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November 24, 2004 Newsletter November 24, 2004
This Week on

Happy Thanksgiving Talks to Nelson DeMille, Author of NIGHT FALL

ONE TO WATCH: CAGE'S BEND by Carter Coleman

STATE OF FEAR by Michael Crichton, To Be Released on December 7th; Play the State of Fear Game NOW!

New in Paperback for November

SEDUCTRESS by Betsy Prioleau is Now in Paperback and Enter the Seductress Contest

This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: Which of these books have you read or do you look forward to reading?
Question of the Week: What Author Would You Invite for the Holidays?
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes!
Quick Links to Features On The Book Report Network
Past Reviews
Can't See the Graphics? Read This Newsletter Online
Past Poll: Do you read excerpts of books online to help you select what books you may be interested in reading?
Past Question of the Week: Tell us about one book that you were intrigued to read after reading an excerpt.
Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight Promotion
Debut Suspense/Thriller One to Watch Promotion
Mystery Mayhem Promotion

Fantasy Author Spotlight Promotion

One to Watch Promotion
Chick Lit Promotion
Click here to read more about FEAST. Read more about COOKING WITH MY SISTERS here. Browse through Book Awards here.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Here's hoping your celebration makes some wonderful memories. I am just cooking for our immediate family as my parents are off visiting my sister in Atlanta. I love to cook and thus am going through "large gathering cooking withdrawal." Thus I am spending the afternoon at my friend Rachel's helping her cook for her 20 guests. Looking forward to chopping. By the way, I have a killer turkey recipe that I created about 10 years ago if any of you need it. I stuff it with herbs and baste it in butter and red wine.

I read cookbooks like they are novels. My new favorite is Nigella Lawson's FEAST, which is about both "big-deal" celebrations and using food to celebrate life. The book opens with a chapter on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I plan to try the Green Bean and Lemon Casserole tomorrow, as well as the Maple-Roast Parsnips. I loved her FOREVER SUMMER cookbook, as well. Also, I know I mentioned this one before, but after making the Stuffed Artichokes the last THREE Sundays, I had to again mention Adriana Trigiani's cookbook, COOKING WITH MY SISTERS, which is where I got the recipe from. The lemon makes all the difference in the flavor.

Monday night I went to what had to be one of the most fun book parties that I ever attended. It was for Nelson DeMille's NIGHT FALL. Nelson is witty, self-deprecating and tells as great a story from the podium as he does in his book. The mood the entire evening was festive and fun. I had the pleasure of working with him these past few weeks redesigning his website. Take a look there to learn more about his writing and NIGHT FALL. We will be adding more content to this site in the weeks to come, including the first draft of the first chapter of NIGHT FALL so be sure to bookmark this page:

While it's a short week, we have lots to share. There are many new reviews and we are announcing a new One to Watch author, Carter Coleman. If you enjoy southern writing as much as I do, you will enjoy CAGE'S BEND. We are looking for 10 readers to read an advance copy and share their comments. Send your name and mailing address to by Friday, December 3rd to enter your name in the drawing.

Thanks to the more than 1,830 of you who already responded to our 3rd Annual Reader Survey. For those of you who have not yet been polled, you have till Sunday, December 5th. Reminder...for sharing your thoughts in this poll you can be entered to win a $100 gift certificate from Amazon, as well as two other $25 gift certificates. Click on the link below to learn more. One quick comment. There are three parts to the survey, so if you only answered one or two parts and would like to finish the survey, please click on the link below to access it.

Enjoy your holiday weekend. One note: I have heard from a number of friends this year who are celebrating their holiday for the first time without a parent or a spouse. Hearing what they will miss about their celebration has struck a chord. While many talk about foods that their loved ones were known for --- everything from oyster stuffing to cinnamon applesauce to a special pumpkin streusel pie --- there also are a lot of nice memories of the person who will be missing at the table. To any of you who find yourselves in this same situation, may you relish your memories and create some new special traditions for yourselves.

May you each find time to spend with a book in the next four days. I am giving thanks for the terrific staff at The Book Report Network, our fabulous reviewers and you, our loyal readers.

--Carol Fitzgerald (

Answer our 3rd Annual Reader Study here. Talks to Nelson DeMille, Author of NIGHT FALL Co-Founder Carol Fitzgerald and senior writer Joe Hartlaub interviewed Nelson DeMille, author of NIGHT FALL. This latest thriller is a fictional account of the TWA Flight 800 disaster, and in this interview DeMille explains what he thinks happened on that fateful night in July 1996. He also talks extensively about his writing routine, names the authors who inspired him to be a writer, and provides readers with a sneak preview of his next novel.

NIGHT FALL by Nelson DeMille (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
The July 1996 explosion of TWA Flight 800 has been attributed to a mechanical malfunction. But for John Corey and his wife Kate Mayfield, both members of the elite Anti-Terrorist Task Force, the case is not closed. Suspicious of a cover-up, they set out to find the one piece of evidence that will prove their theory --- a videotape of the unbelievable truth.

For more about Nelson DeMille, go to


Read our interview with Nelson DeMille and a review of NIGHT FALL here.
Read more about ONE TO WATCH here.

ONE TO WATCH: CAGE'S BEND by Carter Coleman

Our newest One To Watch author is Carter Coleman. His novel, CAGE'S BEND is written in the tradition of Pat Conroy's THE PRINCE OF TIDES. It's the dramatic story of the unraveling of a tight-knit Southern family. It will be in stores on January 7th.

Here's more about CAGE'S BEND:

Cage, Nick, and Harper appear to be the archetypal sons of the ideal American family of the 1960s and 70s. The firstborn, Cage, is the golden boy --- star athlete and scholar, adventurous, handsome, and preternaturally popular; Nick is the quiet, late-blooming middle son, and Harper, 10 years younger, chases after his older siblings, trying not to be left out. With the tragic death of Nick in the 1980s, the breakdown of the family begins. Cage's guilt triggers incipient mental illness, and the next two decades find him swinging between mania and depression, between grim institutions and comebacks. Harper, who achieved early success on Wall Street, is torn between wanting to help his brother and seeking escape from his ghosts via an endless stream of women. Told in the alternating voices of Cage, Harper, and their parents, CAGE'S BEND is the story of a family damaged by tragedy and unfulfilled dreams, and renewed by the unshakable bonds of love.

We are looking for 10 advance readers to read this book and share their thoughts about it in early January. Interested? Send your name and your mailing address to by Friday, December 3rd to be eligible to win.

Read more about Carter Coleman and CAGE'S BEND here.


STATE OF FEAR by Michael Crichton, To Be Released on December 7th; Play the State of Fear Game NOW!

Michael Crichton's highly anticipated novel, STATE OF FEAR will be released on December 7th. While you are waiting for its release, may we suggest that you play the State of Fear game? Find the clues to have the chance to INSTANTLY win prizes. If you find special clues, you will be given access to exclusive excerpts from the book.The grand prize winner receives a personally autographed copy of STATE OF FEAR signed by Michael Crichton.

To play the State of Fear game, go here.


New in Paperback for November

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Just in time for the holidays, Warner Books has released David Baldacci's entertaining and heartwarming novel THE CHRISTMAS TRAIN in paperback. November's roundup of New in Paperback titles also includes ABSOLUTE FRIENDS, John le Carré's cautionary tale of loyalty, betrayal and international espionage; ODD THOMAS, Dean Koontz's 2003 suspense novel about a short order cook who can see and talk with the dead; and ARROGANCE, the controversial New York Times bestseller by Emmy Award-winning journalist Bernard Goldberg that focuses on "rescuing America from the media elite."

Read our November New In Paperback feature here.

SEDUCTRESS by Betsy Prioleau is Now in Paperback and Enter the Seductress Contest

SEDUCTRESS: Women Who Ravished the World and Their Lost Art of Love, by Betsy Prioleau (Women's Studies)
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad
In this road map to restoring feminine sexual power, Betsy Prioleau introduces and analyzes the stories and stratagems of history's greatest seductresses.

Betsy has 50 Seductress t-shirts that she will award in a random drawing. Want to enter? Write her at to tell her who you think should be the Seductress of 2004. Be sure to include your mailing address in case you are the winner. E-mail must be received by December 18th. Hint: This could make a great  gift for YOUR favorite seductress.

For more on Betsy Prioleau go to

Read a book discussion guide for SEDUCTRESS here.

Read our review of SEDUCTRESS here.

Read the reviews and features here. Read the reviews and features here. Read the reviews and features here.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features

WOLVES EAT DOGS by Martin Cruz Smith (Mystery)
Reviewed by Kathy Weissman
Martin Cruz Smith's melancholy Russian detective, Arkady Renko, doesn't fit into the rapacious "New Russia" any better than he did the old Soviet state. Here, he returns in a fascinating mystery set in a tragic landscape: the radioactive Zone of Exclusion around Chernobyl.  

METRO GIRL by Janet Evanovich (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roz Shea

Janet Evanovich, best known for her Stephanie Plum adventure series, has written a stand-alone novel featuring a new heroine, Alexandra (Barney) Barnaby. In METRO GIRL "Wild" Bill Barnaby has mysteriously disappeared. Big sister Alex travels to Miami, Bill's last known sighting, on a harrowing hunt to save her brother --- and possibly the world. 

I AM CHARLOTTE SIMMONS by Tom Wolfe (Fiction)
Reviewed by Jamie Layton
Beautiful and brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina, soon learns --- to her mounting dismay --- that for the privileged elite at Dupont University, sex, coolness and kegs trump academic achievement every time.

WHITEOUT by Ken Follett (Thriller)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
A stolen vial of a killer virus sets in motion a series of incidents no one could have foreseen, and British authorities are thwarted by a surprise storm and a lethargy born of ignorance. Who are the thieves, and what plans do they have to ruin a magical white Christmas? 

CASE HISTORIES by Kate Atkinson (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
With her fourth work of fiction, award-winning author Kate Atkinson has written an original, unusual and thoroughly engaging mystery novel that compromises none of her literary talents.

AN INVISIBLE WOMAN by Anne Strieber (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Kealy Ryerson has everything a New York socialite could want. But one day she receives a telephone call from her husband, imploring her to take their children and leave the country. Minutes later, he is dead, and Kealy is on her own --- and on the run --- in ways she never could have imagined. 

SNOWED IN by Christina Bartolomeo (Fiction)
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton
Sophie Quinn contemplates her marriage, and her life, when she and her husband move from the comfortable confines of Washington, D.C. to the colder, unknown world of Portland, Maine.

COLOR BLIND by Jonathan Santlofer (Suspense)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
When two hideously eviscerated bodies are discovered, and the only link between them is a bizarre painting left at each crime scene, the NYPD turns to former cop Kate McKinnon, the woman who brought the Death Artist, a serial killer, to justice.

THE GODFATHER RETURNS by Mark Winegardner (Fiction)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Thirty-five years ago, Mario Puzo's great American tale The Godfather was published. Now, in The Godfather Returns, acclaimed novelist Mark Winegardner continues the story --- the years not covered in Puzo's bestselling book or in Francis Ford Coppola's classic films.

MEN AND CARTOONS: Stories by Jonathan Lethem (Fiction/Short Stories)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman

Disastrous party games, magical spray, vengeful writers, a permanent traffic jam and various superheroes. All are found in Jonathan Lethem's collection of quirky yet serious short stories.

ADMISSIONS by Nancy Lieberman (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
Nancy Lieberman's debut novel is a searing satirical send-up of the Manhattan private school admissions process, "the Manhattan parents' version of a blood sport." 

CITY ROOM by Arthur Gelb (Memoir)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
Arthur Gelb's chatty retelling of his 45-year rise from copy boy to managing editor at the New York Times gives a vivid glimpse of the inner workings of a great newspaper that is also a national institution.

Read the reviews and features here.
Read our reviews and features here. Read our reviews and features here. Read our reviews and features here.
Poll: Which of these books have you read or do you look forward to reading?

Which of the following books have you read or do you look forward to reading?

Citizen Girl by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe
Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz
London Bridges by James Patterson
Men and Cartoons by Jonathan Lethem
Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich
Night Fall by Nelson DeMille
A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg
Runaway by Alice Munro
Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman
State of Fear by Michael Crichton
Twisted by Jonathan Kellerman
Whiteout by Ken Follett
Wolves Eat Dogs by Martin Cruz Smith
None of the above

Talking turkey, do you prefer white meat or dark meat?
White meat
Dark meat
I do not like turkey.

Answer the Poll here.
Browse through forthcoming books here. Read about books that have won awards here. Sign up for Author Newsletters here.
Question of the Week: What Author Would You Invite for the Holidays?
What author would you like to have a holiday meal with?

Our next question update will be on December 3rd.
Answer the Question of the Week.
Read more NIGHT FALL here. Read more about TWISTED 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 NIGHT FALL by Nelson DeMille and TWISTED by Jonathan Kellerman.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on December 3rd.

Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

As always, here are a few housekeeping notes. If you are seeing this newsletter in a text version, and would prefer to see the graphics, you can either read it online (see the link on the upper right) or change your preferences below.

Those of you who wish to send mail to, please see the form on the Write to Us page. We were forced to move to this format after we were inundated with SPAM at the other address. If you would like to reach me, please write Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us.

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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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