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April 25, 2008 Newsletter

April 25, 2008

This Week on

From Sea to Shining Sea...

Author Talk: Jennifer Weiner, Author of CERTAIN GIRLS

Now in Stores: THE WHOLE TRUTH by David Baldacci's Third Annual Mother's Day Contest: Books Mom Will Love

2008 Spring Baseball Roundup

New in Paperback for April

Featured Historical Fiction Author: Jeff Shaara, Author of THE STEEL WAVE: A Novel of World War II

Featured One to Watch Author: Jane Porter, Author of MRS. PERFECT

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Gregg Olsen, Author of A COLD DARK PLACE

Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Karen Robards, Author of GUILTY
Now in Stores: ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE NORTH by Philip Pullman
This Month's Grab Bag of Books Giveaway

This Week's Reviews

Poll and Question of the Week: Crime Fiction

Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading --- THREE 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

Historical Fiction Promotion

One to Watch Promotion
Books Into Movies
Bestseller Lists
Coming Soon
New in Paperback

From Sea to Shining Sea...

Greetings from LA. For the record, I feel like I am part of the jet set. Literally. The past week has been London/NY/LA. Yes, I am on the “from sea to shining sea” adventure. I love the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, so I am happy to reset my clock to do this fabulous literary feast. I will be at The Mystery Bookstore in Westwood tonight for their annual party for mystery authors, which is like a stop in to see old friends. Linda and Bobby always make me feel so welcome, and the authors who gather there make this one festive evening. Starting tomorrow it's a whirlwind two days of author panels and events that will keep me on the run.

Last Saturday I spent most of the day in bookstores in London getting more of a feel for the market there. I was surprised to see many "bestselling" titles already in paperback in what is known as “A size” paperbacks. These are similar in size to hardcovers, and many UK books quickly go into this format if they hit hardcover at all. When we were on the ship for the first few days I was wondering how so many people on board were reading advance reader copies of the books since these are paperback (usually trade size) until I figured this out. For a moment I thought that many of those on the ship were in the publishing business! My verdict on UK covers --- they are much plainer than what we see in the States. Type and a photo graced most of them. Nothing flashy or over the top. And since so much is paperback, lots of matte finishes instead of the glossy covers we think of here. This is not a criticism by any means; in fact, I liked some of the treatments better than their US companions. 
Sunday night when we were walking through the Virgin Atlantic terminal at Heathrow, I saw a "Novel Idea" vending machine where you could buy a book before popping onto the plane. Yes, I know that there are bookstores in airports, but there was something about this vending machine right near the gates that was stocked with just 20 titles that was appealing to me. I could see it translated into other locations, like movie theaters. Think how easy it would be to buy the book that the movie was based on (especially for upcoming releases) or the soundtrack from the film as you exited the theater. I often think how smart it can be when entertainment choices are bundled together, and it is something I just do not see done enough, especially with books.
As we flew back Sunday night, I watched movies on the personal entertainment center at my seat. I could call this my “Books Into Movies” flight, as I watched The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, No Country for Old Men and most of Atonement as the hours flew by. Many people complain to me about long trans-Atlantic flights, but I have to tell you that this trip was so quick and enjoyable with this entertainment fare that I was sorry when the film portion ended as we prepared to descend into Newark Airport. By the way, my son was quick to note that it took us six days to sail to England and a mere seven hours to fly home. 

Once back in the office this week I received some sad news that I still am reeling from. I learned that Andrew Britton, an author who we have been featuring as one of our Suspense/Thriller Authors, passed away in his sleep in March from an undiagnosed heart condition. Any death is sad, but as Andrew was just 27, this was very hard to comprehend. I fell in love with his work when I read THE AMERICAN manuscript back in October 2005 and enjoyed sharing each of his three books with you --- THE AMERICAN, THE ASSASSIN and THE INVISIBLE. He had such talent and was so dedicated to his craft.

We met a few times over the years, and I had been looking forward to him attending some industry events in the upcoming months to meet some other authors. He was a quiet guy, but each time I spoke with him I developed a new respect for him. Readers lost his talent way, way too soon. I am glad we were able to spotlight him to you these past months and hope that you will take the opportunity to read his books and read our last interview with him. His passing is a reminder, yet again, that we really do need to live every day well. I know Andrew LOVED writing, and reading the obituary tribute to him here I know his was a life lived so well though so short.

Over the past few weeks, we received great feedback for THE EX-DEBUTANTE by Linda Francis Lee and THINGS I WANT MY DAUGHTERS TO KNOW by Elizabeth Noble. This week, these authors have responded to our readers' questions. Click here to read Linda Francis's Lee's responses and here for Elizabeth Noble's replies. Our advance readers also had many positive things to say about THE DEATH DEALER by Heather Graham. You can read their feedback here.

Yesterday I heard that Garth Stein's THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, the book that I cannot stop talking about, is the new Starbucks selection. Enzo and cappuccino...what a pairing! I am sure he would have a lot to say about that. I still can see t-shirts with Enzo quotes on them.

A few last words on the QE2. The trip exceeded my expectations, and I daresay I will do it again on the Queen Mary 2. I do not say this too loudly around my son, who probably would have it booked in a New York minute. Next time, however, I would like to cruise westbound where one gains an hour each day instead of losing one. Trust that five days of 23-hour days (think Daylight Saving Time spring ahead changes five days in a row) can wear on you, while five days of 25-hour days sounds like a delight. Have a great something you love....

Carol Fitzgerald (

Click here to see our Suspense/Thriller feature for THE INVISIBLE by Andrew Britton.


Author Talk: Jennifer Weiner, Author of CERTAIN GIRLS

Jennifer Weiner is the bestselling author of five novels and a collection of short stories, including IN HER SHOES, LITTLE EARTHQUAKES, GOODNIGHT NOBODY and THE GUY NOT TAKEN. Her latest work of fiction, CERTAIN GIRLS, is a sequel to her debut title and catches up with protagonist Cannie Shapiro 13 years after she appeared in 2001’s GOOD IN BED. In this interview, Weiner discusses the real-life experiences that inspired this story within a story and reflects on some of the social commentary peppering the narrative. She also shares a list of the books waiting to be read on her nightstand, humorously ruminates on the possibility of writing under a nom de plume, and reveals what she hopes readers will take away from her work.

CERTAIN GIRLS by Jennifer Weiner (Fiction)
Jennifer Weiner's many fans will be ecstatic to catch up with sassy Cannie Shapiro of GOOD IN BED fame. Cannie's daughter Joy, now in seventh grade, is preparing for her bat mitzvah even as she struggles with discovering her mother's famously sexy semi-autobiographical novel. Now Joy questions even the most basic facts of her own life. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read a review of CERTAIN GIRLS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from CERTAIN GIRLS.


Click here to read an interview with Jennifer Weiner.


Now in Stores: THE WHOLE TRUTH by David Baldacci

THE WHOLE TRUTH by David Baldacci (Thriller)
A rising threat has startled the world, and the armies of Russia and China are prepared to enter into what may well be the beginning of World War III. At the intersection of these events are three dynamic individuals: a multi-billionaire arms dealer looking to profit, an agent from a highly secretive intelligence agency, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. The outcome of their inevitable meeting could determine the very course of world history! Reviewed by Ray Palen.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE WHOLE TRUTH.


Click here to read a review of THE WHOLE TRUTH.'s Third Annual Mother's Day Contest: Books Mom Will Love

Who says 13 is an unlucky number? From April 18th through May 2nd, readers will have the chance to win one of our five Mother’s Day floral-decorated keepsake trunks filled with goodies Mom will just love, as well as one copy of ALL 13 of our featured books. Heartbreaking and humorous, inspirational and informative, these titles are sure to make wonderful gifts for Mom on her special day in May.

Our featured Mother's Day titles are:

-ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver
-THE BLUE STAR by Tony Earley
-BODY SURFING by Anita Shreve
-CHEZ MOI by Agnes Desarthe, translated by Adriana Hunter
-FRIDAY NIGHTS by Joanna Trollope
-GIRLS IN TRUCKS by Katie Crouch
-LOSING IT: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time by Valerie Bertinelli
-PINK LADIES & CRIMSON GENTS: Portraits and Legends of 50 Roses by Molly Glentzer
-WHEN THE HEART CRIES: Sisters of the Quilt, Book One by Cindy Woodsmall
-WHEN THE MORNING COMES: Sisters of the Quilt, Book Two by Cindy Woodsmall
-WOMAN IN RED by Eileen Goudge
-THE WOMAN WHO IS ALWAYS TAN AND HAS A FLAT STOMACH: And Other Annoying People by Lauren Allison and Lisa Perry


Click here to read all the contest details. 

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2008 Spring Baseball Roundup
VINDICATED, Jose Canseco’s follow-up to his 2005 memoir JUICED, is getting the majority of the baseball book buzz this year. And now there’s word that Kirk Radomski, a clubhouse attendant for the New York Mets, is aiming to jump on the steroids/performance-enhancing drugs bandwagon with a book of his own. That’s a shame, because rather than concentrate on the tawdry aspects of the game, there are plenty of other books this year that remind us of the fun and greatness that is still at the crux of the national pastime.

Click here to read Ron Kaplan’s roundup of spring baseball titles.


New in Paperback for April p>

April’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes FOR ONE MORE DAY, a beautiful, haunting novel from bestselling author Mitch Albom that explores an intriguing question: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one?; LOVING FRANK, Nancy Horan's debut novel, which provides a fictionalized account of Frank Lloyd Wright's relationship with Mamah Borthwick Cheney, who commissions the renowned architect to design a new home for her; SIMPLE GENIUS, David Baldacci’s follow-up to 2004’s HOUR GAME that marks the return of former Secret Service agents turned private investigators Sean King and Michelle Maxwell; LETHALLY BLOND by Kate White, a sizzling story that sends celebrity journalist and amateur sleuth Bailey Weggins behind the scenes of a hot new TV show; and I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK, a charming collection of personal essays --- all about being a woman in today's youth-obsessed society --- from three-time Academy Award nominee Nora Ephron.

Click here to see our New in Paperback feature for April.

Featured Historical Fiction Author: Jeff Shaara, Author of THE STEEL WAVE: A Novel of World War II

In THE STEEL WAVE, Jeff Shaara --- America’s premier author of military historical fiction and New York Times bestseller --- brings us the centerpiece of his epic trilogy of the Second World War that began with THE RISING TIDE. Releasing on May 13th, this second installment tells the story of World War II through the points of view of some of history's most colorful and dynamic characters.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE STEEL WAVE.
-Click here to read Jeff Shaara’s bio.
-Click here to see Jeff Shaara's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE STEEL WAVE.
-Visit the author’s official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about THE STEEL WAVE:
General Dwight Eisenhower once again commands a diverse army that must find its single purpose in the destruction of Hitler’s European fortress. His primary subordinates, Omar Bradley and Bernard Montgomery, must prove that this unique blend of Allied armies can successfully confront the might of Adolf Hitler’s forces, who have already conquered Western Europe.


Click here to read more about Jeff Shaara and THE STEEL WAVE.


Featured One to Watch Author: Jane Porter, Author of MRS. PERFECT

Jane Porter is the author of over 20 books, including FLIRTING WITH FORTY, ODD MOM OUT and THE FROG PRINCE. In MRS. PERFECT, her new book releasing on May 5th, a woman’s seemingly perfect life is threatened by a devastating secret. As her fairy-tale lifestyle begins to unravel, she realizes she must become the woman her family truly needs.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from MRS. PERFECT.
-Click here to read Jane Porter’s bio.
-Click here to see Jane Porter's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for MRS. PERFECT.
-Visit the author’s official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about MRS. PERFECT:
For Taylor Young, life is very good. She has a handsome husband, three gorgeous children and a dream house. Then a devastating secret bursts Taylor’s fairy-tale bubble. Struggling to maintain her alpha image, Taylor finds help from the unlikeliest of people. But to become the woman her family truly needs, Taylor must first believe in the person she is hardest on --- herself.


Click here to read more about Jane Porter and MRS. PERFECT.


Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Gregg Olsen, Author of A COLD DARK PLACE

Gregg Olsen is the New York Times bestselling author of seven nonfiction books and two novels. As a journalist and true crime author, Olsen has received numerous awards and much critical acclaim for his writing. In A COLD DARK PLACE, his new thriller now in stores, police officer Emily Kenyon must find a diabolical killer --- before the killer finds her daughter...

-Click here to read a review of A COLD DARK PLACE.
-Click here to read a second excerpt from A COLD DARK PLACE.
-Click here to read an interview with Gregg Olsen.
-Click here to read fast facts about Gregg Olsen.
-Click here to read Gregg Olsen’s bio.
-Click here to see Gregg Olsen's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for A COLD DARK PLACE.
-Visit the author’s official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

In a secluded farm house in the Pacific Northwest, a family has been slaughtered --- and a teenage son has disappeared. Single mother and cop Emily Kenyon spearheads a dark hunt for a killer. But Emily’s teenage daughter Jenna knows the boy suspected of murdering his family and wants to help him --- perhaps too much. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Click here to read more about Gregg Olsen and A COLD DARK PLACE.

Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Karen Robards, Author of GUILTY
Karen Robards is the New York Times bestselling author of over 30 books, including OBSESSION and VANISHED. In GUILTY, her new romantic suspense now available in stores, a feisty female attorney's life is threatened when her hidden past resurfaces in an unexpected way.

-Click here to read a review of GUILTY.
-Click here to read an excerpt from GUILTY.
-Click here to read an interview with Karen Robards.
-Click here to read fast facts about Karen Robards.
-Click here to read Karen Robards’s bio.
-Click here to see Karen Robards's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for GUILTY.
-Visit the author’s official website,
-Click here to view a trailer for GUILTY.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about GUILTY:
Kate White is a prosecutor in the Philadelphia DA's office and the single mother of an adored young son. But she has a dark secret in her past that threatens her new life, in this suspenseful and romantic thriller from New York Times bestselling author Karen Robards. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

Click here to read more about Karen Robards and GUILTY.

Now in Stores: ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE NORTH by Philip Pullman

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE NORTH by Philip Pullman (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
In this new prequel episode from Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials universe, Lee Scoresby --- Texan aeronaut and future friend to Lyra Belacqua --- is just 24 years old, and he's recently won his hot-air balloon in a poker game. This exquisite clothbound volume features the illustrations of John Lawrence, a removable board game --- Peril of the Pole --- on the inside back cover, and a glimpse for Pullman fans into the first friendship of two of the most beloved characters in the His Dark Materials trilogy: Lee Scoresby and armored bear Iorek Byrnison.


Click here to read more about ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE NORTH.

This Month's Grab Bag of Books Giveaway
We at are THRILLED with the response we’ve been getting to our brand new Grab Bag of Books contest. Every month five readers will be awarded a signature tote bag filled with some of the hottest books --- and may even include a sneak peak at titles that haven’t been released yet. This contest period’s winners will each receive a copy of GENIUS SQUAD by Catherine Jinks, PRINCESS BEN by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, SIXTEEN CANDLES by Tia Williams, SUITE SCARLETT by Maureen Johnson and revised editions of the first two installments in Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High series --- DOUBLE LOVE and SECRETS.

-Click here for previous winners.
Click here to read all the contest details.


This Week's Reviews

QUICKSAND by Iris Johansen (Thriller)
Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan returns in Iris Johansen’s new thriller, along with Listener Megan Blair. A killer who claims he took the life of Eve's daughter Bonnie is on a murder spree, leaving stakes through the hearts of his victims, along with notes that say, "For you, Eve." Can one of the two men who love Eve win her heart by finding the murderer, with the help of Megan's clairvoyant powers? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
THE GENIUS by Jesse Kellerman (Thriller)
Ethan Muller is struggling to establish his reputation as a dealer in the cut-throat world of contemporary art, when he stumbles onto a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: in a decaying New York slum, an elderly tenant named Victor Cracke has disappeared, leaving behind a staggeringly large trove of original artwork. Nobody can say anything for certain about Cracke, except that he came and went in solitude for nearly 40 years, his genius hidden and unacknowledged. All that is about to change. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
DELUSION by Peter Abrahams (Thriller)
Twenty years ago Nell Jarreau witnessed the murder of her boyfriend. Her testimony put a man behind bars --- and led her to her eventual husband, Clay, the gentle detective who solved the case. They have been happy ever since --- and have raised a daughter together --- but then one phone call changes everything. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
DEATH WALKED IN: A Death on Demand Mystery by Carolyn Hart (Mystery)
Max Darling hasn't been interested in crime since his brush with a seductive young woman put him in danger of losing his freedom. He even refuses to talk to someone who calls for help and says she’s afraid. The caller leaves word that she has hidden something in the antebellum house Max and his wife, Annie, are restoring. When Annie finds out, she hurries to her home, only to discover her shot. Annie hears her final whisper as she holds the dying woman's hand. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.
ALL THE SAD YOUNG LITERARY MEN by Keith Gessen (Fiction)
Keith Gessen’s debut novel is a scathing portrait of three young intellectuals as they are forced to cope with their real-world inadequacies and academic myopia, which is underscored by a more genuine concern with the seemingly insurmountable difficulties of being young and afraid. Reviewed by Max Falkowitz.
HOUSE RULES: A Memoir by Rachel Sontag (Memoir)
A memoir of a father obsessed with control and the daughter who fights his suffocating grasp, HOUSE RULES explores the complexities of their compelling and destructive relationship, and his equally manipulative relationships with his wife and other daughter. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.
SMOKE & MIRRORS by John Ramsey Miller (Thriller)
The murder was shocking in its brutality: A thousand-yard high-velocity shot that left an innocent 19-year-old babysitter dead on a Mississippi plantation. At first, police called it a hunting accident. But the killer left a calling card --- for ex–U.S. Marshall Winter Massey. And when Massey investigates, he knows exactly who the shooter is. He just doesn’t know why. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Read this week's reviews here.


Poll and Question of the Week: Crime Fiction


In honor of the Edgar Awards being held on May 1st, do you read crime fiction, which includes mysteries, suspense and thriller titles?

What percentage of your reading is crime fiction?

All of it
More than half
Half of it
Less than half
I do not read crime fiction.

-Click here to answer our poll.


We know it might be hard to limit yourself, but who are your five favorite crime fiction authors?

-Click here to answer our question.


Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading --- THREE Prizes

Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't.

This week we have three great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer, KILLING ROMMEL by Steven Pressfield and SKELETONS AT THE FEAST by Chris Bohjalian, all of which will be in stores on May 6th. Tell us what you are reading and rate the titles 1-5 by noon on May 9th to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on May 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 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 April 30, 2008 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: THE GIRL WITH NO SHADOW by Joanne Harris, HOLD TIGHT by Harlan Coben, SEPULCHRE by Kate Mosse, WHERE ARE YOU NOW? by Mary Higgins Clark and THE WHOLE TRUTH by David Baldacci. Joanne from Jessup, PA
was last month's newsletter winner. She won ANOTHER THING TO FALL: A Tess Monaghan Novel by Laura Lippman, CHANGE OF HEART by Jodi Picoult, THE CURE FOR MODERN LIFE by Lisa Tucker, HOLLYWOOD CROWS by Joseph Wambaugh and A PRISONER OF BIRTH by Jeffrey Archer.

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

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