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March 9, 2012 Newsletter March 9, 2012
An Hour Lost...

Though it signals the promise of spring, I am not looking forward to losing an hour this weekend to jumpstart Daylight Saving Time. And I wonder who wants to vote with me to lose an hour on a Monday, not a weekend! I think the timing would work out a lot better. Or a Wednesday. Just not the weekend. Cory, my younger son, leaves for the bus stop at the ungodly hour of 6:50, so here we go again with a 6:30 wake up in the dark (he’s a guy who can be out of the house in 20 minutes). This week he had a series of standardized tests at school, and tomorrow he has the SATs. I think by tomorrow afternoon he will be really sick of filling in little boxes with a number 2 pencil. The good news is that, now that he can drive, he can take himself to the school for the SAT, which starts at 7:30AM. Noon would be so much more practical for a start time for this!

Greg has Spring Break next week, which is the ONE thing I will miss when both the boys are out of school. Just the words Spring Break make me smile.

One less hour this weekend means speed reading, but I will find good reason to skip chores and little tasks that I would prefer to avoid with the words --- “no time.”

Happy to share that our latest featured Women’s Fiction Author is Susan Mallery, author of BAREFOOT SEASON. The novel follows Michelle Sanderson, a young war vet who returns to the Blackberry Island Inn to recover from war and claim her inheritance --- but upon her arrival, she is forced to confront someone from her past whose betrayal she never forgot. 50 readers who enter our contest here by Thursday, March 22nd at noon ET will be eligible to win a free copy!

This week, we have a review of Carol Anshaw’s CARRY THE ONE, a novel about a group of sleepy, intoxicated wedding guests who run over and kill a girl on their way home from a wedding. For the rest of their lives, the people involved are interconnected and shaped by the tragic accident. Our reviewer Sarah Rachel Egelman says, “CARRY THE ONE is an elegant, emotional and totally readable examination of tragedy and the passage of time.... It’s an outstanding and beautiful story of guilt, family, love, and both the healing and damage the years can bring." I read this book back in the fall and just loved how the story unfolded with the remembrance of that night haunting a large circle of people. Remember the television show "thirtysomething"? For some reason, this show reminded me of that.

Carol also shared a blog piece with us about how she shelves her books over at that I think you will enjoy.

We also have a review of Frank Peretti’s ILLUSION, which is the story of Dane and Mandy, two magicians who have been married and performing together for 40 years when Mandy is tragically killed --- or so everyone thinks. She has actually been transported back to the age of 19, and must reconnect with the devastated and unknowing Dane as his new protégée. Our reviewer Melanie Smith says, “ILLUSION is a touching love story with some creative, purist twists. It is a chaste inspirational with many magic acts and stage experiences appearing throughout the book, which are really quite wondrous and reveal tricks of the trade as well as some mysteries surrounding truly great performances."

Last week, I announced that I made ANOTHER Bets On selection --- Amber Dermont’s THE STARBOARD SEA. It’s about an elite prep school student making his way through his senior year with a lot of baggage dragging him down. It’s getting a ton of buzz and raves, with definite reason. THE STARBOARD SEA was reviewed last week, and read on below to see why I chose it as a Bets On.

And speaking of Bets On picks, this week we are featuring a new interview with William Landay, author of one of my OTHER recent picks, DEFENDING JACOB, about a well-respected assistant district attorney in suburban Massachusetts who is shocked to find out that his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of another student. In this interview, conducted by’s Joe Hartlaub, Landay describes his inspiration for writing DEFENDING JACOB. He also reflects on his writing career thus far, shares some of his favorite books and authors, and gives a glimpse into what he’s working on now.

This week, our New in Paperback feature has been updated, with the latest roundup of paperbacks that are available in March. From paperback reprints of hardcovers to original paperback releases, this section has it all. Highlights include NEW YORK TO DALLAS by J.D. Robb, THE BRIDE'S HOUSE by Sandra Dallas, EMILY AND EINSTEIN by Linda Francis Lee, and two of my Bets On picks from last year: THE AMERICAN HEIRESS by Daisy Goodwin and TURN OF MIND by Alice LaPlante.

We have also updated our Books on Screen feature this week. The long-awaited The Hunger Games finally hits the big screen on March 23rd (or the 22nd at midnight for truly die-hard fans!). And if you’re in a more lighthearted mood, Dr. Seuss’s beloved The Lorax already opened. Check out the feature for the complete list!

Meanwhile, our Spring Preview Contests continue. The next three contests will be for THREE A.M. by Steven John (March 12th), A DOG’S JOURNEY by W. Bruce Cameron (March 13th) and ATTACHMENTS by Rainbow Rowell (March 14th).

Please note that we have gotten a few notes from readers trying to enter contests using the IE7 browser or older versions of AOL, noting that they are receiving a statement that they have already entered the contest when they go to enter, or that they are not able to fill out the form. This is a browser issue. Our site definitely works in IE8 and IE9, and the last three versions of Firefox, as well as other current industry standard browsers. Since browsers get more sophisticated as time goes on, we are advised on what platforms to be optimized for as it is not possible to optimize for all of them. The updated browsers you may want to use are FREE and available for download here:

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This week also marks the start of a new contest period for Word of Mouth! Tell us what you’re reading for a chance to win ARCADIA by Lauren Groff, SO PRETTY IT HURTS: A Bailey Weggins Mystery by Kate White, and STAY CLOSE by Harlan Coben.

Our poll about your favorite TV shows is one of the most popular ones that we have done! If you have not weighed in, you have until next Friday. Our question asks which three TV shows you wish were still on the air.

In Awards news, Barnes and Noble has announced their Discover Awards this week, which you can see here! Also, the New York Critics Circle announced their awards here.

Last weekend, I enjoyed reading THOSE WE LOVE MOST, a novel by Lee Woodruff (On Sale: September 11th). If I could best describe this book, it’s about the seasons of marriage. Anyone married a while knows that feelings ebb and flow over time. This happens in long relationships as well as shorter ones. Here a family is brought together when a crisis hits that has them circling the wagons and grieving together before they spiral them back into the larger world with a new view of their lives. Two of these couples will re-examine their marriages in light of what has happened --- and how they have changed. Nicely done. Many of you may know Lee as the wife of Bob Woodruff, the journalist who was injured during the War, and she wrote IN AN INSTANT: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing with him. Thus she knows how life unfolds in the moment after a tragedy hits. As the family joins together to deal with their loss, her description of the folks who show up with casseroles and lasagna is so well done.

“People always came out of the woodwork at a time like this for good and bad. There was some human need to insert yourself immediately, to take action, even if you know the person only tangentially. The proximity to tragedy and sorrow caused an immediate evaluation of your own relative good fortune. The people who really understand, though, would hang back until the right moment, knowing the real work began when all the cards had left the driveway." As I have a few friends dealing with family issues right now, I find myself thinking about how to be there for the long haul, not the short one.

With the launch of and the re-launch of later this month, I am committed to not traveling for the month of March, just as I did in February. Sad to be missing the Public Library Association’s conference in Philly next week, but I just can’t afford to slip out of town even when it’s Philly, even only for a day.

Next up will be a re-design of, so if you have any ideas for that site, please let us know by dropping a note to Maureen Linehan (

Looking forward to another weekend at the house…filled with reading, fires in the fireplace, cooking dinners and SLEEP. A few weeks ago, I went to make something with habaneros, and I went from store to store looking for them, to no avail. The following week, I found a HUGE container of them, and I am determined to cook something fiery this weekend with them, just because I have them on hand.

Here’s wishing you all a great week of reading, especially this weekend as you zip through the pages faster than usual with the lost hour. After all, we do not want to read LESS!

Carol Fitzgerald (

Now in Stores: CARRY THE ONE by Carol Anshaw
CARRY THE ONE by Carol Anshaw (Fiction)
CARRY THE ONE begins in the hours following Carmen’s wedding reception, when a car filled with stoned, drunk and sleepy guests accidentally hits and kills a girl on a dark country road. For the next 25 years, those involved, including Carmen and her brother and sister, craft their lives in response to this single tragic moment. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: ILLUSION by Frank Peretti
ILLUSION by Frank Peretti (Fiction)
After a magic performer loses his wife of over 40 years in a fatal car crash, fate brings them together, but with a roguish twist: Dane Collins is 60 when he meets his former wife for the second time: a tender 18-year-old girl who reappears after death remembering nothing of her life with him. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.
Click here to read a review.
New Featured Women’s Fiction Author: Susan Mallery, Author of BAREFOOT SEASON
We have 50 advance reading copies of BAREFOOT SEASON by Susan Mallery, which will be in stores March 27th, to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment on it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Thursday, March 22nd at noon ET.

Michelle Sanderson may appear to be a strong, independent woman, but on the inside, she’s still the wounded girl who fled home years ago. A young army vet, Michelle returns to the quaint Blackberry Island Inn to claim her inheritance and recover from the perils of war. Instead, she finds the owner’s suite occupied by the last person she wants to see.

Carly Williams and Michelle were once inseparable, until a shocking betrayal destroyed their friendship. And now Carly is implicated in the financial disaster lurking behind the inn’s cheerful veneer.

Single mother Carly has weathered rumors, lies and secrets for a lifetime, and is finally starting to move forward with love and life. But if the Blackberry Island Inn goes under, Carly and her daughter will go with it.

To save their livelihoods, Carly and Michelle will undertake a turbulent truce. It’ll take more than a successful season to move beyond their devastating past, but with a little luck and a beautiful summer, they may just rediscover the friendship of a lifetime.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

-Click here to visit the official website of the series.
-Click here to read Susan Mallery's bio.
Click here to read more in our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight feature. Bets On: THE STARBOARD SEA by Amber Dermont
THE STARBOARD SEA by Amber Dermont (Fiction)
Money does not buy happiness. Just ask Jason Prosper, the protagonist in THE STARBOARD SEA, a debut novel from Amber Dermont. As the book opens, Jason is on his way to yet another prep school, this time Bellingham Academy. The school is not prestigious and storied, but rather for wealthy offspring who need second chances. And Jason needs just that --- a chance to start fresh.

While this is a coming-of-age story fraught with the loneliness of spinning alone in a world where parents write checks instead of taking the time to talk, it’s also a carefully plotted reveal. From the start, readers wonder about Jason’s past with his pal, Cal. We know that Cal has died…and he and Jason were sailing partners. From there, Dermont carefully harnesses reader attention with the same kind of tension that one sees in a sail, pulling the story tight and then allowing it to billow as more details unfold.

-Click here to read more of Carol's thoughts on the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here for the reading group guide.

Click here to see all the books we're betting you'll love. Talks to William Landay, Author of DEFENDING JACOB
William Landay’s new novel, DEFENDING JACOB, tells the story of a well-respected district attorney who finds out that his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of another student. In this interview, conducted by’s Joe Hartlaub, Landay talks about his inspiration for his latest thriller. He also reflects on his writing career thus far, shares some of his favorite books and authors, and gives a glimpse into what he’s working on now.

by William Landay (Legal Thriller)
Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a crime shatters their New England town, Andy is shocked to learn that Jacob is charged with the murder of a fellow student. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read William Landay's piece on “The Unwritten Rules of the Legal Thriller.”
-Click here to read William Landay's bio.
-Click here to visit William Landay's official website.
-Click here to connect with William Landay on Facebook.
-Click here to read more in our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight feature.

Click here to read our interview.
Now in Stores: ENCHANTMENTS by Kathryn Harrison

ENCHANTMENTS by Kathryn Harrison (Historical Fiction)
Masha, the daughter of the Mad Monk Rasputin, and her sister, come under the protection of the tsar to keep them safe during the Bolshevik Revolution. While at the palace, Masha and the young tsarevich, Aloysha, begin a relationship that will take them far away from their tedious days at the palace under the watchful eye of their guards.Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: WHY BE HAPPY WHEN YOU COULD BE NORMAL? by Jeanette Winterson
WHY BE HAPPY WHEN YOU COULD BE NORMAL? by Jeanette Winterson (Memoir)
WHY BE HAPPY WHEN YOU COULD BE NORMAL? is a memoir about a life’s work to find happiness. It's a book full of stories: about a girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night; about growing up in a north England industrial town now changed beyond recognition; about the Universe as Cosmic Dustbin. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE COMEDY IS FINISHED by Donald E. Westlake
THE COMEDY IS FINISHED by Donald E. Westlake (Hard-boiled Mystery)
In Donald E Westlake's final unpublished novel, the year is 1977, and an aging, legendary Hollywood comedian is kidnapped by a revolutionary cell desperately trying to reignite the 1960s. The tension builds as the comedian struggles to survive, but nothing in this noir tale is as simple as it seems. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.
Click here to read a review.'s Spring Preview Contests and Feature

Spring is in the air! We’ve already caught the fever --- and so have the publishers! Here are some picks that we know people will be talking about over the next few months. We will be hosting a number of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days through the end of March. You will need to check the site to see the featured book and enter to win. We also will be sending a special newsletter to announce each title, which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, March 12th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles are:

-ATTACHMENTS by Rainbow Rowell
-DARK MAGIC by James Swain
-A DOG'S JOURNEY: Another Novel for Humans by W. Bruce Cameron
-GLAMOUR IN GLASS by Mary Robinette Kowal
-ISLAND APART by Steven Raichlen
-LIVING PROOF by Kira Peikoff
-THE SINGLES by Meredith Goldstein
-THREE A.M. by Steven John
-TRUE SISTERS by Sandra Dallas
-WIDE OPEN by Deborah Coates

Click here to see our Spring Preview feature and sign up for our special newsletter.
March’s New in Paperback Roundups
March’s New in Paperback roundups include the following highlights:

THE AMERICAN HEIRESS by Daisy Goodwin (Historical Fiction)
Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the 20th century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash --- whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts' --- suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham and married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England.

THE BRIDE'S HOUSE by Sandra Dallas (Historical Fiction)
From the New York Times bestselling author of WHITER THAN SNOW and PRAYERS FOR SALE comes a novel about the secrets and passions of three generations of women who have all lived in the same Victorian home called the Bride’s House.

NEW YORK TO DALLAS: An In Death Novel by J. D. Robb (Thriller)
J. D. Robb presents an intense and terrifying new case for New York homicide cop Eve Dallas, one that will take her all the way to the city that gave her her name --- and plunge her into the nightmares of her childhood.

TURN OF MIND by Alice LaPlante (Fiction)
In Alice LaPlante's masterful, haunting debut novel, a former surgeon suffering from dementia becomes the primary suspect in the murder of her best friend and neighbor.

THE WISE MAN'S FEAR: The Kingkiller Chronicle, Day Two by Patrick Rothfuss (Fantasy)
In Patrick Rothfuss’s long-awaited sequel to THE NAME OF THE WIND, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents.

-Find out what's New in Paperback for the weeks of March 5th, March 12th, March 19th and March 26th.

Books on Screen for March
The Oscars may be over, but have no fear! The big screen is packed more than ever this month, with everything from wild adventures through fantasy worlds to family dysfunction. No matter what your mood, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your movie craving.

After the worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games trilogy, the first book in the series makes its on-screen debut on March 23rd (or, for the die-hard fans, March 22nd at midnight!). In a bleak future, the United States has been reduced to a dictatorship with 12 districts. Every year, in order to prevent uprisings, the ruling Capitol forces one boy and one girl from each district to fight each other to the death in a nationally televised arena --- and only one will survive.

On a much lighter note, Dr. Seuss’s classic, The Lorax, is now in theaters --- and in 3D! Twelve-year-old Ted wants more than anything to win the affection of Audrey. One day, Audrey tells him that everything in their town of Thneed-Ville is artificial, and that the one thing she’s always wanted is to see a real, live tree. So Ted sets out on an adventure to find her one.

Back in the realm of reality, Being Flynn explores the relationship between Nick Flynn, a struggling young writer, and his estranged father, who he hasn’t seen in 18 years. Meanwhile, in The Trouble with Bliss, 35-year-old Morris Bliss and his father are anything but estranged. They are still sharing an apartment, and Morris wants more than anything to work, travel, and have a life of his own. But a strange relationship with the 18-year-old daughter of one of his former classmates will unexpectedly unravel his life.

On the small screen, HBO airs Game Change, a dramatization of John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and the selection of Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate. And "GCB," a new show about former high school mean girl Amanda Vaughn’s not-so-warm welcome back to her Dallas home 18 years later, premieres on ABC.

Click here to see all the movies, TV shows and DVDs featured in March's Books on Screen.
This Week's Reviews
WHAT IT WAS by George Pelecanos (Hard-boiled Mystery)
In 1972, Derek Strange has left the police department and set up shop as a PI. His former partner, Frank "Hound Dog" Vaughn, is still on the force. When a young woman comes to Strange asking for his help recovering a cheap ring she claims has sentimental value, the case leads him onto Vaughn's turf, where a local drug addict has been murdered, shot point-blank in his apartment. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

BLUE MONDAY by Nicci French (Psychological Thriller)
The abduction of a five-year-old boy provokes a national outcry and a desperate police hunt. When his face is splashed over the newspapers, psychotherapist Frieda Klein can’t ignore the coincidence: one of her patients has been having dreams in which he has a hunger for a child. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THESE DAYS ARE OURS by Michelle Haimoff (Fiction)
Six months after September 11th, New Yorkers are instructed to get on with their lives despite the terror advisories, streets filled with 9/11 merchandise, and mail that may contain Anthrax. But for Hailey, getting on with life means getting closer to Michael Brenner, the Princeton graduate and future human rights lawyer who seems to have it all. Reviewed by Katherine Tandler.

KAYAK MORNING: Reflections of Love, Grief, and Small Boats by Roger Rosenblatt (Memoir)
In his 2010 memoir, MAKING TOAST, journalist and essayist Roger Rosenblatt told of his family’s struggle to cope with the sudden death of his 38-year-old daughter, Amy, from a rare cardiac anomaly. In KAYAK MORNING, Rosenblatt turns inward, extending and deepening the story of his struggle to come to terms with her loss. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

THE HEALING by Jonathan Odell (Historical Fiction)
In pre-Civil War Mississippi, cholera claims the life of Amanda Satterfield’s 12-year-old beloved daughter, Becky. Mistress Amanda blames her husband for refusing to call for a doctor in time to save their only child. Grief-stricken and plunged into madness, Amanda orders an ebony-skinned newborn slave girl brought to the great house as a replacement for her daughter. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

CHARLOTTE AU CHOCOLAT: Memories of a Restaurant Girlhood by Charlotte Silver (Memoir)
In this memoir, Charlotte Silver recalls her childhood growing up in her glamorous mother’s Harvard Square restaurant. When the restaurant nears financial collapse, Charlotte realizes the sacrifices her mother has made in running a kitchen while raising a family. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.

Poll and Question of the Week

Which of the following television shows do you enjoy on a regular basis? Please check as many as apply.

"30 Rock"
"The Big Bang Theory"
"Boardwalk Empire"
"CSI" (any version)
"Downton Abbey"
"Game of Thrones"
"The Good Wife"
"Law and Order: SVU"
"The Mentalist"
"Modern Family"
"NCIS" (any version)
"Nurse Jackie"
"The Office"
"Rizzoli and Isles"
"The Walking Dead"
I don’t watch television.
Other (Please specify up to three other shows that you enjoy on a regular basis.)

-Click here to answer the poll.


Name up to three television shows that you wish were still on the air.

-Click here to answer the question.

Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Could Win THREE Books!

Tell us your current reading recommendations with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from March 9th to March 23rd, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of ARCADIA by Lauren Groff, SO PRETTY IT HURTS: A Bailey Weggins Mystery by Kate White, and STAY CLOSE by Harlan Coben.

-To see reader comments from previous contest periods, click here.


Click here to enter the contest.

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