle Edition – Feb. 3, 2011) – Kindle Active Content


Product Details
NY Times Crosswords Vol. 5 (30 World Famous Easy Puzzles) by The New York Times (Kindle Edition – Jan. 27, 2011) – Kindle Active Content
SCRABBLE (Play the Popular Word Game on Kindle) by Electronic Arts Inc. (Kindle Edition – Mar. 13, 2011) – Kindle Active Content
Chess  (A Classic Game for Kindle) by Oak Systems Leisure Software (Kindle Edition – Feb. 9, 2011) – Kindle Active Content
Thanks for taking the time to let us share a few books with you, and please drop us a line atKindleNation@gmail.com to let us know what you think of them!  Cheers, Steve Windwalker
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