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December 10, 2010 Newsletter December 10, 2010

Holiday Madness and's Book of the Year

My mailboxes --- both snail mail and email --- are stressing me out with holiday offers. These days I open my email and see "40% off today with FREE shipping" on at least 10 items. I wonder if I need yet another pair of Levi's jeans, or cookware from Williams-Sonoma or Pottery Barn or the Sundance catalog. And these are just the non-book offers. I find myself feeling that I am woefully behind on ALL things holiday and out of breath just from reading email. I open my mail with my finger on the delete key poised to hit it.

I do not like to shop. Seriously. The concept of flitting from mall to mall does nothing to excite me, thus I was surprised to find myself shopping in San Francisco last weekend like I was on some version of a reality show of shopping on deadline. Now we have the same stores in New York and New Jersey, but in San Francisco they are all within blocks of each other…and my hotel. I even had a four-story fabric shop right there where I bought fabric, as I want to get a coat made. I have been wearing the same coat for 20 years; I never have found one I like better. Soooo I have not bought one. A year ago, a light beamed over my head and I thought, Get one made in the same style. I have a couple of tailors in mind, and now I have fabric on the way to make this actually happen. It only took a flight across the country to pull this together. Then I went to Art Fibers yarn shop on Sutter Street and bought the rest of the yarn I thought about in October and did not buy, which proves I usually DO know what I want. Let’s just say I had my birthday gifts covered, as well as the rest of the “to me/from me” category.

Of course we stopped by City Lights, San Francisco’s iconic bookstore. You can see me standing outside the store above. San Francisco is known for so many great things, including its literary scene. There are lots of great bookstores all over the city as well as countless people walking with a book in hand, or sitting at tables and in parks reading something. The New York Times just had a great article about San Francisco’s book scene, which you can read here.

While on my trip, I started reading ORIGINAL SIN by Beth McMullen, which just happens to be set in and around San Francisco. Not only was it great to be reading a book that takes place in the city I was visiting, ORIGINAL SIN was also the perfect vacation read with its sharp humor, great tone and fast-paced plot. It’s about Lucy Hamilton, a stay-at-home mom desperately trying to conceal her past as Sally Sin, a former operative for a covert anti-terrorism agency. Although she still has some spy tendencies, like vigilantly watching her toddler’s school, her life of secret missions is over. That is until her arms-dealing nemesis returns, and her former boss at the agency reappears in hopes she’ll help take him down once and for all. I just finished it this morning and loved it! McMullen has a real sense of comedic timing, and she nails what mothering a small child is like.

ORIGINAL SIN won’t be available until July, but it is our latest Sneak Peek title. We have 50 advance editions for readers who would like to preview the book and then answer some questions. If you’re not familiar with our Sneak Peek program, please click here for more details and answer some basic questions about your reading habits by Wednesday, December 29th. Please only enter if you can read the book and answer some questions about it by Friday, January 21st.

For a second year, has selected a Book of the Year. This year it’s THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST by Stieg Larsson --- AND we are calling the Millennium Trilogy the series of the decade. (After much internal debate, we have pronounced the decade ending December 31, 2010, though others noted it last year!) Although THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE were huge hits, the Millennium mania hit its peak when THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST was released in May. At staff meetings each week, people shared that they were seeing the books everywhere, and I’m sure you all did, too. We realized then that the trilogy’s conclusion and its worldwide success were too great not to be our Book of the Year. In November, a boxed set of the trilogy featuring a collection of essays by and about Stieg LarssonA> hit the shelves and will make the perfect collector’s item. And we know that people still are discovering this trilogy. In fact, my husband opened book one while we were in San Francisco.

We’ve created a special feature to celebrate the Millennium Trilogy that we hope becomes your one-stop resource for all things Millennium, including reviews, reading guides, film trailers, and further reading about Stieg Larsson, his legacy, his books and Sweden. And what would a feature be without a contest? Next week, we’ll be launching a special survey for fans. Those who complete it will be eligible to win one of three boxed sets of the Millennium Trilogy. Recognizing that holiday mania has swept more than our house, we will have this opportunity open until Monday, January 31st.

In last week’s newsletter, I asked those of you with eReaders how you are using them. I got some great, informative responses. I love how many of you are reading the newsletter and downloading sample chapters of the books that we have noted to inform your buying decisions. That is one very smart way to use an eReader. I would love to hear from more of you. Let me know if you’re using your eReader for other functions --- like playing games, dictionary functions or surfing the Internet. I’m curious to know how you use them aside from reading books. Please drop me a note to tell me what other features you’re using on your eReader. Just send an email to

Our Holiday Cheer Daily Contest and Feature is about halfway over, but there’s still plenty of time to win some great books. You can check out all our featured titles here, but you’ll have to visit the site each weekday to know what the day’s prize is. You can also sign up for a special daily newsletter about the day’s contest here. Some days may also feature special bonus prizes, like an Amaryllis bulb and a cupcake kit from this week, but you won’t know until you enter! You can see a complete list of winners through December 9th here.

Our Author Holiday Blogs have featured more than 20 authors, with lots more to come. You can check the blogs daily, or if you want to read through the whole series, like I do during the weekend, then click here. This week we had some great pieces from Helen Simonson, Katherine Howe, Kelly Simmons, Elizabeth Rosner and Wade Rouse. This weekend we’ll have blogs from Margaret George, C.J. Box and M.L. Malcolm.

This week we also have a review of DEAD OR ALIVE, Tom Clancy’s first book in seven years. This one, co-written with Grant Blackwood, is sure to be flying off shelves during the holidays and features the return of Clancy’s legendary Jack Ryan from THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, PATRIOT GAMES and CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER. Joe Hartlaub has our review and says, “DEAD OR ALIVE is the book that Tom Clancy fans have been waiting for. With the strong and capable contribution of Grant Blackwood, who brings Clancy’s major characters together, it is a magnum opus long enough for three books, yet reads and moves like a great short story.” We also have an interview with C. E. Lawrence, whose second novel, SILENT VICTIM, we’ve been featuring in our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight.

Please remember our "What to Give, What to Get" Gift Guide as you gear up for shopping. We have dozens of titles spread across 14 categories for you to consider. There’s bound to one or two perfect titles for the book lover on your list, and we’re spotlighting some categories below in this newsletter.

If you’re doing your holiday book shopping online, please use these special buy links if you’d like to support on Amazon or find your local IndieBound-affiliated store here. Also, in the spirit of holiday giving, we ask you to forward this newsletter on to a friend or two, or this subscription link. Why not give a book-loving friend access to a free subscription?

If you have a son or daughter interested in book publishing, we’re seeking some interns to begin in January. These positions are unpaid, but will be a great introduction to the business. We’re looking for interns in our editorial and marketing departments. Please have any interested editorial applicants contact Elizabeth Bruce ( or Nicole Bruce ( if interested in marketing. We are happy to have folks who are home on January term with us for just a few weeks.

I have not yet decorated the house, so that will be a weekend assignment…along with a number of other holiday-related tasks. WHERE is the guy in the red suit when I need him? And what about those elves? Have a great week…remember to read in between the rest of the madness and keep in mind “to me/from me” presents in between all other gift buying.

Carol Fitzgerald (


Now in Stores: DEAD OR ALIVE by Tom Clancy, with Grant Blackwood

DEAD OR ALIVE by Tom Clancy, with Grant Blackwood (Thriller)
For years, Jack Ryan, Jr. and his colleagues at the Campus have waged a campaign against the terrorists who threaten western civilization. The most dangerous is the Emir, a sadistic killer…and now the Campus is on his trail. Joined by their new recruits, Ryan and his cousins are determined to catch the Emir and bring him in --- dead or alive. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from DEAD OR ALIVE.

Click here to read a review of DEAD OR ALIVE.'s Sneak Peek Feature: Our Latest Featured Title: ORIGINAL SIN by Beth McMullen

At, we have the opportunity to read many great books well in advance of their release dates. Now, with our Sneak Peek Feature and Contest, we are offering our readers the chance to preview select early picks --- and share feedback on them. We know that readers champion books that they love, and we want you to be part of the excitement of upcoming releases as early as possible.

Our latest Sneak Peek Feature spotlights ORIGINAL SIN: A Sally Sin Adventure --- about a former U.S. spy turned stay-at-home mother of a toddler who is called back into the field --- which releases in July 2011. We have 50 specially formatted early reader editions of Beth McMullen’s debut novel to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and share their comments about it.
We really want to hear what you have to say about ORIGINAL SIN, so if you will have time to read it and answer some questions by Friday, January 21st, please enter this contest. If not, we plan to have more opportunities like this in the future.

More about ORIGINAL SIN: A Sally Sin Adventure:
Seeing Lucy Hamilton, you would think she is just like any other stay-at-home San Francisco mom. She takes her three-year-old son Theo to the beach, playground, and the zoo. She makes organic applesauce, folds laundry, and plays on the floor with Matchbox cars until her knees ache. What no one knows about Lucy, not even her adoring husband Will, is that for nine years she was known as Sally Sin, a spy for the USAWMD (United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction). And that’s just the way Lucy wants to keep it --- a secret.

-Click here to read an excerpt from ORIGINAL SIN.


Click here to read all the details of our Sneak Peek Feature and Contest.’s Book of the Year: THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST --- and Our Series of the Decade: The Millennium Trilogy

THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST, the third volume in Stieg Larsson’s international bestselling Millennium series, is’s Book of the Year. This is just as much a celebration of the book as it is Larsson’s trilogy, which includes THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE. There was no denying the series’ global impact upon the release of THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST. A copy of one of Larsson’s books seemed to be everywhere you turned --- in cafés, trains, buses, airports, pools, parks, and so on.

We hope you enjoy this special feature and tribute to the crusading journalist and his cyberhacking sidekick who have captivated readers and book lovers all over the globe. Here you will find information about all three novels, as well as the special deluxe boxed set, including reviews, reading guides, the official film trailers, and links to articles and information of interest to fans of the series.

And please be sure to take the Millennium Series Survey --- starting Friday, December 17th --- by January 31, 2011 and be entered to win one of three Millennium Trilogy boxed sets.

Click here to see our special feature for The Millennium Trilogy. Talks to C. E. Lawrence, Author of SILENT VICTIM

C. E. Lawrence is a performer, playwright, and the author of the pulse-racing thriller SILENT VICTIM, which follows NYPD profiler Lee Campbell as he tries to track down an elusive and cold-blooded killer and stop him before he falls prey to his twisted crimes. In this interview with’s Joe Hartlaub, Lawrence gives the scoop on her second novel, shedding light on how she was able to create such a terrifying and compelling serial killer and why she chose to juxtapose the grimy streets of New York City with the resort towns of south and central New Jersey. She also speculates on the most important psychological development of the 21st century and talks about a few of her forthcoming projects, including her plans for the rest of what promises to be an unforgettable series.

SILENT VICTIM by C. E. Lawrence (Thriller)
At first, they look like suicides. But as the death toll grows, so does the brutality of the murders --- and the Flesh Collector continues to prey. As NYPD profiler Lee Campbell joins the pursuit, the case grows disturbingly personal. For him, getting close enough to stop the monster means getting close enough --- to die… Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read a review of SILENT VICTIM.
-Click here to read an excerpt from SILENT VICTIM.
-Click here to read C. E. Lawrence’s bio.
-Click here to see C. E. Lawrence’s backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for SILENT VICTIM.
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.


Click here to read our interview with C. E. Lawrence.

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Dean Koontz, Author of WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS

Suspense master Dean Koontz returns with WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS, a gripping thriller about a detective who finds himself investigating a series of murders nearly identical to the ones that haunted and destroyed his childhood.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS.
-Click here to watch a trailer for WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS.

-Click here to read Dean Koontz’s bio.
-Click here to see Dean Koontz’s backlist.
-Visit Dean Koontz’s official website,
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.

In the late summer of a long ago year, a killer arrived in a small city. His name was Alton Turner Blackwood, and in the space of a few months he brutally murdered four families. His savage spree ended only when he himself was killed by the last survivor of the last family, a 14-year-old boy. Half a continent away and two decades later, someone is murdering families again, recreating in detail Blackwood’s crimes. Homicide detective John Calvino is certain that his own family --- his wife and three children --- will be targets in the fourth crime, just as his parents and sisters were victims on that distant night when he was 14 and killed their slayer.

Here is ghost story like no other you have read. In the Calvinos, Dean Koontz brings to life a family that might be your own, in a war for their survival against an adversary more malevolent than any he has yet created, with their own home the battleground. Of all his acclaimed novels, none exceeds WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS in power, in chilling suspense, and in sheer mesmerizing storytelling.


Click here to read more about Dean Koontz and WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS.’s Holiday Cheer Contest and Feature

The holiday season is upon us! At, this means it's time for us to share the spirit of the season with you with our Holiday Cheer Contest and Feature. This year, we're spotlighting a different title or two on select days through December 23rd, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book(s) and enter. We also are sending a special daily newsletter to announce the day's title(s), which you can sign up for here. Some days may feature special bonus prizes, including gourmet treats, holiday items, or even some of Carol's Bets On picks from this year.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, December 13th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles are:

-ARTISAN BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY by Jeff Herzberg, MD, and Zoë François
-ATLAS OF REMOTE ISLANDS by Judith Schalansky
-BLIND YOUR PONIES by Stanley Gordon West
-THE COLLECTIBLES by James J. Kaufman
-DELIRIOUS by Daniel Palmer
-EVERYTHING CHRISTMAS by David Bordon and Tom Winters
HEALTHY BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY by Jeff Herzberg, MD, and Zoë François
-KNIT THE SEASON by Kate Jacobs
-LADY IN WAITING by Susan Meissner
-THE LOST DOGS by Jim Gorant
-MY NEST ISN'T EMPTY, IT JUST HAS MORE CLOSET SPACE by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Scottoline Serritella
-PRAYERS AND LIES by Sherri Wood Emmons
-THE SIXTH SURRENDER by Hana Samek Norton
-TRUE GRIT: Movie Tie-In Edition by Charles Portis


Click here to read all the details of's Holiday Cheer Contest and Feature.'s Author Holiday Blogs --- Authors Write About Their Bookish Holiday Memories

Between now and New Year's Day, 50 authors will be sharing their favorite memories of giving or receiving a book at the holidays.

Here are links to some recent posts from authors who already have shared their stories:

-Wade Rouse: Father Christmas
-Elizabeth Rosner: Books That Saved Me
-Kelly Simmons on Being Spoiled
-Katherine Howe on Presents and Self-Presentation
-Helen Simonson: The Rituals of Christmas
-Anne Perry on the Book That's Changed Her for the Better
-Anne Fortier on Holiday Magic
-Donna VanLiere: Autumn at Christmas
-A Radio Romance: Ken Harmon on Garrison Keillor's WLT
-Melissa Clark on the Holiday Cookbook That Changed Her Life

-Click here to subscribe to the Blog via RSS.
-Click here to subscribe to the Blog via Email.


Click here to read's Author Holiday Blogs.

December’s New in Paperback Roundup

December’s roundup of New in Paperback fiction titles includes ALICE I HAVE BEEN by Melanie Benjamin, the part love story, part mystery of the 80-year-old woman who made literary history by journeying down a rabbit hole; ONE AMAZING THING, Chitra Divakaruni’s account of a catastrophic earthquake that brings nine strangers together in a moving struggle for survival; Lisa Gardner’s LIVE TO TELL, in which Detective D.D. Warren finds herself inexplicably connected to the lives of two seemingly disparate women as she tries to solve a brutal slaying; FRANKENSTEIN: LOST SOULS by Dean Koontz, a terrifying modern take on Mary Shelley’s timeless classic; and WATCHLIST, which features two powerful novellas and one cast of characters from some of the world’s greatest thriller writers, including Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, Joseph Finder and Lisa Scottoline.

Among our nonfiction highlights are THE SHAKING WOMAN OR A HISTORY OF MY NERVES, Siri Hustvedt’s harrowing account of the violent seizure that struck her at her father’s funeral and her quest to find out what was wrong when her attacks happened again and again; and YOURS EVER, Thomas Mallon’s fascinating investigation into the art of letter writing, which includes the musings of Flannery O’Connor and the tormented thoughts of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and covers every agent of self-expression from the courier to the BlackBerry.


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

What to Give, What to Get: Spotlight on Perfect Selections for Holiday Reading

Headed out to do some holiday shopping? Before you go, check out our What to Give, What to Get feature with ideas in 14 categories.

We have been spotlighting the various categories in the newsletter these past few weeks. This week we're featuring our final four categories: Holiday Spirit, Stocking Stuffers, Just for Fun and Slam Dunks. First up --- Holiday Spirit.

Getting into the holiday spirit is a piece of cake with these sweet holiday-inspired treats that will put you in the mood for mistletoe, snowmen and reading by the fire.

Our featured titles in this category are:

-EVERYTHING CHRISTMAS by David Bordon and Tom Winters
-GRACE: A Christmas Sisters of the Heart Novel by Shelley Shepard Gray
-THE SNOW GLOBE by Sheila Roberts
-WISHIN' AND HOPIN' by Wally Lamb
-YOU BETTER NOT CRY: Stories by Augusten Burroughs


Click here to see our Holiday Spirit category.

What to Give, What to Get: Spotlight on Stocking Stuffers

Our Stocking Stuffers category features books that are small enough to put in stockings or buy in quantity.

Our featured titles in this category are:

-THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES: The Legend of Santa Claus by Tim Slover
-HERE’S THE SITUATION: A Guide to Creeping on Chicks, Avoiding Grenades, and Getting Your GTL on the Jersey Shore by Mike "the Situation" Sorrentino and Chris Millis

-WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DOG MAKES: Big Lessons on Life, Love, and Healing from a Small Pooch by Dana Jennings

Click here to see our Stocking Stuffers category.

What to Give, What to Get: Spotlight on Humor Books
The entertaining titles in our Just for Fun category will be sure to draw lots of laughs from all the lucky recipients on your list.

Our featured titles in this category are:

-EVERY ZOMBIE EATS SOMEBODY SOMETIME: A Book of Zombie Love Songs written by Michael P. Spradlin and illustrated by Jeff Weigel
-EVERYTHING EXPLAINED THROUGH FLOWCHARTS: All of Life's Mysteries Unraveled, Including Tips for World Domination, Which Religion Offers the Best Afterlife, Alien Pickup Lines, and the Secret Recipe for Gettin' Laid Lemonade by Doogie Horner
-GEEK DAD: Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share by Ken Denmead
-THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE DEADLY: The Chuck Norris Fact Thrillogy by Ian Spector
TEH ITTEH BITTEH BOOK OF KITTEHS by Professor Happycat and
-TEH LITTR BOKS SET: A LOLCat Colleckshun by Professor Happycat and
MAD MEN: The Illustrated World by Dyna Moe
Click here to see our Just for Fun category.

What to Give, What to Get: Spotlight on Sports Titles

Guys are notoriously hard to shop for, but the books in our Slam Dunks category may be just the thing for the sports enthusiast on your list.

Our featured titles in this category are:

-DAVE PELZ'S GOLF WITHOUT FEAR: How to Play the 10 Most Feared Shots in Golf with Confidence by Dave Pelz

-THE GAMES THAT CHANGED THE GAME: The Evolution of the NFL in Seven Sundays by Ron Jaworski with Greg Cosell and David Plaut
-THE LAST BOY: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood by Jane Leavy
MOMENT OF GLORY: The Year Underdogs Ruled Golf by John Feinstein
-RICKWOOD FIELD: A Century in America's Oldest Ballpark by Allen Barra


Click here to see our Slam Dunks category.


This Week's Reviews

THE CHRISTMAS JOURNEY by Donna VanLiere (Fiction)
The 80-mile journey of a common carpenter and a peasant girl is one of the most powerful stories in history. As books go out of print and stories fade from memory, Mary’s delivery inside a barn continues to bless people and inspire hope around the world. Accompanied by moving and beautifully rendered illustrations throughout, Donna VanLiere’s retelling of the Nativity shows that it is still alive today. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE CHRISTMAS JOURNEY.
-Click here to read Donna VanLiere’s blog post, “Autumn at Christmas.”

I REMEMBER NOTHING: And Other Reflections by Nora Ephron (Humor/Essays)
In her first book since I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK, Nora Ephron returns to take a hard, hilarious look at life. Giving an edgy voice to everything women of a certain age are thinking, Ephron bemoans the vicissitudes of the modern world --- and recalls with clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

THE WAR FOR LATE NIGHT: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy by Bill Carter (Arts & Entertainment)
Fifteen years after THE LATE SHIFT, his chronicle of the bloody cage match between Jay Leno and David Letterman to succeed Johnny Carson, New York Times reporter Bill Carter returns with this workmanlike insider’s story of the debacle that marked NBC’s feckless attempt to make the transition to the next generation of “The Tonight Show.” Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

THE FORT: A Novel of the Revolutionary War by Bernard Cornwell (Historical Fiction)
When the major fighting of the Revolutionary War moved to the South in 1779, a British force of fewer than a thousand Scottish infantry were sent to defend all of New England. Massachusetts responded with a fleet of more than 40 vessels --- and orders to “captivate, kill or destroy” the invaders. Their mortifying defeat had stunning repercussions for two men on each side: an untested lieutenant named John Moore and a patriot named Paul Revere. Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds.

In November 1960, Frank Sinatra gave Marilyn Monroe a dog. His name was Mafia Honey (Maf, for short), and he was with Marilyn for the last two years of her life. Through the eyes of this canine hero, Andrew O’Hagan offers insight into Hollywood’s greatest star. His is an altogether original portrait of the woman behind the icon --- and of the dog behind the woman. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

GINGERBREAD COOKIE MURDER by Joanne Fluke, Leslie Meier and Laura Levine (Mystery)
Christmas is coming, and the cookies --- and bodies --- are piling up across the country in this smorgasbord of murder mysteries. No mystery fan can resist a treat this delicious, as New York Times bestselling author Joanne Fluke teams up with cozy favorites Laura Levine and Leslie Meier for a merry collection of holiday stories. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

A six-year-old girl who hasn’t spoken since her mother died. A single man who’s forced to love her. And a toy shop owner who can’t believe in love again. All of their lives are at a crossroads, but they’re about to discover that anything is possible. Because at Christmas, dreams come true --- and wishes always find their way home. Reviewed by Hillary Wagy.

THE FINAL RECKONING by Sam Bourne (Thriller)
A suspected suicide bomber is killed by a security guard just outside of the United Nations main building. When the suspect turns out to be an elderly man, the UN hires attorney Tom Byrne to meet with his family and try to placate them over this tragic mistake. Byrne ends up discovering that the victim may have been seeking final retribution for crimes committed over 60 years earlier. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

A STRANGER IN MAYFAIR by Charles Finch (Historical Mystery)
After a honeymoon with his new wife, Lady Jane Grey, Charles Lenox is called to consult in the murder of a footman. His investigation uncovers unsettling facts --- and he fears an old friend is implicated. But when the wrong man is arrested, Lenox discovers that the real culprit might kill again…perhaps even a detective. Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy.

QUEEN HEREAFTER: A Novel of Margaret of Scotland by Susan Fraser King (Historical Fiction)
Long ago, in a faraway land, Hungary-born Margaret was crowned Queen of Scots. Nearly a thousand years have passed, and her memory has survived a millennium. And no wonder; Margaret’s story is a true-life fairy tale full of princes, kings, loves found and loves lost. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

THE BEST AMERICAN NOIR OF THE CENTURY edited by James Ellroy and Otto Penzler (Mystery/Noir)
The best example of literary sure things gone bad, this collection is the darkest distillation of American noir fiction. Mining 100 years of writing, James Ellroy and Otto Penzler have pulled together an anthology of 39 tales that packs an undeniable punch --- and includes every author from Evan Hunter to Dennis Lehane. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Click here to read this week's reviews.


Poll, Question and Word of Mouth


Where did you buy most of your books this year? Please check as many as apply.

Chain bookstore (Borders, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, etc.)
Big-box store (Costco, Sam's Club, Target, Wal-Mart, etc.)
Independent bookseller – Kindle Store – NOOK Store
Other online retailer
Used bookstore
None of the above
I do not buy books.

-Click here to answer our poll.


What author would you most like to spend the holidays with? Please explain why.

-Click here to answer our question.

Word of Mouth:

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 OF LOVE AND EVIL: The Songs of the Seraphim, Book Two by Anne Rice and UNBROKEN: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. Tell us what you are reading here and rate the titles 1-5 by noon ET on Friday, December 17th to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.

-Click here for more details about Word of Mouth.


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 December 31, 2010 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month, one winner will be selected to win the following five books: OF LOVE AND EVIL: The Songs of the Seraphim, Book Two by Anne Rice, RESCUE by Anita Shreve, SECRETS TO THE GRAVE by Tami Hoag, UNBROKEN: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand, and WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS by Dean Koontz. Marya from Centerville, IA was last month's winner. She won THE EMPEROR'S TOMB by Steve Berry, FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King, HELL'S CORNER by David Baldacci, INDULGENCE IN DEATH by J.D. Robb, and MOONLIGHT MILE by Dennis Lehane.

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

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