Hats off to Hachette NZ

I tip my hat to the publicity team at Hachette NZ for two recent eye-catching initiatives when distributing review copies.

First initiative came with Nicky Pellegrino's new novel, When in Rome, which arrived with a Mario Lanza CD. At first I thought this was a mistake but then I read the back cover blurb and discovered that Mario Lanza is a major figure in the novel which is set in Rome in the 1950's.
As I read the book over the next few of days I played the Mario Lanza CD and his glorious tenor voice proved a perfect accompaniment.
At the Christchurch Writers Festival over the past weekend Nicky Pellegrino said she had listened to his recordings as she wrote the book.

And yesterday a book arrived wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string which included a candle and matches and a label saying "Don't let the lights go out" - photo left.
This intriguing parcel turned out to contain an advance copy of the whopping (700+ pages), and one suspects terrifying, The Twelve by Justin Cronin, the sequel to his huge 2010 international best seller The Passage.
This book has a strict embargo on it in terms of reviews until its worldwide publication date - 16 October, 2012 but I can give you a brief synopsis:

In The Passage, Justin Cronin constructed an unforgettable world transformed by a government experiment gone horribly wrong. With The Twelve, the story continues.

The Twelve were death row prisoners with nightmare pasts and no future until they were selected for a secret experiment to create something more than human. Now they are the future and humanity’s worst nightmare has begun.

As a man-made apocalypse unfolds three strangers navigate the chaos desperate to find others, to survive. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, has been so broken by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child’s arrival. Kittridge known to the world as “Last Stand in Denver” has been forced by loss of electrical power to flee his stronghold and is now on the road. April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a minefield of death and ruin.

Peter, Alicia and Amy and the others introduced in The Passage work with a cast of new characters to hunt the original twelve virals… unaware that the rules of the game have changed and that one of them will have to sacrifice everything to bring The Twelve down.

Congratulations Hachette NZ publicity team. I am impressed. Oh and the book has a NZ rrp of $36.99 and that worldwide release date again - 16 October

And if you are feeling especially brave you might like to watch this trailer for the book - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOC5V0jh3x0 - but remember don't let the lights go out.