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July 8, 2005 Newsletter

July 8, 2005

This Week on

Colorado Reading Talks to Perri O'Shaughnessy, Author of CASE OF LIES

Beach Bag Of Books: Spotlight on ADORED by Tilly Bagshawe and Weekly Beach Bag Giveaway

Enter the Cocktail Contest as We Celebrate BLOODY MARY by J.A. Konrath

Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Elizabeth Becka, Author of TRACE EVIDENCE

Our Latest Suspense/Thriller Author: Stephen J. Cannell, Author of COLD HIT

Mystery Mayhem: Jacqueline Winspear, Author of PARDONABLE LIES

Mystery Mayhem: Mary Jane Clark, Author of DANCING IN THE DARK

Now in Paperback: THE RULE OF FOUR by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason 

THE PAINTED KISS by Elizabeth Hickey -- A Great Summer Read You Want to Note!

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog

Poll: What Are You Reading?
Question of the Week: Summer 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: Which of the following books are you most looking forward to reading, or are you

Past Question of the Week: What do you think makes a book a beach read?
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
Summer Beach Bag Promotion

Colorado Reading

I am writing this from poolside at my hotel at Beaver Creek, Colorado where I am staring at the mountain that I am going to hike as soon as I am done. Talk about motivation. I have not been here in 11 years. The first time I was at this resort I was riding in a snowcat as the marketing and public relations people from Vail Associates were sharing their vision for the resort. Now, 25 years later I still am amazed at what has sprung up here. I am spending two days seeing old friends and catching up. It's a nice break from New York. Tomorrow I head to Denver for the Christian booksellers conference. One of my favorite authors, Charles Martin, is up for a Christy Award for Christian fiction writing. Looking forward to cheering him on.
What's your favorite cocktail? Mine is a margarita, with salt. Sometimes frozen. Why am I asking? We have a contest running this month on celebrating the Jack Daniels series from J.A. Konrath. His latest book is BLOODY MARY; the last was WHISKEY SOUR.  Very clever. To enter the contest, see details here, and don't forget to add your favorite alcoholic or non-alcoholic cocktail to your entry and we'll include it with the prize.
Last weekend I floated in the pool reading DANCING IN THE DARK by Mary Jane Clark. Clark is one of our featured mystery authors this week. The book is set in Ocean Grove, New Jersey and it is prompting me to want to go visit this shore town. There is a tagline associated with Clark that reads --- every word is a clue. I heartily concur. It will be in stores on July 26th. I also made some more recipes from Linda and Martha Greenlaw's new cookbook, RECIPES FROM A VERY SMALL ISLAND, which is just in stores this week. Many of you know Linda's bestselling work, ALL FISHERMEN ARE LIARS, THE LOBSTER CHRONICLES and THE HUNGRY OCEAN. You can read more about Linda at
We are announcing two new author features this week. The first is Stephen J. Cannell, whose name many of you may know since he has been so well reviewed here at It's a pleasure to share more about this suspense/thriller author with you. Cannell is a complete class act and many of you may know him from his Edgar Award-winning books and his Emmy-winning television work. We have 20 advance reading copies of his latest COLD HIT, which will be in stores on August 15th, to give away to readers who want to read the book and comment on it. If you would like to be considered for this, please send a note with your name and mailing address to by July 22nd to be eligible.

You know how we love showcasing new talent to you. We love to bring you authors that you will one day say, I remember reading about that writer first on Elizabeth Becka is one of those authors. Her debut forensic novel is TRACE EVIDENCE, which will be on sale on August 3rd. We have 10 advance reading copies to give away to  readers who want to read the book and comment on it. If you would like to be considered for this, please send a note with your name/mailing address to by July 22nd to be eligible.
Books can spur hobbies. I started knitting again after reading Debbie Macomber's THE SHOP ON BLOSSOM STREET last year, which she followed up with A GOOD YARN this year. I am working on a scarf while I am on this trip, which has been fun. Emilie Richards' book, ENDLESS CHAIN, is inspiring me to think about quilting. We have heard that many knitting and quilting groups are enjoying reading these titles and discussing them. It's a thought for those of you who like to combine reading and crafts.

Laurie R. King, author of LOCKED ROOMS, replies to reader questions this week. Click on the link above to read more about this book and author.  
We have two new staffers at The Book Report Network, which brings our total staff up from six to eight. Jennifer Krieger joined us last month as Traffic Coordinator, after graduating from NYU. She's taking on the role of coordinating all our features and projects, as well as doing the setup on our weekly and monthly newsletters. Marisa Emralino is our Editorial Assistant. She is working with Tom Donadio, our Editorial Manager, on features for all our websites. Marisa is a graduate of Fordham University, my alma mater. She had been interning with us for the past year. It's a pleasure to have both Jen and Marisa on board. You can read their bios in our About Us section.
Know a teen? If so, I would love them to answer our Reader Survey. We have some great prizes we are giving away to the teens who answer. You can get to the survey here.
Have a great week. I am ready to get hiking.
Carol Fitzgerald (


Click here to get more information about Linda and Martha Greenlaw and their cookbook RECIPES FROM A VERY SMALL ISLAND. Talks to Perri O'Shaughnessy, Author of CASE OF LIES's Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight Team (Carol Fitzgerald, Joe Hartlaub and Wiley Saichek) interviewed sisters Pamela and Mary O'Shaughnessy, who write under the pen name "Perri O'Shaughnessy." Pamela and Mary talk about some of the themes that appear in their latest Nina Reilly novel CASE OF LIES, including gambling and mathematics. They also explain the challenges of sustaining such a long-running series and share details about their next two projects: a collection of short stories each involving a crime, and a novel based on a real-life mystery surrounding their parents.

CASE OF LIES by Perri O'Shaughnessy (Legal Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Perri O'Shaughnessy, the pen name for sisters Pamela and Mary O'Shaughnessy, has returned with another legal thriller in the Nina Reilly series. The talented but troubled attorney's investigation into an unsolved murder takes her on a dark journey strewn with old crimes, bitter truths, and heart-stopping danger.


Click here to read our interview with Perri O'Shaughnessy and a review of CASE OF LIES.

See our  Summer Beach Bag of Books feature here.

Beach Bag Of Books: Spotlight on ADORED by Tilly Bagshawe and Weekly Beach Bag Giveaway

Whether your "beach" is on sand, your backyard deck or a grassy meadow in the country, the summer months mean it's time for "beach reading." is celebrating the lazy days of summer reading with a special feature, Beach Bag of Books.

Every week from May 20th through August 19th a different title will be featured with a review and author interview, as well as a contest prize --- a beach bag stocked with that book, plus summertime essentials that tie in to its theme. Five FABULOUS beach bags will be given away each week, as well as five copies of the book to additional winners.

Our eighth spotlighted title is ADORED by Tilly Bagshawe. This book is so sinfully delicious and steamy that it is best savored poolside, in a chaise lounge, while sipping something cool. Our ADORED BEACH BAG prize is a crème colored Time Warner Book Group canvas bag with a copy of Tilly Bagshawe's ADORED, a pair of glam chandelier earrings, mini glittery hairclips in a variety of colors, Frill's A-Ha™ Hand Cream, a colorful pumice stone and emory board for smoothing out the rough spots, Cool Mint Listerine PocketPaks™, and an indoor/outdoor disposable camera with flash to record your most fabulous summer moments. We have five to give away, as well as five additional prizes of copies of ADORED.
Click here to enter.

Enjoying our summer beach bag contests and want to make sure you don't miss out on the next one? Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter and we'll alert you when the weekly Beach Bag contest has been updated.


Click here to read more about's Beach Bag of Books feature.


Enter the Cocktail Contest as We Celebrate BLOODY MARY by J.A. Konrath

To celebrate the latest release in J. A. Konrath's Jack Daniels series --- BLOODY MARY --- is sponsoring a Cocktail Contest. One Grand Prize winner will receive a swanky, two-tone burgundy and black travel bar with a combination lock and gift box. The unfolding, multi-sectioned bar is 12.00 inches x 5.50 inches x 13.50 inches, holds three bottles (not included) and consists of four metal cups, a serving tray, a 3/4 x 11 oz. jigger and a wood handle bottle opener, a signed copy of BLOODY MARY, as well as a copy of WHISKEY SOUR. 10 runners up each will receive signed copies of BLOODY MARY. The contest runs from July 2, 2005 at 9AM EDT through July 31, 2005 at 11:59PM EDT.

To enter, here's what to do.
1) Read an excerpt of the book here.
2) Tell us what you think about the book.
3) Let us know your favorite alcoholic or non-alcoholic cocktail!
4) Give us your name and mailing address (snail mail)
Send all of this to by July 31st at 11:59PM.

Winners will be chosen in a random drawing from all complete responses received.

Get full details on our J.A. Konrath Cocktail Contest here.


Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Elizabeth Becka, Author of TRACE EVIDENCE

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Elizabeth Becka, whose debut title TRACE EVIDENCE hits shelves August 3rd, is the next author in our Debut Suspense/Thriller Feature. is excited to introduce Becka, a forensics specialist whose riveting thriller recalls the novels of Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs.

We have 10 advanced reading copies of TRACE EVIDENCE to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please send your name and mailing address to by July 15, 2005.

Read more about TRACE EVIDENCE here:
A gripping suspense novel, TRACE EVIDENCE introduces us to forensic expert Evelyn James as she tries to decipher trace evidence and solve a bizarre crime.

It's a cold Cleveland November day when forensic trace evidence expert Evelyn James is summoned to the scene of a bizarre crime. A young woman has been forcibly drowned, her feet chained and sunk in cement. When a second young victim is connected to a prominent family, all hell breaks loose, and the police -- and Evelyn -- are up against it to find the murderer. Evelyn just wants to get the job done, but is pulled into a web of conflicting loyalties, unexpected relationships, and professional betrayal. When Evelyn suspects that her own teenage daughter has become a pawn in the killer's plans, she must remain true to herself and her skills and follow the evidence to the murderer's door.

For more information about Elizabeth Becka and TRACE EVIDENCE, click here.


Our Latest Suspense/Thriller Author: Stephen J. Cannell, Author of COLD HIT

Stephen J. Cannell, whose newest title COLD HIT is on sale August 15th, is the latest author spotlighted in our Suspense/Thriller Feature. You may recognize this Emmy-Winning television writer as has featured his titles: VERTICAL COFFIN, HOLLYWOOD TOUGH, and THE TIN COLLECTORS.

We have 20 advanced reading copies of COLD HIT to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please send your name and mailing address to by July 22, 2005.

Read more about COLD HIT here:
Detective Shane Scully suspects that the regional boss of the Department of Homeland Security is thwarting a major murder investigation. But why?

Robert Allen Virtue can act without oversight or accountability. There's no way to question him; there's no way to way to check up on him; there's no way to find out if he's exceeding his authority. Virtually at will, he can bug anyone he considers a threat to national security, take over criminal investigations, and jail cops. Even if he is breaking the law, there's no way to know it. There's nothing to rely on but his integrity. His professional commitment. His good name. Virtue.

That may be a very big mistake.

Shane and his partner are investigating "the Fingertip Killer," a serial murderer preying on homeless Vietnam vets in Los Angeles. But there's a problem: Robert Allen Virtue wants him taken off it.

To solve the cop's murder, and possibly the Fingertip case, Scully must go behind the powerful bureaucrat's back and deep undercover -- where he will begin unraveling a deadly far-reaching conspiracy that threatens to destroy everything he loves: his career, his freedom, and his family.


Click here to read more about Stephen J. Cannell and COLD HIT.

Mystery Mayhem: Jacqueline Winspear, Author of PARDONABLE LIES

Jacqueline Winspear, author of PARDONABLE LIES, is our newest featured Mystery Mayhem author. PARDONABLE LIES is on sale August 10th. If you like historical fiction and mysteries this is a series you will want to get caught up on. 

New This Week:

Read Fast Facts for Jacqueline Winspear.
Click here to read critical praise for PARDONABLE LIES.

More about PARDONABLE LIES (on sale August 10th):
In the third installment of this best-selling, award-winning series, London investigator/psychologist Maisie Dobbs faces grave danger as she returns to the site of her most painful memories from the Great War to resolve the mystery surrounding a pilot's death.

Click here to read more about Jacqueline Winspear and PARDONABLE LIES.


Mystery Mayhem: Mary Jane Clark, Author of DANCING IN THE DARK






Mary Jane Clark, author of DANCING IN THE DARK, is one of our featured Mystery Mayhem authors. DANCING IN THE DARK is on sale July 26th.

-Read Critical Praise for Mary Jane Clark and DANCING IN THE DARK here.
-Read Fast Facts about Mary Jane Clark.
-Read Mary Jane Clark's Backlist here.

More about DANCING IN THE DARK (On Sale July 26th):
New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark turns up the heat with a drop-dead frightening novel about a town where teenage girls are disappearing, where an idyllic beach community is terrorized, and where one reporter must get to the truth to protect her family....




Click here to read more about Mary Jane Clark and DANCING IN THE DARK.


Now in Paperback: THE RULE OF FOUR by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason 

THE RULE OF FOUR by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason (Thriller)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
An Ivy League murder, a mysterious coded manuscript, and the secrets of a Renaissance prince collide memorably in THE RULE OF FOUR --- a brilliant work of fiction that weaves together suspense and scholarship, high art and unimaginable treachery.
Click here to read more about Ian Caldwell, Dustin Thomason and THE RULE OF FOUR.

THE PAINTED KISS by Elizabeth Hickey -- A Great Summer Read You Want to Note!

In her passionate and atmospheric debut novel, THE PAINTED KISS, Elizabeth Hickey reimagines the relationship between Gustav Klimt and the woman whose name he uttered with his dying breath.

Vienna in 1886 was a city of elegant cafés, grand opera houses, and a thriving and adventurous artistic community. It was there that twelve-year-old Emilie Flöge met the controversial libertine and painter Gustav Klimt. THE PAINTED KISS follows the developing relationship between Klimt and Emilie, who blossoms from a naïve girl to a sanguine woman, becoming mistress to one of the twentieth century's most fascinating artists and the owner of an exclusive fashion house, which Klimt helps design.

THE PAINTED KISS is a moving love story that is as sensual and compelling as a work by Klimt himself. Readers may see parallels between this title and GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING

Hickey's language is sensual, lush and unhurried, and the prose wears its author's research gracefully. -- Publishers Weekly

Read a reading group guide for this book here.

Get more information about THE PAINTED KISS here.


This Week's Reviews and Features

A LONG WAY DOWN by Nick Hornby (Fiction)
Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol
Four people from varied backgrounds encounter one another on the roof of Topper's House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those who wish to end their lives. In Nick Hornby's eagerly awaited fourth novel, they each take turns confiding in the reader through narratives that are riveting, hilarious, and quite moving.

ACTS OF FAITH by Philip Caputo (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
Cast against the civil war and genocide in the Sudan, Philip Caputo's latest work of fiction is an epic novel of faith, heroism, greed, betrayal, zealotry, love, obsession, and ultimately murder. The rich cast of characters is made up of aid workers and bush pilots, driven by a sincere desire to help the starving multi-ethnic tribes of the Sudan.

THE ARCHITECT by Keith Ablow (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
West Crosse is a stunningly brilliant, strikingly handsome architect with a love of ideal beauty and a commitment to achieving it at any cost. But the rich, powerful families who secretly engage him to design their homes don't know his dark side. It's up to FBI forensic psychiatrist Frank Clevenger to tie together a series of apparently random murders --- and the ultimate game of cat and mouse begins.

CLOSE CASE: A Samantha Kincaid Mystery by Alafair Burke (Mystery)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
Investigating the brutal murder of a hotshot journalist, Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid finds herself caught in the middle of an increasingly personal --- and potentially dangerous --- struggle between Portland's police and the DA's office.

LOVE AT FIRST SITE by Jane Moore (Fiction)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
Jane Moore's London-based novel is a delightful story that chronicles a year in the life of Jessica Monroe as she attempts to play the hand that life has dealt her as a single thirty-something in search of Mr. Right. When an unforeseen event turns her world upside down, Jess starts to wonder if the qualities she thinks she wants in a man are ultimately what she needs.

MINE ARE SPECTACULAR! by Janice Kaplan and Lynn Schnurnberger (Chick Lit)
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton
Janice Kaplan and Lynn Schnurnberger's follow-up to last year's THE BOTOX DIARIES is a fun beach read featuring three savvy and spirited friends who find that they are still beautiful, successful, and can have what they wish for despite being over 40.

THE OTHER SHULMAN by Alan Zweibel (Fiction)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
Shulman, a chubby, middle-aged stationery store owner, has always claimed that he's been gaining and losing the same 35 pounds since junior high --- and that if you added all that discarded weight together, he had lost an entire person. Another Shulman. When he actually encounters this Other Shulman --- a thin, incredibly successful, and confident man --- Shulman must confront the realities of his life.

HOMEFRONT by Chuck Logan (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
A seemingly minor schoolyard fight between Kit Broker and Teddy Klumpe puts the Broker household in the crosshairs of a vengeful local clan notorious for violence and criminal behavior. Phil Broker and Nina Pryce, who are still recovering from their life-and-death struggle with a demented terrorist, are unaware that an immediate and terrible danger is on the verge of confronting them and their daughter.

PAINKILLER by Will Staeger (Thriller)
Reviewed by M. J. Rose
Will Stager's debut novel featuring a quasi-retired, Virgin Islands-based CIA operative known only as W. Cooper is a hard-edged, cinematic, and tremendously engaging first effort --- part thriller, part crime fiction, part quirky, dark and different.

MAFIA SUMMER by E. Duke Vincent (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
It is the summer of 1950, and a heat wave has overtaken Manhattan. Two unlikely friends --- 18-year-old Vinny Vesta, the tough Sicilian head of a street gang, and Sidney Butcher, a sickly but booksmart Jewish boy whose family has just moved in across the hall ---- find themselves caught in the crossfire of the war between the five Mafia families who rule New York.

DARK HARBOR by David Hosp (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
When the body of his co-worker and old flame, Natalie Caldwell, floats to the surface of Boston Harbor, Scott Finn --- a rising star at a Boston law firm --- is grief stricken. As he retraces Natalie's footsteps, Finn begins to unravel the awful mystery of her murder. But police lieutenant Linda Flaherty is also hot on the trail. What neither Finn nor Flaherty realize is what's at stake if the truth is uncovered.

THE FIFTH SEASON by Don Bredes (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Hector Bellevance, the town constable of Tipton, Vermont, is adjusting to the aftermath of the events that transpired in COLD COMFORT. But his semi-idyllic existence is shattered when Marcel Boisvert, a contrary town father, apparently goes berserk. Both the county sheriff and the town clerk have been murdered, and Marcel disappears. Hector, his girlfriend Wilma, and half of the Vermont State Police are searching for Marcel --- and looking over their shoulders at the same time.

POUNDING THE PAVEMENT by Jennifer van der Kwast (Fiction)
Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller
In this funny and captivating novel by first-time author Jennifer van der Kwast, a twenty-something New York City woman struggles to find a job, make ends meet, figure out if the guy she's dating is the one, and maintain her sanity.

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

Library Memories
Encouraging a Reader
Note: You can read past blogs here as well.
Sign up here to get notified each time this blog is updated.
Click here to read the blog.
Read a list of upcoming books here. Browse our author bibliographies by clicking here. Sign up for Author Newsletters here.
Poll: What Are You Reading?
Do you read different kinds of books over the summer than you do the rest of the year?
Yes, I want more escapist fiction.
Yes, I tackle longer reads.
No, I don't change my reading habits.
I am not sure what I do.
What kind of books top your summer reading list? Select only one.
Literary fiction
Women's fiction
Historical fiction
Current events
Narrative nonfiction
Other (write in what you read!)
Answer the Poll here.

Question of the Week: Summer Reading

What book are you most looking forward to reading this summer?

Please note: Our question of the week will update July 15th.

Answer the Question of the Week 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 OVER HER DEAD BODY by Kate White and UNTIL I FIND YOU by John Irving. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on July 15th. 

Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.


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--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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