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June 17, 2005 Newsletter

June 17, 2005

This Week on

Bookish Food Chatter

ONE SHOT by Lee Child

Beach Bag Of Books: Spotlight on YA-YAS IN BLOOM by Rebecca Wells and Weekly Beach Bag Giveaway

DANCE OF DEATH by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

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: Mary Jane Clark, Author of DANCING IN THE DARK

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

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

What's New on

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog

Poll: What Are You Reading?
Question of the Week: Beach-worthy?
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: What day of the week do Books typically come out?

Past Question of the Week: Which author (name up to three) is a must-buy or a must-borrow as soon as his or her book comes out?
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 Pages magazine here --- and subscribe!

Bookish Food Chatter

We talk about food in our office --- a lot. Joan, Sunil and I love to cook and we frequently exchange recipes and ideas for meals. Often our microwave is heating up great leftovers. We have had debates about great chili recipes, grilling, baking and just about everything else to do with culinary arts. Sunil is a trained chef so the bar is pretty high at Thus when we got Wolfgang Puck's latest book, MAKES IT EASY, in the office this week there was a lot of discussion about it.
I laid claim to it for the weekend as I am making Father's Day dinner. I have cooked with Puck before and always had great success with the menus. These truly do look easy. The Pistachio Vanilla French Toast looks amazing. I can taste the nuts looking at it. There is a Stacked Tomato and Mozzarella creation that yes is easy, but moi would not have thought of it. Sunil and Joan were salivating over the Pappardelle with Braised Duck Legs. Even if you are more of an everyday cook than a chef, this one is worth checking out. May we suggest you click on the link above to learn more?
Be sure to check out our Advance Reader Comments about THE ICON this week. I swore I was not going to talk about the new Harry Potter book until a month before its on-sale date, but since we are in that countdown now the gloves are off. Above is art that will link you to to buy the book at 40% off with delivery to your house, or whatever location you would like, on the on-sale date of July 16th. If you are so inclined to pre-order, may we ask you to use this link and with your purchase you will support Thank you in advance.
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. Here's wishing you a day in the hammock relaxing with a good book. When I think of Father's Day, I think of grilling. Where's that cookbook? And to publishers out there who send us cookbooks, think about sending three so there will be less squabbling about who will be testing recipes.
Have a nice week...hope you are reading something wonderful.
Carol Fitzgerald (

Click here to read Advance Reader Comments about THE ICON.

ONE SHOT by Lee Child

ONE SHOT by Lee Child (Thriller)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
A sniper who has gunned down five people claims his innocence when he's caught and asks for ex-military investigator Jack Reacher. Although the shooter was never a friend, James Barr had been stationed with Reacher for several years. Almost from the beginning of his involvement, Reacher's suspicions are aroused because the airtight case against Barr appears to be too perfect.

Click here to read more about Lee Child and ONE SHOT.

See our  Summer Beach Bag of Books feature here.

Beach Bag Of Books: Spotlight on YA-YAS IN BLOOM by Rebecca Wells 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 fifth spotlighted title is YA-YAS IN BLOOM by Rebecca Wells, the third title in her hugely popular Ya-Ya series. With its delectable characters and distinctively Southern flavor, YA-YAS IN BLOOM is the perfect summer read. Our YA-YAS IN BLOOM Beach Bag prize is a divine Ya-Yas tote bag stocked with the essentials for a summer of Southern glamour, Ya-Ya style. Along with a copy of each of Rebecca Wells' books --- YA-YAS IN BLOOM,  LITTLE ALTARS EVERYWHERE and DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD --- you'll find a jasmine-scented candle, a bag of shelled pecans, a turquoise and white striped beach towel, and, the piece de resistance --- a photo album with a hand-crafted cover, perfect for storing all your memories and keeping all your secrets.  We have five to give away, as well as five additional prizes of copies of YA-YAS IN BLOOM. 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.


DANCE OF DEATH by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Thriller)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast's greatest enemy is his cunning and diabolical brother Diogenes, who stalks him constantly. Now several of the people closest to Pendergast are killed, and Pendergast is framed for the murders. On the run from federal authorities --- with only the help of his old friend, NYPD Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta --- Pendergast must stop his brother.

Click here to read more about Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child and DANCE OF DEATH.

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:
-Read an excerpt from CASE OF LIES here.

Previous Weeks:
-Read Fast Facts about Perri O'Shaughnessy here.
-See a list of our Advance Winners 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 another 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.

Click here to browse our Mystery Mayhem feature.

Mystery Mayhem: Mary Jane Clark, Author of DANCING IN THE DARK

Mary Jane Clark, author of DANCING IN THE DARK, is our newest featured Mystery Mayhem author. DANCING IN THE DARK is on sale July 26th.

We have 20 advanced reading copies of DANCING IN THE DARK to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. A description can be found below. If you are interested, please send your name and mailing address to by Friday, June 24, 2005.

New This Week:
-Read Critical Praise for Mary Jane Clark and DANCING IN THE DARK here.
-Read Fast Facts about Mary Jane Clark.

-Read Mary Jane Clark's Backlist here.

More about DANCING IN THE DARK (On Sale July 26th):
New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark turns up the heat with a drop-dead frightening novel about a town where teenage girls are disappearing, where an idyllic beach community is terrorized, and where one reporter must get to the truth to protect her family....

Trying to mix business with pleasure, KEY News correspondent Diane Mayfield has brought her children and her sister to the New Jersey Shore town of Ocean Grove to investigate a story on "girls who cry wolf" for the season premiere of Hourglass, television's highly rated newsmagazine. Diane lands an exclusive interview with a troubled young woman whose tale of being abducted and held against her will for three terrifying days hadn't been believed by the authorities. No sooner does Diane finish taping the interview, though, than a second victim disappears. The small community, already in the grip of a record heat wave, is now racked by fear and terror --- no one knows who could be next. With only the first victim as eyewitness, Diane and the police turn to her for clues. But it may be too late to save Diane and her loved ones from the mortal danger that lurks in Ocean Grove.

Click here to read more about Mary Jane Clark and DANCING IN THE DARK.


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:
-Read an excerpt from LOCKED ROOMS here.

Previous Weeks:
-See our list of Advance Winners 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.

New This Week:
-Read an excerpt from UPSIDE DOWN here.

Previous Weeks:
-Read Fast Facts about John Ramsey Miller here.
-Read the backlist for John Ramsey Miller here.
-Find out the winners of the ARC giveaway here.

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 INSIDE OUT.


What's New on

This month spotlights two new series: THE GATEKEEPERS by Anthony Horowitz, whose Alex Rider novels are a huge hit with young readers, and R.L. Stine's horror trilogy FEAR STREET NIGHTS. We also share interviews with Melissa Lion, author of SWOLLEN and UPSTREAM, and Lauren Mechling and Laura Moser, whose debut novel is THE RISE AND FALL OF A 10th-GRADE SOCIAL CLIMBER. Reviews include THE MINSTER'S DAUGHTER by Julie Hearn, THE RIDDLES OF EPSILON by Christine Morton-Shaw, and SKINNY-DIPPING, the second installment in Melissa de la Cruz's Au Pairs series.

Go to

This Week's Reviews and Features

THE BREAKDOWN LANE by Jacquelyn Mitchard (Fiction)
Reviewed by Carole Turner
Julieanne is completely caught off guard when her husband announces that he needs to go on a "sabbatical" from their life together, leaving Julie and their three children behind. But it soon becomes clear that his leave of absence is meant to be permanent. This extraordinary novel by accomplished writer Jacquelyn Mitchard shows how family dynamics shift dramatically whenever a major change occurs within the family unit.

THE COLONEL AND LITTLE MISSIE: Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and the Beginnings of Superstardom in America by Larry McMurtry (Biography)
Reviewed by Ron Kaplan
Pulitzer Prize winner Larry McMurtry chronicles the rise to fame, fortune and international celebrity of two of the West's most enduring figures --- and America's first real superstars.

44 SCOTLAND STREET by Alexander McCall Smith (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
Love triangles, a lost painting, intriguing new friends, and an encounter with a famous Scottish crime writer are just a few of the ingredients that add to this delightful and witty portrait of Edinburgh society, which was first published as a serial in The Scotsman newspaper.

HOUR OF THE CAT by Peter Quinn (Historical Thriller)
Reviewed by Tom Callahan
Peter Quinn effortlessly weaves a tale of suspense that alternates between New York City and Berlin from 1936 through 1938. Ex-New York City cop Fintan Dunne is hired to save the life of a man on death row convicted of a murder he did not commit. Meanwhile in Berlin, real historical figure Admiral Wilhelm Canaris and other German military officers are trying to figure out how to stop Hitler and his henchmen before they plunge the world into the abyss.

CINDERELLA MAN: James J. Braddock, Max Baer, and the Greatest Upset in Boxing History by Jeremy Schaap (Biography)
Reviewed by W. Terry Whalin
The media blitz for the Russell Crowe/Ron Howard film Cinderella Man is in full swing. But the detail and drama that are oftentimes difficult to capture in a movie can be found in the pages of this book, a richly told story by Emmy Award-winning reporter Jeremy Schaap.

BECOMING JUSTICE BLACKMUN: Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey by Linda Greenhouse (History/Biography)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
With unprecedented access to the inner workings of the U.S. Supreme Court, Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent Linda Greenhouse chronicles the personal transformation of the legendary Justice Harry A. Blackmun, who wrote numerous landmark Supreme Court decisions.

MARGARETTOWN by Gabrielle Zevin (Fiction)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
From the moment they first sleep together, N. is pulled into a rich and enchanted relationship with Margaret Towne, a woman who will introduce him to worlds he never knew existed. Written as a final letter from N. to his young daughter, Gabrielle Zevin's lovely debut novel recounts the story of his relationship with Margaret.

WE THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE PRETTIER: True Tales of the Dorkiest Girl Alive by Laurie Notaro (Autobiography)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
Formerly a freelance writer for magazines and family newspapers, Laurie Notaro uses some very colorful, non-family oriented language to describe her "dorky" life in this fast-paced series of adventures.

361 by Donald E. Westlake (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
From the mind of the incomparable Donald E. Westlake comes a devastating story of betrayal and revenge, an exploration of the limits of family loyalty, and how far a man will go when everything he loves is taken from him.

THE ALPHABET SISTERS by Monica McInerney (Fiction)
Reviewed by Shannon Bloomstran
Anna, Bett, and Carrie Quinlan were childhood singing stars known as The Alphabet Sisters. As adults, though, the women haven't spoken in years --- ever since Bett's fiancé deserted her to marry the younger Carrie. Now their grandmother Lola is turning eighty and she is determined to reunite the girls.

THE WIVES OF BATH by Wendy Holden (Fiction)
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
In this wickedly funny British novel, two young couples share a prenatal class. Although each couple is as different from the other as possible, their lives intertwine in an unexpected and entertaining fashion.

THE BLUE BISTRO by Elin Hilderbrand (Romance)
Reviewed by Lourdes Orive
Left flat broke by her ex-boyfriend and desperate to earn some fast money, Adrienne Dealey travels to Nantucket for the summer. Luckily she encounters the desirable Thatcher Smith, owner of Nantucket's hottest restaurant, who offers her a job even though she has no previous experience in the business.

SARAH: A Novel - Book One in The Canaan Trilogy by Marek Halter (Fiction)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Biblical fiction doesn't get much better than this engrossing tale of Sarah, the wife of Abraham and the mother of the Israelite nation. For people of many faiths, Sarah is a tantalizing figure, and Marek Halter brings her vividly to life in this first installment of The Canaan Trilogy.

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

Encouraging a Reader
Cooking a la Rachel Ray
Runaway Bride
Authors Authors Everywhere
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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 Are You Reading?
Which of the following books are you most looking forward to reading, or are you reading now?
Appaloosa by Robert B. Parker
The Black Angel by John Connolly
The Colonel and Little Missie: Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley and the Beginnings of Superstardom in America by Larry McMurtry
Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs
Dance of Death by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Devil's Corner by Lisa Scottoline
Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich
A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
The Starter Wife by Gigi Levangie Grazer
Rococo by Adriana Trigiani
Shadows by Edna Buchanan
Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham
To the Power of Three by Laura Lippman
The Twelfth Card: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel by Jeffery Deaver
None of the above
Answer the Poll here.

Question of the Week: Beach-worthy?

What do you think makes a book a beach read?

Please note: Our question of the week will update June 24th.

Answer the Question of the Week here.

Read more about ONE SHOT here. Read more about  THE POWER OF THREE 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 ONE SHOT by Lee Child and TO THE POWER OF THREE by Laura Lippman. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on June 24th. 

Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.


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--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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