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March 24, 2005 Newsletter

March 24, 2005

This Week on

Spring Break Talks to Philip Beard, Author of DEAR ZOE

Enter to Win Prizes by Signing Up for Author Newsletters

New in Paperback for March

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Francine Mathews, Author of BLOWN

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight:  Jess Walter, Author of CITIZEN VINCE

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Iris Johansen, Author of BLIND ALLEY

One to Watch: Victor Gischler, Author of SUICIDE SQUEEZE

One to Watch: Alicia Erian, Author of TOWELHEAD Has Been Updated for March

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog

Poll: How do you keep your place in your book?
Question of the Week: Pass Along Reading
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: Where do you buy most of your books?

Past Question of the Week: Name one author or book that your discovered on
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
Read a review of SUZANNE'S DIARY FOR NICHOLAS here.

Spring Break


The best part about doing trips back to back is that you just half unpack, add some new things in and BAM, go back on the road again! That's my schedule for this week as we head to the Outer Banks for Spring Break. There is something that I love about Spring Break. I always like going somewhere for a change of scenery, pace and an adventure and this time of year I love an escape from the dreariness of winter. Yes, I know it's spring, but when school is on snow delay like ours was today, it's still winter.

The books that I plan to read are packed in a large cardboard box --- a very large box. I figure I will camouflage this excess and tell everyone it's Easter surprises, albeit it HEAVY Easter surprises. Ha, the Easter Bunny does eggs and candy; I'm packing books.

Our four-day week this week did not keep us from bringing you a full roster of new content. There are some great reviews including one of SATURDAY by Ian McEwan, which was written by my business partner, who is one of my favorite writers, Jesse Kornbluth. Jesse wrote an amazing piece on writing tips this week for Media Bistro called Ten Usage and Grammar Errors That Could (or Should) Cripple a Career. Very worth exploring. Click here.

For those of you who are James Patterson fans, don't miss the television movie of SUZANNE'S DIARY FOR NICHOLAS, which airs on Sunday night on CBS at 9PM.

Have a great week and for those of you who celebrate Easter --- Happy Easter! I will try to do some blogging from the Outer Banks in between my reading...hey, the house has high-speed access (after dialup over the holidays I vowed not to repeat that anytime soon) and it also has an elevator. This I have to see.

Carol Fitzgerald (  

. Talks to Philip Beard, Author of DEAR ZOE Co-Founder Carol Fitzgerald and contributing writer Shannon McKenna interviewed Philip Beard, author of DEAR ZOE. Beard explains how his stepdaughter (unbeknownst to her) helped create the character of Tess, the fifteen-year-old narrator of his debut novel, and the difficulties he encountered with the plot line in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. He also shares with readers the remarkable story of the book's publication and why he decided to leave a successful legal career to become a novelist.

DEAR ZOE by Philip Beard (Fiction)
Reviewed by Shannon McKenna
Philip Beard's stunning debut is an epistolary novel written from 15-year-old Tess DeNunzio to her little sister Zoe. After Zoe's accidental death on September 11, 2001 --- a day so many others died --- Tess's family is numbed by their personal tragedy.

Read our advance reader comments about DEAR ZOE here.

Read our interview with Philip Beard and our review of DEAR ZOE here.


Enter to Win Prizes by Signing Up for Author Newsletters


  • Nelson DeMille - Win one of five personally inscribed copies of Night Fall. Click here to sign up.
  • Kate White - Win a basket filled with beauty spa products. Click here to sign up.
  • Daniel Silva - Win one of five signed copies of Prince of Fire. Click here to sign up.
  • Joseph Finder - Win a signed copy of Paranoia and a Paranoia t-shirt. Click here to sign up.
  • Marcia Muller - Win one of 5 signed copies of The Dangerous Hour. Click here to sign up.
  • Linda Lael Miller - Win a lovely fringed throw from the North Style catalog and an advance reading copy of Linda's June hardcover, McKettrick's Choice. Click here to sign up.
  • Kristin Hannah - Win a collection of signed Kristin Hannah titles including The Things We Do For Love, Between Sisters, Distant Shores, On Mystic Lake and Angel Falls. Click here to sign up.

See more details about Author Newsletter Signups here.

Read the March New in Paperback titles here. Read the March New in Paperback titles here. Read the March New in Paperback titles here.

New in Paperback for March

March's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE BOURNE LEGACY by Eric Van Lustbader, which marks the return of one of Robert Ludlum's most popular characters; Sophie Kinsella's CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET?, which introduces readers to the incorrigible Emma Corrigan; THE MASTER QUILTER, the sixth book in the Elm Creek Quilt series by Jennifer Chiaverini; and ONE FALSE MOVE by Alex Kava, a stand-alone suspense/thriller.

Among our nonfiction highlights --- ANN LANDERS IN HER OWN WORDS, a personal collection of letters that the advice columnist wrote to her daughter Margo over a span of 40 years; LEAP OF FAITH, the candid memoir of Queen Noor, who was married to King Hussein of Jordan; and THE TROUBLE WITH ISLAM, the controversial New York Times bestseller by Irshad Manji, a Muslim who honestly addresses key questions about mainstream Islam today.

We also revisit several titles that first appeared in our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight and Mystery Mayhem features. They include BLINDED by Stephen White, CROSSING THE LINE by Clinton McKinzie, THERAPY by Jonathan Kellerman and THE GAME by Laurie R. King.

Click here to read our New in Paperback feature.


Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Francine Mathews, Author of BLOWN

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Our latest Suspense/Thriller Author is Francine Mathews whose new book, BLOWN, will be in stores on April 26, 2005. In the opening chapters a crazed killer hands cups of tainted water to runners participating in a Marine-sponsored marathon. From there Mathews' character Caroline Carmichael is called in --- and from there the action is non-stop.

See our Advance Readers here.

BLOWN by Francine Mathews (Suspense)
On Sale: April 26, 2005
Former CIA analyst Francine Mathews has created "one of the toughest female secret agents we've seen in a long time." (USA Today) Using her firsthand expertise of international espionage, Mathews offers another brilliantly realized suspense novel so intense, so authentic, it lethally blurs the line between fact and fiction. In BLOWN, Caroline Carmichael returns in a white-hot tale of terror on the streets of Washington, where one woman must gamble her life to save her country.


Read more about Francine Mathews and BLOWN here.


Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight:  Jess Walter, Author of CITIZEN VINCE

Jess Walter, whose CITIZEN VINCE hits bookstores April 12th, is one of our featured Suspense/Thriller authors.

New This Week:
-Read another excerpt from CITIZEN VINCE.
About the Book:
It's the fall of 1980, eight days before the presidential election that pits a beleaguered hangdog Democrat against a suspiciously sunny Republican. In the Pacific Northwest, a small-time thief named Vince Camden is headed to his witness-protection job at Donut Make You Hungry. But Vince is about to learn that it's not so easy to leave your old self behind --- especially when your old self is being hunted by a killer. Over the next unforgettable week, Vince will find himself enmeshed in a local politician's troubles, torn between a beautiful young law clerk and a neurotic prostitute, playing poker with a not-yet-celebrated New York Mafioso, and looking for redemption in --- of all places --- a voting booth.
Read more about Jess Walter.
Sign up to get news about Jess Walter.


Read more about Jess Walter and CITIZEN VINCE here.


Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Iris Johansen, Author of BLIND ALLEY

Iris Johansen is another Suspense/Thriller author we are featuring. Her novel BLIND ALLEY will be available in paperback March 29th.

New This Week:
-Read what readers have to say about BLIND ALLEY.

Read more about Iris Johansen.
Read more about BLIND ALLEY.
Go to Iris Johansen's Website.

Here's more about BLIND ALLEY:

The New York Times bestselling author of FIRESTORM, Iris Johansen, returns with a psychological thriller so terrifying, so relentlessly paced, it won't leave you time to catch your breath before the next shock comes. A forensic sculptor is locked in a deadly duel with a serial killer determined to destroy her --- one life at a time.

Click here to read more about Iris Johansen and BLIND ALLEY.


One to Watch: Victor Gischler, Author of SUICIDE SQUEEZE

Our latest One to Watch author is Victor Gischler, whose new book SUICIDE SQUEEZE will be on sale on March 29, 2005.
New This Week:
-Read an excerpt from SUICIDE SQUEEZE.
Here's the skinny on SUICIDE SQUEEZE:
The Edgar Award-nominated author of GUN MONKEYS delivers an adrenaline rush of a novel that features a special appearance by Joe DiMaggio. The high spot of Teddy Folger's life was the day in 1954 that he got an autographed baseball card from Joe DiMaggio himself. It's been downhill ever since.

Read more about Victor Gischler and SUICIDE SQUEEZE here.


One to Watch: Alicia Erian, Author of TOWELHEAD

Alicia Erian's book, TOWELHEAD, which will be in stores on April 1st, is set during the first Gulf War. A young woman is being raised by her Lebanese dad in Texas in a story that crosses traditions with new values and innocence with budding sexuality.

-Read an excerpt from TOWELHEAD.

More about TOWELHEAD:
Painfully funny, tender, and sexually charged, TOWELHEAD is that rare thing: a gloriously readable novel unafraid to take risks. The story of a girl failed by her parents and by a conflicted America, TOWELHEAD is an ultimately redemptive and moving work that none of us can afford to ignore.

Read more about Alicia Erian and TOWELHEAD here. Has Been Updated for March is our website for Christian readers. Interested in inspirational fiction and nonfiction titles? Then this is a website that you will want to visit. This month we have 22 reviews, plus a roundup of Easter titles.

Visit here.


This Week's Reviews and Features

SATURDAY by Ian McEwan (Fiction)
Reviewed by Jesse Kornbluth
Ian McEwan's latest novel is set within a single day on February 15, 2003 --- the day of worldwide protest against the impending Iraq war. Henry Perowne's day moves through the ordinary to the extraordinary, beginning with an unusual sighting in the early morning skies of London.

DRAMA CITY by George Pelecanos (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
After serving a prison sentence on a drug charge, Lorenzo Brown reenters society. Rachel Lopez, Brown's parole officer, tries to help him, even as she battles her own demons and excesses. But soon they find themselves being pulled into the middle of a territorial dispute between rival drug gangs. Brown's past is on a collision course with his present, while Lopez is caught in the crossfire.

BURNED: A Regan Reilly Mystery by Carol Higgins Clark (Mystery)
Reviewed by Amie Taylor
If you're bored, tired of the winter weather and ready for adventure, come join Regan Reilly in Hawaii as she solves yet another mystery in the eighth adventure of Carol Higgins Clark's bestselling series.

HARD TRUTH by Nevada Barr (Mystery)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
Ranger Anna Pigeon confronts an unknowable evil when she encounters two distraught teenage girls who turn up filthy, starving and confused in a Rocky Mountain National Park campground after being missing for a month. A third girl is still unaccounted for, and Anna must hunt down a serial killer in her most spine-tingling mystery yet.

DETOUR by James Siegel (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
After trying to conceive for years, Paul and Joanna decide to adopt and arrange a trip to Colombia to bring home a baby girl. While there, the couple is taken prisoner and handed an ultimatum: either Paul transports two million dollars worth of cocaine to Jersey City, or his wife and daughter will be killed.

A KILLING NIGHT by Jonathon King (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
In Jonathon King's fourth Max Freeman novel, the former Philadelphia police officer is asked to help nail an ex-cop named Colin O'Shea who is suspected of killing several young women in South Florida. It just so happens that Freeman and O'Shea have a brief but intense history.

THE BABY TRAIL by Sinead Moriarty (Fiction)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
Laura Moriarty's promising debut novel --- about one woman's difficulty getting pregnant and the lengths to which she will go to try to accomplish this --- is well written, with a good blend of humor and drama.

THE THREE MRS. PARKERS by Joan Medlicott (Fiction)
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton
From Joan Medlicott, the nationally bestselling author who created the wonderful world of Covington, comes a heartwarming story about three generations of women and how their once-estranged relationships are slowly mended.

WHEN TRUMPETS CALL: Theodore Roosevelt After the White House by Patricia O'Toole (Biography)
Reviewed by Colleen Quinn
Theodore Roosevelt faces the challenges of life after the presidency in Patricia O'Toole's insightful new biography --- a sensitive, sophisticated study of a great man at a vulnerable time.

THE FACE OF A NAKED LADY: An Omaha Family Mystery by Michael Rips (Memoir)
Reviewed by J. McAfee
Following the death of his father, Michael Rips returned to his Omaha family home to discover a hidden portfolio of paintings --- all done by his father, all of a naked black woman. Rips proceeds to embark on a journey to locate this mystery person, while at the same time tries to better understand his enigmatic father.

DEPARTURES by Lorna J. Cook (Fiction)
Reveiwed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
A coming-of-age story told from the perspective of teenage siblings Suzen and Evan VanderZee, DEPARTURES is a glimpse into a somewhat atypical family at the moment the oldest children are asserting their emotional and physical independence.

WHY MEN HATE GOING TO CHURCH by David Murrow (Christian Living)
Reviewed by Marcia Ford
David Murrow's important new book explains why there are a lack of men in church and offers hope and encouragement to women, pastors, and men. WHY MEN HATE GOING TO CHURCH doesn't call men back to the church --- it calls the church back to men.

WRAPPED IN RAIN: A Novel of Coming Home by Charles Martin (Fiction)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
In rural Alabama, two abused boys find their only comfort and hope in the 45-year-old childless widow Miss Ella Rain, the daughter of the son of an Alabama slave. She stands as a solid force between them and their evil, alcoholic, and wealthy father Rex. Despite her best efforts, the boys' relationship with their father leaves terrible scars.

Click here to read this week's reviews and features.

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Poll: How do you keep your place in your book?

For keeping your place in a book, do you use a bookmark or fold down the pages?

Use a bookmark
Flip the cover jacket into the page I am reading when I stop
Fold down the pages
Not sure what I do

Answer the Poll here.

Question of the Week: Pass Along Reading

Question: Name the last book that you passed along to someone and said, "You have to read this."

Please note: Our next question update will be on April 8th.

Answer the Question of the Week here.

Read more about DRAMA CITY here. Read more about  THE AMBASSADOR'S SON 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 DRAMA CITY by George Pelecanos and THE AMBASSADOR'S SON by Homer Hickam. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on April 8th.

Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.


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--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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