Though I didn’t know it at the time, The Shadow Queen began life four years ago when I was writing […]

“On more than one occasion,” writes Michelle Moran, bestselling author of The Second Empress, “Napoleon’s sister Pauline Borghese went so far as to make statements to foreign diplomats hinting at an illicit relationship between her and her brother. But there is no doubt that Pauline loved to titillate. Whether or not such a relationship existed, she enjoyed the power this kind of speculation gave her. By linking herself sexually to the most powerful man in the world, she accomplished what even Joséphine couldn’t: a reputation as the most alluring woman in Europe. A woman whose own brother couldn’t resist her.”

“When I was nine years old, I went off to summer camp for the first time, and my mother packed me a suitcase full of books,” says Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts. “Which – to me – seemed like a perfectly natural thing to do because in my family, reading was the primary group activity. This might sound anti-social to you, but for us it was really just a different of being social. You had the animal warmth of your family sitting right next to you but you were also free to go roaming around the adventure-land inside your own mind. And I had this idea that camp was going to be just like this but better.”

“It’s a strange document – the exhaustive, daily recordings of the unessential,” writes Jay Caspian Kang, author of The Dead Do Not Improve. “And yet, I don’t think it’s entirely accurate to say that my real youth – whatever that means – happened somewhere in the redacted spaces . . . . I remember almost none of what happens in those journals and cannot tell you whether or not the task of recording the banal had any effect on my fantasy of one day becoming a real writer, but it’s occurred to me that we write things down to forget them – that once we feel the reassurance that the event has been recorded, we begin the process of moving onto the next day.”

“Mentally ill kids, especially those who are bipolar and schizophrenic, experience discrimination because they can react with impulsive and unpredictable violence at times,” says Michael Schofield, author of January First. “People need to know that this illness is very real. It is like witnessing a child going into a seizure where he or she is not in control of his/her physical movements. So the biggest problem is that mental illness and those who have it are not treated the same as those with a chronic physical illnesses. As a society, we must understand that those with mental illness are no different than those with cancer. Any violence is a symptom of their disease. Treat the disease and you treat the violence.”

We invite you to enjoy Lisa Unger’s latest thriller, Heartbroken, now available wherever books are sold. Read the excerpt and leave a comment with your thoughts! And don’t miss the chance to chat with Lisa Unger on Goodreads. She’ll be dropping by to read your comments and answer your questions. Heartbroken has been named by the New York Daily News as one of this “Summer’s Top New Thriller Novels” and as a Publishers Weekly Editors Pick: “The Best New Books for Week of June 25.″ Dive in and enjoy the read!