January 2012 

Five-Star Fiction

A Monthly Special from Kindle Nation & BookLending.com 


from world-class authors to world-class readers 

Don't Touch: It's Hot!
Greetings from Kindle Nation and BookLending.com!  


Given that we are proud to claim you for our community of the greatest readers in the world, we know there's a good chance that you are already familiar with many of the titles that make up the various bestseller lists and, recently, the year-end Top Ten lists in fiction and other categories. Some of those books are terrific, but if you limited your reading to the books that are handpicked as bestsellers you'd be missing out on a lot.

Which is where our occasional Five-Star Fiction offerings come in. For nearly a year now our reading choices have been enriched by our partnership with  bestselling author and Five-Star Fiction curator M.J. Rose, and our good luck continues this month with a great mix of suspense, romance, and international intrigue that are guaranteed to make your Kindle purr! And at prices that won't empty the kitty!

Steve Windwalker of Kindle Nation and 

Catherine MacDonald of BookLending.com



All rights reserved. No part of any excerpt included here may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.     

  FORBES UNBROKEN by Jamie Lisa Forbes
Julie Compton 
by Jamie
Lisa Forbes, $4.91
on Kindle: Click here to download a free sample or the entire book

 "What an amazing story about strength and weakness, and about how grinding disappointment and endless hard work play out in people's lives."  


--Judge: 2011 WILLA Literary Award for Outstanding Contemporary Fiction

by Jamie Lisa Forbes
4.8 stars - 4 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled


A Note to Readers from the Author


Dear Reader,
Jamie Lisa Forbes
Jamie Lisa Forbes

After a decade of raising my own family on a ranch, I realized what a shallow contrivance the cowboy myth was when measured against women all around me who lived extraordinary lives of quiet courage, unrecognized by the broader world. I was honored to be able to write about my contemporaries and at the same time, communicate the broader themes of reconciliation and redemption.


Jamie Lisa Forbes 



Excerpt from the Book 


"Did she want to stay? She looked past the cottonwoods, stark in the bright fall sunlight, to the haystacks with bales stacked sky high. Looking at it now, you'd never imagine the wind driving snow across these meadows, the cattle huddled and shivering against the stacks. . . At this moment, it was hard to imagine it could be that way.

           "This country would as soon kill a person. Yet how lovely it was just now. . .

           "She held out her hand. Mather's meaty palm met hers. It wasn't noon and he already reeked of alcohol."



*     *     *


Praise for Unbroken:


Winner 2011 WILLA Literary Award for Outstanding Contemporary Fiction

       Judge's comment:


               "Forbes' debut novel is powerful and she presents a host of characters who are all complex emotionally flawed beings. . . The plot's emphasis on two strong women struggling to maintain a relationship is unique against a dramatic background of infidelity, single motherhood, poverty and small town isolation."




on Kindle: Click here to download a free sample or the entire book
"Romance, mystery and secrets.... Klassen always brings freshness to her stories. Some Regency-era novels have stuffy, hands-off characters, but her characters are warm, witty and have style..."  


 --Romantic Times


by Julie Klassen
4.8 stars - 36 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled


A Note to Readers from the Author  


Dear Reader,

Julie Klassen
Julie Klassen


I'm excited about this new book. In it, a well-born lady disguises herself as a housemaid in the manor of two former suitors. I've been looking forward to writing it for quite some time, since I've always loved portrayals of servant life like Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey. To research this novel, I read many books on the subject and toured the "below stairs" world and attic servants' quarters of several old country estates and town houses in England. To see a few photos, visit www.julieklassen.com. I hope you enjoy the pictures...and the book!


Julie Klassen 


*     *     *


 Excerpt from the Book  


The coach came to a halt in front of a stately red brick manor house. Had she not spurned Nathaniel Upchurch years ago, might this now be her home? The irony left a sour taste in her mouth.

            Margaret twisted on the bench to descend, but Mr. Hudson laid a staying hand on her arm.          

            "Not here, Nora. After we get Mr. Upchurch inside, I'll drive you around to the servants' entrance."

            Her cheeks burned. "Of course." She could hardly believe Nathaniel Upchurch was in the very coach she sat atop. She shivered at the thought of what he might do if he saw her there....



*     *     *  


 Praise for The Maid of Fairbourne Hall


"Christy winner Klassen mines another gem of a story from the rich Regency vein. The upstairs-downstairs dynamic of the upper and serving classes puts meat on the story's bones. The reliable Klassen has produced a well-realized genre winner...."


--Publishers Weekly

 DCOONTS  LUCKY IN LOVE by Deborah Coonts
Lucky in Love
LUCKY IN LOVE by Deborah Coonts,
on Kindle: Click here to download a free sample or the entire book
"Coonts has a gift for showcasing the darker realms of human nature against a wickedly funny backdrop. Irresistible!"
--Sophie Littlefield, author of A Bad Day for Pretty and A Bad Day for Sorry"  


by Deborah Coonts
Text-to-Speech: Enabled


A Note to Readers from the Author  


Dear Reader:
Deborah Coonts

Can love be scripted or is it merely a random walk, an all-or-nothing roll of the dice?  Is it possible to be Lucky In Love?  Questions we've struggled with since the first heartbeat.  And, despite many disasters, I'm still a fool for love.  So, I did what every writer would like to do: I made love the theme of a novella and let my Las Vegas series' characters hack their way through the jungle of romance. The answers they find might surprise you.

Deborah Coonts 


*     *     *


 Excerpt from the Book  


Chapter One 


"Did you know my wife is seriously into chicks?"

The guy was brave, I'd grant him that.  Approaching a woman in a bar with that line was no small feat, even in Vegas.

Waiting for an answer, the guy looked at me through clear, intense eyes as he leaned in close, bracing himself with an elbow on the bar.  He tipped his almost empty flute of Champagne at a woman at the end of the bar.  "That's her." 

He was a handsome man, reddish-brown hair, a tan, and well- turned out in creased jeans that looked and fit like European, and one of those new style shirts with the subtle embroidery.  Hip but not annoyingly so.  "Two's a date, three's a fantasy?"

"Something like that."  The guy's eyes settled on his wife with a warm glow.  "She's got the magic touch, if you know what I mean."  


*     *     *  


 Praise for Lucky in Love


"Watch out, Janet Evanovich. The new hot number is Deborah Coonts!"       

--Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Spies 

"Lucky O'Toole is a character with brains, beauty and a wry sense of humor. Readers will want to meet her again-and soon."      


--Diane Mott Davidson, New York Times bestselling author of Fatally Flakey

TOPOL   SPY DANCE by Allan Topol 
SPY DANCE by Allan Topol, $4.99 on Kindle:

"Plot wise, Topol is up there with such masters of the labyrinthine, as Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy."


---Washington Post   


by Allan Topol
4.0 stars - 1 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled

A Note to Readers from the Author

Dear Reader,
Allan Topol
Allan Topol

Ex-CIA agent Greg Nielsen thought he had escaped his shadowy past. He was wrong.

Someone has found him-and is blackmailing him to enter the dangerous game of international espionage once again. But there's one very deadly difference: this time, the target is his own country.

Once A Spy, Always A Spy.

The Dance Begins...

The CIA was Greg Nielsen's life--until he was set up and marked for a fall. But the Company taught him well. He knew how to make himself disappear. With a new name, a new life, and a new love, Nielsen was free... or so he believed.

Someone has found him. Someone who knows who he is, what he can do, and how to force him back into action. Against his own country.

Now, with his stepdaughter taken hostage, a beautiful Mossad agent as his only ally, and his adversaries already moving against him, Greg Nielsen must reenter the murderous world he thought he had left behind--if they don't kill him first.

Allan Topol

*     *     *

An Excerpt from the Novel 


 Nervously he picked it up on the second ring.

"Is this Greg Nielsen?" a man's voice asked in French.

"You must have the wrong room," he replied, trying hard not to disclose the tension in his voice. He could feel perspiration beginning to form under his arms.

"I know that you're Greg Nielsen," the caller persisted.

"You're obviously mistaken. There's no one in this room by that name. I suggest you talk to the hotel operator."

"Don't play games with me, Mr. Nielsen. Be in front of the Bristol at six tomorrow morning. A black Mercedes will pick you up."  


*     *     *


Praise for SPY DANCE:


"In the tradition of thriller masters Robert Ludlum and Ken Follet, Allan Topol weaves a shadowy web of international conspiracy and explosive violence where the only goal is survival."

--San Francisco Chronicle. 


What Came Firstby Carol Snow. $9.99 on Kindle:

Click here to download a free sample or the entire book 


"...funny, insightful, and heartbreaking."


 --Westways magazine   



by Carol Snow
4.7 stars - 13 Reviews
Text-to-Speech: Enabled


A Note to Readers from the Author


Dear Reader,
Carol Snow
Carol Snow

Who says you need a man to have a baby? Single mother and successful lawyer Laura longs to give her son a sibling - but first she must track down the sperm donor she used nine years earlier.  Her search will lead her to Wendy, a cookie-bingeing mother of unruly twins, and Vanessa, a young woman with idealized views of a traditional family. What Came First is a story about scrapbooking, lost shoes, swim lessons, bad boyfriends, distracted husbands, and backyard chickens. But mostly it's about mothers, fathers -- and what it means to be a family.


Carol Snow
   * * * 

An Excerpt from the Novel


Back when I was trying to get pregnant, so many people said so many unintentionally offensive things that it's hard to pick the line that stung the most.
There was the religious camp. "This is all part of God's master plan." 
There the fatalists. "If you're meant to get pregnant, you'll get pregnant." 
And then there were those who believed that a little red wine and a back massage could solve anything. "Maybe you just need to relax." 
But I'll never forget the mantra repeated most often, courtesy of my next-door neighbor and then-closest-friend, Sherry Plant. "Motherhood is not a Baby Gap ad." 


 *     *     *  


Praise for What Came First:


"Carol Snow explores motherhood, fatherhood and what it means to be a family in this brilliant novel about three colourful women and one lacklustre man."

-- Amazon UK Editors' Pick 
Nathan's RunNATHAN'S RUN by John Gilstrap,

$4.95 on Kindle:

Click here to download a free sample or the entire book   


""A yarn that demands to be read in one sitting . . . Gilstrap mixes sentiment and suspense with a wizard's touch."  


--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

by John Gilstrap
4.3 stars - 69 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled


A Note to Readers, from the Author 


 Dear Readers,
John Gilstrap
John Gilstrap


NATHAN'S RUN was my first published novel.  It started with the idea of putting someone in the position of having to choose between doing what was right or doing his job.  It had to be a binary choice.  At the time when I wrote the manuscript, I was tangentially involved with oversight for the juvenile detention center in my community.  When I saw the looks on those kids faces--particularly the young ones--I knew I had my story.  To this day, I think it's pretty darned strong.

John Gilstrap 

* * * 


An Excerpt from the Novel


The pictures stopped when Nathan opened his eyes.  As the water and grime and Ricky's blood ran down his body and swirled into the drain, he wiggled his toes in the soapy froth and tried to smile.  A smile makes the saddest man a little happier, his father used to say, but had he ever felt this much sadness?

"God I miss you," Nathan said aloud, his voice a whisper.  He turned his face toward the ceiling.  "I'm in so much trouble, Dad.  Please help me.  You've got to help me."

The emotions Nathan had fought so long to control broke free all at once.  He started to cry, silently at first, and then, dropping his chin to his chest and covering his eyes with his palms, he gave into long, miserable sobs.


 *     *     *  


Praise for Nathan's Run:


"Welcome John Gilstrap to the ranks of superior suspense writers--those authors we have to thank for making us miss work and cancel our dinner dates because we've got to keep turning those pages."  

--Jeffery Deaver   

And we'll never say good-bye without sharing a parting treat....
Win a Kindle Fire!

You may have noticed once or twice in the past that those crazy people at Kindle Nation Daily give away a Kindle Fire now and then.

Yes? And maybe you even entered the giveaway sweepstakes once or twice.

But you probably didn't win, right? (Unless you were one of the 14 lucky souls who did win.

And maybe you didn't enter again. Because you never win anything?

That's what 12 of the 14 winners so far have told us, by the way. "I never win anything."

But that time they did win. And not to put too fine a point on this, but so could you, because we are continuing our crazy ways and giving away a Kindle Fire every week for the rest of 2012!

So, it's up to you. It will take you about a minute a week to enter.  And if you never win anything, well, that seems to be one of the qualifications.

Check here for the details on this week's Kindle Fire Giveaway Sweepstakes.

Good luck!



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All rights reserved. No part of any excerpt included here may be reproduced or reprinted without the publisher's permission.      

Thanks for taking the time to let us share a few good books with you, and please drop us a line at

KindleNation@gmail.com to let us know what you think of them!   

Cheers, Steve Windwalker and Catherine MacDonald