April 2011

Five-Star Fiction

A Monthly Special from Kindle Nation & BookLending.com 


from world-class authors to world-class readers 

Kindle outdoors 

The Kindle - Now just $114

Greetings from Kindle Nation and BookLending.com!  


This is just the third issue of what has become a monthly feature for (mainly) Kindle fiction lovers, and we have to say that our 5-Star Fiction partner, bestselling novelist M.J. Rose, has absolutely floored us with the exciting range of sponsored work she has brought to share with us.

And it keeps getting better, with this month's featured titles including:
  • Gillian Bagwell's The Darling Strumpet, a dazzling debut in historical fiction that brings the remarkable character of Nell Gwynn to life right on your Kindle;
  • Robin Slick's Daddy Left Me Alone with God, a true rock and roll memoir in every sense and for all of your senses;
  • The Restorer, an Amanda Stevens novel that may make it difficult for you to ever walk by a graveyard again;
  • Dean M. DeLuke's Shedrow, a page-turner at that special place where the worlds of Dick Francis and Robin Cook meet;
  • Jonathan Maberry's latest Joe Ledger bestseller, The King of Plagues; and
  • Lisa Jackson's Devious, which brings back her enormously appealing detective duo of Rick Bentz and Reuben Montoya.
All great reads, all nicely priced between $2.99 and $9.99 on Kindle this month, and each one introduced to you with an excerpt below and a note written by the author to all of us here in the Kindlesphere.

But that's not all.

We're also very excited to be able to announce that the new Kindle The Hypnotistrelease of M.J. Rose's own novel The Hypnotist, Book Three in her Reincarnationist series, is just days away. The novel is already available for pre-order on Kindle right here.

Here's what the discerning folks at BookReporter.com say about this latest triumph:
"If you haven't been reading M.J. Rose's Reincarnationist series, then THE HYPNOTIST will blow away any excuse you may have had... A memorable, engrossing read, a story that sets a new bar for Rose. Something for everyone: murder, suspense, history, romance, the supernatural, mystery and erotica. These elements are woven together so skillfully that the whole becomes something new and different.... Rose, who never disappoints either her die-hard fans or the casual reader, has surpassed herself." 

We couldn't have said it any better ourselves. If you love to read, and you have yet to read M.J. Rose, the time is now and the book is The Hypnotist. Pre-order it now and it will arrive automatically on your Kindle no later than May 1.

Which leaves you plenty of time to read each of this month's features below, along with Books 1 and 2 in M.J. Rose's series,  The Reincarnationist and The Memorist, before The Hypnotist arrives!
Ain't life grand?


Steve Windwalker of Kindle Nation and 

Catherine MacDonald of BookLending.com

BAGWELLThe Darling Strumpet by Gillian Bagwell
The Darling Strumpet
THE DARLING STRUMPET by Gillian Bagwell, just $9.99 on Kindle: Click here to download a free sample or the entire book

"An absolutely brilliant addition to the historical fiction genre and might be the best novel on Nell Gwynn ever.... Nell would have applauded in approval and probably done a little jig to celebrate her tribute...."   


Dear Reader,


Gillian Bagwell
Gillian Bagwell

I fell in love with Nell Gwynn more than 25 years ago, and she stayed in my mind and heart until life presented the perfect time to tell her story.  Born into poverty in 1650, she rose to become a beloved comic actress and the mistress of Charles II by using what she had: smarts, determination, charm, humor, and a very likeable sex appeal. Her rags-to-riches odyssey takes the reader through the newly-opened London theatres, the last plague epidemic, the Great Fire of 1666, and the licentious court.  

Thanks for reading,

Gillian Bagwell





An Excerpt from the Novel 


The interval came, and the musicians struck up.  Nell gazed at the empty stage and longed to know what it felt like to stand there.  Did she dare to try it?  Moll had given her permission, so Nell clutched her basket, climbed the steps to the stage, and surveyed the scene before her.  She felt as if she were at the center of the universe. The galleries rose to the ceiling, enwreathing the space, and the sloped floor of the pit made it seem as if its benches were marching toward her.  The theatre was a swirling sea of movement.  The king in his box was not ten paces away.  She took a breath and sang out "Oranges!  Fine oranges!  Who will buy my oranges, fine Seville oranges?"


The king smiled and beckoned.  Nell went to him, her heart in her throat.

"Will you have an orange, Your Majesty?  They're very sweet."


"How could they be otherwise, with such a peddler?  I'll take two."  She held out two oranges, but the king took only one. 


"One for you and one for me," he said with a wink. 


Nell's scene with the king had been observed, and as she turned from him and sang her cry again, gentlemen pressed to the foot of the stage.  By the end of the interval she had sold almost all that was in her basket.


*     *     * 


"[A] richly engaging portrait of the life and times of one of history's most appealing characters!"


- Diana Gabaldon, author of the best-selling Outlander series


"Nell Gwynn is one of the most likable figures in British history.  'Pretty witty Nell' went from poverty and prostitution to the grand stages of London theatre, and then to a king's bed and his heart....  The Darling Strumpet is an absolute triumph as a debut novel.... Bagwell's story truly captivates as she makes Nell's story come to life.... [She] shows such expert knowledge, research, and passion of the time period.... Bagwell has a background in acting and theater and it shows with her knowledge of Nell's days on stage.... an absolutely brilliant addition to the historical fiction genre and might be the best novel on Nell Gwynn ever.... Nell would have applauded in approval and probably done a little jig to celebrate her tribute."


- Kayla Posney,  Pittsburgh Historical Fiction Examiner



SLICKDaddy Left Me Alone with God by Robin Slick
Daddy Left Me Alone with God
DADDY LEFT ME ALONE WITH GOD by Robin Slick, just $2.99 on Kindle:  Click here to download a free sample or the entire book

From bestselling author Robin Slick comes a funny, engaging novel of second chances and rock and roll.

Annie loathes middle age because in her mind, as long as she avoids mirrors in brightly lit rooms, she is still a cool, cutting edge hipster with a scandalous secret she has kept for almost three decades.

At age seventeen, Annie had a love affair with a man ten years her senior -- legendary British rock guitarist Mick Saunders. Now, feeling stuck in a boring, faltering marriage and desperate to change her life, she is unexpectedly given the chance to reconnect with Mick while chaperoning her fledgling rock star teenagers on a tour across America.

To Annie, this opportunity to recapture her past is a dream come true. But will she and Mick be able to pick up where they left off?

If you like this book, be sure to check out Robin's New York trilogy - Three Days in New York City, Another Bite of the Apple, and Bitten to the Core. Visit Robin on line at http://www.robinslick.com.


Robin Slick
Robin Slick

Dear Reader,


Daddy Left Me Alone with God is a creative non-fiction version flashbacks of my own childhood growing up with a jazz musician father and an affair with an internationally famous rock musician at age seventeen intertwined with my own experience as a parent of two teenaged fledgling rock stars as I chaperone them on tour across the country and have a chance meeting with my former lover who, much to my joy and confusion because I am having doubts about my own marriage, has never forgotten me.




Daddy Left Me Alone With God

by Robin Slick
DLP Books
Kindle Edition ~ Release Date: 2011-02-17
Paperback Price: $13.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
Download a Free Sample or Buy Now

An Excerpt from the Book


I sat on the edge of a bed in a cheap Los Angeles hotel, two thousand seven hundred miles away from my home in Philadelphia, armed with the uneasy realization that in a couple of hours my life might be changed forever.


And what was my biggest concern?


How did I look and what should I wear.


*     *     *


   "...a funny, sexy, and scathingly honest look at what it means to be an aging baby boomer in a world changing faster than a phone number on speed dial.   With a fresh voice, a fast plot and a unique perspective on the new generation of sex, drugs, and rock and roll...a delight from start to finish."

             Ellen Meister, author of THE OTHER LIFE


"Ms. Slick is a serious and enthralling storyteller"

Blurb from e-cata romance


About the Author

Robin Slick is a rock music obsessed fiction writer living in downtown Philadelphia with a strong desire to jump into a time machine and land in London during the 1960s. She is the author of Three Days in New York City,   Another Bite of the Apple, and Bitten to the Core, light-hearted erotic novels published by Mundania/Phaze Press. She is editor and contributor of a short story collection, Thirty Nine and Holding...Him and its sequel 39 and Still Holding. Her short story "Daddy Left Me Alone with God" appears in the new anthology, Rebellion - New Voices of Fiction, published by Rebel Press in July 2006. You can find Robin's work in print and on the web everywhere from heady places like In Posse Review and Slow Trains Literary Journal to give-heady places like Clean Sheets and Playgirl Magazine. She lives vicariously through her rock star daughter -- bass player extraordinaire, Julie Slick, and her amazing drummer son, Eric Slick -- who were featured in the Picturehouse Films documentary, Rock School.


STEVENSThe Restorer by Amanda Stevens (Pre-Order Now for May 1 Release!)  

The Restorer
THE RESTORER by Amanda Stevens, just $8.79 on Kindle:
Click here to download a free sample or the entire book

"Every cemetery has a story; every grave, its secrets. The cemetery was her sanctuary.... "


Dear Reader:

Amanda Stevens
Amanda Stevens


I grew up near an abandoned cemetery in rural Arkansas. Some of the graves dated back to the Civil War and I still remember how awed I was by the history. Time and again I was drawn back to that crumbling necropolis, captivated by the poetic inscriptions and artistic motifs on the old headstones.  I didn't know it at the time, but the discovery of that graveyard-sequestered as it was in a thicket of dogwood trees-ignited a lifelong fascination.  


Amelia Gray is a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts-greedy, grasping, ravenous entities that prey on human emotions.  In order to protect herself, Amelia has always held fast to her father's rules. But a haunted police detective has entered her world and now everything is changing...including the rules that have always kept her safe.


For more information, please visit my website.



The Restorer
by Amanda Stevens by Mira
Kindle Edition ~ Release Date: 2011-05-01
List Price: $10.99 

Kindle Pre-Order Price:$8.79
Download a Free Sample or Buy Now



An Excerpt from the Novel

And then I saw it.  A nebulous, dream-like form hovering just beyond the fall of pale moonlight. Devlin's ghost child. I thought at first I must be seeing things.  Prayed that my overwrought imagination had conjured her from my deepest fear.  But she was there.  I felt the cold fire of her eyes through the darkness.


How was it possible?  This house was a haven, a hallowed refuge that protected me from ghostly invasions.  I was safe here.  Or had been until I met Devlin.




MABERRYThe King of Plagues by Jonathan Maberry

The King of Plagues 

THE KING OF PLAGUES by Jonathan Maberry, just

$9.99 on Kindle:

Click here to download a free sample or the entire book 

"Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you...."


Dear Reader,


Jonathan Maberry
Jonathan Maberry

We live in an age of conspiracy theories, and at the same time we're constantly learning that there are shadow governments, secret societies, and genuine conspiracies.  Where does paranoia end and the real world begin?


That's the crooked line of thought that resulted in the latest Joe Ledger novel, THE KING OF PLAGUES (St. Martin's Griffin, March 29).   


Joe squares off against the Seven Kings, a secret society that uses misinformation, disinformation, and social media to allow them to profit from public reaction to terrorist attacks.  Their plan is a workable one...which gives KING OF PLAGUES a disturbingly plausible back-story; and it kind of creeped me out when writing it.  I think it'll do the same for readers.


What's really disturbing?  No matter how far out I go when plotting the Joe Ledger thrillers, the real world always catches up...and zooms right past into the Bizarro Zone!




The King of Plagues: A Joe Ledger Novel

by Jonathan Maberry

St. Martin's Griffin

Kindle Edition ~ Release Date: 2011-03-29

List Price: $14.99

Kindle Price: $9.99 
Download a Free Sample or Buy Now



An Excerpt from the Novel


Harley Street, London

Seven Weeks Ago


           "Unless you do exactly what you're told," whispered a voice, "we'll kill your wife and daughter."

           The words dug into Trevor Plympton's brain like railroad spikes.  He sat on the chair, wrists bound to the arm rests with plastic pipe ties, ankles tied to the wheeled feet of the chair.  A hood over his head that let in no light.  He was lost in a world of darkness and fear.  And those words.

           He could barely remember what happened.  He'd taken the elevator to the basement parking garage, clicked open the locks on his Vauxhall Astra, felt a sharp burn against the back of his neck and then nothing.  When he finally woke up he was already lashed to the chair.  He'd cried out in alarm, tried yelling for help.

           A heavy had belted him across the face.  A savage blow, made worse by the absolute surprise of it.  He couldn't see it coming, could not even brace against it or turn away.  

           Then the whispering voice.

           "W...what...?"  It was the best response he could muster.  Nothing made sense; the world was a confusion of disorientation, fear and pain.

           "Did you understand what I said?" asked the voice.  A male voice.  Was there an accent?  It was hard to tell with the whisper.

           "Yes," Plympton gasped.

           "Tell me what I said."

           "T-that you'd k-kill my family--."

A hand clamped onto Plympton's crotch and squeezed with sudden and terrible strength.  The pain was white hot and immense.  The grip was there and gone, as abrupt as the snap of a steel trap.


 *     *     *  


"A fast-paced, brilliantly written novel.  The hottest thriller of the New Year!  In The King of Plagues, Jonathan Maberry reigns supreme."   

--Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Athena Project


"Headlong action, up-to-the-minute science, and intriguingly conflicted characters -- do not miss The King of Plagues."   

--F. Paul Wilson, NY Times bestselling author of the Repairman Jack series

DELUKEShedrow by Dean M. DeLuke
SHEDROW by Dean M. DeLuke, $9.99 on Kindle: Click here to download a free sample or the entire book

Dick Francis meets Robin Cook in a tale of "murder, sabotage, infidelity, and a whole lot more...."  

Dean M. DeLuke
Dean M. DeLuke

Dear Reader,


Shedrow has been dubbed a cross between Dick Francis and Robin Cook, because it is a racetrack thriller in the spirit of Dick Francis, but there is a medical mystery at the heart of the story-surrounding the mysterious death of a multimillion dollar stallion on a supposedly secure farm in Lexington KY. And because the principal character happens to be a surgeon, there is a good deal of medical drama throughout the book.


I came up with the story concept by drawing on both my medical background as well as my longstanding interest in thoroughbred racing. The "what if" concept behind Shedrow was simply: what if a multimillion dollar stallion dies under very mysterious conditions on a supposedly secure farm near Lexington, KY? From that starting point comes a compelling story of "murder, sabotage, infidelity, and a whole lot more," as one recent reviewer commented.





Shedrow: A Novel

by Dean DeLuke  
Kindle Edition ~ Release Date: 2010-08-09


Print List Price: $28.95
Digital List Price:
Kindle Price: $9.99

Download a Free Sample or Buy Now  



An Excerpt from the Novel


The blindfold was torn off Dr. Gianni's eyes, and he squinted at the light, trying to focus on the two men who had dragged him from his office at gunpoint, thrown him into the back seat of a car, and transported him to the small room where he now sat. There were no windows, the only light coming from a bare bulb in a ceiling fixture. The walls were all cinder block, except for a metal garage door that had been closed behind them. The room seemed like part of a warehouse, or one of those self-storage units. With the blindfold off, Gianni could see a hint of sunlight where the cinder blocks abutted a tin roof.


Gianni was seated at a metal table, his hands bound behind his back. At one end of the table stood Sal Catroni. Unlike the other man, he wore no disguise. His longish hair was slicked back neatly, white at the sides, darker on top. His brow was furrowed in a scowl, amplifying the deep frown lines between his black-looking eyes.


Catroni spoke first. "You know who I am?" he said.


Gianni shook his head.


"I'm Sal Catroni, of the Catroni family, and this here is Hector. Hector was a medic in the marines. He's here to help you with some medical treatment."


Hector stood at least six-two, all of it solid muscle. He wore a tight white dress shirt, its silk sleeves rolled neatly to the middle of his massive forearms. A ski mask, open at the forehead, concealed his face, and his closely cropped black hair stood mostly on end. It reminded Gianni of a 1960s style flat-top cut, only not as stiff.


"Hector has some tools for you, Doc," Catroni said.


Hector opened a clean white linen cloth, the texture of a dishrag but with a starched white appearance. Inside were surgical instruments. Dr. Gianni instantly recognized them-there was a blade handle and several large #10 blades, the kind a surgeon would use to make a long incision. It was not a delicate blade, but one meant to cut hard and fast through a lot of tissue with a single swipe. Next to the blades was a bone cutting forceps, which Gianni knew to be a Rongeurs forceps. Then there was a large pile of neatly folded gauze pads.


"Recognize those tools?" Catroni asked.


Gianni nodded.


"Well, Hector here is prepared to do a little surgery today."


*     *     *  


"I know nothing about thoroughbred racing, but Shedrow held me from beginning to end and made me want to learn more. Dean DeLuke is a wonderful talent, with a physician's sensitivity and knowledge, and a writer's deft touch with story and language. I am pleased and proud to welcome Dean DeLuke to the family of doctor-writers, and Shedrow to the ranks of razor sharp, fast-paced new novels. Shedrow is a great read--intriguing and exciting...this book moves!"


-Michael Palmer, NY Times best-selling author of The Last Surgeon and 15 other medical thrillers


"DeLuke's out-of-the gate, spare-no-prisoners portrayal of horse racing, vets, racing elite and slimy underworld mafia types leaps beyond anything being published in the genre today. From its opening pages you'll be shivering on the edge of your seat while this thrill-ride of a debut has you chomping at the bit for more. I'm willing to bet the mortgage on a trifecta that DeLuke's next two efforts will be just a masterful as the first. Not a win, place and show. But a win, win, win!"


-Vincent Zandri, best-selling author of The Remains, The Innocent, Moonlight Falls and As Catch Can and International Thriller Awards panel judge for 2010

DEVIOUSDevious by Lisa Jackson

DEVIOUS by Lisa Jackson, just $9.99 on Kindle: Click here to download a free sample or the entire book

"Lisa Jackson brings back her detecting duo of Bentz and Montoya for a nail-biting tale of dangerous secrets and deadly passions...."


Lisa Jackson
Lisa Jackson

Dear Reader,


DEVIOUS will tie into Lisa's Det. Rick Bentz & Det. Reuben Montaya thriller, HOT BLOODED!  Is Father John, the serial killer whose body was never found at the end of HOT BLOODED back...or is there a new killer echoing his killing pattern from ten years ago?








by Lisa Jackson
Kensington Books
Kindle Edition
Release Date: 2011-03-29
List Price: $25.00
Kindle Price: $9.99 
Download a Free Sample or Buy Now




Excerpts from the Book 


The crime scene at St. Marguerite's cathedral in New Orleans is shocking, even to seasoned detectives like Rick Bentz and Reuben Montoya. A novice nun named Sister Camille has been found dressed in a yellowed bridal gown and viciously garroted, her body covered with an altar cloth.

Valerie Houston is devastated by her sister's death. For weeks, she'd begged Camille to leave St. Marguerite's, where she seemed determined to live as some kind of martyr. But Camille had a knack for making bad choices-she joined the convent in part because she'd fallen for Val's soon-to-be ex-husband, Slade.

Convinced the police aren't doing enough, Val begins to investigate. Slade, on a mission to repair their marriage, is determined to help her. But the deeper Val's inquiries go, the more twisted the case becomes. St. Marguerite's is far from the tranquil retreat many believe, and everyone, from handsome Father Frank O'Toole to the mysterious Mother Superior, has their own agenda. Despite their closeness, even Camille had a hidden life Val never suspected. But someone knew about Camille's past-and Val's, too. Now she has no choice but to catch a devious, depraved killer intent on purging St. Marguerite's of all its sins-before she becomes the next victim... 




"Jackson brings back her detecting duo of Bentz and Montoya for a nail-biting tale of dangerous secrets and deadly passions."




"Jackson's the queen of the modern-day suspense thriller."


--The Providence Journal   

And we'll never say good-bye without sharing a parting treat....
Kindle Nation Quarterly

Click on the image to check out our latest book on all things Kindle! You can buy it in the Kindle Store, or follow the steps at right and we'll send you a free copy!

We haven't breathed a word to anyone about this until now, but we've got a new book out, and we'd like to send you a free copy!

The book is called Kindle Nation Quarterly, Winter 2011: Dispatches from the Kindle Revolution, and it makes it easy to read the most important news and commentary in the Kindlesphere in the past few months, right on your Kindle or free Kindle App. Of course you can buy it in the Kindle Store, but all you have to do is help us spread the word and stay connected with you and we'll send a free Kindle-compatible copy via email. Just follow these steps anytime between now and Monday, April 25:

1. Go to our Kindle Nation Facebook page at


and click on the "Like" button near the top of the page 





2. Go to our BookLending Facebook page at


and click on the "Like" button near the top of the page


Wasn't that easy? Thanks! We like you, too, and now you're almost done!


3. The only other thing you'll need to do is to send an email to

kindlenation+KNQFREE@gmail.com -- make sure you copy and paste that into your "to" field so that you get it exactly right! Type your Facebook name into the subject line, click send, and you're done!

We'll send your free copy of Kindle Nation Quarterly, Winter 2011: Dispatches from the Kindle Revolution by May 1. We'll send it right along to the same email address that you used to request the free book, as an attachment in .PRC format, and then all you have to do is send it to on your appropriate you@free.kindle.com email address. Amazon will then convert it and send it on to your Kindle or other Kindle-compatible device in Kindle-compatible format.

Easy Pizzi!

Happy reading with all of this month's great selections, and we'll see you in about a month for another issue of 5-Star Fiction.


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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