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August 20, 2004 Newsletter August 20, 2004
This Week on
Travels with Charley -- Outer Banks Style Talks to Mary Kay Andrews, Author of HISSY FIT
Our New Suspense/Thriller Author: Greg Rucka, Author of A GENTLEMAN'S GAME and Steve Berry, Author of THE ROMANOV PROPHECY
Author Talk: Sandra Brown, Author of WHITE HOT
Debut Suspense/Thriller Authors: Raelynn Hillhouse, Author of RIFT ZONE and David Wolstencroft, Author of GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS
Library Journal's Most Borrowed Books List
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: Which of the following books have you read or are you looking forward to reading?
Question of the Week: What do you think will be remembered as the book of summer for 2004?
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: How many books are on your "to be read" pile right now?
Past Question of the Week: Book That Kept You Up All Night
Travels with Charley -- Outer Banks Style
There is something about starting a vacation as the tail of Charley came through the Outer Banks that immediately makes a trip memorable. We checked in On Saturday at noon, and the first signal that this was going to be an adventure was that the house was ready since the people in the house the week before us had hastened out of town on Friday with word of the storm coming. We were advised to hit the grocery store fast in case they closed and then get home and batten down the hatches. As we were at the store my older son informed us that they were closing aluminum blinds over the store's front windows. Let's just say that that will get you hustling.

We got back to the house where friends were emailing about the status of things here. For the record, there was rain and a lot of wind; by Saturday night there were winds up to 64 mph --- and blue skies. Quite an experience. I hunkered down when the rain started beating the house and read Tess Gerritsen's new one, BODY DOUBLE. I always enjoy Tess and, as always, she hooked me right from the beginning. Who wouldn't be intrigued when a story starts with a murder, of a woman who looks just like the protagonist? Joe Hartlaub, our reviewer, takes a look at this one this week --- he was likewise blown away by it.

Sunday brought more rain, giving us an opportunity to hit the local bookstores. We managed to get to three, which is a lot of bookstores for an area like this. We were able to track down DEATH BE NOT PROUD for my older son at the third store. That purchase brought back some memories for me.

For all of you who were in Charley's more immediate path, our thoughts are with you and we wish you godspeed in getting your lives back to normal. I have been getting notes from authors, reviewers and readers who live in Charley's path all week. One from Ad Hudler, the author of HOUSEHUSBAND and SOUTHERN LIVING struck a real chord with me and I am sharing it with you. See the link below.

The rest of the week has been a blur of books and the Olympics. My younger son has decided that he may want to be an Olympic diver. Books include the latest in Karen Kingsbury's Red Glove Series, SARAH'S SONG, which again will tug at your heartstrings. Next up was THE SUMMER GUEST by Justin Cronin, which is a beautiful story and a read that transported me from the beach to the mountains as I turned the pages. People have been talking to me about this book all summer. I started it earlier in the year and tucked it away for this trip. Truly worth reading. Now I am reading CHEAT AND CHARMER by Pulitzer Prize Winner Elizabeth Frank, which will be in stores in October. It's a terrific period story about Hollywood in the '50s under the shadow of the McCarthy hearings.

Since I often have more than one book going at a time, I also am reading VEGAN VIRGIN VALENTINE by Carolyn Mackler, one of my favorite Young Adult authors. It's the story of a high school overachiever who finds some balance in her life during the last semester of her senior year. Since I have a real problem with the pressure placed on high school students today, I am enjoying the humor and the honesty of this one.

Lots going on this week at, even with me out of town. We have reviews of two books that I enjoyed and am pleased to share with you --- HISSY FIT by Mary Kay Andrews and WHITE HOT by Sandra Brown. We have interviews with both of these authors, as well as reviews. Both are great beach reads as we move into these last weeks of summer. I want to thank Tom, Wiley and Gena for all they did this week to allow me the chance to escape this week and spend more time offline than on.

Now I am off to teach the boys the dolphin kick that has been propelling the Olympic athletes ahead in the water. Joan, who is our designer, is off to Athens today for the Olympics. We all are incredibly jealous.

Have a great week. Hope you find a book to enjoy.

Carol Fitzgerald (
Read a poignant letter about Hurricane Charley from Ad Hudler here. Talks to Mary Kay Andrews, Author of HISSY FIT Co-Founder Carol Fitzgerald recently spoke with Mary Kay Andrews, whose newest book is HISSY FIT. In this interview Mary Kay talks about her love of interior design and some of the amazing pieces she has collected over the years from tag sales and auctions. She admits that, although she is a sweet, Southern belle in everyday life, she has been known to throw a hissy fit of her own when extremely agitated. Mary Kay also describes the sequel to SAVANNAH BLUES, which will focus on the character of BeBe Loudermilk and is scheduled to be released late next summer.

HISSY FIT by Mary Kay Andrews (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
Keeley Murdock throws a whopper of a hissy fit when she discovers her fiancé "doing the deed" with her maid-of-honor on the night before their wedding. After Keeley calls off the ceremony, her ex's family tries to ruin Keeley's professional reputation as a high-end interior designer. But soon a redheaded stranger comes to town with plans for Keeley that just may turn her fortunes around.

For more about Mary Kay Andrews, please go to
Read an interview with Mary Kay Andrews and a review of HISSY FIT here.
Read more about Greg Rucka here. Read more about Steve Berry here.
Our New Suspense/Thriller Author: Greg Rucka, Author of A GENTLEMAN'S GAME and Steve Berry, Author of THE ROMANOV PROPHECY
Our new Suspense/Thriller author is Greg Rucka, author of A GENTLEMAN'S GAME, which is on-sale September 28th. Want to be one of 20 readers selected to receive an advance copy to comment on? Then send an email to with you mailing address by Friday, August 27th.

New This Week:
-Read Fast Facts about Greg Rucka

Click on the link below to read more about the author.

Here's more about A GENTLEMAN'S GAME by Greg Rucka:
Tara Chace may be the most dangerous woman alive. She can seduce you into believing she's the woman of your dreams --- or kill you with the icy efficiency of an executioner. As the new head of Special Operations for British Intelligence, she no longer has to court death in the field --- she wants to. Throw away the old rules, the old school, the old-boy network. The world of international espionage is about to learn the hard way that spying is no longer merely a gentleman's game.

Steve Berry, who wrote THE AMBER ROOM, which was one of my favorite books of 2003 is back with THE ROMANOV PROPHECY.

New This Week:
-Read an excerpt from THE ROMANOV PROPHECY

Previous Weeks:
-See Our Advance Copy Winners
-Read Steve Berry Fast Facts

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 our Suspense/Thriller feature here.
Author Talk: Sandra Brown, Author of WHITE HOT
In this interview Sandra Brown discusses her latest novel, WHITE HOT, which takes place in a small Louisiana town. Brown talks about the influence that the South and its people have had on her writing and how the number of "crazy" individuals there make it a fascinating area to write about. She also explains how she keeps finding inspiration after writing more than fifty New York Times bestsellers and provides readers with some hints about her upcoming novel.

WHITE HOT by Sandra Brown (Thriller)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
When she learns that her younger brother has committed suicide, Sayre Lynch returns to Destiny, the small Louisiana town where she grew up. She plans to leave immediately after the funeral but soon finds herself drawn into the web cast by Huff Hoyle, her controlling and tyrannical father who, through his role, runs the lives of all who reside there.
Read an interview with Sandra Brown and a review of WHITE HOT here.
Read more about Raelynn Hillhouse here. Read more about David Wolstencroft here.
Debut Suspense/Thriller Authors: Raelynn Hillhouse, Author of RIFT ZONE and David Wolstencroft, Author of GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS
Our July Debut Suspense/Thriller author was 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.

New This Week:
-Read an excerpt from GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS

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.

Our August Debut Suspense/Thriller author is Raelynn Hillhouse, author of RIFT ZONE, which hits stores August 31st.

New This Week:
-Read a second excerpt from RIFT ZONE

Previous Weeks:
-See Our Advance Copy Winners

Here's more about the book:

Faith Whitney is an expert smuggler living in 1989 Germany, though her activities have not gone unnoticed. The East German Stasi have recruited her to deliver a package to Moscow, a package that must be delivered within forty-eight hours...or Faith will be eliminated. Her payment: the long-desired location of her missing father.

Read more about the Debut Suspense Thriller feature here.
Library Journal's Most Borrowed Books List
Beginning this month will be posting Library Journal's Most Borrowed Books list. Click on the link below to see the titles included on the list --- we're sure you'll be adding books to your own personal reading list.
Click here to read Library Journal's Most Borrowed Books list.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
BODY DOUBLE by Tess Gerritsen (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Boston medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles literally meets her match --- and must face a savage serial killer and shattering personal revelations --- in this frightening, first-rate thriller by the New York Times bestselling author of THE SURGEON and THE SINNER.

HARK! by Ed McBain (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Ed McBain has crafted a brilliant and intricate novel about a master criminal known as the Deaf Man, who haunts the city with cryptic passages from Shakespeare, directing the detectives of the 87th Precinct to a future crime -- if only they can figure out what he means.

THE WINDS OF CHANGE by Martha Grimes (Mystery)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
In this latest mystery from Martha Grimes, the regulars who comprise her ensemble cast are on hand as Richard Jury, Melrose Plant and Wiggins tackle multiple cases involving murder victims and missing persons. Are these cases somehow related to one another, or are they merely coincidences? Jury, like most lawmen, doesn't believe in coincidences.

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD by Jane Green (Fiction)
Reviewed by Jocelyn Kelley
Plain Jane Alice Chambers has married the man of her dreams, and he has turned her into the glamorous woman of his dreams. Unfortunately, Joe's wandering eye leaves Alice wondering if this is really the life she wants.

SEEING PAST Z: Nurturing the Imagination in a Fast-Forward World, by Beth Kephart (Nonfiction/Parenting)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
Consisting of interconnected anecdotes and extended reflections on the meaning and importance of imagination, Beth Kephart's SEEING PAST Z is an unusual and delightful book about nurturing children's creative spirit.
Read the reviews and features here.
Read Author Bibliographies here. Search here Read about the Light Wedge reading light here.
Poll: Which of the following books have you read or are you looking forward to reading?
Which of the following books have you read or are you looking forward to reading?

BLACKBIRD HOUSE by Alice Hoffman
THE BOURNE LEGACY by Eric Van Lustbader
GARDEN OF BEASTS by Jeffery Deaver
HISSY FIT by Mary Kay Andrews
LITTLE SCARLET by Walter Mosley
MY LIFE by Bill Clinton
THE QUEEN OF THE BIG TIME by Adriana Trigiani
R IS FOR RICOCHET by Sue Grafton
THE RULE OF FOUR by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
SHADOW DIVERS by Robert Kurson
SKINNY DIP by Carl Hiaasen
None of the above
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: What do you think will be remembered as the book of summer for 2004?
What do you think will be remembered as the book of summer for 2004?

Our next question update will be on August 27th.
Answer the Question of the Week.
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 HISSY FIT by Mary Kay Andrews and SHADOW DIVERS by Robert Kurson. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on August 27th.
Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

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--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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