NEW YORK, March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- For three-quarters of a century, the Book-of-the-Month Club(R) has helped guide America's reading habits by championing novels from "Catcher in the Rye" to "The Lovely Bones" as Main Selections before they became blockbuster best sellers. Now, the DirectGroup division of Bertelsmann AG, co-owners of Bookspan(R)'s Book-of-the-Month Club, is announcing that for the first time its clubs worldwide have agreed on the selection of a single title as a Main or Featured Selection in a new program, the International Book-of-the-Month. The first International Book-of-the-Month is "No Second Chance," the latest thriller by critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling novelist Harlan Coben. The novel will be offered in book clubs spanning four continents and more than 15 countries, including China, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Italy, Australia, France, Canada and the Czech Republic, among other locations. The book will be published in the native language of each country. DirectGroup expects to sell one million copies of "No Second Chance." The International Book-of-the-Month is the first-ever global program of the DirectGroup to provide club members with one pre-selected title that has been chosen by the editors of clubs in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. Bookspan, a partnership of Bertelsmann AG and AOL Time Warner Inc., initiated the program. Ewald Walgenbach, DirectGroup Chief Executive Officer and member of the executive board of Bertelsmann, said, "The campaign pinpoints the core competencies of the DirectGroup's club businesses, including the pre-selection of books at discounted prices for our 28 million members. We also work with the publishing industry to discover new trends and promote new and talented authors. We believe this is a unique position in the highly competitive book market." Markus Wilhelm, Bookspan Chief Executive in the U.S., said, "We're excited to offer 'No Second Chance' to readers worldwide. We believe this excellent, suspenseful book has worldwide appeal. Harlan Coben is ready to become a superstar author and we have confidence that Coben will attract readers across oceans and borders. The International Book-of-the-Month is the first pure example of a global marketing initiative." Mel Parker, Senior Vice President and Editorial Director of Bookspan, said, "With thousands of books published annually, it is difficult to break through. By selecting one book as the International Book-of-the-Month, we will shine a spotlight on a book we feel readers around the world will enjoy and will cross international borders." Harlan Coben said, "It's wonderful, marvilloso, wundervoll, fantastico, incoyanle, fabuloso ... well, that covers my knowledge of foreign languages." Harlan Coben, the first author to win the Edgar, Shamus and Anthony Awards in the United States, is a "terrific storyteller with a knack for action, whose suspense will have you squirming," said the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel. The Times in London described his writing as "high-adrenaline entertainment" and the Denver (Colo.) Post said Coben delivers "fast-paced (writing) layered with both fun and tenderness." And the San Francisco (Calif.) Chronicle said Coben "serves up everything you can ask in a can't-put-down book." In "No Second Chance" (to be published April 28, 2003 by Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA), a Pearson Company) Coben writes a thriller that grabs your attention from the very first sentence: When the first bullet hit my chest, I thought of my daughter. The novel's central character, Marc Seidman, awakens to find himself in an ICU. Upon asking how long he has been recovering there, he is told 12 days. Further, he is informed that his wife has been killed and his six-month-old daughter has vanished. He soon receives a note: We are watching. If you contact the authorities, you will never see your daughter again. There will be no second chance. Coben's earlier novels include "Tell No One" (2001) and "Gone for Good" (2002). Born in 1962, Coben lives in New Jersey, is married and father of four children under the age of eight -- now that's suspenseful living!