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September 24, 2004 Newsletter September 24, 2004
This Week on
Bookish Contests Talks to Jennifer Traig, Author of DEVIL IN THE DETAILS
Fantasy Author Spotlight: Stephen R. Donaldson, Author of THE RUNES OF THE EARTH
Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Greg Rucka, Author of A GENTLEMAN'S GAME
One To Watch: ABSENT FRIENDS by S.J. Rozan
New in Paperback for September
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: Quotations In Books
Question of the Week: What is your favorite quotation?
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: Have you found yourself reading more books about politics this year?
Past Question of the Week: Which political book have you enjoyed most and why?
Go here. Read more about The Golf Trip of a Lifetime here. Sign up for Author Newsletters here.
Bookish Contests
This week we are going to talk about contests. Everyone loves contests, right? I can see you with your finger poised on your mouse just ready to click. After all, there always is the chance that YOU could be the winner. The following authors each are running contests for readers who sign up for their newsletters (we also are sharing the titles of their most recent releases, in case you may recognize those and not their names) --- Daniel Silva (A DEATH IN VIENNA), Joseph Finder (PARANOIA), Linda Lael Miller (NEVER LOOK BACK), Kristin Hannah (THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE) and Marcia Muller (THE DANGEROUS HOUR). Not only will you get information about their next releases in their newsletters, but just for signing up you have a chance to win signed books! Interested in learning more about this? Then click the button that says "Sign Up for Author Newsletters" right above this letter.

We announced this contest last week, but are repeating it in case you may have missed it since it's such a great one. In conjunction with the publication of THE OLD MAN AND THE TEE, which our reviewer really enjoyed, St. Martin's is co-sponsoring a golf essay contest where the Grand Prize is a Six Days/Five Nights stay in Turnberry, Scotland for two. See details below. You will want to spread the word about this one.

Speaking of contests, click on the link below to check out the entries and winners for this past summer's Vacation Reading contest.

Also, there has been a lot of press in recent months about the rise in popularity of Christian fiction. When the New York Times runs two stories in a month, we do take note. For those of you who are curious about these books and authors, may we suggest you take a look at, the website in our Network that we launched last November. It's been getting great feedback and praise. You can click on the link above to get to it. Also, may we ask that you share this with your friends who may enjoy these "more gentle" reads?

To all of our readers who are observing Yom Kippur tomorrow, we wish you a solemn and holy holiday filled with time for reflection and prayer.

My weekend is going to be spent reading four authors who I have not read before --- Marcia Talley, Carol Goodman, Jerrilyn Farmer and Naomi Hirahara. They are all on a panel that I am moderating on October 8th at Bouchercon, the mystery/suspense/thriller conference in Toronto. No matter how many panels I do, I always end up moderating one where I have never read the authors before. It's a great way to learn about new authors and their work.

Have a great week....

Carol Fitzgerald (
Click here to reading the Vacation Reading Contest entries. Talks to Jennifer Traig, Author of DEVIL IN THE DETAILS contributing writer Jamie Layton interviews Jennifer Traig, whose memoir DEVIL IN THE DETAILS focuses on her battle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Traig talks about her good-natured parents and the tough-love approach they took when dealing with her behaviors. She also describes her relationship with her sister, how her compulsions affected her dating experiences in high school, and the obsessive-compulsive tendencies she still exhibits today.

DEVIL IN THE DETAILS: Scenes From an Obsessive Girlhood, by Jennifer Traig (Memoir)
Reviewed by Jamie Layton
DEVIL IN THE DETAILS is a funny and touching memoir that provides a rare inside look at obsessive-compulsive disorder through the eyes of the woman who suffered through it.
Read an interview with Jennifer Traig and a review of DEVIL IN THE DETAILS here
Read our Fantasy feature here.
Fantasy Author Spotlight: Stephen R. Donaldson, Author of THE RUNES OF THE EARTH
Stephen R. Donaldson is back with the latest in his Chronicles of Thomas Covenant series after a hiatus of 21 years. Six books were previously published. Four are planned for this continuation of the series.

New This Week:
See our list of advance readers
Read a second excerpt of THE RUNES OF THE EARTH

Here is the story so far:

In the original series, Thomas Covenant is transported to a fantastic world in which a battle for the soul of the land is being waged, and he is forced to accept his role as savior of the Land. In THE RUNES OF THE EARTH, Linden Avery comes home one day to find her child building images of the Land with blocks. She never thought that she would be summoned to the Land again or see her beloved Thomas Covenant, who was killed ten years earlier. But in the Land, evil is unmaking the very laws of nature.
Read more about Stephen R. Donaldson and THE RUNES OF THE EARTH here.
Read more about our Suspense/Thriller  Author Spotlight here.
Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Greg Rucka, Author of A GENTLEMAN'S GAME
Greg Rucka, author of A GENTLEMAN'S GAME, which will be in bookstores on September 28th is our new Suspense/Thriller author.

New This Week:
See what our advance readers have to say about A GENTLEMAN'S GAME

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.
Read more about Greg Rucka and A GENTLEMAN'S GAME here.
Read more about our One To Watch feature here.
One To Watch: ABSENT FRIENDS by S.J. Rozan
S.J. Rozan is the multi-award-winning author of eight novels in the Lydia Chin/Bill Smith series. While she is One To Watch all the time, we are spotlighting her for her stand-alone novel, ABSENT FRIENDS, which hits stores on September 28th.

New This Week:
Read a third excerpt of ABSENT FRIENDS.

Here's more about ABSENT FRIENDS:
Jimmy. Markie. Vickie. Sally. Tom. Jack. Childhood friends, each will live in the shadow of a past that still echoes with hopes and regrets. Markie will die in prison. Kim will die a hero when the Towers fall. But it is a reporter's suicide and a colleague's desperate search for answers in the dark aftermath of a horrifying tragedy that will finally penetrate their silence.

Both a daring mystery and a tribute to an event that changed our lives irrevocably, it is ABSENT FRIENDS' rich characters and indelible portrait of New York City that readers will find unforgettable--- and that mark this extraordinary novel as the signature work of an author poised to take her place in the front ranks.
Read more about S.J. Rozan and ABSENT FRIENDS here.
New in Paperback for September
September's New in Paperback titles include SPLIT SECOND, a fast-paced political thriller by David Baldacci; DIVIDED IN DEATH, the eighteenth book in J.D. Robb's series featuring New York Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas; and Jonathan Lethem's national bestseller THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE. Among our nonfiction highlights are KATE REMEMBERED, A. Scott Berg's touching tribute to the legendary Katharine Hepburn; NOT FADE AWAY, an extraordinary memoir in which the late Peter Barton talks about his life and diagnosis with cancer; and THE END OF DETROIT, a detailed account of the mistakes and miscalculations that have doomed America's automobile industry, by New York Times reporter Micheline Maynard.
Read our New in Paperback titles for September here.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL by Susanna Clarke (Fiction)
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
In this rich and extraordinary tale set in England's early nineteenth century, Susanna Clarke explores the intersecting lives of two magicians, creating a world so thoroughly enchanting that eight hundred pages leave readers longing for more.

HARD, HARD CITY by Jim Fusilli (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
In this latest installment of Jim Fusilli's critically acclaimed series, private investigator Terry Orr has been asked by his daughter and her friend to search for a gifted student who has suddenly disappeared. What Terry uncovers is a hornet's nest of family secrets.

NIGHTS OF RAIN AND STARS by Maeve Binchy (Fiction)
Reviewed by Kathy Weissman
Known for irresistible tales of Irish life, Maeve Binchy has set her new book in a Greek island village, where a group of travelers from around the world and the local residents they encounter are brought together in unexpected ways when sudden tragedy strikes.

INSIDE THE KINGDOM: My Life in Saudi Arabia, by Carmen Bin Ladin (Memoir)
Reviewed by Pauline Finch
Carmen Bin Ladin's compelling story of life under the veiled oppression of Saudi society goes far beyond the notoriety of the illusory "Osama connection" and reveals both her bravery and passion as a wife, mother, daughter and necessary activist.

WITCH HUNT by Ian Rankin (Thriller)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
Award-winning author Ian Rankin brings us a gripping new read from the United Kingdom, with action bouncing from Great Britain to the Continent and back again. French police agencies team up with the British in an attempt to thwart a disaster with possible global repercussions.

SCIMITAR SL-2 by Patrick Robinson (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
After Professor Paul Landon, the world's most prominent geophysicist, is found with a bullet in his head, it is discovered that Ravi Rashood --- the head of Hamas --- has hatched a diabolical plot against the West: to fire a nuclear missile into a volcano.

PARADISE CITY by Lorenzo Carcaterra (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Giancarlo Lo Manto, a detective on the Naples police force, is lured back to his hometown of New York City when his beloved niece is kidnapped by the crime family of Mafia boss Pete Rossi, who would like nothing more than to pull the plug on Lo Manto's life.

EVERY INCH OF HER by Peter Sheridan (Fiction)
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton
Philomena Nolan is an abused housewife and mother who runs away from her husband and children in order to seek comfort at a convent and forge a new life on her own.

SLOW KILL by Michael McGarrity (Mystery)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney travels to a California ranch to buy quarter horses. But instead, he finds himself the prime suspect in a possible homicide when a guest at the ranch is found dead.

TOO BRIEF A TREAT: The Letters of Truman Capote, edited by Gerald Clarke (Letters/Literature)
Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott
Acclaimed biographer Gerald Clarke brings together for the first time the private letters of Truman Capote. Encompassing more than four decades, these letters reveal the inner life of one of the twentieth century's most intriguing personalities.

BAGMAN by Jay MacLarty (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
When Kyra, the daughter of Big Jake Rynerson --- one of the world's wealthiest men --- is kidnapped in the Galapagos Islands, professional courier Simon Leonidovich is hired to deliver the ransom. But playing bagman for a billionaire is not as easy as you may think.

THE TWELVE LITTLE CAKES by Dominika Dery (Memoir)
Reviewed by Hannah Gómez
Dominika Dery, the daughter of recognized dissidents associated with the failed Prague Spring uprising, has written a memoir that focuses on her childhood. Although she grew up in a loving home, Dominika's life was far from charmed.

US AGAINST THEM: An Oral History of the Ryder Cup, by Robin McMillan (Sports)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
Robin McMillan recounts how the Ryder Cup grew from the brink of extinction to become one of the most compelling and controversial tournaments in golf.
Read the reviews and features here.
Read Author Bibliographies here. Search here Read about the Light Wedge reading light here.
Poll: Quotations In Books
Many novels have quotations at the beginning or at the beginning of chapters to inspire the reader or to enhance a story. Those quotations spur this week's poll question.

When you are reading a novel and you see a quotation at the beginning of the book or a chapter, do you:

Read it and try to figure out what it means to the context of the story
Read it and not try to figure why it's there
Glance at it and keep right on reading
Ignore it completely

What kind of quotation gets your attention most?
Something from the Bible
Some lines of poetry
Something from a popular song or movie
Something from great literature.
I am not sure.
I do not look at quotations.
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 is your favorite quotation?
What is your favorite quotation?

Our next question update will be on October 15th.
Answer the Question of the Week.
Read more about JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR. NORRELL here. Read more about DOUBLE HOMICIDE here. Read more about LIGHT ON SNOW here.
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 JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL by Susanna Clarke, DOUBLE HOMICIDE by Jonathan and Faye Kellerman and LIGHT ON SNOW by Anita Shreve.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on October 15th.
Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

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Happy reading! Don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend or to visit our other websites from,,,,, and

--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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