Skip to main content

May 6, 2005 Newsletter

May 6, 2005

This Week on

Happy Mother's Day

Author Talk: Lorna Landvik, Author of OH MY STARS

Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Neil Olson, Author of THE ICON

Now in Paperback: THE ENEMY by Lee Child

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Erica Spindler, Author of KILLER TAKES ALL

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight:  Iris Johansen, Author of COUNTDOWN

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Steve Berry, Author of THE THIRD SECRET -- New Guides Available

Winners in Our Audiobook Contest

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog

Poll: You Start Reading And....
Question of the Week: Graduation Books
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes!
Quick Links to Features On The Book Report Network
Past Reviews
Can't See the Graphics? Read This Newsletter Online

Past Poll: Do you read historical fiction?

Past Question of the Week: What is one of your favorite historical fiction books?
Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight Promotion
Debut Suspense/Thriller One to Watch Promotion
Mystery Mayhem Promotion

Fantasy Author Spotlight Promotion

One to Watch Promotion
Chick Lit Promotion
Answer the Audiobooks survey here.

Happy Mother's Day


Tonight I took my younger son and his friend Josh to see Eoin Colfer, the author of the Artemis Fowl series. Josh and Cory have bonded over reading. They constantly compare what they are reading and introduce each other to new series books. Tonight Colfer entertained the crowd with humorous stories for more than an hour. We all commented that he could have a second career doing standup comedy. I loved seeing the audience just mesmerized by his stories. After he signed the boys' books I thought we were headed for the car. But no, the two of them took off to do more book shopping. In the car on the ride home they sat in the back seat reading by the light of their book lights. Really nice experience.

Last night I went to a party to celebrate the publication of Beth Gutcheon's LEEWAY COTTAGE. Gutcheon shared some backstory to the novel, which gave me new insight into her work. The event took place at the Scandinavian House where she had done much of her research. There was something very interesting about seeing her surrounded by people who had such a deep interest in the history that was attached to the book.

This week I am reading GODS IN ALABAMA, which we also are reviewing this week. I love Southern fiction and this debut novel by Joshilyn Jackson has given me some hours of great reading. See what our reviewer, Bernadette Adams Davis, had to say about it.

During the Mystery Writers of America events I had an opportunity to hear Richard Aleas read the opening chapter of LITTLE GIRL LOST. I grabbed my Blackberry and tapped out a message to Tom Donadio, our Editorial Manager asking if we were reviewing this book. I should have known better --- Joe Hartlaub already was on the case and we have his review this week! By the way the publisher of this book is Hard Case Crime, a relatively new publisher that you can expect to hear a lot more about. In fact, we have a review of a second book from them this week, THE CONFESSION.

Read on...we are announcing the winners in our Audiobook Contest. In the weeks to come, we look forward to sharing comments from these people about the books that they have downloaded and listened to. This week's blogs: my thoughts on the Runaway Bride that I tapped out last Saturday morning and my commentary on my weekend cooking a la Rachael Ray.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms in our audience. For those of you with a mom....ahem, here is your checklist....card (with your own handwritten sentiment that she will re-read again and not leave it to Hallmark or American Greetings) (books are a good idea!)...and most of all do some random act of kindness that will make her realize that you appreciate her.

Carol Fitzgerald (


Author Talk: Lorna Landvik, Author of OH MY STARS

Lorna Landvik, the author of the bestselling ANGRY HOUSEWIVES EATING BON BONS, talks about where she got the idea for her latest release OH MY STARS, the role of music in her story, and the emotions that are stirred as she writes her books.

OH MY STARS by Lorna Landvik (Fiction)
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton
The life of a lonely young woman is changed forever when her bus crashes on the way to her ultimate destination, San Francisco, and she meets a man who she claims saved her.

Read an interview with Lorna Landvik and a review of OH MY STARS here.
Read more about the Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight here.

Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Neil Olson, Author of THE ICON

In THE ICON by Neil Olson, which is on sale May 3rd, Matthew Spear, a young Greek-American curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, meets the lovely Ana Kessler, a sometime art dealer who has inherited an impressive collection from her mysterious grandfather. Matthew soon discovers that the jewel of the old man's cache is none other than the Holy Mother of Katarini -- a sacred icon long thought destroyed in a fire. But while Matthew recognizes the icon's value as a work of art -- and a star in his crown if he can add it to the museum's collection -- he soon discovers that it carries a far greater significance to numerous people, including his own grandfather and godfather.

See our list of advance readers.
Read an excerpt from THE ICON.

Read more about THE ICON here:
Its value is beyond measure. Its power beyond belief. A religious icon, thought to have been destroyed during World War II, reappears in contemporary New York in this debut thriller that blends faith, art, history and suspense.

Read more about Neil Olson and THE ICON here.


Now in Paperback: THE ENEMY by Lee Child

THE ENEMY by Lee Child (Thriller)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
In this novel, Lee Child shifts time and places his hero in the past. He uses this device in an effort to answer what his fans want to know: "What made him the way he is? And what on earth was he like way back when he was still in the army?" Major Jack Reacher races to solve multiple murders that no one seems to want to acknowledge.

Click here to read our review of THE ENEMY.

Read more about our Suspense/Thriller feature here.

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Erica Spindler, Author of KILLER TAKES ALL

 ( )

Praised for her insight into the dark world of psychological terror, Erica Spindler delivers novels that are sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last moment. In KILLER TAKES ALL, which is on sale May 31st, the white rabbit beckons you to follow him, down the rabbit hole, into his world. He's a deceiver, a trickster. You won't know what is truth and what is a lie. He aims to best you. beat you. And when he does, you die.

New this week:
See a list of our advance readers.
Read an excerpt of KILLER TAKES ALL here.

Don't miss:
Fast Facts about Erica Spindler.

Read more about KILLER TAKES ALL here:
When a friend is found brutally murdered in her New Orleans apartment, former homicide detective Stacy Killian has reason to believe her death is related to the cultish fantasy role-playing game White Rabbit. The game is dark, violent --- and addictive.

As a former member of the Dallas police force, Stacy was exposed to more than her share of the horrors of crime. Moving to New Orleans was her attempt to pursue a quieter life. But her friend's murder plunges her back into the role that she fled.

She finds White Rabbit is more than a game. It's more real than life and death. And anyone can die before the final moment when the game is over...and the killer takes all.

Read more about Erica Spindler and KILLER TAKES ALL here.


Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight:  Iris Johansen, Author of COUNTDOWN

Fiction meets fact as bestselling author Iris Johansen and real-life forensic artist and veteran northern New Jersey police sergeant Daniel Sollitti get together to discuss their work. Mr. Sollitti completed his formal forensic art training at the United States Secret Service Training Facility in Maryland and studied 3-Dimensional clay reconstruction of a skull under forensic sculptor Seth Wolfson. Ms. Johansen's newest hardcover, COUNTDOWN --- her sixth thriller featuring forensic sculptor Eve Duncan --- will be released on May 10th, while last year's bestseller, BLIND ALLEY, is now available in paperback.

Read a third excerpt from COUNTDOWN here.
See what our advance readers had to say.

More about COUNTDOWN:
In this relentless psychological thriller a young woman is caught in a maze of secrets and stalked by a merciless killer. The countdown begins the moment you open this riveting novel that only grows more electrifying as the pages turn, more exciting as time runs out. . .

Read more about Iris Johansen and COUNTDOWN here.

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Steve Berry, Author of THE THIRD SECRET
Steve Berry has been a favorite with our readers since his first book, THE AMBER ROOM. Many of you may remember THE ROMANOV PROPHECY, which is now out in paperback. His new book, THE THIRD SECRET, which will be in stores on May 17th, talks about the third secret of Fatima and also shares a riveting story about the events during a Papal conclave.

Read a third excerpt from THE THIRD SECRET here.

Read more about THE THIRD SECRET here:
Explosive in both its pace and its revelations, THE THIRD SECRET is a remarkable international thriller. Bestselling author Steve Berry tackles some of the most controversial ideas of our time in a breakneck journey through the history of the Church and the future of religion.


Click here to read more about Steve Berry and THE THIRD SECRET. -- New Guides Available celebrates its 5th anniversary this month! The following guides are now available:

Antonio's Wife by Jacqueline DeJohn
The Baby Trail by Sinead Moriarty
The Baker's Apprentice by Judith R. Hendricks
The Breaking Point by Sue Shellenbarger
Citizen Vince by Jess Walter
The Closers by Michael Connelly
Deception by Denise Mina
Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts
The Frog Prince by Jane Porter
The Intelligencer by Leslie Silbert
Ireland by Frank Delaney
Leaving Cecil Street by Diane McKinney-Whetstone
Leeway Cottage by Beth Gutcheon
Mambo Peligroso by Patricia Chao

The Mermaid's Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
Oh My Stars by Lorna Landvik
On Hitler's Mountain by Irmgard A. Hunt
The Ruby Ring by Diane Haeger
The Tall Pine Polka by Lorna Landvik
Ya-Yas in Bloom by Rebecca Wells


Click here to visit

Do you enjoy reading Christian books? If so, explore for suggestions on what to read. This month we have an interview with Frank Peretti, the author of MONSTER, a terrific roundup of Mother's Day titles and more than 10 new reviews. Also, five authors respond to the Faithful Fifteen.

Great reading. May we ask that you pass this web address to friends who may enjoy these titles, or even your local church group?

Click here to visit


Winners in Our Audiobook Contest

The following are the winners who will participate in our three-month trial offer and share with us what they are reading. If you recall, we were looking for readers who listen to audiobooks, but have never downloaded their reading material, as well as readers who have never listened to audiobooks.

We will be in touch with these winners next week! Each will get a Muvo listening device and a card for a three-month trial offer. Thanks to everyone who entered.

Current Listeners:

Cheryl from Franklin, LA
Dan from Raleigh, NC
Julie from New York, NY
Joanne from Greensburg, PA
Judith from Grosse Isle, MI
Gay from Weatherford, TX
Lois from St. Petersburg, FL
Kathy from Sterling, VA
Cathy from Oklahoma City, OK
Dennis from Fredrick, MD

Would Love to Try:
Kevin from Albany, NY
Amanda from Greenville, WI
Krypton from Prunedale, CA
Louise from Honolulu, HI
Diane from Bordentown, NJ
Rosemary from Ocala, FL
Corinna from Rockville, MD
Barbara from Keizer, OR
Ricki from St. Peters, MO
Julie from Sugar Grove, IL


Our Audiobooks winners!



This Week's Reviews and Features

4th OF JULY by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
In James Patterson's fourth Women's Murder Club thriller, Lt. Lindsay Boxer has to defend herself against a charge of police brutality. While awaiting trial, she escapes to Half Moon Bay, where a string of unspeakable murders are rocking this otherwise quiet town. Lindsay soon discovers a link between these killings and a case she worked on years before, which has remained unsolved.

GODS IN ALABAMA by Joshilyn Jackson (Fiction)
Reviewed by Bernadette Adams Davis
Arlene Fleet has been keeping her promises to God for twelve years and avoiding a visit home to Alabama for ten when a familiar face forces her to begin breaking those promises. Arlene is about to discover just how far she will go to find redemption --- and love --- in Joshilyn Jackson's strong debut novel.

THE SERPENT ON THE CROWN by Elizabeth Peters (Mystery)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
Elizabeth Peters's seventeenth entry in her bestselling series with Egyptologist Amelia Peabody Emerson and her extended family centers on a valuable golden statuette, a supposedly cursed treasure that is said to bring early death to anyone who possesses it.

BADWATER by Clinton McKinzie (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Recovering from the near death of his daredevil brother and his breakup with the mother of his child, Special Agent Antonio Burns unwillingly becomes involved in the case of a tourist charged in the drowning death of a ten-year-old boy in Badwater, Wyoming.

Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
Two women --- a married mother of two grown-up children living in the 1950s and a career-driven professional in contemporary times --- are at a crossroads in their lives and they both are wondering the same thing: Where does happiness lie?

SMALL ISLAND by Andrea Levy (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
Andrea Levy has intricately woven the lives of four small islanders --- two from Jamaica, two from England --- into a tapestry of time and place so intimate and full of color that it lingers in the reader's memory long after closing the book. 

THE PORTRAIT by Iain Pears (Fiction)
Reviewed by Colleen Quinn
Reclusive painter Henry Morris MacAlpine lures mentor and influential art critic William Nasmyth to the Brittany coast to paint his portrait and settle some unfinished business.

THE CONFESSION by Domenic Stansberry (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Domenic Stansberry's Edgar Award-winning novel introduces readers to Jake Danser, who appears to have it all: a beautiful wife, a house in the California hills, and a high-profile job as a forensic psychologist. But he also has a mistress. And when Jake's mistress is found strangled to death with his necktie, it's up to him to prove he didn't do it.

LITTLE GIRL LOST by Richard Aleas (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Miranda Sugarman was supposed to be in the Midwest, working as an eye doctor. So how did she wind up shot to death on the roof of New York's seediest strip club? It's up to detective John Blake to uncover his ex-girlfriend's secret life as a strip tease queen.

Click here to read this week's reviews and features.

Read our reviews and features here. Read our reviews and features here. Read our reviews and features here. Blog

Cooking a la Rachel Ray
Runaway Bride
Authors Authors Everywhere
Note: You can read past blogs here as well.
Sign up here to get notified each time this blog is updated.
Click here to read the blog.
Read a list of upcoming books here. Browse our author bibliographies by clicking here. Sign up for Author Newsletters here.
Poll: You Start Reading And....
If you start a book and you are not enjoying it, do you:

Finish it anyway
Read one more chapter
Stop reading
Not sure what I do
Answer the Poll here.

Question of the Week: Graduation Books

What book would you give a graduate?

Please note: Our next question update will be on May 20th.

Answer the Question of the Week here.

Read more about 4th OF JULY here. Read more about  OH MY STARS 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 4TH OF JULY by James Patterson and OH MY STARS by Lorna Landvik. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on May 20th.

Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.


As always, here are a few housekeeping notes. If you are seeing this newsletter in a text version, and would prefer to see the graphics, you can either read it online (see the link on the upper right) or change your preferences below.

Those of you who wish to send mail to, please see the form on the Write to Us page. We were forced to move to this format after we were inundated with SPAM at the other address. If you would like to reach me, please write Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us.

Quick observation --- we have noticed that many of you have been changing your Internet providers in the past month. If you do, please be sure to "take us along" by signing up for the newsletter in your new name!

Happy reading! Don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend or to visit our other websites from,,,,, and

--- Carol Fitzgerald (

The Book Report Network
250 W. 57th Street - Suite 1228
New York, New York 10107