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September 9, 2005 Newsletter

September 9, 2005

This Week on

Reaching Out With a Book Talks to Margaret Coel, Author of EYE OF THE WOLF Talks to Jim Lynch, Author of THE HIGHEST TIDE Talks to J.A. Konrath, Author of the Jack Daniels Series

Our Newest Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Greg Rucka, Author of PRIVATE WARS

Suspense/Thriller Featured Author: Paul Levine, Author of SOLOMON VS. LORD

New One To Watch Author: Morag Joss, Author of HALF BROKEN THINGS

New One to Watch Authors: Lisa Grunwald and Stephen J. Adler, Editors of WOMEN'S LETTERS

Enter the SLOW BURN Contest as We Celebrate the Release of SLOW BURN by Julie Garwood

Now In Stores: THE MASQUERADE by Brenda Joyce

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog

Poll: Do You Have a Library Card?
Question of the Week: Library Favorites
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 Question of the Week: As people seem to remember this, name the best or worst book that was on your summer reading list when you were back in school.
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

Reaching Out With a Book

I had a great vacation on the Outer Banks, where there were blue skies, a good pool for floating and lots of great books. The boys and I also figured out a way to play cards in the pool with waterproof cards while we rested on floats with one of the rafts as a table. If you would like to see my comments on the books I read during my trip, please see my blog. And no, there are no pictures of us in the pool. Use your imagination!

Bookstore visits are always a part of our vacation. Jamie Layton, one of the managers of Duck's Cottage in Duck, is also one of our reviewers. We stopped there one morning and I spent time walking the store with her talking up the books that we both liked. Jamie also showed me terrific pictures from the Harry Potter party that she threw at her store. The costumes, decorating and games were just terrific. Jamie does not know it, but she is being delegated my younger son's Halloween costume this year.

We also stopped by the other two bookstores on this part of the island, the branches of Island Bookstore in both Duck and Corolla. You have to love a place that has THREE independent booksellers within about a 15-mile drive.

A complete juxtaposition to our vacation was the massive destruction in the Gulf area. Our thoughts go out to our readers in the affected areas. We know that many of those who have been left homeless by the storm are looking for reading material. We have pulled together a list of addresses of places that are looking for books with the thought that you might be interested in making donations. You can click on the graphic above to get to this page. Please share this with friends who might be interested. We learned this week that ironically the New Orleans Public Library's choice for its One Book, One New Orleans read this year was RISING TIDE: THE GREAT MISSISSIPPI FLOOD OF 1927 AND HOW IT CHANGED AMERICA by John M. Barry.

We have a new Suspense/Thriller title to share with you this week, PRIVATE WARS by Greg Rucka. Many of you told us how you enjoyed Rucka's work in the past so we look forward to sharing his new book with you. We have 20 copies to give away. Send a note to by Friday, September 23rd if you are interested in reading and commenting on this book.

For those of you who like fantasy titles, here is an offer you will not want to miss. The momentum is building for The Quest of Thrones, an online adventure based upon George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy series that began with A GAME OF THRONES and continues to unfold with the-soon-to-be-released fourth novel A FEAST FOR CROWS (U.S. on-sale date November 1st). This exciting new online adventure already has attracted thousands of players and is buzzing around the Internet. For complete details visit the Quest of Thrones site The deadline for registration is Friday, September 16th so act quickly.

For those of you who want to vote for books nominated for the Quill Awards, the deadline is Thursday, September 15th. You can vote at your local Borders store or by clicking on the logo above.

One more book to note this week: September 15th is the 50th Anniversary of the publishing of LOLITA by Vladimir Nabakov. If you have not read it, may we suggest it?

Thank you to all of you who sent such nice notes about our ninth anniversary. I really appreciated them and shared them with the staff.

Onward to the rest of our features for this week: THREE interviews, great reviews and lots of feature news. Happy reading....

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on August 26th.

List of titles reviewed and featured on September 9th.

Click here to donate books to Hurricane Katrina survivors. Talks to Margaret Coel, Author of EYE OF THE WOLF's Carol Fitzgerald, Joe Hartlaub and Wiley Saichek interviewed Margaret Coel, the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Wind River Reservation mysteries. Coel talks about the research that was necessary for EYE OF THE WOLF --- the eleventh book in this series --- and the themes that have been carried over from the previous ten volumes. She also discusses the complexities of her characters, her passion for American Western history, and her methods for planning future novels.    

EYE OF THE WOLF by Margaret Coel (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Following last year's bestseller, WIFE OF MOON, Margaret Coel once again blends Arapaho history into present-day homicides that threaten to destroy the Wind River Reservation and put Father John O'Malley and defense attorney Vicky Holden to their toughest and most dangerous test yet.

Click here to read our interview with Margaret Coel and a review of EYE OF THE WOLF. Talks to Jim Lynch, Author of THE HIGHEST TIDE

Award-winning journalist and short story writer Jim Lynch talked to's Carol Fitzgerald and Joni Rendon about his debut novel, THE HIGHEST TIDE. In this interview they discuss Lynch's profound respect for oceanographer and author Rachel Carson, and how living close to the water has fueled both his imagination and his fascination with ocean life. He also reflects on the similarities and differences between himself and his young protagonist, as well as the shifts in perspective one's coming of age will evoke. 

THE HIGHEST TIDE by Jim Lynch (Fiction)
Reviewed by Joni Rendon
Jim Lynch's mesmerizing, allegorical, and beautifully wrought debut novel is about one boy's fascination with the sea during the summer that will change his life, and the lives around him.

-Click here to read our Advanced Reader Comments for THE HIGHEST TIDE.

-Click here to see a Reading Group Guide for THE HIGHEST TIDE.

Click here to read our interview with Jim Lynch and a review of THE HIGHEST TIDE. Talks to J.A. Konrath, Author of the Jack Daniels Series contributing writer Amy Alessio interviewed J.A. Konrath, author of the addictive Jack Daniels series, from his home in the Chicago suburbs. Konrath is known for his original and surprising plot details as well as the humor that is prevalent in his mysteries. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels is a Chicago Police Lieutenant with a messy personal life and a habit of running into vicious killers. Konrath plans many more of these police procedurals, which have gained him critical acclaim and an exciting new writing career. 

-Read our review of BLOODY MARY here.

-Read out review of WHISKEY SOUR here.

Click here to read our interview with J.A. Konrath.

Our Newest Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Greg Rucka, Author of PRIVATE WARS

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Greg Rucka, author of A GENTLEMAN'S GAME, A FISTFUL OF RAIN and the QUEEN & COUNTRY graphic novel series, has been making a name for himself in both the suspense and graphic novel genres for several years. His newest title PRIVATE WARS hits bookshelves October 25th, reuniting readers with the edgy, explosive and sexy spy Tara Chace. 

This week we're giving away 20 copies of PRIVATE WARS 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, September 23rd, 2005.

Read more about PRIVATE WARS here:
Tara Chace was once the most dangerous woman alive. And now that the international spy network thinks she's as good as dead, she's even more dangerous than ever.

Only one thing could coax Tara back into the game: a chance to vindicate herself. The torture and execution of Dina Malikov has set off a cutthroat grab for power in strategically crucial Uzbekistan. Tara's job is to slip into the country and extract Dina's pro-Western husband and their young son before they are murdered-by his ruthless sister.

But there are a couple of wild cards in the deck, including a missing mobile weapons system that can bring down a commercial airliner, not to mention powerful political careers. Now, as she vanishes into hostile territory with a man who may or may not be what he seems, Tara is going to find out that the war on terror is more terrifying than anyone knows. For in a battle where betrayal is a conventional weapon, loyalty is a weakness, and anyone-even a child-is a legitimate target: it's every spy, every woman, for herself.

Combine a thriller that defies every expectation with a heroine for whom nothing is out of bounds, and the result is Private Wars, a suspense novel so explosively realistic, it should be classified.

Click here to read more about Greg Rucka and PRIVATE WARS.

Suspense/Thriller Featured Author: Paul Levine, Author of SOLOMON VS. LORD

Paul Levine, whose thriller SOLOMON VS. LORD hits bookstores on September 27th, is the latest author spotlighted in our Suspense/Thriller Author feature. SOLOMON VS. LORD introduces readers to the two passionate, intelligent, driven and completely different lawyers Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord.

New This Week:
-Watch a video of an interview with Paul Levine here.
-Read an excerpt from SOLOMON VS. LORD here.

Previous Weeks:
-Read Fast Facts about Paul Levine here.
-Read Paul Levine's Backlist here.
-See our Advanced Copy Winners here.
-Check out Paul Levine's new website

More about SOLOMON VS. LORD:
Steve Solomon is the sharpest lawyer ever to barely graduate from Key West School of Law. Victoria Lord is fresh from Yale, toiling for an ambitious D.A. and soon to be married. And Katrina Barksdale is a sexy former figure skater charged with killing her incredibly wealthy, incredibly kinky husband. With all three tangled in the steamiest trial of the century, the case is sure to make sparks fly, headlines scream-and opposites attract.

But with Solomon inventing his own laws and Lord sticking to the real ones, these two can't stop squabbling, even after teaming up to defend the glamorous widow. With crooks, con men, and a cast of colorful characters swirling around Solomon, and an anxious fiance waiting for Lord, the two attorneys begin to believe their luscious client has been lying through her perfect teeth. Now Solomon and Lord must solve the case before they end up in ruin, in jail...or in bed.

Click here to read more about Paul Levine and SOLOMON VS. LORD.

New One To Watch Author: Morag Joss, Author of HALF BROKEN THINGS

Morag Joss is one of the new authors in our One to Watch feature. Her newest title, HALF BROKEN THINGS, is a gripping tale of psychological suspense perfect for the readership of Minette Walters and Ruth Rendell. HALF BROKEN THINGS is a novel that peers into the lives of three dangerously lost people...and the ominous haven they find when they find each other. It hits bookstores on September 27th.

New This Week:
-Read an excerpt of HALF BROKEN THINGS here.
-To see our Advanced Copy Winners, click here.

Read more about HALF BROKEN THINGS here.
Jean is a house sitter at the end of a dreary career. Steph is nine months pregnant and on the run. And Michael is a thief. Through a mixture of deceit, good luck, and misfortune, these three damaged loners have come together at a secluded country home called Walden Manor. Now all three have found what they needed most: a new beginning, a little kindness, a little love. Living off the manor's riches, tending its grounds and gardens, they leave the outside world far behind and build a happiness so long denied them. That is, until the first unexpected visitor arrives...igniting a chain reaction that is at once spellbinding and disastrous.

A stunning, thought-provoking crime novel of chilling moral complexity, HALF BROKEN THINGS is a gripping, haunting exploration of love and our need for it, of the damage done when we go long without it, and the deeds we might be driven to in its name.

Click here to read more about Morag Joss and HALF BROKEN THINGS.


New One to Watch Authors: Lisa Grunwald and Stephen J. Adler, Editors of WOMEN'S LETTERS






Lisa Grunwald and Stephen J. Adler are a literary power-couple. She is the author of the novels WHATEVER MAKES YOU HAPPY, NEW YEARS EVE, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, and SUMMER. He is editor-in-chief of Business Week magazine and author of THE JURY: TRIAL AND ERROR IN THE AMERICAN COURTROOM.

In LETTERS OF THE CENTURY, Grunwald and Adler offered an epistolary romp through American life in the 20th century. Now in WOMEN'S LETTERS: America from the Revolutionary War to the Present, which hits shelves on September 27th, the husband-and-wife duo turn their considerable talents to the letters of American women. From grand historical events --- e.g., Abigail Adams gushing to husband John about a July 1776 public reading of the Declaration of Independence --- to everyday women musing on such familiar struggles as sickness, loneliness and childrearing, WOMEN'S LETTERS captures thoughts and reveals truths about our nation that are both deeply personal and nationally transcendent.

New This Week:
-Read an excerpt from WOMEN'S LETTERS here.
-To see our Advanced Copy Winners, click here.

Read more about WOMEN'S LETTERS here.
Historical events of the last three centuries come alive through these women's singular correspondences-often their only form of public expression. The letters gathered here also offer fresh insight into the personal milestones in women's lives. Here is a mid-nineteenth-century missionary describing a mastectomy performed without anesthesia; Marilyn Monroe asking her doctor to spare her ovaries in a handwritten note she taped to her stomach before appendix surgery; an eighteen-year-old telling her mother about her decision to have an abortion the year after Roe v. Wade; and a woman writing to her parents and in-laws about adopting a Chinese baby.

With more than 400 letters and over 100 stunning photographs, WOMEN'S LETTERS is a work of astonishing breadth and scope, and a remarkable testament to the women who lived --- and made --- history.

Click here to read more about Lisa Grunwald, Stephen J. Adler and WOMEN'S LETTERS.


Enter the SLOW BURN Contest as We Celebrate the Release of SLOW BURN by Julie Garwood

To celebrate the recent release of SLOW BURN, the latest romantic suspense release from bestselling author Julie Garwood, is sponsoring a SLOW BURN Contest.

One Grand Prize winner will receive a group of sizzling prizes including two gift certificates--- one for Macy's to buy a Wonderbra ($30), and one for Victoria's Secret to simply indulge ($25) --- a Fresh Basil scented candle with hints of tangy grapefruit, Honey and Shea butter Moisturizing Body Milk and a signed copy of SLOW BURN, all wrapped up in an authentic Scottish quilt. 10 runners up each will receive signed copies of SLOW BURN. The contest runs from August 26, 2005 at 9AM EDT through September 23, 2005 at 11:59PM EDT.

To enter:
1) Read an excerpt of the book here.
2) Tell us what you think about it.
3) Let us know what three things you would buy if you unexpectedly inherited a million dollars.
4) Give us your name and mailing address (snail mail)
Send all of this to by September 23rd at 11:59PM.

Here's more about SLOW BURN:
Burdened with grad-school woes, a struggling business, and responsibility for her sisters after her mother's death, Kate McKenna finds relief in an ill-advised fling-and then discovers that someone wants her dead.

Skillfully blending action-packed suspense with matters of the heart, in SLOW BURN Julie Garwood once again pens an exhilarating tale that will keep her faithful readers guessing until its explosive and utterly unpredictable ending.

Click here to read all the details for our SLOW BURN Contest.


Now In Stores: THE MASQUERADE by Brenda Joyce

On the evening of her first masquerade, shy Elizabeth Anne Fitzgerald is stunned by Tyrell de Warenne's whispered suggestion of a midnight rendezvous in the gardens. Lizzie has secretly worshiped the unattainable lord for years. When fortune takes a maddening turn, she is prevented from meeting Tyrell. But Lizzie cannot foresee that that night is only the beginning....

Tyrell de Warenne is shocked when, two years later, Lizzie arrives on his doorstep with a child she claims is his. He remembers her well - and knows that he could not possibly be the father. What is this game she is playing...and why? Is Elizabeth Anne Fitzgerald a woman of experience, or the gentle innocent she seems? But neither scandal, deception nor pride can thwart a love too passionate to be denied....

Click here for more details about THE MASQUERADE by Brenda Joyce.


This Week's Reviews and Features

THE TENDER BAR by J.R. Moehringer (Memoir)
Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller
Take one part CHARMING BILLY, a dash of Frank McCourt, add a shot of "Cheers," serve straight up, and you'll have the charming concoction that is THE TENDER BAR. J.R. Moehringer fondly reflects on his youth, however misspent, within the cooling shadows of the town's local bar.

To read an excerpt of THE TENDER BAR click here.

THE TRUDEAU VECTOR by Juris Jurjevics (Political Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
As the international team of scientists at the Trudeau Research Center prepares for six months of unrelenting Arctic winter, three of their colleagues are found dead. These grisly deaths coincide with the departure of a decorated Russian admiral who is assigned a top-secret mission to locate and retrieve a Russian submarine that has vanished from central command's radar.

LIFE SENTENCES by Alice Blanchard (Suspense)
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad
Boston-based scientist Daisy Hubbard is driven to find a cure for the rare genetic disease that claimed the life of her brother. But her progress is interrupted when she learns that her unstable sister Anna has gone missing from her California home. Once there, she's informed by the LAPD that a known serial killer has confessed to Anna's murder and insists upon showing her his handiwork himself. But is Anna really dead?

OLYMPOS by Dan Simmons (Science Fiction)
Reviewed by Pauline Finch
Dan Simmons, the multiple-award-winning author of THE HYPERION CANTOS, returns with the eagerly anticipated conclusion to his critically acclaimed, Hugo Award-nominated sci-fi epic ILIUM.

A WIDOW'S WALK: A Memoir of 9/11 by Marian Fontana (Memoir)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
Marian Fontana offers an intensely personal and richly detailed account of her life during the year that followed the horrific morning of September 11, 2001, when her firefighter husband was killed while trying to rescue others in the World Trade Center towers.

THE DOUBLE EAGLE by James Twining (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
A priest who was murdered in Paris takes a secret with him to his death --- a secret that is revealed during the autopsy. Jennifer Browne, an ambitious FBI agent, is assigned to the case. Her investigation soon comes across a daring robbery at Fort Knox. The immediate suspect is Tom Kirk, a brilliant young art thief and a man whose very existence threatens to bring down the newly elected president.

Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
Ann Bauer's poignant and emotionally page-turning first novel is an account of two parents who try to come to terms with their son's descent into autism (or something like it) and struggle to sustain their marriage under this unanticipated strain.

SPEAK FOR ENGLAND by James Hawes (Fiction)
Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds
Brian Marley, victor of Britain's ultimate reality TV show, is stranded on a jungle island after a helicopter wipes out the television crew. After falling from a cliff and landing in a lost world, Marley finds himself at the center of a clash between English cultures separated by fifty years of history.

THE PAINTED KISS by Elizabeth Hickey (Fiction)
Reviewed by Lourdes Orive
In this absorbing novel, Elizabeth Hickey explores the complex relationship between artist and muse. Emilie Flöge is a successful fashion designer who, as a young girl in late-1800s Vienna, meets the enigmatic artist Gustav Klimt. Hired by her father to provide art lessons for Emilie and her sister, Gustav embarks on a long-standing, passionate, and difficult relationship with Emilie that spans their entire lives.

THE PRESERVATIONIST by David Maine (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
David Maine cleverly reimagines the well-known story of Noah's Ark in this inventive exploration of faith, hope and family, as Noe's wife, sons and daughters-in-law tell what it's like to live with a man touched by God, while struggling against events that cannot be controlled or explained.

URSULA, UNDER by Ingrid Hill (Fiction)
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
Tiny Ursula Wong vanishes down an abandoned mineshaft in front of her horrified parents. The little girl is the culmination of generations of her ancestors, whose fascinating stories over a 2,000-year span form the bulk of this exquisite novel.

A LITTLE CHANGE OF FACE by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (Chick Lit)
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton
In Lauren Baratz-Logsted's not-so-typical Chick Lit novel, Scarlett Jane Stein decides to change her image from a beauty to a plain Jane in order to see if she can attract a man not for her looks, but for what is inside.

Click here to read our reviews and features. Blog

September 9th Entry:
Carol's Vacation Reading --- My Report
Happy Anniversary,
Why I Loathe...Abhor and Out-and-Out Hate Required Summer Reading For Kids
Readers Share Their Library Stories
Remember When Amazon Was Only A River
More Random Musings
Library Memories
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: Do You Have a Library Card?
As September is National Library Month we are asking, do you have a valid library card?
I am not sure.
Answer the Poll here.

Question of the Week: Library Favorites

What do you like best about your library?

Please note: Our question of the week will update September 23rd.

Answer the Question of the Week 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 CINAMMON KISS by Walter Mosley and GOODNIGHT NOBODY by Jennifer Weiner.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on September 23rd. 

Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.


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

--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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