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June 3, 2005 Newsletter

June 3, 2005

This Week on

A Very Bookish Weekend Talks to Erica Spindler, Author of KILLER TAKES ALL

Beach Bag Of Books: Spotlight on THE STARTER WIFE by Gigi Levangie Grazer and Weekly Beach Bag Giveaway

Author Talk: David McCullough, Author of 1776

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Perri O'Shaughnessy, Author of CASE OF LIES 

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Jack Kerley, Author of THE DEATH COLLECTORS

Mystery Mayhem Author Spotlight: Laurie R. King, Author of LOCKED ROOMS

One To Watch: John Ramsey Miller, author of UPSIDE DOWN and INSIDE OUT

LETHAL by Shari Shattuck is Now in Stores

BAD GUYS by Linwood Barclay is Now in Stores and BAD MOVE is Now in Paperback

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog

Poll: What Day Do Most Books Come Out?
Question of the Week: Must-buys or must-borrows
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: Finishing Books

Past Question of the Week: What book would you give a graduate?
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
Summer Beach Bag Promotion
Read more about ROCOCO here. Read more about THE UNDOMESTIC GODDESS here.

A Very Bookish Weekend

I enjoyed watching Empire Falls on HBO last weekend. I got a note from one of our readers, Barbara from Oregon, who really summed it up. Here is what she had to say: "Having read EMPIRE FALLS hot off the press in hardback, I was elated to know that it was taken to screen for HBO. And the casting!!!!!  It was perfect. I am grateful to Paul Newman for going to Richard Russo and encouraging taking it to screen and being a part of it. All of the actors were great, the shooting location was PERFECT, and everything about it not only was followed the book 100% thanks to Russo doing the screen adaptation. All in all it was wonderful and I can hardly wait until the DVD comes out." One more comment --- did anyone else think that Paul Newman and Ed Harris were perfectly cast as father/son? There were some shots where they really looked related!
The summer kicked off in style as I read THE UNDOMESTIC GODDESS by Sophie Kinsella and ROCOCO by Adriana Trigiani. I love wit. I love funny. Both books struck those chords. I think Trigiani knows some of my relatives and I look forward to interviewing her when her book comes out. Linda Greenlaw's mom's lobster casserole was appropriately rich and fattening, the Cranberry Bread was a huge hit and I made a salad dressing from this same cookbook, RECIPES FROM A VERY SMALL ISLAND that I was crazy about.
Every time I think about our new One To Watch author, John Ramsey Miller, I start humming the Diana Ross song "Upside Down." It's one way for me to keep the title straight since as the staff here knows I am very bad about remembering titles and authors. Confession: At least two people vet this newsletter every week before it goes out. I picture my outtakes showing up somewhere on the web at some point, which trust me, would be humorous. Thus singing has me keeping this one straight.
But back to Miller whose book UPSIDE DOWN will be in stores on June 28th. INSIDE OUT went on sale May 31st and introduced readers to U.S. Marshal Winter Massey. Massey will return in Miller's upcoming release, UPSIDE DOWN, on sale on June 28th. What a great way to explore a new author --- with back-to-back new releases. We review INSIDE OUT this week so be sure to check it out.
Interested in being one of 10 advance readers of UPSIDE DOWN? If so, please send your name and mailing address to by Friday, June 10, 2005.
Enjoy our Beach Bag of Books spotlighted selection this week, THE STARTER WIFE by Gigi Levangie Grazer. I read this one and found it to be both funny and smart. Nice combination. I covet the flip flops in the giveaway beach bag. Those who know me know how much I love turquoise and these are just cuuuute.
Note that the New York Times Book Review has two interesting pieces this week. The first is "Cash Up Front," all about the money that is exchanged to have books featured in front of bookstores. It's a little known secret that you may be interested in reading about. Also they are publishing a literary map of New York City that book lovers will find fun reading.
This weekend is BEA Weekend, the Book Expo America industry event at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. Picture this. Aisle after aisle of book publishers all pitching their fall titles. Row after row of authors autographing books. I already have been to a number of panels and seminars. I am making furious notes of what we want to share with you. It's going to be one long weekend, but I always leave it feeling very energized by what we do as I nurse my tired feet and hoarse throat.
I am off to hum "Upside Down." You have a great week...and happy reading.
Carol Fitzgerald (

. Talks to Erica Spindler, Author of KILLER TAKES ALL's Carol Fitzgerald and Wiley Saichek interviewed Erica Spindler, author of KILLER TAKES ALL. Spindler talks about her inspiration for the book's role-playing plot, explains how she made the transition from writing romance novels to suspense/thrillers, and relates the fascinating story of how she began her writing career.

KILLER TAKES ALL by Erica Spindler (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
When two friends are found brutally murdered in their New Orleans apartment, former homicide detective Stacy Killian has reason to believe that their deaths are related to White Rabbit, a role-playing game that is dark, violent and addictive. Doubting that Police Detective Spencer Malone is up to the task, Killian vows to track down the killer herself.


Read an interview with Erica Spindler and a review of KILLER TAKES ALL here.
See our  Summer Beach Bag of Books feature here.

Beach Bag Of Books: Spotlight on THE STARTER WIFE by Gigi Levangie Grazer and Weekly Beach Bag Giveaway

Whether your "beach" is on sand, your backyard deck or a grassy meadow in the country, the summer months mean it's time for "beach reading." is celebrating the lazy days of summer reading with a special feature, Beach Bag of Books.

Every week from May 20th through August 19th a different title will be featured with a review and author interview, as well as a contest prize --- a beach bag stocked with that book, plus summertime essentials that tie in to its theme. Five FABULOUS beach bags will be given away each week, as well as five copies of the book to additional winners.

Our third spotlighted title is THE STARTER WIFE by Gigi Levangie Grazer, a wickedly funny novel about one woman redefining herself after years of marriage to a Hollywood studio head. Our THE STARTER WIFE Beach Bag prize is a pink beach bag filled with everything you need for a day at the beach --- Malibu style. Along with a hardcover copy of Gigi Levangie Grazer's book --- THE STARTER WIFE --- and a paperback copy of her earlier novel MANEATER, you'll find flip-flops, sunblock and sunglasses fit for a star. We have five to give away, as well as five additional prizes of copies of THE STARTER WIFE. Click here to enter.

Enjoying our summer beach bag contests and want to make sure you don't miss out on the next one? Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter and we'll alert you when the weekly Beach Bag contest has been updated.

Click here to read more about's Beach Bag of Books feature.


Author Talk: David McCullough, Author of 1776

In this interview David McCullough, author of 1776, explains why he chose to focus on this particular year when writing about the Revolutionary War and his decision to start the narrative in October 1775. He discusses what the book is about beyond the historical events it covers, how he conducted research for this "companion work to JOHN ADAMS," and the single event detailed in this history that he considers to be the most significant.

1776 by David McCullough (History)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
In this extensively researched and stirring companion work to his celebrated biography of John Adams, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough tells the story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence --- when the entire American cause was riding on their success.

To read more about David McCullough and 1776, click here.


Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Perri O'Shaughnessy, Author of CASE OF LIES 

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Readers love Perri O'Shaughnessy, a New York Times bestselling duo who have created a series of novels centered around lawyer and single mother Nina Reilly. The new Reilly novel is CASE OF LIES, which will be on-sale on June 28th.

New This Week:
-See our list of Advance Winners here.
-Read an excerpt from CASE OF LIES here.
-Read Fast Facts about Perri O'Shaughnessy here.
More About CASE OF LIES:
For Nina Reilly, the mountain town of Lake Tahoe is home. It's where she forged a successful career as a tough, resourceful attorney -- and raised her teenage son, Bob, alone. Back from a stint in Monterey, where her love life took a tumble, Nina has returned to her Tahoe law office with her old friends Sandy Whitefeather and Sandy's son, Wish. It isn't long before she has a new client. As Nina tries to unravel the mystery of one violent Tahoe night, a harrowing journey begins -- one that takes her from the dark underworld of Tahoe's casinos to the halls of a prestigious East Coast university to Europe and an emotional reunion with Kurt.

Read more about Perri O'Shaughnessy and CASE OF LIES here.

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Jack Kerley, Author of THE DEATH COLLECTORS

Jack Kerley, whose book THE DEATH COLLECTORS is on sale on June 23rd, is another author spotlighted in our Suspense/Thriller feature. Many of you may remember his book, THE HUNDREDTH MAN that we shared with you last year.

New This Week:
-Read an excerpt from THE DEATH COLLECTORS here.
Previous Weeks:
-See our Advanced Reader Copy Winners.
-Read Fast Facts about Jack Kerley.

Read more about THE DEATH COLLECTORS here:
In 1972, on the day of his sentencing, renowned artist and serial killer Marsden Hexcampis shot dead in the courtroom. Members of his Mansonesque band of followers are imprisoned or simply disappear.

Fast-forward more than thirty years: A suspected prostitute is found murdered in a candlelit motel room, the first in a series of horrors suggesting Hexcamp's art remains alive and treacherous. Following a trail of beautiful --- and profoundly disturbing --- artwork, homicide detectives Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus descend into the shocking world of the Death Collectors, people who spend vast sums to collect serial-killer memorabilia. As Ryder and Nautilus race to solve a thirty-year conspiracy, it becomes sadly evident that at the intersection of art and madness, death is beauty, tragedy a memento, and suffering suitable for framing.

Read more about Jack Kerley and THE DEATH COLLECTORS here.


Mystery Mayhem Author Spotlight: Laurie R. King, Author of LOCKED ROOMS

Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes are back in Laurie R. King's highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling mystery series. And this time the first couple of detection pair up to unlock the buried memory of a shocking crime with the power to kill again --- lost somewhere in Russell's own past.

New This Week:
-See our list of Advance Winners here.
-Read an excerpt from LOCKED ROOMS here.
-Read Fast Facts about Laurie R. King here.

Watch a video with Laurie R. King here.

More About LOCKED ROOMS (on-sale June 21st):

After departing Bombay by ship, Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes are en route to the bustling modern city of San Francisco. There, Mary will settle some legal affairs surrounding the inheritance of her family's old estate. But the closer they get to port, the more Mary finds herself prey to troubling dreams and irrational behavior --- a point not lost on Holmes, much to Russell's annoyance.

The more questions they ask of Mary's past, the more people from that past turn out to have died violent, unexplained deaths. Now, with the aid of a hard-boiled young detective and crime writer named Hammett, Russell and Holmes find themselves embroiled in a mystery that leads them through the winding streets of Chinatown to the unspoken secrets of a parent's marriage and the tragic car "accident" that a fourteen-year-old Mary alone survived --- an accident that may not have been an accident at all. What Russell is about to discover is that even a forgotten past never dies...and it can kill again.

Click here to read more about Laurie R. King and LOCKED ROOMS.


One To Watch: John Ramsey Miller, author of UPSIDE DOWN and INSIDE OUT




Our latest One to Watch author is John Ramsey MillerINSIDE OUT went on sale May 31st and introduced readers to U.S. Marshal Winter Massey. Massey will return in Miller's upcoming release, UPSIDE DOWN, on sale June 28th. What a great way to explore a new author --- with back-to-back new releases.

This week we're giving away 10 copies of UPSIDE DOWN to readers who would like to preview the book and comment on it. If you're interested please send your name and mailing address to by Friday, June 10, 2005.

More about UPSIDE DOWN:
In the rain-slick streets of New Orleans, a twelve-year-old girl is running out of time. Hours before, Faith Ann Porter hid under a desk while her attorney mother was murdered for photographs that could rock the city. Now Faith Ann is being hunted by a pair of killers with a very powerful boss. Because she has the negatives of the photos her mother died for, Faith Ann has only hours to live --- and only one person who can save her....

Our review of INSIDE OUT by John Ramsey Miller (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
U.S. Marshal Winter Massey is part of a team of officers assigned to protect contract killer Dylan Devlin, a Federal witness who has agreed to testify against Sam Manelli, the godfather of one of America's biggest crime families. But when Manelli arranges a contract hit on Devlin, the government's case falls apart, while the reputation --- and life --- of Massey's best friend is tarnished.

Click here to read more about John Ramsey Miller and UPSIDE DOWN and to read a review of INSIDE OUT.


LETHAL by Shari Shattuck is Now in Stores

In LETHAL, the stellar follow-up to LOADED, named one of 2003's Best Novels by Publishers Weekly, heiress Cally Wilde rescues a beautiful Asian medical student from assault in L.A.'s Little Japan. The selfless action plunges Cally into a lethal world of drugs, murder and the sensual secrets of the geisha with her sexy lover, LAPD Detective Evan Paley.
"Brimming with crackling dialogue and well-nuanced characters" (RT BOOKclub)
LETHAL is a "fast-paced and suspenseful mystery" (Booklist).
LETHAL should be on everyone's beach-read list!

Click here to read more about Shari Shattuck and LETHAL.


BAD GUYS by Linwood Barclay is Now in Stores and BAD MOVE is Now in Paperback

Now in Stores!

BAD GUYS by Linwood Barclay (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
In this follow-up to Linwood Barclay's debut novel, BAD MOVE, Zack Walker and his family have moved back to the city, where he has taken a job as a features writer for a newspaper. While researching his first feature article, Zack stumbles upon a real-life crime scene --- but what seems like an ordinary hit-and-run may actually be a homicide linked to a gang that's been burglarizing the city's high-end shops.

Now in Paperback!

BAD MOVE by Linwood Barclay (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Zack Walker is a safety-obsessed father who quickly discovers that his suburban neighborhood is not a crime-free paradise. Crime escalates from petty thievery and drugs to murder, and Zack's paranoid tendencies get him implicated in a crime. To protect his family --- and his freedom --- he heads off to track down the killer himself.


Read our review of BAD GUYS here.

This Week's Reviews and Features

THE BLACK ANGEL by John Connolly (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Private investigator Charlie Parker discovers that the disappearance of a young prostitute is linked to a church of bones in Eastern Europe, to the slaughter at a French monastery in 1944, and to the myth of the Black Angel. This object is considered by evil men to be beyond priceless, and the mystery of its existence may contain the secret of Parker's own origins.

ONE SOLDIER'S STORY by Bob Dole (Memoir)
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad
Before entering the world of politics, Bob Dole was an average citizen who served heroically for his country during World War II. Now, for the first time in his own words, Dole tells the moving story of his harrowing experience on and off the battlefield, and how it changed his life.

THE AMERICAN REVELATION: Ten Ideas That Shaped Our Country From the Puritans to the Cold War by Neil Baldwin (History)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
Neil Baldwin has written extensively about the great thinkers and innovators who have shaped our unique American identity. In his latest book, he turns his energies to the unfolding story of how the American spirit developed over 400 years.

THE INSIDE RING by Michael Lawson (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Only days before an assassination attempt on the President --- and the murders of his best friend and a Secret Service agent --- General Andy Banks, the Secretary of Homeland Security, had received a note with a dire warning that he passed on to Secret Service Director Patrick Donnelly. Feeling that he should have done more to prevent this tragedy, Banks decides to investigate the matter on a clandestine level.

A SLIGHT TRICK OF THE MIND by Mitch Cullin (Fiction)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
An aging Sherlock Holmes, living among his bees far from the streets of London, finishes writing the story of a long-past case as he tries to understand his fatherly feelings for his housekeeper's son.

LIGHTHOUSEKEEPING by Jeanette Winterson (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
Jeanette Winterson's slight but profound new novel offers thought-provoking, literate meditations on the meaning of love, the threads of history, and the power of story.

THE J.A.P. CHRONICLES by Isabel Rose (Fiction)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
Seven former bunkmates at Willow Lake Camp reunite for the camp's one-hundredth anniversary, and Ali Cohen, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker and former camp outcast, would like to make a documentary about her teenage tormentors. But her plans to expose these women are pushed aside as Ali starts learning more about their troubled lives.


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

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Encouraging a Reader
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.
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Read a list of upcoming books here. Browse our author bibliographies by clicking here. Sign up for Author Newsletters here.
Poll: What Day Do Most Books Come Out?
What day of the week do books typically come out?
Answer the Poll here.

Question of the Week: Must-buys or must-borrows

Which author (name up to 3) is a must-buy or must-borrow as soon as his or her book comes out? 

Please note: Our question of the week will update June 10th.

Answer the Question of the Week here.

Read more about VELOCITY here. Read more about  ZORRO 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 VELOCITY by Dean Koontz and ZORRO by Isabel Allende. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on June 10th.

Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.


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--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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