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June 2, 2006 Newsletter

June 2, 2006

This Week on

Thrilled, Just Thrilled Talks to Gayle Lynds, Author of THE LAST SPYMASTER Talks to Sy Montgomery, Author of THE GOOD GOOD PIG Beach Bag of Books Contest --- Spotlight on GUCCI GUCCI COO by Sue Margolis

New Featured Suspense/Thriller Author --- M. J. Rose, Author of THE VENUS FIX

New Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author --- Stephen Spignesi, Author of DIALOGUES Father's Day Duffel Bag of Books Contest!

New Featured One to Watch Author --- Elisabeth Hyde, Author of THE ABORTIONIST'S DAUGHTER

Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author --- Daniel Judson, Author of THE DARKEST PLACE Contest --- THE HUSBAND by Dean Koontz!

Now in Stores --- THE POE SHADOW by Matthew Pearl

This Week's Reviews and Features

Poll: Book Lists
Question of the Week: Summer 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
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

Thrilled, Just Thrilled

Last night I went to a signing for a book I am excited to share with you --- THRILLER: Stories to Keep You Up All Night. It has 30 original short stories from 32 members of the International Thriller Writers and is edited by James Patterson. I have been reading this one over the past few weeks and am loving it. Many of the writers have used characters or plotlines from their previous work and incorporated them into these original stories. I found that as I read writers I had not previously known, I was drawn to want to read more of their work.
At the event that I was at, Eric Van Lustbader, M. J. Rose, James Siegel and F. Paul Wilson each discussed their stories and the genre. There was a lively crowd, one of many across the country, as there were simultaneous signings of THRILLER last night at Barnes & Noble stores in many cities; tonight the same cross-country signing will take place at Borders stores and throughout the month there are signings at independent booksellers, as well. You can read more about the book and find event news at See Joe Hartlaub's review below.
Speaking of thrillers, I am excited that we are featuring M. J. Rose as our newest Suspense/Thriller author. I read THE VENUS FIX a few weeks ago swinging in my hammock on an afternoon where I tuned the world out and just plunged into the world of her character, sex therapist Morgan Snow. The plot here revolves around Internet porn, and while readers will be riveted by the psychological suspense, there's also some strong social commentary here about the impact of this culture on high school students. THE VENUS FIX hits stores on July 1st, but we have 20 advance copies to share with readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. Interested? Then send your name and mailing address to by Friday, June 16th.

Stephen Spignesi is our newest featured Debut Suspense/Thriller author.
Spignesi's latest work is DIALOGUES --- a complex and compelling legal drama that revolves around a series of murders in an animal shelter. It hits shelves in paperback on June 27th. We have 10 Advance Copies of DIALOGUES to share with readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. Interested? Then send your name and mailing address to by Friday, June 9th.

In the past few weeks I have been sharing my interest in regional bestseller lists with you. Here's some news --- WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen that I was speaking so highly of last week appears on SIX of the eight regional lists. I love seeing momentum like that across the country for a title I enjoyed so much.
Jen Krieger, our resident movie guru, has updated our Books Into Movies feature with new titles for June and July. Get ready for The Peaceful Warrior and The Devil Wears Prada, both of which hit the big screen next month.
A few weeks ago I told you that Joe Hartlaub, our Senior Writer, will be attending ThrillerFest, the International Thriller Writers first convention in Phoenix, Arizona on June 29th thru July 2nd. Well, in late-breaking news, I also will be there. I am going on a three-part three-week trip that trust me will be well-chronicled in later blogs as Carol's Excellent Summer Adventure. Interested in details on this event? Go to
My house still looks like beach bag central. I was shopping the other night (manuvering two oversized shopping carts) and when I hit the checkout I was asked if I ran a summer camp. I confess that I did laugh. I am off to explore the HUGE box of beach-related items that arrived here today. I am starting to wonder what the UPS man thinks I am doing here. All to say, don't forget to enter our Weekly Beach Bag of Books Contest where the featured title is GUCCI GUCCI COO by Sue Margolis. Trust that when you read this one, you'll completely understand the prizes.
Have a good week.

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on June 2nd.

List of titles reviewed and featured on May 26th. Talks to Gayle Lynds, Author of THE LAST SPYMASTER

Along with co-creating the hugely successful Covert-One series with Robert Ludlum, Gayle Lynds has penned such bestselling international thrillers as THE COIL, MASQUERADE, MOSAIC and MESMERIZED. In this interview with's Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight Team (Carol Fitzgerald, Joe Hartlaub and Wiley Saichek), Lynds shows off her "Spy-Q" knowledge and shares what makes Jay Tice --- the protagonist of her latest novel, THE LAST SPYMASTER --- tick. She also explains how she manages to keep her novels genuine and authentic through description and dialogue, and sheds light on the difficult process of writing during personal tragedy.

THE LAST SPYMASTER by Gayle Lynds (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
The chief of the CIA's elite Clandestine Services, Charles "Jay" Tice was also a traitor, reputedly selling information that will seriously compromise the security of the United States for decades to come. Since his treachery was exposed, Tice has been kept under strict surveillance in a maximum security prison. But when he escapes from his cell and becomes the subject of an intense manhunt, there is far more at stake than an old spy's last run for freedom.
Click here to read our interview with Gayle Lynds and a review of THE LAST SPYMASTER. Talks to Sy Montgomery, Author of THE GOOD GOOD PIG

Naturalist, documentary scriptwriter and radio commentator Sy Montgomery has authored award-winning books such as JOURNEY OF THE PINK DOLPHINS, SPELL OF THE TIGER and SEARCH FOR THE GOLDEN MOON BEAR. Her latest work, THE GOOD GOOD PIG, centers on a beloved pig named Christopher Hogwood, who won the hearts of an entire community.'s contributing writer Shannon McKenna interviewed Montgomery about the exceptional characteristics Christopher possessed and just how much of an impact he had on herself and others throughout the course of his life. She also describes the difficulties of writing about her experiences abroad, her kinship with animals and their significance in the greater scheme of things.

THE GOOD GOOD PIG by Sy Montgomery (Memoir)
Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott
Sy Montgomery, a writer usually more concerned with exotic wildlife (JOURNEY OF THE PINK DOLPHINS), has gifted those of us who did not know Christopher Hogwood with the amusing, remarkable, poignant and revelatory biography of a pig who started life small and influenced the world around him in a big way.


Click here to read our interview with Sy Montgomery and a review of THE GOOD GOOD PIG. Beach Bag of Books Contest --- Spotlight on GUCCI GUCCI COO by Sue Margolis

Every week from May 19th through August 25th a different title in the's Second Annual Beach Bag of Books promotion will be featured with a review and 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 GUCCI GUCCI COO by Sue Margolis, the wickedly funny novel about babies, sex, celebrity...and daring to date a gynecologist. In a pink and tan cooler beach bag, winners will find a pink-striped beach towel, a colorful and ornate hand-embroidered Guatemalan bag, a box of Tazo Passion tea and tea cup, a luxurious set of tango-mango and raspberry-guava shower/bath gels and body balm from H20+, the latest issues of the delectably dishy British celebrity magazines, Hello! and OK, and a hilariously apropos gift: a book of stamps --- as well as a copy of the book. We have five to give away, as well as five additional prizes of copies of GUCCI GUCCI COO. To enter to win answer the question below:

What does Ruby nickname her gynecologist?

You can find the answer by reading an excerpt here.

GUCCI GUCCI COO by Sue Margolis (Fiction)
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
Ruby, aged 32, gets the shock of her life when she discovers she's soon to become a big sister. Meanwhile, she uncovers a mystery involving skinny pregnant celebrities at her posh baby boutique --- and yet another one in her gorgeous but bewildering new man. The puzzles and laugh-out-loud predicaments keep on coming in this saucy escape read.

Click here to read all the details of our Summer Beach Bag Contest.


New Featured Suspense/Thriller Author --- M. J. Rose, Author of THE VENUS FIX

We are thrilled to be featuring M. J. Rose as our newest featured Suspense/Thriller author. Already an established voice in the genre, M. J. Rose is the author of the previous novels LIP SERVICE, IN FIDELITY, FLESH TONES, SHEET MUSIC and THE HALO EFFECT. Her newest psychologically chilling page-turner THE VENUS FIX, the latest in the Morgan Snow series, hits stores on July 1st. 

We have 20 Advance Copies of THE VENUS FIX to share with readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. Interested? Then send your name and mailing address to by Friday, June 16th.

More about THE VENUS FIX:
International bestselling author M. J. Rose returns with the third thrilling book in her Butterfield Institute series featuring sex therapist/reluctant crime solver Dr. Morgan Snow. THE VENUS FIX follows Dr. Snow as she strives to make the connection between murdered online Web cam sex performers and her clients.

As one of New York's top sex therapists, Dr. Morgan Snow sees everything from the abused to the depraved. From high-profile clients with twisted obsessions to courageous survivors, the Butterfield Institute is the sanctuary to heal battered souls.

Morgan's newest patient is a powerful, influential man --- secretly addicted to watching Internet Web cam pornography. But he's not alone in those desires.  Morgan's also working with a group of high school teenagers equally and dangerously obsessed with these real-time fantasies. Fantasies that are all too accessible.

Click here to read more about M. J. Rose and THE VENUS FIX.


New Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author --- Stephen Spignesi, Author of DIALOGUES

Stephen Spignesi is our newest featured Debut Suspense/Thriller author. Spignesi is the New York Times bestselling author of three dozen nonfiction books and one novel. His newest work is DIALOGUES --- a complex and compelling legal drama that hits shelves in paperback on June 27th.

We have 10 Advance Copies of DIALOGUES to share with readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. Interested? Then send your name and mailing address to by Friday, June 9th.

More about DIALOGUES:
With this electrifying debut, Stephen Spignesi reinvents the psychological thriller with a chilling tale of mounting intensity. Ingeniously crafted and crackling with suspense, here is a puzzle within a puzzle, at the center of which stands a hauntingly enigmatic young woman whose story will challenge everything you think you know....

Six people have been murdered in the animal shelter in which they worked. One unlikely woman stands accused of the crimes. Her name is Victoria Troy, and she is the most improbable of cold-blooded killers. A lover of animals, petite, brainy, and gifted with a sharp sense of humor, she too worked in the shelter, in an anguishingly difficult job. What could possibly have provoked her to murder six of her own coworkers --- some of whom were her friends.

Fiercely engaging and morally provocative, DIALOGUES is a rush of adrenaline that will keep you riveted from the first page to the last, a novel that will leave readers deeply shaken --- and deeply moved.

Click here to read more about Stephen Spignesi and DIALOGUES. Father's Day Duffel Bag of Books Contest!

From May 26th through June 9th readers will have the chance to win one of five Father's Day Duffel Bags stocked with great gadgets and items that dad will love as well as one copy of ALL SIX of our featured books --- KILLER INSTINCT by Joseph Finder, MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN by Bob Mitchell, MEXICAN DAYS by Tony Cohan, THE MILLIONAIRES' UNIT by Marc Wortman, POP CULTURE by Christopher Healy and THE RABBIT FACTORY by Marshall Karp. Our sturdy grey Champion Duffel Bags have handy and fun items for dad including a handy 12-can cooler, a portable thermos for his morning brew, a brushed silver stainless steel picture frame for his favorite memories, waterproof playing cards with a billiard design, a divet tool and ball marker for golf-loving dads, a scrumptious cookie shaped like a barbecue grill, and a zip drive, which the dad in your life is bound to appreciate, whether he is computer savvy or a technophobe.

Click here to read all the details of our Father's Day Duffel Bag of Books Contest.

New Featured One to Watch Author --- Elisabeth Hyde, Author of THE ABORTIONIST'S DAUGHTER

We are thrilled to be spotlighting Elisabeth Hyde as our latest One to Watch Author. The author of three previous novels, including CRAZY AS CHOCOLATE, her newest work, THE ABORTIONIST'S DAUGHTER, is a compelling and provocative tale that comes out June 20th and is already garnering advance praise from readers.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE ABORTIONIST'S DAUGHTER.
-Click here to see the winners of our Advance Reader Copies.
-Click here to read Elisabeth Hyde's Backlist.
-Click here to read Critical Praise for THE ABORTIONIST'S DAUGHTER.

Elisabeth Hyde has taken a powerful moral predicament and constructed around it a richly layered, compulsively readable novel about a murder in a small Colorado town, about the choices we make and the way their unintended consequences ripple through our lives.

It's a riveting and provocative page-turner: a novel of stunning economy and momentum by a writer poised for wide discovery.

Click here to read more about Elisabeth Hyde and THE ABORTIONIST'S DAUGHTER.


Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author --- Daniel Judson, Author of THE DARKEST PLACE

Daniel Judson, whose noirish page-turner THE DARKEST PLACE came out May 30th, is one of our featured Debut Suspense/Thriller authors. With a virtuoso's touch and a diabolical ability to layer suspense, plot, and character study into an engrossing crime novel, Judson makes a name for himself with THE DARKEST PLACE.

-Click here to read a new excerpt from THE DARKEST PLACE.
-Click here to see our Advance Copy Winners.
-Click here to read Daniel Judson's backlist.

From Daniel Judson, Shamus Award winner and emerging master of the modern literary thriller, comes a riveting and accomplished crime novel set in the seedy underside of a celebrated beach town.

During a bone-chilling snap of record cold, a series of enigmatic drowning deaths plays out in a small Hamptons community on Long Island's Shinnecock Bay. Local college professor Deacon Kane, himself recovering from the accidental drowning of his only son years ago --- recovering slowly, with the help of alcohol and an addictive, messy affair with a married woman --- is implicated in the deaths.

As the police and several other interested parties watch his every move, Kane befriends a hypnotically alluring bartender named Colette and quickly continues his brutal downward spiral with little regard for self-preservation. How --- and whether --- Kane is connected to the young men is the question everyone wants the answer to. As it becomes clear that Kane himself may not know the extent of his own involvement, all must admit that something dark and sinister is at work in Southampton

Click here to read more about Daniel Judson and THE DARKEST PLACE. Contest --- THE HUSBAND by Dean Koontz!

To celebrate the June release of THE HUSBAND, by Dean Koontz, is running a very special contest where readers will have the chance to win one of 20 copies of Koontz's newest page-turner. To enter, all you have to do is read an excerpt from THE HUSBAND and comment on it.

Click here for details on the contest and how to enter.

THE HUSBAND by Dean Koontz (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
In what may be his most suspenseful and heartfelt novel ever, Dean Koontz brings us the story of an ordinary man whose extraordinary commitment to his wife will take him on a harrowing journey of adventure, sacrifice and redemption to the mystery of love itself --- and to a showdown with the darkness that would destroy it forever.

-Click here to read our review of THE HUSBAND.
-Click here to check out Dean Koontz's website where he's running a VERY special sweepstakes.

Click here for details on how to enter THE HUSBAND Contest.

Now in Stores --- THE POE SHADOW by Matthew Pearl

"I present to you . . . the truth about this man's death and my life."

Baltimore, 1849. The body of Edgar Allan Poe has been buried in an unmarked grave. The public, the press, and even Poe's own family and friends accept the conclusion that Poe was a second-rate writer who met a disgraceful end as a drunkard. Everyone, in fact, seems to believe this except a young Baltimore lawyer named Quentin Clark, an ardent admirer who puts his own career and reputation at risk in a passionate crusade to salvage Poe's.

Following his phenomenal debut novel, THE DANTE CLUB, Matthew Pearl has once again crossed pitch-perfect literary history with innovative mystery to create a beautifully detailed, ingeniously plotted tale of suspense. Pearl's groundbreaking research --- featuring documented material never published before --- opens a new window on the truth behind Poe's demise, literary history's most persistent enigma. The resulting novel is a publishing event that, through sublime craftsmanship, subtle wit, and devious twists, does honor to Poe himself.

Click here to read more about THE POE SHADOW.

This Week's Reviews and Features

MARKED MAN by William Lashner (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Victor Carl wakes up one morning to discover a heart on his chest inscribed with the name "Chantal Adair." While trying to determine exactly who this woman is, he must deal with his client --- a wanted man who needs to come in out of the cold and has a stolen painting for Victor to use as leverage. But someone is not happy that the painting has surfaced. Or that the client is threatening to tell all. Or that Victor is sniffing around for information about Chantal Adair.

-Click here to read an excerpt from MARKED MAN.

THE COLD MOON by Jeffery Deaver (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
On a freezing December night, two people are brutally murdered. Renowned criminologist Lincoln Rhyme has the chilling realization that the killer -- who has dubbed himself the Watchmaker -- has more murders planned in the hours to come. He immediately calls upon his trusted partner and longtime love Amelia Sachs for help, though she is investigating a case of her own, the results of which threaten to undermine her career, her sense of self and her relationship with Rhyme.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE COLD MOON.

THRILLER: Stories to Keep You Up All Night edited by James Patterson (Short Stories/Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Featuring North America's foremost thriller authors, this is the first collection of pure thriller stories ever published. Offering up heart-pumping tales of suspense in all its guises are 32 of the most critically acclaimed and award-winning names in the business.

DEAD WATCH by John Sandford (Political Thriller)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
John Sandford, who has won a great following with his series of Lucas Davenport procedurals, has chartered new territory and entered the dark side of partisan politics. His new hero is Jacob Winter, an accomplished military man and a respected author of influential political books. In this fast-paced thriller, Winter is called upon to locate former Virginia senator Lincoln Bowe, who has mysteriously vanished.

KILLER DREAMS by Iris Johansen (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
As one of the nation's top sleep therapists, Sophie Dunston specializes in the life-threatening night terrors that her young son suffers from. But she is also an expert in another kind of terror --- the kind that can turn a dream life into a living nightmare in the blink of an eye --- as someone from Sophie's past is determined to silence her forever.

THE BOOK OF THE DEAD by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (Thriller)
Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard
An ancient Egyptian exhibit is reopened and with it a possible curse. Is it a timeless evil or something worse? THE BOOK OF THE DEAD, by bestselling authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, is the climactic conclusion to the Pendergast Trilogy, which pits FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast against his maniacal brother, Diogenes.

MOCKINGBIRD: A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shields (Biography)
Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD has endured as one of the best-loved and bestselling books of all time. Why then is so little known about its author, Harper Lee? Charles J. Shields's enlightening and well-researched biography sheds some light on its cosseted author.

THE NIGHT WATCH by Sarah Waters (Fiction)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked-out streets, illicit liaisons and sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, THE NIGHT WATCH tells the story of Londoners: three women and a young man with a past --- whose lives, and those of their friends and lovers, connect in ways that are surprising and not always known to them.

THE LOVE SEASON by Elin Hilderbrand (Fiction)
Reviewed by Carole Turner
In her fifth novel, Elin Hilderbrand once again uses her home, the island of Nantucket, as the setting for a story of complicated love. A reclusive former chef named Marguerite and her impetuous teenaged goddaughter are the main characters in this riveting novel that takes place in one day and spans decades.
Click here to read this week's reviews and features.
Poll: Book Lists
Do you keep a list of books you want to read?
Not sure

How many books are on that list right now?

More than 10
Answer the Poll here.

Read a list of upcoming books here. Browse our author bibliographies by clicking here Sign up for Author Newsletters here.
Question of the Week: Summer Reading

Question: What book are you most looking forward to reading this summer?

Please note our Question of the Week will update June 9th.

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 two great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of THE COLD MOON by Jeffery Deaver and THE BOOK OF THE DEAD by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on June 9th.


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.  If you would like to reach me, please write Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us.

Those who are subscribed to the newsletter by May 31st, 2006 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books:BLUE SCREEN by Robert B. Parker, THE COLD MOON by Jeffery Deaver, KILLER DREAMS by Iris Johansen, MOCKINGBIRD: A Portrait of Harper Lee, by Charles J. Shields and TWELVE SHARP by Janet Evanovich. Last month's winner was Lorinda from Saugerties, NY who won AT RISK by Patricia Cornwell, CAGE OF STARS by Jacquelyn Mitchard, KILLER INSTINCT by Joseph Finder, THE MAN OF MY DREAMS by Curtis Sittenfeld and POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: True Stories by Augusten Burroughs.

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