Thursday, July 22, 2010

Book Club Exchange: Tess Gerritsen & Giveaway

I am so incredibly honored that author Tess Gerritsen is today's guest blogger for Book Club Exchange. Yesterday, I reviewed her latest novel ICE COLD. It was my first Tess Gerritsen book and I can assure you it won't be my last!

I hope you enjoy Ms. Gerritsen's gust post because I certainly did -- I loved getting some bonus insight into ICE COLD! If you'd like to learn more about Ms. Gerritsen, make sure you check out her fantastic blog.

One of the pleasures of belonging to a book club is the chance to ponder, with other readers, the hidden meanings in a book. What were the author's intentions? What inspired the story? And -- if you're like me -- what is the factual background of this story? I'm the sort of person who's obsessed by facts and information. I know that a number of my readers are probably wondering how much truth there is behind my new novel, ICE COLD. As a writer, I draw much of my inspiration from real events and real science. So for those book groups who happen to be reading it, I thought I'd open the curtain just a bit to let you peek behind the scenes at the background behind the story. And offer some questions you might discuss when you're talking about ICE COLD with other readers.

Did a true story inspire ICE COLD?

Yes. It was inspired by an event in 1968 known as "The Dugway Incident." One cold morning in Skull Valley, Utah, farmers awakened to find a horrifying sight: thousands of sheep lay dead, and the ground was littered with the corpses of birds that had mysteriously dropped from the sky. No one could explain it -- or would admit to any wrongdoing. 30 years later, the U.S. government finally declassified the file on the Dugway Incident -- which is when I first learned about it. I won't give away the answers, but after you read ICE COLD, you may want to Google "Dugway" and "dead sheep." The answers may shock you.

The crisis in ICE COLD begins with a misadventure involving a GPS. How often does this happen in real life?

Way too often! In the UK alone, it's estimated that GPS blunders have caused up to 300,000 accidents. There have been news reports of drivers blindly following their GPS instructions onto railroad tracks, into bodies of water, and onto snow-choked seasonal roads. Occasionally, drivers have died because of their utter faith in technology. I myself have followed a GPS straight into a cornfield. Moral of the story: use your common sense and always carry a map -- a real map!

In ICE COLD, one of your characters is referred to as a "lost boy." Is this a term you coined yourself?

Unfortunately, no. If you Google "lost boys" and "polygamous sects," you'll discover that these boys are all too real. In polygamous communities, the older, more powerful men are allowed multiple wives, and they'll often marry girls much younger. This leads to a shortage of marriageable girls for all the other men. Many teenage boys in these communities are banished, ejected from their homes and families, so they can't compete for eligible females. The boys are abandoned in the nearest large cities where they're left to fend for themselves. Imagine tossing out your own son, never to see him again. As the mother of sons, it breaks my heart to think of the anguish these boys must feel when they're rejected by their own families. The character of Rat is based on one of these lost boys.

I hope this gives you a little more insight into the factual origins of ICE COLD. Sometimes, truth really is every bit as strange as fiction!

Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.

While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. She also wrote a screenplay, “Adrift”, which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson.

Tess’s first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her suspense novels since then have been: Life Support (1997), Bloodstream (1998), Gravity (1999), The Surgeon (2001), The Apprentice (2002), The Sinner (2003), Body Double (2004), Vanish (2005), The Mephisto Club (2006), The Bone Garden (2007), The Keepsake (2008; UK title: Keeping the Dead), and Ice Cold (2010; UK title: The Killing Place.) Her books have been translated into 37 languages, and more than 20 million copies have been sold around the world.

Her books have been top-5 bestsellers in the United States and abroad. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon). Critics around the world have praised her novels as “Pulse-pounding fun” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “Scary and brilliant” (Toronto Globe and Mail), and “Polished, riveting prose” (Chicago Tribune). Publisher Weekly has dubbed her the “medical suspense queen”.

Now retired from medicine, she writes full time. She lives in Maine.

I am so grateful to Ms. Gerritsen for sharing this fabulous guest post with us. If you are interested in participating in a future Book Club Exchange, please contact me at bookingmama(at)gmail(dot)com.

Giveaway alert: I have two copies of ICE COLD to share with two lucky Booking Mama Readers. To enter, please leave a comment with a valid email address telling me if you're a fan of Tess Gerritsen books. The contest will be open unit August 11th at 11:59 p.m. ET, and I will notify the winners the following day. This contest is open to those of you in the United States and Canada only -- no p.o. boxes please. Good luck!


Charleydog said...

Yes, I am a fan of Tess Gerritsen. I have some of her earliest books. Oh, Ice Cold sounds like a great story.

pboylecharley AT hotmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

I love the sound of the book. I have read other books of Tess Gerritsen before but I am really interested in this book. Please enter me in contest.

Beth F said...

Wow. I can't believe people would really follow their GPS's so blindly (I mean I believe Tess, I just can't believe how trusting some people are).

I am not a fan . . . yet! I haven't read any of her books but they sound great.

BFish dot Reads at gmail dot com

CLM said...

I have enjoyed several Gerritsens set in Boston. Enjoyed your post!

Ruthie said...

I have her book 'The Apprentice' & loved it! Please enter me, Thanks!

Katrina said...

I have not read any of her books but it sounds like I would like them!

ykatrina at hotmail dot com

bermudaonion said...

I've only read one of Gerritsen's books, so I'm not sure I'd classify myself as a fan, but I'm very intrigued about this one between the Dugway Incident and the lost boys. milou2ster(at)

Candace said...

I'm a fan. This book sounds very intriguing. Thanks for the chance.
readysetwin at gmail dot com

Linda said...

If I'm lucky enough to win this book, it will be my first Tess Gerritsen. Enjoyed the guest post, amazing stats re. GPS
Thanks for the giveaway.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

this new one sounds really interesting!! what a fascinating background she has.

pinkflipflops44 at gmail dot com

Serena said...

no need to enter me in the giveaway, but I'm hoping that my mom will read this post since she's read the book...I've emailed it to my dad, maybe he'll help her read it. :)

She's not very tech savvy.

I will post the giveaway in my sidebar though.

Unknown said...

I have never read Tess Gerritsen but this book sounds very interesting.

alas3lads (at) aol (dot) com

Lauren said...

Hi I'd love to enter! I've vever read anything by her yet but loved reading this post and would love to give her books a try. My email is princess (dot) skya @ gmail (dot)


Ruth said...

I have never read anything by Tess Gerritsen--never hears of her. But I am always interested in discovering new authors.

Meredith said...

I have never read any of Tess's books. I'll have to add one to my "wish-list" and check out her work!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

PoCoKat said...

I am a fan of Tess Gerritsen and would love to win!

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

tetewa said...

I enjoy her reads, count me in!

Becky W. said...

I just read my first Tess Gerritsen and loved it! I read the Killing Place.

Would love to win Ice Cold!

kysmom02 AT hotmail DOT com

karenk said...

i LOVE tess gerritsen books :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Annie N. said...

Full Disclosure: I've never read a Tess book, but I read your review/post about Ice Cold and am looking forward to purchasing some of her books.

BookHounds said...

no need to enter me...I just posted this on win a book for you!

Margie said...

I haven't read this author before, but this sounds interesting. Thanks for the giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Melissa said...

I LOVE her books! I started with all the medical thrillers and just kept reading once I discovered her.

shhhimreading at hotmail dot com

Sheila Deeth said...

I'm not a fan yet, but I enjoyed the interview and suspect I could easily become one.

sdeeth at msn dot com

traveler said...

Thanks for this giveaway. This author writes great novels. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I am new to Tess Gerritsen, and would love to be entered in the giveaway. I liked the review and today's author info...her real life tale about the sheep was pretty chilling. Thanks!

petite said...

What a great book which sounds amazing. thanks. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

lag123 said...

I am a HUGE fan of Tess. Love her books!

Benita said...

I've not yet read Tess's work, but this looks like a good place to get started. Thanks for the possibility.


joyh82 said...

I love the Rizzoli and Isles series. I have been following them for awhile now.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read any of her books yet!

headlessfowl at jteers dot net

ChristyJan said...

I haven't read any of Tess Gerritsen books . . . yet


Debs Desk said...

I am a fan. Please include me in your giveaway.
Debbie D

angie said...

I am a fan of Tess and I would love to be entered!!

wmmahaney said...

I have never read any of Tess Gerritsen's books, but this one sounds wonderful.

Carol M said...

I love her books and I would be thrilled if I won this one!
mittens0831 at aol dot com

enyl said...

Life Support and Bloodstream are among my favorite reads.

rubynreba said...

I have not read any of her books but I really enjoyed your review and I know I would love the books. Thanks!

Melissa T said...

I have not read her books, but I am interested in reading this book. Please enter me!

hofmeis14 at yahoo dot com

Jen Forbus said...

Julie, I'm not entering the contest since I already have my copy of this fabulous book, but I just wanted to leave you a comment. I love this post, too. Tess did such a wonderful job with her various guest posts. Each is unique and catered to the specific blog. How absolutely great is that? I love it...and I loved hearing more about facts behind the story. She sure is a fascinating woman!

Beth said...

I wasn't a fan, but I love the new Rizzoli and Isles show so I'm diving into the first book in the series now. Love it!

bethsbookreviewblog2 AT gmail DOT com

ReadingLady said...

I love Tess Gerritsen's books. The problem I have is that I use the library because I read so many books, as does my daugther, and we can't purchase them all. I usually purchase Tess' books and those of a few other authors because the line at the library is just too long! The sign a great author. Anyway, definitely will read this one! Thanks for the great interview.

skkorman said...

Tess Gerritsen is GREAT—I recommend her books to everyone!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

katsrus said...

I have not read her books yet. This one sounds really good.
Sue B

clenna said...

I would love to read this book.
I'm not a fan of Tess Gerritsen but I am now!

Misusedinnocence said...

I haven't read any of Tess's books yet, but I would love too.

Nancye said...

I have not read any of Tess Gerritsen's books yet. "Ice Cold" sounds very interesting!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Luanne said...

Read them all!! And would love to add this one as well. Thanks for the great giveaway.

luanne.ollivier at gmail dot com

rubymoon said...

I only heard of Tess just recently and have the list of what she has written. I have plans on reading some of those this summer. I'd love a chance to win this book.

rubymoonstone at gmail dot com

Anita Yancey said...

I am a very big Tess Gerritsen fan. I really love her books, and would love to read this one also. Please enter me. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

I am so lucky to be entering this wonderful giveaway on the VERY LAST DAY! I've never read Tess Gerritsen either, so like you, ICE COLD would be my first. I think I should win because this book would make me think of a fabulous author instead of that rap song (how cold? Ice Cold!) - embarrassing I know. Take pity on me! Thanks for sharing and Tess, thanks for contributing!


CherylS22 said...

I haven't had the pleasure of reading one of Tess Gerritsen's books yet - don't know how I missed her books because this book is exactly the kind of books I like to read.

Thanks for the chance ~
megalon22 at yahoo dot com