Fiction

Read It Forward features some of the finest fiction around, from international bestsellers to hot debuts. For readers who love contemporary, voice-driven, character-rich books.

For the author of Barracuda, inspiration comes from books – and classic cinema.

“Books come first but all the other arts also inspire and challenge a writer,” says Christos Tsiolkas.

“I recall seeing Breathless as a teenager, and the shock of Godard’s experimentation was so powerful that I could hardly get up from my seat at the end. The film introduced the jump cut into cinema, and the jump cut has been an important way for me to think about my own writing.”

“The first time I heard the name Cacciamani I was five years old. My father said it, and then he spit.”

So begins Jeanne Ray’s Julie and Romeo. Romeo Cacciamani and Julie Roseman are rival florists whose families have hated each other for as long as anyone can remember, yet no one can remember why. When the two meet at a small business owners’ seminar, an intense and unwavering attraction blooms between them.

Unsure of what fate has in store, but deeply in love, Julie and Romeo are not about to let something as silly as a generations-long feud stand in their way.

This giveaway offer has ended. Thank you to everyone who entered for a chance to win our Box o’ Books + Audiobooks – and thanks for all the great comments!

We’ve partnered with Random House Reader’s Circle and Random House Audio to bring you a Box o’ Books with something for everyone! The latest from Debbie Macomber and Jude Deveraux, a “Best of 2013″ legal thriller, the much-anticipated novel from the author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, the newest from Lisa See, and a love story from Anna Quindlen, just to name a few. Happy reading, and good luck to all!

An enchanting and staggeringly original debut novel about one day in the lives of three unforgettable characters.

Still mourning the recent death of her mother, and caring for her grief-stricken father, Madeleine Altimari doesn’t realize that on the eve of Christmas Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia’s legendary jazz club The Cat’s Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut.

A grief that knows no boundary. A love without any limit. A need that doesn’t end at death.

Corrie Saunders didn’t expect her hero husband Jarrod to sacrifice his life taking on an Iraqi suicide bomber. Six months after Jarrod’s death, Corrie retreats to the family home her husband inherited deep in the Missouri Ozarks.

By moving to Saunders Creek and living in a house beloved by him, she hopes that somehow her Jarrod will come back to her. Something about the house suggests maybe he has. Corrie begins to wonder if she can feel Jarrod’s presence.

Which of these has the most sway when you’re deciding whether or not to read a book: author blurbs, reviewer quotes, or what other readers are saying online?

“Do blurbs really work?” asks Kira Walton, editor at RIF.

“Sometimes they work on me. Sometimes, when I’m browsing through the shelves at my local bookstore, I’ll pick up a book (because the cover calls to me), and if I see an author I love write something really great about the book, that’ll usually push me over the edge. Sometimes I’m thrilled to discover a new voice; sometimes I realize that my favorite author and I don’t share the same reading taste!”