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February 13, 2004 Newsletter February 13, 2004
This Week on
Enjoying a Book Does Not Mean You Need to Analyze It
Author Talk: Wendy Holden, Author of AZUR LIKE IT
Reed Arvin Answers Readers' Questions and We Announce Our Next Author, Clinton McKinzie, Author of CROSSING THE LINE
THE LAST JUROR by John Grisham
Laurie R. King, author of THE GAME is our First Mystery Mayhem Author. Read an Excerpt, Fast Facts, and Praise, and See Our Advance Readers
February Author of the Month: Daniel Silva
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: Which do you remember most in the books you read?
Question of the Week: Give us a one-line synopsis of the last book that you read.
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: Which of these books have you read or are you looking forward to reading?
Past Question of the Week: What is the most romantic book you ever read?
Read the Romance Author Roundtable here. Read more about Light Wedge here. Read our Valentine's Day roundup here.
Enjoying a Book Does Not Mean You Need to Analyze It
Happy Valentine's Day! Stuck on what to give the special someone in your life? May we suggest you take a look at our list of book suggestions by clicking on the Valentine's Day books link above?

Last Saturday I was just plumb exhausted from two back-to-back trips. I took flopped onto the couch with THE LAST JUROR by John Grisham, and except for stoking the fire, I did not move until I finished it. Okay, I can hear many of you squawking that Grisham is not a "great writer" and that is not "real writing," which always makes me laugh. All I can say is that I enjoyed the story and headed for the kitchen when I was done to look for my Southern cooking cookbook since the description of Miss Callie's cooking made me want to create a Southern meal. And I had three chats with friends about it this week, not book club discussion chats, just chats where we talked about the book, the characters and the law. What more is a book "supposed" to do?

That said, I have been getting many letters from readers who are telling me that they are thrilled that we are covering more than just the top bestselling authors on the site. One reader actually went on to say that we are "taking the boredom out of winter." Now that's a very nice compliment considering how dismal the weather has been in many places of the country this year! Since we cannot alter the forecast I guess this is a good goal.

Keeping in that vein this month we introduce our next Suspense/Thriller author, Clinton McKinzie, author of CROSSING THE LINE (in store April 27th) and TRIAL BY FIRE AND ICE (coming in paperback on March 2nd). With a setting in the Rocky Mountains (one of my favorite parts of the country) McKinzie packs a punch with this story about Antonio Burns who is trying to keep his brother Roberto out of trouble with the law. Want to be one of our 20 advance readers of CROSSING THE LINE? Then send a note with your name and mailing address to by February 27th.

As part of my continuing to quest to learn more about readers' thoughts about audiobooks, we are running an audiobooks poll on Want to weigh in? Then click on the link at the end of this opening note.

Our poll this week asks what you remember most when you read a book. We look forward to hearing what you have to say.

One note more note on the Grisham book --- I do cringe when I see the price on that book is $27.95. To me, that just seems insane. I truly think the price of books is way out of control and needs to be brought back in line. I read 3-4 books a week, which would be a $75-$100 a week book habit, if I was not in this business. It's really something to think about.

Enjoy the long weekend.

Carol Fitzgerald (
Answer our poll about audiobooks here.
Author Talk: Wendy Holden, Author of AZUR LIKE IT
In this interview Wendy Holden, author of AZUR LIKE IT, talks about how her life as a journalist influenced her novels, the role of humor in her books and why she wrote a book set in the South of France.

AZUR LIKE IT by Wendy Holden (Chick Lit)
Reviewed by Bethanne Kelly Patrick
Kate Clegg's life is in the loo until a series of unfortunate events lands her in the lieu of the rich and famous --- France's Côte d'Azur --- where a series of very fortunate events lands her back on her feet.
Read the interview with Wendy Holden here.
Read more about THE LAST GOODBYE  here. Read more about Reed Arvin here.
Reed Arvin Answers Readers' Questions and We Announce Our Next Author, Clinton McKinzie, Author of CROSSING THE LINE
THE LAST GOODBYE by Reed Arvin will be in stores on February 17, 2004.

New This Week:
-Reed Arvin answers readers' questions

In Case You Missed Previous Weeks:
-Read Our Advanced Readers' Comments on THE LAST GOODBYE
-Read the terrific press that this book has been getting
-Read three excerpts from THE LAST GOODBYE
-Read about Reed Arvin

Attorney Jack Hammond has nothing but suspicions when his friend --- a recovering addict --- is found dead in his apartment with a syringe stuck in his arm. Jack believes this "overdose" was in fact murder and that his friend's obsession with a woman might have led to his untimely demise.

CROSSING THE LINE by Clinton McKinzie is on-sale 4/27

-Read about TRIAL BY ICE AND FIRE, which will be available in paperback on 3/2
-Read about Clinton McKinzie
-Enter to be one of 20 advance readers of CROSSING THE LINE by sending your name and mailing address (street address, not email address) to by Friday, February 27.

In CROSSING THE LINE, FBI agent Mary Chang is hot on the trail of Hidalgo, a murderous drug lord who recently relocated to a Wyoming canyon. Determined to bring Hidalgo to custody, Chang enlists Special Agent Antonion Burns and his renegade brother, Roberto. Despite Mary's and Anthony's efforts, their plans soon descend into a world of loss, betrayal and terror.
Read our Suspense/Thriller Spotlight here.
Read about CROSSING THE LINE here. Read about Clinton McKinzie here. Read about TRIAL BY ICE AND FIRE here.
THE LAST JUROR by John Grisham

THE LAST JUROR by John Grisham (Thriller)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman

In 1970, Danny Padgitt was sentenced to life in prison for the brutal rape and murder of a young mother. He vows revenge on the jurors who convicted him. Nine years later he gets paroled --- and jurors start dying.
Read our review of THE LAST JUROR here.
Read more about THE GAME. Read more about Laurie R. King Read more about KEEPING WATCH.
Laurie R. King, author of THE GAME is our First Mystery Mayhem Author. Read an Excerpt, Fast Facts, and Praise, and See Our Advance Readers
Mystery lovers know --- there's nothing more fun than solving a mystery. Legends in this genre include Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Well-known authors include Ruth Rendell, P.D. James and Marcia Muller. To help you unravel the endless question of "what mystery authors should I read next?" we bring you our Mystery Mayhem feature. It's a chance to get to know a group of authors who sleuth, track clues, and captivate readers by bringing fictitious characters to justice. We call them "Authors Who Keep You Guessing." We hope you enjoy exploring their work as much as we did tracking them down.

We are pleased to introduce Laurie R. King as the first showcased author in our Mystery Mayhem feature. Her latest Mary Russell novel, THE GAME, will be in bookstores on March 2, 2004. Read more about the book and author by checking out the graphics above and the link below.

New This Week:
-Read an Excerpt from THE GAME
-See Our Advance Readers of THE GAME
-Read Critical Praise of Laurie R. King's work
-Browse Author Fast Facts
Read our Mystery Mayhem feature here.
February Author of the Month: Daniel Silva
Daniel Silva began his career as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East for UPI. He later became the executive producer of CNN's Washington-based public affairs programming, Following the surprise success of his debut novel The Unlikely Spy, Silva made the transition from journalist to full-time author. Silva has established himself as one of the premier writers of international intrigue stories. His books include The Mark of the Assassin, The Marching Season, The Kill Artist, The English Assassin and The Confessor --- all of which were hardcover bestsellers.

To celebrate the release of his latest title, A Death in Vienna, the third book in the Gabriel Allon trilogy (The English Assassin and The Confessor were the first two titles), AuthorsOnTheWeb has chosen Daniel Silva as our Author of the Month. Readers can learn more about Silva's life and works through fast facts and biographical information, as well as links to his website, bibliography, interviews and book reviews.

Win a free copy of A Death in Vienna by Daniel Silva. Just subscribe to the newsletter to become eligible.
Read our Author of the Month feature here.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
Olivia Hunt, a struggling film producer, learns that her younger sister Maddie has been diagnosed with cancer. As she flies back and forth between Los Angeles and Ohio to visit Maddie, Olivia reflects --- in letters to her friends and family --- on her own life and the choices she has made.

THE FRUMIOUS BANDERSNATCH: A Novel of the 87th Precinct by Ed McBain (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Young and beautiful Tamar Valparaiso is kidnapped one night at a party celebrating the release of her debut CD. Detective Steve Carella and the men and women of the 87th Precinct must find Tamar before time --- or indeed her very life --- runs out.

SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME: A Year of Passionate Reading by Sara Nelson (Memoir)
Reviewed by Andi Shechter
This witty and insightful memoir written by Sara Nelson --- wife, mother, columnist and reviewer --- centers on her decision in early 2002 to read 52 books in 52 weeks and explore how the world of books and words intermingle with children, marriage, friends and the rest of the "real" world.

THE SECOND CHAIR by John Lescroart (Legal Thriller)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
John Lescroart's newest courtroom thriller is a highly charged suspense novel that will keep readers up all night, and features a murder trial that is as complex as any human tragedy can be.

YELLOW DOG by Martin Amis (Fiction)
Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman-Nicol
With trademark disdain and farce, Martin Amis takes on pornography, male violence, incest and even a fictionalized Royal Family in this controversial new novel, hailed in the British press as "Dickens with a snarl" and a "great comic extravagance."

THE CANTERBURY PAPERS by Judith Koll Healey (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
Inspired by the mysterious life of a little-known historical figure, Judith Koll Healey's debut novel sheds light on medieval politics and gender roles, yet still manages to create enough suspense to keep readers up late into the night.

NANCY: A Portrait of My Years with Nancy Reagan by Michael K. Deaver (Biography)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
Michael Deaver's third published memoir focuses on his thirty-plus years as a strategist and confidant for both Ronald and Nancy Reagan, as he shares with readers a side of the former First Lady that only her close friends know.

THE WEIGHT OF IT: A Story of Two Sisters by Amy Wilensky (Nonfiction/Memoir)
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
Amy Wilensky considers the way that her sister Alison's weight gain -- and loss --- affected their relationship while placing their story in the more universal scope of obesity in our society. A tender theme of love between siblings illuminates the "no holds barred" honesty of this compelling memoir.

PLAYING WITH FIRE by Peter Robinson (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Inspector Alan Banks and D.I. Annie Cabbot investigate a series of fires that have resulted in the deaths of three individuals. Is it the work of a serial arsonist, or an ingeniously conceived plot to obliterate the trail to other heinous crimes? One thing is for sure --- this elusive, cold-blooded killer could be anyone and anywhere.

AFTER HAVANA by Charles Fleming (Mystery)
Reviewed by Andi Shechter
Charles Fleming's explosive new novel is the story of nightclubs, revolutionaries and Security forces set in Cuba during the final months of the Batista regime in 1958.
Read the reviews and features here.
Read Author Bibliographies here. Search here Read about upcoming books here.
Poll: Which do you remember most in the books you read?
Which do you remember most in the books you read? (Please pick only one)

Other (Please specify)
Answer the Poll here.
Question of the Week: Give us a one-line synopsis of the last book that you read.
Give us a one-line synopsis of the last book that you read.
Answer the Question of the Week.
Read more about THE LAST GOODBYE here. Read more about DANCE WITH ME 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 THE LAST GOODBYE by Reed Arvin and DANCE WITH ME by Luanne Rice. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on February 27th.
Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

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--- Carol Fitzgerald (