Fresh blood: Teen vampires again reign over USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list, but this week the No. 1 spot doesn't belong to Stephenie Meyer. It goes to mother-daughter team P.C. and Kristin Cast and their novel Hunted, which went on sale March 10. It's the fifth book but first hardcover in their House of Night series about fledgling vampire Zoey Redbird — and their first debut at No. 1. (The fou
rth book, Untamed, entered the list at No. 10 last October, the highest previous ranking for the 2-year-old series.) There are 4.3 million of the first four books in print in paperback; publisher St. Martin's is reissuing all four in hardcover in September. Two of the titles are in USA TODAY's top 50 this week: Marked at No. 24 and Betrayed at No. 45.
Helping a friend: Stephenie Meyer, whose Twilight series has dominated the list for months, made news this week when she announced on her website that she would make a rare public appearance at a fundraiser April 4 in Tempe, Ariz., for Faith Hochhalter, a friend being treated for breast cancer. Meyer and other authors of books for young adults will participate in a panel discussion, and some of Meyer's early manuscripts will be auctioned. Hochhalter, whom Meyer described as "one of my dear friends and mentors," has worked as a children's book buyer and arranges school visits for authors.
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Pirates ahoy! Clive Cussler's latest best seller, Corsair, which lands at No. 11, features modern-day Libyan pirates. Cussler, 77, says he wasn't surprised by the news last November of real-life Somalian pirates hijacking a supertanker. "It's pretty much a coincidence," he says, "but we did our research and knew there have been pirates for years and years in places like Indonesia, even Nicaragua." Corsair, Cussler's 37th novel, was written with his collaborator, Jack Du Brul. Cussler says he's appealing a recent California judge's ruling ordering him to pay $13.9 million in legal fees to the production company that adapted his novel Sahara, a flop on the big screen. The firm countersued after Cussler's breach-of-contract suit over final script approval. The appeal may take a year, he says, "but till then, I'm not keen on selling to the movies."