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January 9, 2004 Newsletter January 9, 2004
This Week on
Happy New Year!
Author Talk: Laura Pedersen, Author of LAST CALL
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: An Interview with Joseph Finder, Advance Reader Comments for PARANOIA, Learn How You Can Win a Personally Signed Copy and a T-Shirt --- and Read an Excerpt from THE LAST GOODBYE by Reed Arvin We Added a Guide for THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN This Week
Debut Authors To Watch --- Jilliane Hoffman, author of RETRIBUTION
HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL, Now Available in Trade Paperback
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: Book Ads
Question of the Week
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes!
On The Book Report Network
Past Reviews
Can't See the Graphics? Read This Newsletter Online
Past Poll: What best describes the book you read in 2003?
Past Question: What do you think was the BEST book of 2003?
Browse through author profiles and interviews here. Enter the John Grisham contest here. Read about this fall's movies that are based on books here.
Happy New Year!
During our three-week break I did a lot of reading at the beach, most of it of books coming out in the next couple of months. One favorite was HARD REVOLUTION by George Pelecanos, which will be in stores on March 9th. It's a long hard look at 1968 and the racial tension in Washington, DC. Fans of Pelecanos' lead character Derek Strange will love this prequel. Those who never have read him will appreciate the raw grit with which he writes about these times. It's interesting that my boys and I watch American Dreams on Sunday nights and they have no comprehension of why the racial tension portrayed on the show exists. Their world is so much more integrated. For those of us who remember 1968, reading a book with the power of Pelecanos' hammers home how far we have come.

In New York next Thursday night I am going to be on a panel sponsored by the Women's National Book Association discussing Chick Lit with Jennifer Weiner, author of GOOD IN BED; Sessalee Hensley, the fiction buyer for Barnes & Noble and Doug Mendini, head of sales for Kensington Books. If any of you would like to attend, drop me a note at and I will send you details. Cost is $10 per person. I read GOOD IN BED over the holidays and really enjoyed it. I'll share more about the books that I read in the weeks to come.

Driving home from North Carolina the ride sped by for me as I was reading with this reading light I am CRAZY about called Light Wedge. Why I love it? No glare. Thus, my husband was driving while I sat in the passenger seat reading! Seven and half hours of reading time during which I was able to whip through Patricia Lewin's new one --- OUT OF REACH, which I enjoyed. I'll be talking more about Light Wedge!

This week we have part two of an interview with Jilliane Hoffman, author of RETRIBUTION. Also, Joe Hartlaub and Bethanne Patrick both review this highly anticipated debut.

Joseph Finder's PARANOIA is in stores next Wednesday. This week we have the first of two interviews with Finder. Also, he has an offer for readers who sign up for his newsletter at --- five readers will win a personally signed copy of PARANOIA and a T-shirt.

Ever wanted to interview John Grisham? Here's your chance! And with it comes a chance to win a HP Pavilion 7000 Digital Entertainment Notebook PC. Write the ten questions that you would ask Grisham to become eligible to win. Sounds like fun to us. See complete details by clicking on John's picture above this letter.

Have a great week. Stay warm with a book.

-Carol Fitzgerald (
Read more about HARD REVOLUTION by George Pelecanos here.
Author Talk: Laura Pedersen, Author of LAST CALL
Laura Pedersen and Julie Sciandra have been friends and occasionally colleagues for more than twenty years. They walk each other's dogs and also bowl together. Julie usually wins, but Laura insists that this is because Julie's family owned a bowling alley in Buffalo, and thus she has had an unfair advantage. In this interview, Laura talks about her new book LAST CALL and how she writes.

LAST CALL by Laura Pedersen (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
Hayden MacBride is terminally ill, but he refuses to let his impending death slow him down. While living life to the fullest he meets Rosamond, a nun who is searching for answers while on sabbatical from her convent --- and the two become close friends.

For more about Laura Pedersen, go to
Read an interview with Laura Pedersen, a review of LAST CALL, an excerpt from the book and the reading group guide here.
Read more about PARANOIA here. Read more about Joseph Finder here.
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: An Interview with Joseph Finder, Advance Reader Comments for PARANOIA, Learn How You Can Win a Personally Signed Copy and a T-Shirt --- and Read an Excerpt from THE LAST GOODBYE by Reed Arvin
Special Note: The On-Sale date for PARANOIA by Joseph Finder has moved UP to Wednesday, January 14, 2004!

New This Week:
In an interview Joseph Finder, author of PARANOIA shares with readers background on the research that he did in the world of corporate espionage, what he wants readers to experience from their reading and how he wanted this novel "to move like a hot knife through butter."

Want to win one of FIVE personally signed copies of PARANOIA and a PARANOIA T-shirt? Then sign up for Joseph Finder's newsletter at!

In Case You Missed Last Week:
-Read three excerpts of PARANOIA
-Visit Finder's new website ---
-Read Critical Praise about PARANOIA
-Read about PARANOIA
-Read about Joseph Finder
-Visit to play the Paranoia game, take a quiz to find out how paranoid you are and get details on how to win a Paranoia T-shirt by pre-ordering your copy of PARANOIA now!

THE LAST GOODBYE by Reed Arvin will be in stores on February 17, 2004.

New This Week:
Read the first excerpt from THE LAST GOODBYE

In Case You Missed Last Week:
-Find out who the advance readers of THE LAST GOODBYE are.
-Read Fast Facts about Arvin and more about his backlist.
-Read about Reed Arvin
Read our Suspense/Thriller feature here.
Read more about THE LAST GOODBYE  here. Read more about Reed Arvin here. We Added a Guide for THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN This Week
In a book group? Thinking of starting a book group as one of your New Year's resolutions? is the place to get started. There are over 1,280 reading group guides there as well as tips on how to start a club. We recently added a guide for a new book group favorite, THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN by Mitch Albom.

Interested in discussing a book with its author? Lisa Tucker, author of THE SONG READER is offering that to readers through March 31, 2004. Also see details on four HarperCollins authors available to chat in February and March as part of their Invite the Author Promotion!
Go to here.
Debut Authors To Watch --- Jilliane Hoffman, author of RETRIBUTION
RETRIBUTION is a haunting debut novel by Jilliane Hoffman that is now in stores.

New This Week:
-In the second half of a two-part interview conducted by co-Founder Carol Fitzgerald, and reviewers Joe Hartlaub and Bethanne Kelly Patrick, Jillianne Hoffman talks about her love for Miami and its people, some of her favorite authors, and what readers are saying about her debut novel RETRIBUTION.
-RETRIBUTION by Jilliane Hoffman (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and Bethanne Kelly Patrick
Jilliane Hoffman's debut thriller puts her professional expertise as an Assistant District Attorney to good use, in the story of a crime victim-turned-prosecutor whose carefully stitched-together life is threatened when she meets her former attacker --- in shackles. reviewers Joe Hartlaub and Bethanne Kelly Patrick each provide an analysis of this intriguing plot and their opinions of Jilliane Hoffman as a writer.

In Case You Missed Last Week:
-The first of a two-part interview with Jilliane Hoffman.
-Read what our advance readers had to say about RETRIBUTION.
Read more about Jilliane Hoffman and RETRIBUTION here.
HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL, Now Available in Trade Paperback
What if Jesus Christ was married and a father?
Are there signs of an alternate history of the church hidden, sometimes in plain sight? Questions like there may arise from an enthusiastic read of THE DA VINCI CODE. But there is a fascinating fact behind this fiction, thanks to the painstaking research and investigation reported in HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL and its sequel, THE MESSIANIC LEGACY.
Read more about HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL here.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
THE KENNEDYS: America's Emerald Kings by Thomas Maier (Biography)
Reviewed by David Exum
In addition to revisiting John F. Kennedy's historic climb to the White House, acclaimed journalist Thomas Maier delves into the Kennedy family saga's deeper personal and emotional currents, beginning with Patrick Kennedy's arrival to the Brahmin world of Boston in 1848.

1968: THE YEAR THAT ROCKED THE WORLD by Mark Kurlansky (History)
Reviewed by Jesse Kornbluth
Mark Kurlansky's ambitious undertaking is a chronology of great interest to those too young to have been there and a trip down memory lane for those who remember 1968 with nostalgia.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers
Jack Taylor has reverted to old habits --- imbibing alcohol and taking drugs. But a gypsy walks into a bar one day during one of Jack's sober moments and changes everything with a simple request.

Reviewed by Brandon M. Stickney
Dayna Dunbar's heartfelt and compelling debut novel is the story of a woman whose ability to see the futures of others leads her right back into her own troubled past.

BOOK LUST: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason by Nancy Pearl (Reference)
Reviewed by Andi Shechter
"What should I read next?" This is one of the most burning questions that passionate readers ask themselves. Nancy Pearl supplies plenty of answers in this wide-ranging and fun guide to some of the best reads available.

THE TWO AMERICAS: Our Current Political Deadlock and How to Break It by Stanley B. Greenberg (Current Affairs)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
Pollster and political operative Stanley Greenberg takes the political temperature of a sharply divided electorate and prescribes possible cures.

AMERICAN SUCKER by David Denby (Memoir)
Reviewed by David Exum
In this candid and heartbreaking true story, film critic David Denby talks about his wife's decision to end their 18-year marriage and what he did in order to raise enough money to buy out his wife's share of their posh Manhattan apartment.
Read the reviews and features here.
Go to Search here Read about upcoming books here.
Poll: Book Ads
Do ads in newspapers, magazine and on television influence your decisions to buy books?

All of the time
Some of the time

What would you like to see in an ad for a book to help influence your decision to buy it? (Check as many as apply.)
Cover Photo
Description of the book that tells you what it is about
Descriptive blurbs like "mesmerizing," "breathtaking," and "tantalizing"
Quotes from other authors
Quotes from reviews
None of the above

If, besides the cover, you could have only ONE of the following in an ad, what would you pick?
Description of the book that tells you what it is about
Descriptive blurbs like "mesmerizing," "breathtaking," and "tantalizing"
Quotes from other authors
Quotes from reviews
None of the above

Is there anything else you would like to see in a book ad?
Yes (Explain)
Answer the Poll here.
Question of the Week
Here's our question of the week:

Cite a book ad that either lived up to its expectation --- or did not. Let us know what was in the ad that made you buy the book --- and what worked, or did not about it.
Answer the Question of the Week.
Read about ABSOLUTE FRIEND here. Read about THE KILLING OF THE TINKERS here.
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes!
Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't.

This week we have some great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of ABSOLUTE FRIENDS by John le Carre and THE KILLING OF THE TINKERS by Ken Bruen. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on January 23rd.
Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

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--- Carol Fitzgerald (