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April 9, 2004 Newsletter April 9, 2004
This Week on
Books To Take Note Of... Talks to Jodi Picoult, Author of MY SISTER'S KEEPER
Author Talks with Three Authors: Lolly Winston, Author of GOOD GRIEF, Ellen Sussman, Author of ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS and Gail Lynds, Author of THE COIL
Debut Suspense/Thriller: One To Watch --- Our Latest Author is Lauren Kelly, author of TAKE ME, TAKE ME WITH YOU
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Clinton McKinzie, author of CROSSING THE LINE and Rick Riordan, Author of SOUTHTOWN
Our Latest Update is Live
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: What's Your Comfort Genre?
Question of the Week: Who is your favorite "comfort read" author?
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes!
On The Book Report Network
Past Reviews
Can't See the Graphics? Read This Newsletter Online
Past Poll: Do you want to see author interviews on the web?
Past Question of the Week: Name three authors you would want to see interviewed on the web.
Read more about Hover Car Racer here. Read more about BLACK here. Read more about HOMESICK here.
Books To Take Note Of...
Wednesday my younger son came to the office to visit. At lunchtime we went to the new Time Warner building to shop at Borders. He likes to look to see if there are any new books from his favorite authors, in case I "forgot" to get them for him. While we were there Mary Higgins Clark was signing her new one --- NIGHTTIME IS MY TIME, which is just out this week. Cory got a great idea that this would be a good Easter present for his older brother, who is a rabid Clark fan. It's such fun when an unplanned moment like that happens. Mary is one of the absolutely loveliest people I have ever met and I know this gift is going to be a great surprise for Greg with its inscription --- Happy Easter Gregory.

That evening I went to another Borders store for a reading by Jenny Lauren. Her memoir, HOMESICK, went on sale this week. It's a gripping and gritty story of her battle with anorexia and bulimia, which included two surgeries to repair the damage done to her body. She still lives with chronic pain. Many stories about eating disorders are glamorized. This one is not. Instead it's a powerful book about a very important subject that Diane Sawyer cited as "required reading" the other morning when she interviewed Jenny on Good Morning America. We will have a review soon. For now you can explore it at A sidebar to this story --- Jenny is the niece of Ralph Lauren, the fashion designer.

William Lashner is one of my favorite authors. I discovered him last year when he was our April 2003 Suspense/Thriller author. His new book PAST DUE will be in stores on April 27th and FATAL FLAW is now out in paperback. Lashner's character Victor Carl is smart and very witty. I read PAST DUE over the Christmas vacation and thought it was his best work to date. Here's a quick look at the plot. With his client, Joey Cheaps, murdered, Victor must search for a killer. But solving the crime means investigating the darkest spot in Cheaps's misspent youth, sending Victor on a twisting journey that leads to a missing suitcase stuffed with money, photographs of a mysterious naked woman, and a Supreme Court justice with a secret to hide. And most dangerous of all, Victor steps into the crosshairs of a vengeful enemy with a past full of pain and a taste for blood. You can read more and an excerpt by clicking on the link below. I am betting you will race to pre-order it once you do!

As we shared last week, Matthew Reilly has written an eight-part serial novel, HOVER CAR RACER, that he sharing with readers for free online. Click on the above graphic to read it. We love this story and this week we have added an interview with Reilly about why he went this route to publish this book. By the way, the book is good reading for kids aged 9 and up. So if you are looking for something to keep the kids occupied this holiday weekend, may we suggest this?

Right after 9/11 I read a nonfiction book by Christopher Whitcomb, who was on the FBI Hostage Rescue Team (HRT). COLD ZERO gave me insight into the world of terrorism and hostage rescue that I previously knew nothing about. Whitcomb's latest is a novel called BLACK, which will be in stores on June 2nd. The protagonist is Special Agent Jeremy Waller, who is on the Hostage Rescue Team. I am reading it now and urge you to mark this one down for further exploration.

Lots to share this week with 4 interviews and a lineup of reviews of some books that I have enjoyed including MY SISTER'S KEEPER, GOOD GRIEF and ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS. We hope you enjoy them too.

Happy Easter to those of you who are celebrating Easter. If you have a long weekend break, we hope you find a book here to escape with.

Carol Fitzgerald (
Read more about PAST DUE by William Lashner and an excerpt here. Talks to Jodi Picoult, Author of MY SISTER'S KEEPER
Jodi Picoult, author of MY SISTER'S KEEPER, talks to's Bethanne Kelly Patrick and Carol Fitzgerald about why she chose the plot, her thoughts on her characters and what made her cry while she was writing. She also shares a glimpse at her next book, which is a work-in-progress.

MY SISTER'S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult (Fiction)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness.
Read our interview with Jodi Picoult and a review of MY SISTER'S KEEPER here.
Read our interview with Lolly Winston and a review of GOOD GRIEF here. Read an essay by Ellen Sussman and a review of ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS here. Read an interview with Gail Lynds and a review of THE COIL here.
Author Talks with Three Authors: Lolly Winston, Author of GOOD GRIEF, Ellen Sussman, Author of ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS and Gail Lynds, Author of THE COIL
Lolly Winston: In this interview Lolly Winston, author of GOOD GRIEF, discusses why she chose to write a book about grief and how she incorporated her own loss into the story.

Ellen Sussman: First-time novelist Ellen Sussman reveals how a surprise visit from her husband's old high school friend inspired her to write ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS.

Gayle Lynds: In this interview Gayle Lynds talks about THE COIL, the sequel to her bestselling thriller MASQUERADE.
Read our interviews with Lolly Winston, Ellen Sussman and Gail Lynds here.
Read more about Lauren Kelly and TAKE ME, TAKE ME WITH YOU here.
Debut Suspense/Thriller: One To Watch --- Our Latest Author is Lauren Kelly, author of TAKE ME, TAKE ME WITH YOU
Lauren Kelly, who explores the secret kinship of "soul mates," in a mysterious and demonic love story is our newest Debut Suspense/Thriller author. TAKE ME, TAKE ME WITH YOU will be in stores on April 27th. We are looking for 10 advance readers. Interested? Then write us at with your name and street mailing address by Friday, April 16th!

Here's the Plot: Lara Quade, a disaffected intellectual associated with a prominent Princeton research center, is a young woman whose physical beauty has been scarred in a childhood accident. She is jarred out of the routine of her life by a seemingly chance meeting with a young man named Zedrick Dewe, whom she seems to know somehow as he in turn seems to know her. What is the connection between them? Who has brought them together? And why are they drawn so powerfully to one another? Their encounter leads to a highly charged erotic experience that takes an abrupt turn from tender to violent, predictable to terrifying. And from this initial episode springs a sequence of inexplicable events and revelations so shocking that they lead Lara, long in denial about her life, to uncover the truth about the buried hurt and rage in the tortured past of her family.

Read an excerpt here.
Read about Lauren Kelly and TAKE ME, TAKE ME WITH YOU here.
Read more about Clinton McKinzie and CROSSING THE LINE here. Read more about Rick Riordan and SOUTHTOWN here.
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Clinton McKinzie, author of CROSSING THE LINE and Rick Riordan, Author of SOUTHTOWN
Rick Riordan, Author of SOUTHTOWN, which is on sale on April 27th. New this week: Read an third excerpt from SOUTHTOWN.

Will Stirman stages a bloody escape from prison and sets out for Southtown, an area in San Antonio, to exact revenge on those who put him behind bars. Tres Navarre's boss, Erainya Manos knows why Stirman may be looking for her, but she's not talking. Sam Barerra, the other person with clues to the danger is fighting a losing battle with dementia. SOUTHTOWN is a story filled with greed, vigilanitism --- and deception.

Clinton McKinze, author of CROSSING THE LINE, which is on-sale on 4/27. New this week: Read a third excerpt from CROSSING THE LINE

In CROSSING THE LINE, FBI agent Mary Chang is hot on the trail of Hidalgo, a murderous drug lord who recently relocated to a Wyoming canyon. Determined to bring Hidalgo to custody, Chang enlists Special Agent Antonio Burns and his renegade brother, Roberto. Despite Mary's and Anthony's efforts, their plans soon descend into a world of loss, betrayal and terror.
Read our Suspense/Thriller feature here.
Our Latest Update is Live
Our latest update is live. Here are some of the latest that we added this month:

Awake by Elizabeth Graver
Beautiful Girls by Beth Ann Bauman
The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper
The Boy on the Bus by Deborah Schupack
A Breath of Fresh Air by Amulya Malladi
Cosmopolitan Girls by Charlotte Burley and Lyah Beth LeFlore
The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat
Digging Out by Katherine Leiner
Evenings at Five by Gail Godwin
Fade to Clear by Leonard Chang
The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland
Good Grief by Lolly Winston
The Growing Seasons by Samuel Hynes
A Hole in the Universe by Mary McGarry Morris
Little Children by Tom Perrotta
The Photograph by Penelope Lively
A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle
Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
Swimming Naked by Stacy Sims
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Until the Real Thing Comes Along by Elizabeth Berg
The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks

More guides will be added later this month.
Click here to read our latest Reading Group Guides update.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
GOOD GRIEF by Lolly Winston (Fiction)
Reviewed by Shannon McKenna
In this funny, wise and heartbreakingly poignant debut novel, Sophie Stanton works her way through the five typical stages of grief adding a few of her own: eating an entire family pack of Oreos in one sitting under the bedcovers, having a breakdown in the produce section of the grocery store, going to work in her bathrobe and pink bunny slippers and relocating from the Bay Area to Oregon. Along the way she becomes her own person instead of a wife or a widow.

ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS by Ellen Sussman (Fiction)
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
In this bittersweet romance, a single mom knows she will die soon and is consumed with worry over what will happen to her 16-year-old daughter. She meets up with an old high school classmate who is heartbroken over his wife's sudden departure from their marriage. The two are drawn to each other, but to what end?

THE COIL by Gayle Lynds (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
A former CIA field agent and daughter of perhaps the most notorious Cold War assassin (the man known to the world only as The Carnivore), Liz Sansborough is now a university professor in Southern California specializing in the psychology of violence. But her dead father's legacy has come back to overtake her.

SLEEPING BEAUTY by Phillip Margolin (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Author Miles Van Meter is on a book tour to promote his sensational bestseller SLEEPING BEAUTY, a true-crime account of the attack six years earlier by a serial killer that left his twin sister in a coma. An audience waits to hear Miles discuss recent developments in his sister's case --- unaware that pieces of this complex puzzle are about to be revealed.

LITTLE CHILDREN by Tom Perrotta (Fiction)
Reviewed by Stephen M. Deusner
Tom Perrotta's scathing new novel satirizes suburbanites "trapped in Kidworld," exposing the adult dramas that unfold amidst the swing sets and slides of an ordinary American playground.

THE PRINCES OF IRELAND: The Dublin Saga by Edward Rutherfurd (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
Edward Rutherfurd turns his pen to Irish history in this sprawling novel that covers the loves and feuds of several interconnected families over more than a thousand years.

DIRTY SOUTH by Ace Atkins (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Music mogul Teddy Paris persuades his friend Nick Travers, former professional football player turned amateur sleuth, to help recover $500,000 that has been taken from his latest star, a fifteen-year-old rapper. But duplicity, violence and double-crosses hamper Nick's efforts every step of the way.

BLACK CREEK CROSSING by John Saul (Fiction)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
The troubled Sullivan family is given the chance at a fresh start when they move to the quaint town of Roundtree, Massachusetts. But all is not so peaceful, as thirteen-year-old Angel Sullivan meets a fellow social outcast who tells her the unspoken truth about the legacy of murder that hangs over her family's home.

THE MAZE by Panos Karnezis (Fiction)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
In the summer of 1922, after a series of decisive defeats at the hands of the Turks, the Greek army is in retreat from Asia Minor. However, one Greek brigade wanders lost in the Anatolian desert. The war is over, but the men in Panos Karnezis's debut novel must battle on.

AN INNOCENT, A BROAD by Ann Leary (Memoir/Humor)
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
A young mother delivers her baby prematurely while visiting England in this jubilant, funny and poignant memoir.
Read the reviews and features here.
Read Author Bibliographies here. Search here Read about the Light Wedge reading light here.
Poll: What's Your Comfort Genre?
To us, a "comfort genre" is the one you turn to when you just need to escape. Maybe you are curled up in bed with the flu, or coming to terms with a deal gone wrong at the office or nursing a broken heart. What kind of books do you turn to when you need comfort? (Check as many as apply.)

Chick Lit
Women's Fiction
Business Books
Answer the Poll here.
Read about books that have won awards here. Read our Books Into Movies feature here.
Question of the Week: Who is your favorite "comfort read" author?
Who is your favorite "comfort read" author?

Our next question update will be on April 16th.
Answer the Question of the Week.
Read more about THE BOOK OF JOE here. Read more about MY SISTER'S KEEPER here.
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes!
Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't.

This week we have some great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of THE BOOK OF JOE by Jonathan Tropper and MY SISTER'S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on April 16th.
Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

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--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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