June 2014

One Thriller, One Mystery to Kick Off the Summer! 

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We can't think of a better way to welcome in the warm weather than to relax outside with an engrossing novel. Whether you like to tackle a case in a courtroom or follow a sleuth through the woods, we've got the summer read for you.
Two new books - both seconds in series - hit shelves this month: Robert Rotstein's Hollywood attorney Parker Stern is back defending a video game designer while dodging death threats in Reckless Disregard, and James W. Ziskin's small-town reporter Ellie Stone tries to get to the bottom of two murders in the 1960-set No Stone Unturned.

To take a closer look at these two novels, we asked each author a few questions.
Five Questions with Robert RotsteinRotstein

'Zine of the Crime: Your second Parker Stern novel, Reckless Disregard, is out this month! How has this release felt different than the first?

Robert Rotstein: The release of my debut novel was a dream come true. The release of the second novel affirms that I'm truly a writer who's developing a body of work.

'Zine: How has your main character, Parker Stern, changed since his last appearance and the events of Corrupt Practices?

Rotstein: In Corrupt Practices, Parker suffered from stage fright whenever he walked into a courtroom, and in Reckless Disregard he's still struggling to overcome this phobia. At the beginning of the book, he's actually left the practice of law and has become a mediator--a much less stressful job. But his love of trial work--along with a chance to solve a personal mystery--convinces him to take the case. So, in Reckless Disregard, Parker is coming to the realization that he can't run from his fears, that the only way to overcome his stage fright is to face it, no matter what the cost.

'Zine: How have his relationships with other characters developed?

Rotstein: Parker's developing romance with his law student, Lovely Diamond, was an important theme of Corrupt Practices. In Reckless Disregard, that relationship takes a surprising turn.

'Zine: Describe a new character that you've introduced in this second legal thriller.

Rotstein: Parker Stern's client is a video-game designer named Poniard, who's been sued for libel by media mogul. Poniard's game Abduction! accuses the mogul of kidnapping and murdering an actress in the 1980s. The problem for Parker is that Poniard is faceless, valuing anonymity above all else. In fact, Poniard will communicate with Parker only by text message or email. So Parker really has no idea who his client is.

'Zine: Can you give us a sneak peek at what we'll see in the next Parker Stern novel?

Rotstein: In the next installment in the Parker Stern series, tentatively called Malicious Intent, Parker continues to avoid the courtroom because of his debilitating stage fright. Yet, he decides to take on the defense of an accused terrorist of the 1970s who's been a fugitive from justice for decades. In the process, Parker discovers long-hidden truths about his family's painful past.

About the Author    
Robert Rotstein (Los Angeles, CA), an entertainment attorney with over thirty years' experience in the industry, is the author of the Parker Stern novels. He's represented all of the major motion picture studios and many well-known writers, producers, directors, and musicians. He lives with his family in Los Angeles, California.  
ParkersternThe Parker Stern novels
"Outstanding! A mesmerizing mix of legal thriller and murder mystery. . . . Fans of Michael Connelly will love Rotstein's intimate knowledge of Los Angeles, and Brad Meltzer fans will appreciate the driven pace and witty dialogue. Put Reckless Disregard at the top of your reading list." 
Robert Dugoni, New York Times-bestselling author of Murder One

"Endless novelties, endless twists, endless complications, endless surprises in and out of the courtroom. Whatever you read legal drama for, it's here, along with a whole lot of other stuff you never thought to ask for."  
- Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Buy Now: 
"This is a terrific book. Just terrific. . . . Parker Stern is a complex and well-developed protagonist and the story is beautifully structured for maximum intrigue and suspense."  
Sue Grafton, #1 New York Times-bestselling author

"A tautly constructed, fast-moving narrative with an appealing protagonist.... This promises to be a compelling series for legal-thriller fans. Get in at the start."  

Buy Now: 
Five Questions with James W. ZiskinZiskin
'Zine of the Crime: Your second novel, No Stone Unturned, is out this month! How has this release felt different than the first?
James W. Ziskin: I have a different set of expectations now that I have one release behind me. I realize just how hard it is to promote a book and get noticed in a very talented and crowded field. The readings have become more comfortable as well, and I feel a little more like an old hand. I'm enjoying the ride so much more this time, and can't wait for the next book. This is the best job in the world.

'Zine: How has your main character, Ellie Stone, changed since her last appearance and the events of
Styx & Stone?

Ziskin: I don't want to give away any spoilers from the first Ellie Stone novel, but she's got some baggage that she didn't have to deal with before. Also, she's more determined than ever to make a career for herself in the male-dominated world of 1960. Ellie's quite young, so there's a lot of room for growth for her character.

'Zine: How have her relationships with other characters developed?

Ziskin: In No Stone Unturned, we see much more of her interactions with locals in the small town of New Holland. From her friendship with Fadge and the law-enforcement officials like Sheriff Frank Olney and DA Don Czerulniak, Ellie shows her charm and likability. She's kind of a sweetheart of Sigma Chi to the locals.

'Zine: Describe a new character that you've introduced in this second book.

Ziskin: Ellie's friend, Fadge, appeared very briefly in Styx & Stone, but his role is quite large in No Stone Unturned. He'll be a mainstay in future Ellie Stone mysteries. He serves as a sounding board for Ellie, almost a Watson to her Holmes. But mostly, he's a support for her. A 6'2", three-hundred-pound beast of a support for her. 

'Zine: Can you give us a sneak peek at what we'll see in the next Ellie Stone novel?

Ziskin: Ellie braves a frigid cold spell and some menacing juvenile delinquents to solve the mystery of the disappearance of a young girl from the wrong side of the tracks in Stone Cold Dead, due in the summer of 2015. Then she's off to Los Angeles for Cast the First Stone.

About the Author

James W. Ziskin (Los Angeles, CA) is the author of the Ellie Stone mysteries. A linguist by training, Ziskin was director of New York University's Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò for five years, where he collaborated with an impressive catalogue of writers, journalists, and academics on cultural and educational events.
StoneThe Ellie Stone Mysteries

"[Ziskin's] smart and aggressive protagonist has real personality. The author's touch for academic politics coupled with his clear observations of the early years of the 1960s is superb. Don't miss this series."
Library Journal STARRED REVIEW                 
"You can't help rooting for tenacious Ellie, who has the grit to know when she's right and the grace to admit when she's wrong." 
 - Kirkus Reviews                     

Buy Now: 



"Rife with 1960s detail, the clever plot entertains at a steady pace through numerous twists and turns, providing plenty of action along the way.... This amazing first novel is well worth checking out."
-Bella Online

"The year is prefeminist 1960 and... Ziskin offers a woman sleuth who is as loose and mouthy as any guy.... For such a freewheeling character, the plot is surprisingly intellectual."
-Toronto Star

Buy Now:
What are you waiting for? Pick your favorite and grab a copy of Reckless DisregardNo Stone Unturned, or their series starters today, or head to our website to read an excerpt from each.

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Lisa Michalski
Seventh Street Books®, an imprint of Prometheus Books