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July 23, 2004 Newsletter July 23, 2004
This Week on
Bookish Intrigue and Breaking Records
Bookreporter Talks to: Leslie Forbes, Author of WAKING RAPHAEL
Our New Suspense/Thriller Author: Steve Berry, Author of THE ROMANOV PROPHECY
Author Talk: Jeffery Deaver, Author of GARDEN OF BEASTS
Announcing Our New Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: David Wolstencroft, Author of GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS
HELLO, DARKNESS by Sandra Brown -- Now Available in Paperback
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: Books To Be Read
Question of the Week: Book That Kept You Up All Night
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- THREE Prizes!
On The Book Report Network
Past Reviews
Can't See the Graphics? Read This Newsletter Online
Past Poll: Do you give books as hostess gifts?
Past Question of the Week: What book would you like to receive as a hostess gift if someone came to visit you?
Read more about THE TOUR DE FRANCE COMPANION here. Read more about THE BOURNE SUPREMACY here. Register your reading group with
Bookish Intrigue and Breaking Records
I like riding my bike --- on flat ground. Give me hills and I flip after the time I went head over handlebars a couple of summers ago on the Outer Banks and ended up in a heap. That said, I love reading about and watching the Tour de France. This weekend we will see if Lance can make it #6. While we are a little late to come to this book, we wanted to tell you to check out THE TOUR DE FRANCE COMPANION, which is a terrific guide to this backbreaking, bone crunching battle of blood, sweat and gears. Click on the cover above for more details.

For those who like more sedentary activities the movies may be your thing. THE BOURNE SUPREMACY has opened in theatres. May we suggest reading this book before you see the movie? Click on the cover above for more details.

There have been numerous books written about the Romanovs. Our intrepid intern, Marisa, found 11 in her search. What happened that day in 1918 and in the subsequent months has long been a source of discussion. Steve Berry, the author of THE ROMANOV PROPHECY, which will be in stores on August 31st, has written a story that will take readers from Russia to the United States to trace his tale. I got wrapped around this one last weekend, enjoying the clues that were dropped along the way. I am pleased to announce that Steve is our latest Suspense/Thriller author. His last book THE AMBER ROOM was one of my favorite books of 2003. If you would like to enter to be one of 20 advance readers of THE ROMANOV PROPHECY, please send your name and mailing address to by Friday, August 6th.

We also have a new Debut Suspense/Thriller author to share with you --- David Wolstencroft, the author of GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS. I am reading this one and enjoying it. Picture this. Two intelligence agents both get an order --- to kill the other. What erupts from there is a story that rolls on as they unite wits to track the real enemy. Want to enter to be one of ten advance readers for GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS? Then send an e-mail with your name and mailing address to by Friday, July 30th.

Lots more to share this week, including GARDEN OF BEASTS from Jeffery Deaver. Many readers love Deaver's standalone titles even better than his Rhyme/Sachs titles. We asked a few of our reviewers to read this one. See what they had to say as well as Joe Hartlaub's review!

I am off to Texas on Wednesday for the Romance Writers of America Conference. I am packing a bag of anti-frizz hair products. I can see myself with Big Texas Hair as soon as I walk off the plane!

Have a great week....

Carol Fitzgerald (

Bookreporter Talks to: Leslie Forbes, Author of WAKING RAPHAEL
Carol Fitzgerald, Roberta O'Hara and Wiley Saichek recently spoke with Leslie Forbes about her latest novel, WAKING RAPHAEL, which focuses on the mystery surrounding "La Muta," one of Raphael's masterpieces. In this interview Forbes discusses the importance of art in history as a way to show the truth of past events, especially from the point of view of the defeated. She also explains her decision to write fiction and provides readers with a preview of her upcoming books, THE AMPUTATIONS and THE MAN WHO LOVED HIS WIFE.

WAKING RAPHAEL by Leslie Forbes (Mystery)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
Amidst a country rocked by scandal and corruption, inhabitants of the idyllic city of Urbino, Italy, birthplace of Raphael, are more concerned with a sudden outbreak of miracles than with politics. The restoration of Raphael's enigmatic painting will drive a living mute to a shocking act of violence and spark an investigation into a nearly forgotten war crime and a series of events that will shatter the silence gripping this community forever.
Read our interview with Leslie Forbes and a review of WAKING RAPHAEL here.
Read more about our Suspense/Thriller authors here.
Our New Suspense/Thriller Author: Steve Berry, Author of THE ROMANOV PROPHECY
Steve Berry, who wrote THE AMBER ROOM, which was one of my favorite books of 2003 is back with THE ROMANOV PROPHECY. Want to be one of 20 advance readers of this book? Then send an e-mail with your name and your mailing address to by Friday, August 6th.

Here's more about the book:

Following the collapse of Communism and a series of weak governments, the Russian people have decided to re-instate the monarchy with a distant relative of Nicholas II, and it is Miles Lord's job to perform background checks on the Tsarist candidates. But after he is nearly killed by a gunman, Miles flees from his assassins and stumbles upon the mysterious writings of Rasputin. They reveal a cryptic message, implying that someone may have survived the bloody Romanov massacre, the effects of which could be life-altering for the future Tsar and mother Russia.
Read more about Steve Berry and THE ROMANOV PROPHECY here.
Author Talk: Jeffery Deaver, Author of GARDEN OF BEASTS
In this interview bestselling suspense/thriller author Jeffery Deaver discusses his motivation for writing GARDEN OF BEASTS, his first historical novel, and explains the incredible amount of research necessary to accurately portray 1936 Berlin. He also provides brief descriptions of the novel's main characters, talks about the connection between this book and his Lincoln Rhyme series, and shares with readers his future writing plans.

GARDEN OF BEASTS: A Novel of Berlin 1936, by Jeffery Deaver (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
When a German American hit man named Paul Schumann is arrested in 1936, he is given the ultimatum of covert government service to avoid prison and execution. Assigned to murder the malevolent architect responsible for Hitler's rearmament, Jeffery Deaver's first historical novel narrates the 48 hours Paul spends tracking his target through the streets of Berlin while eluding the Third Reich officers close behind.
Read an interview with Jeffery Deaver here and a review of GARDEN OF BEASTS.
Read more about our Debut Suspense/Thriller feature here.
Announcing Our New Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: David Wolstencroft, Author of GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS
Our newest Debut Suspense/Thriller author is David Wolstencroft, author of GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS. What happens when two intelligence agents are assigned to kill --- each other. What commences is a globe-trotting story where the protagonists join wits. Would you like to be one of ten advance readers of this book? Enter to win by sending your name and snail mail address to by Friday, July 30th.

Here's more about the book:

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS by David Wolstencroft
Two friends in the spy business are directed to assassinate each other during their last mission in the Agency. Realizing that some orders aren't meant to be followed, the two traverse Europe and America to find out why their bosses want them dead --- and in the process unearth a web of secrets that could destroy the Agency itself.
Read more about David Wolstencroft and GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS here.
HELLO, DARKNESS by Sandra Brown -- Now Available in Paperback
HELLO, DARKNESS by Sandra Brown
Since moving to Austin to ease the pain of past, tragic mistakes, Paris Gibson has led a life of virtual solitude, coming alive only when she hosts her popular late-night radio show. Paris's world of isolation is brutally threatened, however, when one listener --- a man who identifies himself only as "Valentino" --- tells her that her on-air advice to the girl he loves has caused her to leave him and that now he intends to exact his revenge. First he plans to kill the girl, whom he has abducted --- which he says he will do in 72 hours --- and then he will come after Paris.
Read more about HELLO, DARKNESS and Sandra Brown here.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
R IS FOR RICOCHET by Sue Grafton (Mystery)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
Private eye Kinsey Millhone accepts what appears to be an easy-money assignment from a wealthy local resident. She is to pick up his errant daughter, Reba Lafferty, from prison, and make sure that she stays away from drugs, alcohol and bad company for a few days until she gets back on her feet. But fans of Sue Grafton's popular alphabet series are fully aware that there's no such thing as a "simple assignment."

DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER by Jeff Lindsay (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
During the day, Dexter Morgan works as a blood-splatter analyst for the Miami police department. But at night he is a serial killer, and his victims are child molesters and murderers. His well-organized life is suddenly disrupted when a second, much more visible serial killer appears in Miami.

BUBBLES A BROAD by Sarah Strohmeyer (Mystery)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
After a cat fight at a stuffy historical society meeting nearly destroys her career, hairdresser/reporter/amateur sleuth Bubbles Yablonsky is given just one week to prove her worth to her editors at the News-Times and earn a real job there by cracking her biggest story ever --- finding out who really murdered Carol Weaver's steel-executive husband with cyanide-tipped fingernails.

SHOOT THE MOON by Billie Letts (Fiction)
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad
Billie Letts, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller WHERE THE HEART IS, has written an intriguing and fast-moving tale of a small Oklahoma town and the mystery that has haunted its residents for years.

CONVICTION by Elise Title (Mystery)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
As the superintendent of a Massachusetts prison halfway house, Natalie Price thought she had seen it all. But when the death of a beautiful Boston socialite makes breaking news, Natalie is drawn into one of the biggest scandals of her career.

COAL RUN by Tawni O'Dell (Fiction)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
Former football hero Ivan Zoschenko returns to his home in western Pennsylvania, partially inspired by the release from prison of his former teammate. While there, he confronts his demons and reveals himself to be a man whose conscience is burdened by a long-held and shocking secret that must be reckoned with.

JACKPOT by Tsipi Keller (Fiction)
Reviewed by Jesse Kornbluth
Maggie is a 26-year-old junior editor who is constantly in the shadows of others. When her friend Robin proposes a vacation to the Bahamas, it's impossible for her to say no. While there, Maggie hopes to loosen up and have fun for a change --- but that's not exactly what transpires.

HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN: The 1932 Democratic Convention, the Emergence of FDR - and How America Was Changed Forever, by Steve Neal (Politics/History)
Reviewed by Ron Kaplan
Longtime political columnist Steve Neal recreates the crazy scheming, backroom plotting, and infighting of the 1932 Democratic convention --- a major historical event that took place over just a few days but determined the course of American politics for generations.

PEACE KILLS: America's Fun New Imperialism by P.J. O'Rourke (Nonfiction/Humor)
Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds
In his classic bestsellers, P.J. O'Rourke has reported from the front lines of world history, braving the bad traffic, weak drinks and less-than-stellar golfing of countless hot spots of war, poverty and repression. Now, with his latest collection, O'Rourke casts his ever-shrewd and mordant eye on America's latest adventures in warfare.
Read the reviews and features here.
Read Author Bibliographies here. Search here Read about the Light Wedge reading light here.
Poll: Books To Be Read
How many books are on your "to be read" pile right now?
5 or more
Answer the Poll here.
Browse through forthcoming books here. Read about books that have won awards here. Read more about Books Into Movies here.
Question of the Week: Book That Kept You Up All Night
What was the last book that kept you up at night reading long past your bedtime?

Our next question update will be on August 6th.
Answer the Question of the Week.
Read more about UNLUCKY IN LAW. Read more about GARDEN OF BEASTS. Read more about THE DANGEROUS HOUR.
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 some great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of UNLUCKY IN LAW by Perri O'Shaughnessy, GARDEN OF BEASTS by Jeffery Deaver and THE DANGEROUS HOUR by Marcia Muller. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on August 6th.
Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

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--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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