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September 23, 2005 Newsletter

September 23, 2005

This Week on

A Moveable Feast of Authors

Now In Stores: GOODNIGHT NOBODY by Jennifer Weiner

Our Newest Suspense/Thriller Author: David Morrell, Author of CREEPERS

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Greg Rucka, Author of PRIVATE WARS

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

Our Newest One to Watch Author: Brian Strause, Author of MAYBE A MIRACLE

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

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

Authors on the Web

Michael Simon Book Giveaway Contest

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog

Poll: Which are you looking forward to reading?
Question of the Week: What book are you most looking forward to reading?
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

A Moveable Feast of Authors

I spent last weekend in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at the Southeastern Booksellers Conference. I got to spend a lot of the time with Charles Martin, the author of THE DEAD DON'T DANCE and WRAPPED IN RAIN, who is one of my favorite authors. I also met some authors who we have featured including Patti Callahan Henry and Mary Alice Monroe. It's always fun to catch up with authors like this. 

Saturday night there was an event called the Moveable Feast where authors would move from table to table as we eat dinner and talk to us about their books. Among the authors we met were Beth Webb Hart, author of GRACE AT LOW TIDE, Margaret Maron, author of RITUALS OF THE SEASON, AMERICCAN DREAMING AND OTHER STORIES by Doris Iarovici and Mildred Council, the author of MAMA DIP'S FAMILY COOKBOOK. Confession: I am dying for some pimento cheese!
This weekend is the National Book Festival in Washington, DC. I attended this event three years ago and wish I did not have commitments this weekend that preclude my attending again. Any of you in the area with some time this weekend, this is an event you do not want to miss. I am planning to attend the Miami Book Fair on the weekend of November 18-20th. I have heard RAVES about this book festival for years.
This week I am looking forward to going to Barnes and Noble at Lincoln Center on Thursday night to see Nicholas Evans talk about his new book, THE DIVIDE. I love this book and look forward to sharing more about it with readers next week, including an interview with Evans.
Nelson DeMille fans, mark your calendars. The television movie adaptation of MAYDAY, which DeMille wrote with Thomas Block, airs on October 2nd at 9PM on CBS. It stars Aidan Quinn, Gail O'Grady, Dean Cain, Charles Dutton, Michael Murphy and Kelly Hu. On his website Nelson recommends you invite a few friends over to watch with you and turn the evening into a party. We agree!
To any of you in Rita's path, we are keeping you in our thoughts. Wiley, one of our staffers, lives on the coast of Texas and he has evacuated inland thus this story has become personal for us. As you know we always are on the lookout for bookish ways to support the Hurricane Survivors. The latest we heard was a cookbook that is available at Williams-Sonoma. When you purchase their Foods of the World: New Orleans book from September 16 through October 16, Williams-Sonoma will donate the full price to the American Red Cross in support of its hurricane-relief efforts. This book captures the enduring heart and soul of the city and its culinary traditions. Filled with recipes for classic dishes like Seafood Gumbo and Bourbon Pecan Tart, the hardcover book's 192 lavishly photographed pages take you on a gastronomic tour of New Orleans.
Have a great week...enjoy these first moments of fall....

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of Titles Reviewed and Featured on September 23rd

List of titles reviewed and featured on September 16th

Now In Stores: GOODNIGHT NOBODY by Jennifer Weiner

GOODNIGHT NOBODY by Jennifer Weiner (Mystery)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
In Jennifer Weiner's new novel, stay-at-home mom Kate Klein launches an unofficial investigation into the murder of fellow mother Kitty Cavanaugh. As the search for the killer progresses, Kate is drawn deeper into the victim's double life and discovers the secrets and lies behind her town's placid picket-fence façade.

-Click here to read an excerpt from GOODNIGHT NOBODY.

Click here to read our review of GOODNIGHT NOBODY.


Our Newest Suspense/Thriller Author: David Morrell, Author of CREEPERS

New York Times bestselling author David Morrell, author FIRST BLOOD, THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE ROSE, THE FIFTH PROFESSION and EXTREME DENIAL, is our newest featured Suspense/Thriller author. CREEPERS, Morrell's new thriller, hit bookshelves on September 6th and is sending chills down the spine of Morrell's longtime fans and new readers alike with its dark storyline.

We're giving away 20 signed copies of CREEPERS 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 30th, 2005.

New This Week:
-Read an essay by David Morrell about exploring abandoned buildings here.

Previous Weeks:
-Learn more about David Morrell by visiting his website at
-Visit CREEPERS online at
-Read David Morrell's thoughts on writing CREEPERS in real time here.
-Click here to play the "Be A Creeper" Game for a chance to win some chilling prizes.

Read more about CREEPERS here:
On a cold October night, five people gather in a run-down motel on the Jersey shore and begin preparations to break into The Paragon Hotel.  Built in the glory days of Asbury Park by a reclusive millionaire, the magnificent structure, which foreshadowed the beauties of Art Deco architecture, is now boarded-up and marked for demolition.

The five people are "creepers," the slang term for urban explorers: city archeologists with a passion for investigating abandoned buildings and their dying secrets.  On this evening, they are joined by a reporter who wants to profile them -- anonymously, as this is highly illegal activity -- for a New York Times article. After the group enters the rat-infested tunnel leading to the hotel, it becomes clear that he will get much more than he bargained for. Danger, terror, and death await the creepers in a place ravaged by time and redolent of evil.

CREEPERS, David Morrell's gripping joy-ride of a thriller, depicts every harrowing second in eight hours of relentless suspense.  It will haunt readers for many nights to come.


Click here to read more about David Morrell and CREEPERS.


Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Greg Rucka, Author of PRIVATE WARS

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.

New This Week:
-Read Fast Facts about Greg Rucka here.
-Read Greg Rucka's Author bibliography here.

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.

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 Author Spotlight: Paul Levine, Author of SOLOMON VS. LORD

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Paul Levine is one of our featured Suspense/Thriller authors and his newest thriller SOLOMON VS. LORD hits bookstores on September 27th. SOLOMON VS. LORD introduces readers to the two passionate, intelligent, driven and completely different lawyers Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord.

New This Week:
-Read our Advanced Reader Comments for SOLOMON VS. LORD here.

Previous Weeks:
-Read an excerpt from SOLOMON VS. LORD here.
-Watch a video of an interview with Paul Levine here.
-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.

Our Newest One to Watch Author: Brian Strause, Author of MAYBE A MIRACLE

Our newest One to Watch author is Brian Strause, whose debut novel MAYBE A MIRACLE hits bookshelves on October 11th. Strause writes his protagonist, Monroe Anderson, in a voice filled with wit and honesty. Quickly readers are drawn into the story and from there they cannot stop reading. We

New This Week:
-To read an excerpt from MAYBE A MIRACLE, click here.
-To read critical praise for Brian Strause, click here.

Read more about MAYBE A MIRACLE here:
In this disarming debut, Brian Strause has written a vastly entertaining novel about an American family transfixed by a series of mysterious events. From a comfortable suburb of Columbus, Ohio, emerges a story of rebellion, faith and hope, bridging the cultural gap between those who believe in miracles and those who wish they could.

On the night of his senior prom, Monroe Anderson finds his eleven-year-old sister, Annika, floating facedown in the family pool. He dives in and rescues her, but not quickly enough to prevent her from slipping into a coma. As the family copes with this crisis, Monroe's mother turns to religion, his father turns to liquor, and Monroe himself must decide what's worth believing in, what's worth fighting for, and, finally, who he wants to be.

By turns humorous and heartbreaking, personal and sweeping, familiar and extraordinary, Brian Strause's mesmerizing novel takes readers on an unforgettable emotional journey into America's heartland.

Click here to read more about Brian Strause and MAYBE A MIRACLE.

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

Morag Joss's 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.

-Read a new excerpt from 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.


One to Watch: 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.

-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.


Authors on the Web

Sign up for the following author newsletters and be eligible to win prizes.

Nicholas Evans - Subscribers who sign up for Nicholas Evans's newsletter by September 30, 2005 will be entered in a random drawing to win a signed copy of THE DIVIDE. The winner will be contacted via email to get his or her mailing information. Click here to sign up: Nicholas Evans

Nelson DeMille - Subscribers who sign up for Nelson DeMille's newsletter by September 30, 2005 will be entered in a random drawing to win one of five signed copies of PLUM ISLAND. Winners will be contacted via email to get their mailing information in early October. Click here to sign up: Nelson DeMille

Daniel Silva - Subscribers who sign up for Daniel Silva's newsletter by September 30, 2005 will be entered in a random drawing to win a signed copy of PRINCE OF FIRE. Click here to sign up: Daniel Silva

Joseph Finder - Subscribers who sign up for Joseph Finder's newsletter by September 30, 2005 will be entered in a random drawing to win a signed copy of COMPANY MAN. Click here to sign up: Joseph Finder

Kate White - Readers who sign up for Kate White's newsletter by December 31st, 2005 will be eligible to win a contest prize of a Beauty Basket and signed copies of OVER HER DEAD BODY and 'TIL DEATH DO US PART. Click here to sign up: Kate White

Kristin Hannah - One lucky subscriber will be chosen from those who sign up for the Kristin Hannah newsletter by September 30, 2005 to win a paperback copy of THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE. Click here to sign up: Kristin Hannah

Marcia Muller - Subscribers who sign up by September 30, 2005 will be entered in a contest to win one of 5 signed copies of CYANIDE WELLS. Click here to sign up: Marcia Muller

Click here to visit

Michael Simon Book Giveaway Contest

To celebrate the release of the second thriller in Michael Simon's Dan Reles series --- BODY SCISSORS --- and the paperback release of the first book in the series --- DIRTY SALLY --- is sponsoring a Michael Simon Book Giveaway Contest. 25 winners will receive paperback copies of DIRTY SALLY. The contest runs from September 19, 2005 at 9AM EDT through October 17, 2005 at 11:59PM EDT.

To enter, here's what to do.

1) Read an excerpt from the book here.
2) Give us your feedback about the excerpt.
3) Give us your name and mailing address (snail mail).

Send all of this to by October 17th at 11:59PM.

Winners will be chosen in a random drawing from all correct responses received.

ALL ENTRIES MUST BE POSTMARKED BY October 17, 2005 and received by October 21, 2005.

Click here to enter the Michael Simon Book Giveaway Contest.

This Week's Reviews and Features

FIDDLERS: A Novel of the 87th Precinct by Ed McBain (Mystery)
Reviewed by Tom Callahan
The late Ed McBain's final installment in the 87th Precinct series finds the detectives stumped by a serial killer who doesn't fit the profile of one. It is up to Steve Carella and his colleagues to find out what --- or whom --- the victims had in common before another body is found.

-Click here to read an excerpt from FIDDLERS.

THE DIVINERS by Rick Moody (Fiction)
Reviewed by Brandon M. Stickney
During one month in the autumn of election year 2000, scores of movie-business strivers are focused on one goal: getting a piece of an elusive, but surely huge, television saga --- a multigenerational miniseries about diviners, those miracle workers who bring water to perpetually thirsty (and hungry and love-starved) humankind.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE DIVINERS.

CINNAMON KISS by Walter Mosley (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
In order to pay for the medical treatment his daughter so desperately needs, Los Angeles private investigator Easy Rawlins agrees to locate a prominent attorney and his beautiful, mysterious assistant. However, Rawlins soon learns that his involvement is bringing not only himself but also his friends and family into terrible danger.

-Click here to read an excerpt from CINNAMON KISS.

BAIT AND SWITCH: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream by Barbara Ehrenreich (Current Affairs)
Reviewed by Colleen Quinn
Barbara Ehrenreich's NICKEL AND DIMED explored the lives of low-wage workers. Now, in BAIT AND SWITCH, she enters another hidden realm of the economy: the shadowy world of the white-collar unemployed. In details both funny and tragic, Ehrenreich reveals what it's like to look for work when the old rules no longer apply.

BELLE RUIN by Martha Grimes (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
When 12-year-old Emma Graham discovers the crumbling shell of a fabulous hotel hidden in the woods near her small town, she never imagines that the mysteries it holds will bring her one step closer to solving a 40-year-old crime.

TOOTH AND CLAW by T.C. Boyle (Fiction/Short Stories)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
T.C. Boyle demonstrates the vitality and versatility of the short story form with this tightly written collection of fourteen stories, all of which display his imaginative muscle, emotional sensitivity, and astonishing range.

CONTACT ZERO by David Wolstencroft (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Ben Locke, a recent graduate of Spy School who's anxious to succeed on his first assignment, is brutally framed for a crime he didn't commit. On this same day, seven of his fellow classmates have been found dead. The three left behind must join forces and quickly discover that --- myth or no myth --- Contact Zero is their only chance for survival.

Reviewed by Amie Taylor
Welcome to Hunting Hills, Ohio, where the women and the lawns are perfectly manicured at all times and where perfection on the outside hides a multitude of secrets behind closed doors.

THE POINT OF FRACTURE by Frank Turner Hollon (Psychological Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Suzanne Brace, stuck in a strange, loveless marriage, is haunted by childhood memories of her father, visions of violence, and the bloodlines of mental illness. In a tangled desire for revenge against her father, her husband and his family, she sets in motion a patient, complicated plan of deception, sacrifice and death.

THE ENGLISH TEACHER by Lily King (Fiction)
Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller
An English teacher at a private school in Maine eschews her solitary, ordered life in order to marry a local widower, in the hopes of providing a secure family life for her teenage son.

USER I.D. by Jenefer Shute (Psychological Thriller)
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
In this truly horrifying thriller, Vera de Sica doesn't value her life until her identity is stolen. The jarring wake-up call lifts her humdrum existence to a terrifying new plane, calling into question the whole notion of identity.

Reviewed by Jennifer Krieger
Written by one of the first American female aviators ever to fly in a war zone, debut novelist Kim Ponders tells the extraordinary story of a woman's perseverance in the tough and unsentimental world of military flight.

HIS OLDEST FRIEND: The Story of an Unlikely Bond by Sonny Kleinfeld (Biography)
Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott
Award-winning reporter Sonny Kleinfeld takes us inside the lives of two unlikely friends --- a male teenager and a wheelchair-bound nursing home resident in her nineties --- to explore the world of the very young and the very old, showing how underappreciated these groups often are.

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: Which are you looking forward to reading?
Which of the following books are you looking forward to reading, or have you read?
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Angels in the Gloom by Anne Perry
A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt
The Divide by Nicholas Evans
The Diviners by Rick Moody
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate: The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith
Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamant
The March by E. L. Doctorow
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley
Thud! by Terry Pratchett
The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks
None of the above
Answer the Poll here.

Question of the Week: What book are you most looking forward to reading?

Right now what book are you most looking forward to reading?

Please note: Our question of the week will update October 7th.

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 EVERYONE WORTH KNOWING by Lauren Weisberger and THE LINCOLN LAWYER by Michael Connelly.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on October 7th. 

Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.


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--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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