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Chapter One

Jackson Quincy Graham Channing isn’t the man he thought he was.

A scant five minutes ago, the youngest vice-president in the storied history of Graham, Merryweather and Lockwood Banking and Trust, was not merely accepting of his lot in life but considered himself quite content. Oh certainly, when he was six years of age he had wanted to become Jack the intrepid pirate king and live a life of adventure on the high seas. A notion that vanished when he was seven and decided the adventurous life of Jack the heroic scout in the vast uncivilized recesses of the West would be much more exciting.

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Kensington’s Librarian RecRoom

Librarians! Want to make sure you’ve got Kensington Books to share with your patrons? Check out our RecRoom for more details, and keep up to date on what we’re publishing!

Readers! Did you know it’s “Sign up for a Library Card” month? It’s the perfect time to swing by to support your local libraries! Check out this site so you can encourage your librarians to be a part of the RecRoom!

Excerpt: Huckleberry Christmas by Jennifer Beckstrand

Chapter One

Crouched on her hands and knees, Anna Helmuth shined her flashlight into the darkest corner of the cellar, where old storage boxes and ancient furniture gathered dust.

“Felty, dear,” she called, hoping her voice carried up the stairs, through the cellar door, and into the kitchen, where her husband washed up the dishes.

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This week’s diverse new releases are:

The Island of Excess Love by Francesca Lia Block (Henry Holt)

Book Description: In The Island of Excess Love, Pen has lost her parents. She’s lost her eye. But she has fought Kronen; she has won back her fragile friends and her beloved brother. Now Pen, Hex, Ash, Ez, and Venice are living in the pink house by the sea, getting by on hard work, companionship, and dreams. Until the day a foreboding ship appears in the harbor across from their home. As soon as the ship arrives, they all start having strange visions of destruction and violence. Trance-like, they head for the ship and their new battles begin.

This companion to Love in the Time of Global Warming follows Pen as she searches for love among the ruins, this time using Virgil’s epic Aeneid as her guide. A powerful and stunning book filled with Francesca Lia Block’s beautiful language and inspiring characters.

Can’t Look Away by Donna Cooner (Point)

Book Description: Torrey Grey is famous. At least, on the internet. Thousands of people watch her popular videos on fashion and beauty. But when Torrey’s sister is killed in an accident — maybe because of Torrey and her videos — Torrey’s perfect world implodes.

Now, strangers online are bashing Torrey. And at her new school, she doesn’t know who to trust. Is queen bee Blair only being sweet because of Torrey’s internet infamy? What about Raylene, who is decidedly unpopular, but seems accepts Torrey for who she is? And then there’s Luis, with his brooding dark eyes, whose family runs the local funeral home. Torrey finds herself drawn to Luis, and his fascinating stories about El dio de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

As the Day of the Dead draws near, Torrey will have to really look at her own feelings about death, and life, and everything in between. Can she learn to mourn her sister out of the public eye?

Bombay Blues by Tanuja Desai Hidier (Scholastic)

“Long awaited, anticipated, likely to be debated: Dimple Lala is back. Hidier quietly revolutionized YA literature with Born Confused (2002), and this sequel indicates she’s intent on a repeat. Dimple, now in college and still with beat-dropping Karsh, heads to Bombay ostensibly for a wedding but really for so much more; still, perhaps, born confused, she is in search of home. Dense, lyrical, full of neologic portmanteaus and wordplay (“magnifishence”; “candlecadabra”): This is a prose-poem meditation on love, family and homecoming (or not) posing as a novel.” — Kirkus, starred review

Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo (Random House Books for Young Readers)

Instead of returning home at the end of a summer spent with their grandparents, Leigh and her older sister Kai receive two one-way bus tickets to Hangtown, CA. Their father has bought a graveyard and the family is moving. For the past three years, Leigh has been a stalwart support system for Kia while she battled cancer. … Leigh’s worst fears are confirmed when Dario, the 20-year-old Mexican immigrant who works at the cemetery (and Leigh’s crush), tells her that her birthday, November 1st, is the Day of the Dead in Mexico. … An impressive debut novel—simultaneously hilarious, clever, and poignant.” — School Library Journal

Taken by David Massey (Chicken House)

Book Description: The trip of a lifetime turns into a fight to the death when six extreme athletes are TAKEN hostage by pirates off the coast of Africa. By the author of TORN.

Six crew members are toughing it out, trying to come together as a team to sail around the world on a grueling challenge for charity. Four are teen military veterans disabled in combat: They’re used to being pushed to the limit. But nothing could have prepared them for being kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Suddenly, the trip of a lifetime turns into a dark journey into the African jungle. Taken hostage by a notorious warlord and his band of child soldiers, how will Rio, Ash, Marcus, Jen, Charis, and Izzy survive?

Knockout Games by G. Neri (Carolrhoda Lab)

“New girl Erica falls in with the wrong crowd in an exploration of racial tension in St. Louis. … Neri’s main concern is the ”post-racial“ urban landscape, raising many talking points while letting readers come to their own conclusions.Harsh and relentless, a tough but worthy read.” — Kirkus, starred review

Frida and Diego by Catherine Reef (Clarion Books)

“The intertwined creative and personal lives of two trailblazing artists whose lifestyles were as avant-garde as their work. … Reef offers a balanced and cleareyed examination of this powerful relationship, contextualizing it against the backdrop of national politics in Mexico and international change ushered in by the Great Depression and World War II. … Compelling reading for art lovers.” — Kirkus, starred review

Positive: A Memoir by Paige Rawl with Ali Benjamin (HarperCollins)

“This realistic and honest biography of a young woman living with HIV will draw readers in, shedding light on this difficult topic. … The book beautifully conveys what it’s like to grow up with HIV, dispelling myths about the virus and imparting useful knowledge.” — School Library Journal

Lovers & Haters by Calvin Slater (K-Teen)

Book Description: Fifteen-year-old Xavier Hunter is trying to get good grades and get the hottest girl in school. But with his father and brother both locked up in jail, Xavier’s mom is left to provide for the family, and there’s never enough money to go around. If Xavier wants to be with the hottest girl, he has to look the part, so he does what he has to—even if it costs him his grades, good standing with teachers, and leads him to deal with the neighborhood thugs he’s vowed to avoid so he won’t end up like his brother or father. But Xavier will risk it all for Samantha, because for the first time Xavier feels like he has someone on his side— and he wouldn’t give that up for anything…

People in power like to stick it to the little guy. BOLO consultants won’t let that happen. File your claims with BOLO Consultants, currently taking cases against slum landlord Tyler Sanford. 

BOLO isn’t afraid of taking on the lieutenant governor. 

BOLO Consultants: We’re looking out for you.


BOLO Partners:

Jack Emery, Ted Robinson, Joe Espinosa, Harry Wong, Bert Navarro, Jay Sparrow, and Cyrus the German shepherd.




We put bestselling author Lisa Jackson on the spot with the Mulholland quick-fire Q&A. Here are her responses… 

Favorite author   

Either Linwood Barclay or Gillian Flynn right now, last week it was Michael Connelly.

Favorite movie 

Three Days of the Condor

Best villain 

The bad guy in The Stand by Stephen King.

Best hero/detective 

Harry Bosch in Michael Connelly’s book.

Who has been a big influence on your writing?

 My sister, Nancy Bush.

Who would you want to play you in a movie? 

Claire Danes

Ebook or print?


Mac or PC?

PC, but I love my iPhone!

Do you write on paper or computer first? 


What would your ideal holiday be?  

Halloween with family and friends at a spooky party with lots of ghosts and goblins.

If you could travel in time, forward or back, where would you go?

I’d go back to meet my parents as young people.

Best ever fictional murder weapon? 

A zip line.

The song you’d listen to pump you up while writing 

None. I can’t have any distractions when I write.

The song you’d listen to calm you down when writing

To calm down, I turn off the computer and take a walk.

If I wasn’t a writer, I’d be… 

I’d work in animal rescue if I could stomach it, or in promotions doing something with animals or art. 

The book I’ve read the most times

I keep reading the same one by Steve Martini because I can’t remember the title so I buy it, read it again and enjoy it.  I think it’s Compelling Evidence, but I’ll have to read it again to make certain.

Your favorite fictional murder method 

Probably where the victim I forced to make a life and death decision, so the victim ends up killing himself.

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever had to Google when researching for a book?

Serial killers and real life vampires.

If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do? 

That could be very dangerous.  I’d probably go into a place that was very secret and might contain a secret society where I would not want to be caught.

Who’s the fictional character you’d most like to murder?

Ronald McDonald

Lisa Jackson’s latest novel Deserves to Die is out in paperback and ebook now.

People in power like to stick it to the little guy.  BOLO consultants won’t let that happen. File your claims with BOLO Consultants, currently taking cases against slum landlord Tyler Sanford. 

BOLO isn’t afraid of taking on the lieutenant governor. 

BOLO Consultants: We’re looking out for you.


BOLO Partners:

Jack Emery, Ted Robinson, Joe Espinosa, Harry Wong, Bert Navarro, Jay Sparrow, and Cyrus the German shepherd.

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