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February 1, 2008

Bookreporter.com Newsletter

February 1, 2008

This Week on Bookreporter.com

The Books That Defined Me...

Author Talk: Ron Leshem, Author of BEAUFORT

Now in Stores: A VERSION OF THE TRUTH by Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack

Valentine's Day Contest: Books to Fall in Love With --- Enter to Win a Romantic Basket for Yourself or Your Valentine

Win an Advance Reading Copy of FORGIVE ME by Amanda Eyre Ward

New Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Joan Johnston, Author of A STRANGER'S GAME

Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Beverly Barton, Author of THE MURDER GAME

Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Will Lavender, Author of OBEDIENCE

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Michele Martinez, Author of NOTORIOUS

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Andrew Britton, Author of THE INVISIBLE

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Lawrence Goldstone, Author of THE ANATOMY OF DECEPTION
Featured One to Watch Author: Therese Fowler, Author of SOUVENIR

Featured One to Watch Author: Alan Drew, Author of GARDENS OF WATER

Featured One to Watch Author: Julie Buxbaum, Author of THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE

This Week's Reviews

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The Books That Defined Me...

I love the trivia that I can find on the Internet. There is no lack of material to enable procrastination. A few weeks ago I was on Art Garfunkel's website and saw a listing there of all the books he has read since June 1968. Then this week I saw an article in The New Yorker called "The King of Reading," which is all about his list. Now I wonder if The New Yorker writer tripped over this list online while procrastinating, or where the tip for this piece came from. Well, I confess that Art and I do not have the same reading taste, but reading his list gave me more insight into him. And it got me to wondering about the “college essay” and “job interview” question --- “What are the books that define me?” I never could answer that one.

I have not chronicled the books that I have read though the years, but I do think I am a “better” reader now. Before starting Bookreporter.com I read a small group of authors and migrated to them in the stores. Now I have expanded my horizons and love to read new writers, as well as check in with old favorites. As I mulled this all week, I developed this week’s poll and question.
In the poll we ask if you have a personal reading diary, while our question asks you to imagine how someone could define you based on the books you've read. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Also, on the Internet I learned that more than 300 bloggers have come together to lend their support to a book called THE LIAR’S DIARY by Patry Francis, which just came out in paperback. Patry is ill and unable to tour, and the writing community has rallied to ensure that her book is given the kind of attention it deserves. We reviewed the book last year, and it is included in last month’s New in Paperback feature. You can read our review here, and you can watch a very intriguing book trailer for it here. Moments like this make me happy to be a part of this world, where the sharing and give and take is such fun.

Our newest spotlighted author is Joan Johnston, whose new romantic suspense, A STRANGER’S GAME, creates a tale of murder, wrongful imprisonment and a woman determined to see a killer brought to justice. It's a book where the story and the characters come at you fast, and immediately you have a picture of them and the setting. I like it when I feel like I am in the space right from the start. We have 20 copies of A STRANGER’S GAME to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, February 15th.

We also have advance reader comments for Eli Gottlieb’s NOW YOU SEE HIM, which you can read here.


This week we have two great prizes in our Word of Mouth contest: FIVE readers each will win a copy of FIREFLY LANE by Kristin Hannah and STRANGER IN PARADISE: A Jesse Stone Novel by Robert B. Parker. Both books will be available in stores on February 5th. Tell us what you are reading and rate the titles 1-5 by noon on February 15th to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.

Well, the partying around our house did not end with the boys' birthdays. Sunday we are hosting a Super Bowl party. I grew up in a house where my dad never missed a Giants game. For years I was at EVERY home game come snow, sleet and freezing rain. I remember showing up in my ski clothes on more than one occasion along with gloves with heat packs and battery-heated socks. I know, this was pretty insane. Two weeks ago, all the talk during the NFC playoff game was about the cold weather in Green Bay. I told my husband and boys that if they really wanted to get into the spirit of things, we should haul the TV onto the deck and watch from there. I think they were scared that I was serious. Watching the announcers on the sidelines was like watching Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel on the beach during a hurricane. Can you not do your job from INSIDE?

I am in the midst of thinking about dips, chips and hero sandwiches. I am resisting pressure to make chili. I am noting we need cilantro for guacamole. For those who are wondering, the cheesecake for Greg’s birthday was a huge success. Now I just need to create one more chocolate marble cake for the game. It was to be in the shape of a football until I reminded my husband that the football mold he remembered was actually an Easter egg. I know. Close. Maybe I can stand it up, and we can pretend it’s a football ready to get punted. Hmmmm…off to ponder that. Gooooo Giants.

Have a great week…read something and talk about it.


font>Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)
 

Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

 

Author Talk: Ron Leshem, Author of BEAUFORT

Ron Leshem's award-winning debut novel, BEAUFORT --- recently translated into English from its original Hebrew --- is a coming-of-age war tale, written from the perspective of an Israeli soldier during the South Lebanon conflict. In this interview, Leshem explains why he chose to structure his narrative in the form of diary entries and describes the research he conducted in order to create an original voice completely unlike his own. He also talks about the experience of having the book adapted into film (which has been nominated for an Academy Award this year) and recalls his involvement and collaboration with its screenwriter and director, Joseph Cedar.

BEAUFORT by Ron Leshem (Fiction)
By turns subversive and darkly comic, brutal and tender, Ron Leshem's debut work of fiction is at once a searing coming-of-age story and a novel for our times --- one of the most powerful, visceral portraits of the horror, camaraderie and absurdity of war in modern fiction. Reviewed by Colleen Quinn.


-Click here to read a review of BEAUFORT.
-Click here to read an excerpt from BEAUFORT.
 
Click here to read an interview with Ron Leshem.

 

Now in Stores: A VERSION OF THE TRUTH by Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack

A VERSION OF THE TRUTH by Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack (Fiction)
Late bloomers will find a heroine in Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack’s second novel, A VERSION OF THE TRUTH. One big lie on her resume may jeopardize widowed 30-year-old Cassie Shaw’s struggle to overcome her self-esteem problems and difficult past, and discover who she might become. Romance with two handsome men is also on the line. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.


-Click here to read an excerpt from A VERSION OF THE TRUTH.
 

Click here to read a review of A VERSION OF THE TRUTH.


 

Valentine's Day Contest: Books to Fall in Love With --- Enter to Win a Romantic Basket for Yourself or Your Valentine

The countdown to Valentine's Day is on! Stuck on what to buy your Valentine? Our featured titles have the bookish answer. From January 25th through February 6th, readers will have the chance to win one of five Bookreporter.com Valentine's Day Baskets. They are filled with one copy of each of our featured books as well as a selection of sweet and heart-themed treats. With books that include heartwarming novels, philosophical commentary, musical analogies and some titles that are just plain fun, our Valentine's Day suggestions are sure to satisfy whatever you’re craving to give on this holiday.

Our featured Valentine’s Day titles are:

BEGINNER'S GREEK by James Collins
BODY SURFING by Anita Shreve
FOUR LETTER WORD: Invented Correspondence from the Edge of Modern Romance edited by Rosalind Porter and Joshua Knelman
LOVE IS A MIX TAPE: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield
THE MATHEMATICS OF LOVE by Emma Darwin
OTHER PEOPLE'S LOVE LETTERS: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See by Bill Shapiro
SOCRATES IN LOVE: Philosophy for a Hopeless Romantic by Christopher Phillips

 

Click here to read all the contest details.


 
Win an Advance Reading Copy of FORGIVE ME by Amanda Eyre Ward
We are celebrating the paperback release of FORGIVE ME by Amanda Eyre Ward --- an unforgettable story set in South Africa about love, redemption, dreams and motherhood --- with a special contest. Readers who answer a question correctly by reading an excerpt from the book will be automatically entered to win the FORGIVE ME Gift Basket! One lucky winner will receive the Grand Prize wicker gift basket that includes a copy of FORGIVE ME and other book-related goodies, including two bottles of South African red wine, two red wine glasses, a cork screw, a wine pourer/bottle stopper, four coasters, a set of wine charms, a disposable digital camera, a photo album and a copy of FODOR’S SOUTH AFRICA, 3rd Edition (Fodor’s Gold Guides). Five other lucky readers each will win a copy of FORGIVE ME.

-Click here to read more about FORGIVE ME.
 

Click here for more details about the contest and how to enter.


 

New Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Joan Johnston, Author of A STRANGER'S GAME

From New York Times bestselling author Joan Johnston comes a new Bitter Creek novel. A STRANGER’S GAME, which hits stores on March 11th, features all of the passion and intrigue in Texas high society mixed with an explosive, spine-tingling tale of murder, wrongful imprisonment and a woman who counts no cost too high to see a killer brought to justice.

We have 20 copies of A STRANGER’S GAME to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, February 15th.

-Click here to read Joan Johnston’s bio.
-Visit the author’s official website, www.JoanJohnston.com.

More about A STRANGER’S GAME:
With just five days until the president arrives in Austin, Texas, the last thing the FBI needs is a serial killer on the loose, much less a terrorist suspect who will stop at nothing to clear her name. It’s a strange game alright, but why does Agent Grayhawk suspect he’s missing some of the pieces?

 

Click here to read more about Joan Johnston and A STRANGER'S GAME.


 
Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Beverly Barton, Author of THE MURDER GAME
New York Times bestselling author Beverly Barton has written over 50 contemporary romance novels. Her new thriller, THE MURDER GAME, will be available in stores on February 5th. In this terrifying follow-up to THE DYING GAME, private investigator Griffin Powell and FBI agent Nicole Baxter team up again to stop a serial killer playing a very dangerous game.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from THE MURDER GAME.
-Click here to read fast facts about Beverly Barton.

-Click here to read Beverly Barton’s bio.
-Visit the author’s official website, www.BeverlyBarton.com.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about THE MURDER GAME:
The game is simple. He is the Hunter. They are the Prey. He gives them a chance to escape. To run. To hide. To outsmart him. But eventually, he catches them. And that’s when the game gets really terrifying...

Private investigator Griffin Powell and FBI agent Nicole Baxter know a lot about serial killers --- they took one down together. But this new killer is as sadistic as they’ve ever seen. He likes his little games, and he especially likes forcing Nic and Griff to play along.

 

Click here to read more about Beverly Barton and THE MURDER GAME.


 

Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Will Lavender, Author of OBEDIENCE

In his debut novel, OBEDIENCE (which hits stores on February 19th), Will Lavender weaves a psychological thriller in which a group of students are faced with a very unusual assignment --- to find a hypothetical missing girl before she is murdered. However, they soon discover that failing to complete it could cost them their lives.

-Click here to read an excerpt from OBEDIENCE.
-Click here to read Will Lavender’s bio.
-Click here to read critical praise for OBEDIENCE.
-Visit the author's official website, www.WillLavender.com.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about OBEDIENCE:
When the students in Winchester University’s Logic and Reasoning 204 arrive for their first day of class, they are greeted with a startling assignment: Find a hypothetical missing girl named Polly. If after being given a series of clues and details the class has not found her before the end of the term, she will be murdered.

The students are intrigued, at first. But soon, the boundary between the classroom assignment and the real world becomes blurred --- and the students wonder if it is their own lives they are being asked to save.

 

Click here to read more about Will Lavender and OBEDIENCE.

 

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Michele Martinez, Author of NOTORIOUS

The bestselling author of MOST WANTED, THE FINISHING SCHOOL and COVER-UP, Michele Martinez is an expert at weaving chilling tales of murder, corruption and scandal. In NOTORIOUS, which hits stores on February 26th, Martinez delivers another riveting tale as Assistant U.S. District Attorney Melanie Vargas finds herself involved in a very deadly case.

-Click here to read fast facts about Michele Martinez.
-Click here to read Michele Martinez's bio.
-Visit the author's official website, www.MicheleMartinez.com.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about NOTORIOUS:
About to take a controversial rap star to trial for a past crime, Melanie Vargas receives an important piece of information from a friend of hers --- the rapper's lawyer. When he is killed moments later, Melanie becomes determined to find the culprit. But the more she digs, the more she finds troubling about her friend.

As the sole witness to the murder, Melanie is in danger of losing her own life. As the case proceeds, it isn't long before she realizes that she can't trust anybody --- not even those closest to her.

 

Click here to read more about Michele Martinez and NOTORIOUS.


 

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Andrew Britton, Author of THE INVISIBLE

Andrew Britton captivated readers and critics alike with his electrifying thrillers THE AMERICAN and THE ASSASSIN. In THE INVISIBLE, the third installment in the Ryan Kealey series, he delivers a supercharged international adventure that is sure to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. The book will be available in stores on February 26th.

-Click here to read fast facts about Andrew Britton.
-Click here to read Andrew Britton’s bio.
-Visit the author’s official website, www.AndrewBrittonBooks.com.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about THE INVISIBLE:
For more than a decade, Ryan Kealey has been a key player in the war on terror. First, as a captain in the U.S. Army’s third Special Forces Group, then as a contract operative with the CIA. His actions have saved thousands of lives, including that of the U.S. President. Now once again, Kealey receives the call of duty --- only this time, the odds for success are slim to none. And he will have to risk everything, including the woman he loves, to save the life of one person.

 

Click here to read more about Andrew Britton and THE INVISIBLE.


 
Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Lawrence Goldstone, Author of THE ANATOMY OF DECEPTION
In THE ANATOMY OF DECEPTION, which is now available in stores, Lawrence Goldstone weaves a mesmerizing forensic thriller that thrusts the reader into the operating rooms, drawing rooms and back alleys of 1889 Philadelphia, as a young doctor grapples with the principles of scientific process to track a daring killer.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE ANATOMY OF DECEPTION.
-Click here to read fast facts for Lawrence Goldstone.
-Click here to read Lawrence Goldstone's bio.
-Click here to see Lawrence Goldstone's backlist.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about THE ANATOMY OF DECEPTION:
In the morgue of a Philadelphia hospital, a group of physicians open a coffin and uncover the corpse of a beautiful young woman. What they see takes their breath away. Within days, one of them strongly suspects that he knows the woman's identity...and the horrifying events that led to her death. But in this richly atmospheric novel --- an ingenious blend of history, suspense and early forensic science --- the most compelling chapter is yet to come, as young Ephraim Carroll is plunged into a maze of murder, secrets and unimaginable crimes.

 
Click here to read more about Lawrence Goldstone and THE ANATOMY OF DECEPTION.

 
Featured One to Watch Author: Therese Fowler, Author of SOUVENIR

In SOUVENIR, a vibrant and moving fiction debut, Therese Fowler delivers a novel of second chances, the naïve choices of youth, the tensions within families and the wondrous designs of fate. SOUVENIR, which releases on February 12th, is an unforgettable tale about the transforming power of love.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from SOUVENIR.
-Click here to read Therese Fowler’s bio.
-Click here to read critical praise for SOUVENIR.
-Visit the author’s official website, www.ThereseFowler.com.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about SOUVENIR:
Meg Powell and Carson McKay were raised side by side on their families’ farms, bonded by a love that only deepened. But at 21, Meg was presented with a marriage proposal she could not refuse, forever changing the course of her life.

Seventeen years later, Meg’s marriage has become routine. Then, after a long absence, Carson returns home to prepare for his wedding to a younger woman. As Carson struggles to determine where his heart and future lie, Meg makes a shocking discovery that will upset the balance of everyone around her.

 

Click here to read more about Therese Fowler and SOUVENIR.

 

Featured One to Watch Author: Alan Drew, Author of GARDENS OF WATER

In his fiction debut, GARDENS OF WATER, Alan Drew presents his readers with a powerful, emotional and beautifully written novel that brings to life two unforgettable families --- one Kurdish, one American --- and the sacrifice and love that bind them together. GARDENS OF WATER will be available in stores on February 5th.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from GARDENS OF WATER.
-Click here to read Alan Drew’s bio.
-Click here to read critical praise for GARDENS OF WATER.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about GARDENS OF WATER:
Sinan wishes to move his family to the safety of his old village --- a place where his children would be sheltered from the cosmopolitan temptations of Istanbul and raised in the Kurdish tradition.

But when a massive earthquake hits, the Basioglu family is faced with great challenges. Losing everything, they are forced to forage for themselves, living as refugees in their own country. And their survival becomes dependent on their American neighbors, to whom they are unnervingly indebted. As love develops between his daughter ─░rem and the American teenager, Sinan makes a series of increasingly dangerous decisions that push him toward a betrayal that will change everyone’s lives forever.

 
Click here to read more about Alan Drew and GARDENS OF WATER.

 

Featured One to Watch Author: Julie Buxbaum, Author of THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE

Written with authority, grace and wisdom, THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE is Julie Buxbaum’s first novel. Ending her relationship and unhappy at work, attorney Emily Haxby begins to feel her life unravel. In this book, which is now available in stores, Buxbaum tells the story of how the young heroine decides to regain control and face the fears that have long haunted her.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE.
-Click here to read Julie Buxbaum’s bio.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE.
-Visit the book's official website, www.TheOppositeOfLove.com.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE:
When successful twenty-nine-year-old Manhattan attorney Emily Haxby ends her happy relationship just as her boyfriend is on the verge of proposing, she can’t explain to even her closest friends why she did it. As the holiday season looms and Emily contemplates whether she made a huge mistake, the rest of her world begins to unravel. How this brave, original young heroine finally decides to take control of her life and face the fears that have long haunted her is the great achievement of Julie Buxbaum’s marvelous first novel.

 

Click here to read more about Julie Buxbaum and THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE.

 

This Week's Reviews

THE SECRET BETWEEN US by Barbara Delinsky (Fiction)
Deborah Monroe and her daughter, Grace, are driving home from a party when their car hits a man running in the dark. Grace was at the wheel, but Deborah sends her home before the police arrive, determined to shoulder the blame for the accident. Her decision then turns into a deception that takes on a life of its own and threatens the special bond between mother and daughter. Reviewed by Jennifer McCord.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE SECRET BETWEEN US.

THE WINTER ROSE by Jennifer Donnelly (Historical Fiction)
Aristocrat India Selwyn Jones and London’s East End gangster, Sid Malone, experience firsthand the difficulties of bridging the gap between the haves and the have-nots in a beautiful and poignant love story written by Jennifer Donnelly, the second installment of a trilogy that started with THE TEA ROSE. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE WINTER ROSE.
-Click here to read an interview with Jennifer Donnelly.
 
MERMAIDS IN THE BASEMENT by Michael Lee West (Fiction)
When her director boyfriend is photographed in a compromising position with his leading lady, frazzled screenwriter Renata DeChavannes decides to return to her bucolic Gulf Coast Alabama town and to the comfort of the family she left behind, with some hilariously disastrous results. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

-Click here to read an excerpt from MERMAIDS IN THE BASEMENT.
-Visit the author’s website, www.MichaelLeeWest.com.
 
LIFE CLASS by Pat Barker (Fiction)
With this story of art students caught up in the devastation of World War I, Booker Prize–winning author Pat Barker revisits the historical territory she mined so brilliantly in her powerful, highly acclaimed Regeneration Trilogy. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.
 
WHAT I WAS by Meg Rosoff (Fiction)
Crossing over to adult fiction, celebrated young adult author Meg Rosoff still focuses on young people --- viewed through the lens of an old, world-weary narrator --- in WHAT I WAS, a most unusual coming-of-age novel about friendship and humanity. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
 
ALL SHALL BE WELL; AND ALL SHALL BE WELL; AND ALL MANNER OF THINGS SHALL BE WELL by Tod Wodicka (Fiction)
Tod Wodicka's confident and memorably-titled debut novel follows a 63-year-old medieval re-enactor as he tries to find his estranged son, understand where life has taken him and why the distant past feels so much safer than the present. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.
 
SHARP TEETH by Toby Barlow (Fiction)
In Los Angeles, gangs of lycanthropes can become vicious dogs at will. As Anthony, a young man down on his luck, finds himself entangled with a renegade wolf and her warring pack, a drama of identity, belonging and explosive violence unfolds at breakneck speed. Reviewed by Max Falkowitz.

37 by Maria Beaumont (Fiction)
Fran Clark is nearing her 37th birthday as she finds her life falling apart. She has given up her career as a voiceover artist to stay home with her children; now she is desperately unhappy, believing herself to be a failure in every role. Can her black humor, her best friends --- or her ever-present bottle of wine --- carry her through? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
 
UNVEILED: How an American Woman Found Her Way Through Politics, Love, and Obedience in the Middle East by Deborah Kanafani (Memoir)
In the early 1980s, Deborah Jacobs was an ordinary Lebanese American college student from Long Island, New York. By the end of the decade, she would bear witness to the making of international history. Culture, politics and family collide in this gripping front-row perspective of the Middle East conflict. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

 
Read this week's reviews here.

 

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Those who are subscribed to the Bookreporter.com newsletter by February 29, 2008 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: DEEP DISH by Mary Kay Andrews, FIREFLY LANE by Kristin Hannah, LADY KILLER by Lisa Scottoline, REMEMBER ME? by Sophie Kinsella and STRANGERS IN DEATH by Nora Roberts, writing as J.D. Robb. Lisa from Garrison, NY
was last month's newsletter winner. She won THE APPEAL by John Grisham, DUMA KEY by Stephen King, PLUM LUCKY by Janet Evanovich, THE SECRET BETWEEN US by Barbara Delinsky and THE WINTER ROSE by Jennifer Donnelly.

Happy reading! Don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend or to visit our other websites from TheBookReportNetwork.com: ReadingGroupGuides.com, AuthorsOnTheWeb.com, FaithfulReader.com, AuthorYellowPages.com, Teenreads.com, and Kidsreads.com.

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