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August 25, 2006 Newsletter

August 25, 2006

This Week on

Packing for a Getaway

Author Talk: Sam Bourne, Author of THE RIGHTEOUS MEN

Our Newest Romantic Suspense Author: Tara Taylor Quinn, Author of IN PLAIN SIGHT Beach Bag of Books Contest --- Spotlight on ROCOCO by Adriana Trigiani

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Tess Gerritsen, Author of THE MEPHISTO CLUB

Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Jed Rubenfeld, Author of THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER

Featured One to Watch Author: Dan Burstein, Author of SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE

Our Newest One to Watch Author: John Boyne, Author of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS

Coming August 29th: FOOL ME ONCE by Fern Michaels

Coming September 6th: RIVER'S EDGE by Marie Bostwick

New in Paperback for August

This Week's Reviews and Features Poll: 10th Anniversary Special

Question of the Week: Bookish Memories
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
Summer Beach Bag Feature

Packing for a Getaway

I should be packing. My suitcase, known as "the large black one," is the one that needs to go into the trunk first when we go on vacation. Since I NEVER am ready on time I truly think that the trunk organization scheme should be re-thought so mine is placed in LAST, but these are the moments that family vacations are born from. I still am trying to figure out how to sneak in the large box of books that I have been pulling together these past weeks. It's always the heaviest thing in the trunk and there is great moaning about carrying it into the beach house once we get to North Carolina!
Yes, we again are Outer Banks bound. This time we are renting the house with the dialup(!) connection, which has my older son hoping SOMEONE in the neighborhood has Wi-Fi and me crossing fingers that my Verizon Aircard does its magic again. I am a huge fan of this and HAPPILY will do any ads/endorsements and cheers they want me to do about how much I love it! I have spent a huge chunk of time on the road this year and this card never has failed me.
We are taking our annual week hiatus next week so the next newsletter will be in your mailbox on September 8th. We have a super lineup this week so I am sure there is enough to keep you busy!

This week is our final Beach Bag Contest. The featured book is ROCOCO by Adriana Trigiani, a book that made me laugh and want to decorate. Adriana is a friend and she often jokes that the woman on the cover is wearing turquoise as an ode to me (I usually wear some shade of turquoise or teal). As an ode to Adriana, we made sure to include a turquoise Rococo-inspired candle as part of this week's prize. There also is a jewel-toned towel for two that I really love!

Our latest Romantic Suspense author is Tara Taylor Quinn whose novel IN PLAIN SIGHT will be in stores on October 2nd. She writes a thrilling tale where those who wear red laces are those to be feared. We have 20 advance reading copies to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment about it. Interested? Then send your name and your mailing address to by Friday, September 8th.

The Quills celebrates the best books of the year in nineteen popular categories, ranging from romance to biography to graphic novels. Books are nominated by librarians and booksellers, then readers determine the award winners by casting their votes online before September 30th. The Quill Awards nominees were announced on Tuesday and they can be found here. It's a chance for you, as a reader, to weigh in and vote for your favorites of the nominated titles! Want to vote? Click here and vote by September 30th.

While we are away The Book Report Network will continue its 10th Anniversary celebration. We are gathering some comments from reviewers and others that we will share when we return in September. Do you have something to share? Then drop us a note here or take a look at what some fellow readers write. Don't forget to answer our anniversary-themed poll and question.

Have a great two weeks, including the three-day Labor Day weekend. If life goes according to plan, I will be floating and reading for the next ten days.

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on August 25th.

List of titles reviewed and featured on August 18th.

Click here to send us your 10th Anniversary wishes.

Author Talk: Sam Bourne, Author of THE RIGHTEOUS MEN

Sam Bourne is a pseudonym for award-winning journalist and broadcaster Jonathan Freedland, who has written the nonfiction titles JACOB'S GIFT and BRING HOME THE REVOLUTION. In this interview, he discusses the autobiographical elements he infused into his debut novel, THE RIGHTEOUS MEN, and explains how the idea stemmed from both his Jewish background as well as a story told to him by his mother. He also touches on the reason why he chose a Brooklyn neighborhood as his setting and shares what he hopes he can offer readers in this religious thriller.

THE RIGHTEOUS MEN by Sam Bourne (Thriller)
Reviewed by Marcia Ford
What will happen when the one secret that has kept the world safe for thousands of years is revealed to all? In THE RIGHTEOUS MEN, a blistering thriller filled with mystery, romance and suspense, Sam Bourne will take you deep into the hidden worlds of fundamentalist religion, mysticism and biblical prophecies.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE RIGHTEOUS MEN.

Click here to read an interview with Sam Bourne and a review of THE RIGHTEOUS MEN.

Our Newest Romantic Suspense Author: Tara Taylor Quinn, Author of IN PLAIN SIGHT

We are thrilled to be featuring Tara Taylor Quinn as our newest Romantic Suspense Author. Lisa Jackson fans will fall hard for Quinn's unique ability to explore edgy subjects with mesmerizing style. Her newest title, IN PLAIN SIGHT, hits stores October 1st and it's sure to satisfy her old fans and garner her new ones as well.

We have 20 advance reading copies of IN PLAIN SIGHT by Tara Taylor Quinn to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. A description can be found by clicking the link below. If you are interested, please send your name and mailing address to by Friday, September 8, 2006.

More about IN PLAIN SIGHT:
Are those red laces in the hiking boots of the youth sulking in your favorite mall?  If so, beware. The red laces could signal danger In Plain Sight --- and a tie to white supremacists who want to strike fear in people like you and me.


On the outside, Arizona chief prosecutor Janet McNeil is the epitome of a driven, daring attorney who lives life by her own rules. But inside her world is in chaos. Terrifying nightmares keep her in a constant state of anxiety. Yet saving face is imperative now that she's prosecuting a member of a white supremacy organization, a killer who wouldn't think twice about using his twisted followers to silence Jan for good.

It looks like an ordinary neighborhood.....

Neighbor Simon Green is the only person who isn't begging her to quit the case. Simon, an ex-police officer with dark secrets of his own, understands how vital it is to obliterate violence and hate. But when one word from the most unlikely source threatens to change their lives forever, Jan must decide what risks she's willing to take.

Quinn's latest Romantic suspense hits the stands with Publisher's Weekly and USA Today support and follows through on a road unlike any other as she attacks an edgy subject with boldness and compassion.

Click here to read more about Tara Taylor Quinn and IN PLAIN SIGHT. Beach Bag of Books Contest --- Spotlight on ROCOCO by Adriana Trigiani

Every week from May 19th through August 25th a different title in the 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 fifteenth (and final) spotlighted title is ROCOCO by Adriana Trigiani, the uproarious tale of a small Italian American town poised for a makeover it never expected. ROCOCO takes on love, lust, tricky family dynamics, and home decorating and our Beach Bag prize is a medley of fun and funky items. In an oversized blue and green checked tote, winners will find an oversized beach towel for two, an H2O Plus travel kit, a giant, luxurious fizzing blue bath ball, scrumptious summer cookies in the shape of flip-flops and a beach ball, flip-flop floating candles (not pictured) and a charming, Rococo-style blue candle --- as well as a copy of the book. We have five to give away, as well as five additional prizes of copies of ROCOCO. To enter to win answer the question below:

Where did Toots meet and fall in love with her future husband, Alonzo "Lonnie" Falcone?

You can find the answer by reading an excerpt here:

ROCOCO by Adriana Trigiani (Fiction)
Reviewed by Lourdes Orive
Bartolomeo di Crespi is the acclaimed interior decorator of Our Lady of Fatima, New Jersey. To date, he has hand-selected every chandelier, sconce and ottoman in the church. So when its renovation is scheduled, Bartolomeo assumes there is only one man for the job. New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani takes on love, lust, tricky family dynamics and home decorating in this uproarious tale of a small Italian American town poised for a makeover it never expected.

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


Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Tess Gerritsen, Author of THE MEPHISTO CLUB

Tess Gerritsen, the New York Times bestselling author of VANISH, BODY DOUBLE and THE SINNER, is our newest featured Suspense/Thriller Author. A master of the genre, Gerritsen's newest page-turner --- THE MEPHISTO CLUB, which hits shelves August 29th --- will chill you to the bone.

-Click here to see our Advance Copy Winners.
-Click here to read a new excerpt from THE MEPHISTO CLUB.
-Click here to read Fast Facts about Tess Gerritsen.
-Click here to read Tess Gerritsen's Backlist.
-Click here to read Critical Praise for THE MEPHISTO CLUB.
-Click here to read a Study Guide for THE MEPHISTO CLUB.

Evil exists. Evil walks the streets. And evil has spawned a diabolical new disciple in this white-knuckle thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.

The Latin word is scrawled in blood at the scene of a young woman's brutal murder: I HAVE SINNED. It's a chilling Christmas greeting for Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli, who swiftly link the victim to controversial celebrity psychiatrist Joyce O'Donnell --- Jane's professional nemesis and member of a sinister cabal called the Mephisto Club.

Delving deep into the most baffling and unusual case of their careers, Maura and Jane embark on a terrifying journey to the very heart of evil, where they encounter a malevolent foe more dangerous than any they have ever whose work is only just beginning.

Click here to read more about Tess Gerritsen and THE MEPHISTO CLUB.


Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Jed Rubenfeld, Author of THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER

We are very excited to be introducing you to Jed Rubenfeld, our newest featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author. Currently the Robert R. Slaughter Professor of Law at Yale University, Jed Rubenfeld is one of this country's foremost experts on constitutional law. His debut novel, the psychological page-turner THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER, hits stores September 5th. 

-Click here to see our Advance Copy Winners.
-Click here to read a new excerpt from THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER.

In this ingenious, suspenseful historical thriller, Sigmund Freud is drawn into the mind of a sadistic killer who is savagely attacking Manhattan's wealthiest heiresses

THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER leads readers from the salons of Gramercy Park, through secret passages, to Chinatown --- even far below the currents of the East River where laborers are building the Manhattan Bridge. As Freud fends off a mysterious conspiracy to destroy him, Dr. Stratham Younger, America's most committed Freudian analyst, is drawn into an equally thrilling adventure that takes him deep into the subterfuges of the human mind.

Richly satisfying, elegantly crafted, THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER marks the debut of a brilliant, spectacularly entertaining new storyteller.

Click here to read more about Jed Rubenfeld and THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER. 

Featured One to Watch Author: Dan Burstein, Author of SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE

We are so excited to be featuring Dan Burstein as one of our One to Watch authors. Burstein is the creator of the Secrets series, which, in addition to SECRETS OF THE CODE, includes SECRETS OF ANGELS & DEMONS, SECRETS OF THE WIDOW'S SON, and his newest --- SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE, which hit stores August 14th.

-Click here to see Advance Reader Comments for SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE.
-Click here to see our 50! Advance Copy winners.
-Click here to read a new excerpt from SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE.
-Click here to watch a trailer for the DVD and send a SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE E-Card.
-Click here to watch a video interview with Dan Burnstein.

Continuing in the tradition of the New York Times bestselling SECRETS OF THE CODE, the latest book from the Secrets team, SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE, brings together world class experts from different faiths, backgrounds, and perspectives, to discuss the most thought-provoking new ideas and original thinking about Mary Magdalene.

All of the contributors to SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE are well-known and highly respected authors whose books have sold more than five million copies in total. Never before has such a wide range of fascinating ideas and new scholarship about Mary Magdalene been collected in one book that is so timely, popular and accessible.

Click here to read more about Dan Burstein and SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE.

Our Newest One to Watch Author: John Boyne, Author of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS

We are SO excited to be featuring John Boyne and THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS as the newest addition to our One to Watch feature. The incredible story of two boys, one the son of a commandant in Hitler's army and the other a Jew, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS hits stores on September 12th and is already garnering exciting advanced buzz --- this is a book that touches everyone who reads it.

-Click here to see our Advance Copy Winners.
-Click here to read a new excerpt from THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS.
-Click here to read the Reading Group Guide for THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS.
-Click here to read John Boyne's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS.

Set during the Holocaust, Bruno is only nine years old when his father, a commandant in Hitler's army, is transferred from Berlin to Auschwitz. The house at "Out-With," as Bruno calls it, is small, dark, and strange. He spends long days gazing out the window of his new bedroom, where he notices people dressed in striped pajamas and rows of barracks surrounded by a barbed wire fence. Bored and lonely, and not really understanding the circumstance of his new existence, Bruno sets out to explore the area and discovers Shmuel, a very thin Jewish boy who lives on the other side of the fence. An unlikely friendship develops between the two boys, but when Bruno learns that his mother plans to take her children back to Berlin, he makes a last effort to explore the forbidden territory where the boy in the striped pajamas lives.

Click here to read more about John Boyne and THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS.

Coming August 29th: FOOL ME ONCE by Fern Michaels

FOOL ME ONCE by Fern Michaels
#1 New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels weaves a heartwarming story about the complicated bonds of family, the things we do to protect the ones we love, and the unexpected joys that life can bring.


Click here for more information about FOOL ME ONCE. 


Coming September 6th: RIVER'S EDGE by Marie Bostwick

RIVER'S EDGE by Marie Bostwick
In this exquisite novel from the author of FIELDS OF GOLD one extraordinary woman will come of age-and into her own-in a haunting portrait of America during the uncertainty of World War II.


Click here to read more about RIVER'S EDGE.


New in Paperback for August

August's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes Stephen J. Cannell's COLD HIT, in which startling connections between a ten-year-old cold case and a string of brutal killings lead Detective Shane Scully to a sinister government conspiracy; LUNAR PARK, controversial author Bret Easton Ellis's chilling tale of a famous writer who moves to the suburbs in an attempt to reconnect with his wife and son and start his life anew; THE CONSTANT PRINCESS, a work of historical fiction from Philippa Gregory that explores why Katherine of Aragon pretended to be a virgin when she married Henry VIII; CONSENT TO KILL by Vince Flynn, in which CIA superagent Mitch Rapp becomes the target of an explosive international conspiracy; THUD!, the newest installment in Terry Pratchett's long-running series of Discworld fantasy novels; CURSED BY A HAPPY CHILDHOOD by Carl Lennertz, a memoir of his life growing up in the suburbs of New York in the '60s and '70s with notes on what he wants his daughter to know about him and the lessons he learned; and DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT MYTHOLOGY, a magical journey into the timeless world of mythology courtesy of bestselling author Kenneth C. Davis.

Click here to read our New in Paperback feature.

This Week's Reviews and Features

WHITE SISTER: A Shane Scully Novel by Stephen J. Cannell (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Back from the New York Times bestselling COLD HIT, LAPD detective Shane Scully goes up against the beautiful, blonde wife of a powerful hip-hop mogul who stands at the center of a ruthless conspiracy. He just may have met his match in this powerful and media-savvy enemy who will stop at nothing to forge her own criminal empire.

-Click here to read an excerpt from WHITE SISTER.

THE NIGHT GARDENER by George Pelecanos (Fiction)
Reviewed by Bob Rhubart
This is the haunting story of three cops --- one good, one bad, one broken --- and the murder that reunites them in a showdown decades in the making. Award-winning author George Pelecanos's fourteenth novel offers further evidence of a writer at the top of his game.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE NIGHT GARDENER.

THE GARDEN OF EDEN AND OTHER CRIMINAL DELIGHTS by Faye Kellerman (Short Stories/Fiction)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
The backdrop of contemporary California becomes fertile ground for Faye Kellerman's riveting tales of murder, mystery and family ties most sinister and deadly. This collection showcases how ordinary everyday experiences can be the genesis of extraordinary tales that unveil the darkest sins and secrets of the human heart.

MESSENGER OF TRUTH: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear (Historical Mystery)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
In this fourth historical novel featuring psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs, Jacqueline Winspear probes deeper into the heart of a complex character living in the turbulent 1930s, and offers a terrific mystery to boot as Maisie investigates the death of a controversial artist and World War I veteran.

CRISIS by Robin Cook (Thriller)
Reviewed by Marge Fletcher
When Dr. Craig Bowman is served with a summons for medical malpractice, he's shocked, enraged and more than a little humiliated. A devoted physician who works continuously in the service of others, he endured grueling years of training and is now a partner in an exclusive concierge medical practice. This all comes to a grinding halt one sunny afternoon --- and it gets much, much worse. 

LOST IN THE GARDEN by Philip Beard (Fiction)
Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol
Michael Benedict, overprivileged but undermotivated, seems to have it all: a beautiful wife, two lovely daughters, a law practice that provides a comfortable life for his family, and a natural golf swing. Can it all unravel in a few short months?

WIVES BEHAVING BADLY by Elizabeth Buchan (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
Elizabeth Buchan's REVENGE OF THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN was a New York Times bestseller when it released in 2003. Three years later Buchan returns with this sequel that answers the intriguing question: What happens when the mistress becomes the wife?

FEEDING THE MONSTER: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top by Seth Mnookin (Sports)
Reviewed by Ron Kaplan
Since the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 --- their first such victory in more than 85 years --- several authors have sought to recapture that happy occasion. Few, however, have done a better overall job than Seth Mnookin in FEEDING THE MONSTER.

THE DEVIL'S FEATHER by Minette Walters (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
In 2002, five women are discovered barbarously murdered in Sierra Leone. Reuters Africa correspondent Connie Burns suspects a British mercenary whose reputation for violence and brutality is well-founded and widely known. She is determined to expose him and his secret; unfortunately, the consequences are devastating.

THE FUTURIST by James P. Othmer (Fiction)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
A futurist is a person who is paid to tell his audience --- be they a corporation, a university, a government or some other entity --- about the trends and ideas of the future. In James P. Othmer's debut novel, a futurist named Yates is having a crisis of conscience and his carefully scripted existence is beginning to fray around the edges.

WITHOUT PRECEDENT: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission by Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton (Current Affairs)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
The co-chairmen of the independent commission created to investigate the 9/11 terrorist attacks tell the story of tenacious digging, political maneuvering, human interaction and public posturing that went into one of the most widely acclaimed government inquiries of recent years. Did they get all the answers? Did they satisfy everyone? Of course not --- but this book goes a long way toward validating their honest effort to "stick to the facts."

EVANLY BODIES by Rhys Bowen (Mystery)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
In another Constable Evan Evans installment, the Welsh detective moves up to the Major Crimes Unit, which is immediately dispatched to a murder scene. They believe they have found a tidy wrap-up to the case when another body shows up, and then another.

Click here to read our reviews and features. Poll: 10th Anniversary Special

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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: Bookish Memories

Share a favorite memory.

Please note our Question of the Week will update September 8th.

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 RICOCHET by Sandra Brown and WHITE SISTER by Stephen J. Cannell.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on September 8th.


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 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 August 31, 2006 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: HELEN OF TROY by Margaret George, MESSENGER OF TRUTH by Jacqueline Winspear, RICOCHET by Sandra Brown, SNOW BLIND by P. J. Tracy and TRIPTYCH by Karin Slaughter. Last month's winner was Marcia from Derby, KS, who won BREAK NO BONES by Kathy Reichs, THE MESSENGER by Daniel Silva, RUSTY NAIL by J. A. Konrath, VANISHING POINT by Marcia Muller and WIVES BEHAVING BADLY by Elizabeth Buchan.

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