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July 15, 2005 Newsletter

July 15, 2005

This Week on

A Bookish Pilgrimage


Beach Bag Of Books: Spotlight on SWEETGRASS by Mary Alice Monroe and Weekly Beach Bag Giveaway


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

THE TIARA CLUB by Beverly Brandt, a Perfect Summer Read, Is Now in Stores

2005 Summer Golf Books

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog

Poll: Harry, Now or Later?
Question of the Week: The Best of Harry
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: What are you reading?

Past Question of the Week: What book are you most looking forward to reading this summer?
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

A Bookish Pilgrimage

Wednesday night I made what I call a bookish pilgrimage. While I was in Denver I went to The Tattered Cover, which is revered by booklovers as one of the best independent bookstores in the country. I had a terrific time looking at their featured selections, browsing through new and old favorites, and seeing so many of the books that we had reviewed on their shelves. I have heard that more than 200 book clubs are run out of this store. I hope to do an interview with the woman who coordinates these soon for

I also went shopping for the friend I was visiting that night. Starr had told me the kinds of books she enjoyed and I had flipped through her shelves that afternoon. I went hunting at The Tattered Cover for books I thought she might enjoy. I bought THE SUMMER GUEST by Justin Cronin since she is traveling to a cabin in Maine with friends in September, HISSY FIT by Mary Kay Andrews since she loves Southern fiction and she is a decorator, and SHADOW DIVERS by Robert Kurson since it's one of my favorite nonfiction titles. (Note that at ALA this title was picked as a great adult title for teens!) I felt like a book concierge and was so excited to hand these to her. Thursday morning we spent time on looking for guides for the titles her group of friends plan to read when they are at the cabin.

There was a great quote about last week's beach bag title, ADORED by Tilly Bagshawe, that I failed to include with the newsletter. Someone told me it was "chaise lounge worthy." I loved that description since it really describes what you feel reading the book. This week's beach bag title is SWEETGRASS by Mary Alice Monroe. The story takes place in the Lowcountry and you will feel this part of the country come to life as you read it. I encourage you to check out this week's beach bag prize as it has some unique items in it, including a basket that can be used for picnics. Reading this book made me want to buy a sweetgrass basket of my own.

I heard a great quote last week that books can give you companionship. I loved that line. On my trip through Colorado I had books as my steady companions --- and they were great company. Poolside at Beaver Creek I read THE BLUE BISTRO, a novel by Elin Hilderbrand. Her characters accompanied me on that part of my trip as the story of the last summer of a renowned Nantucket restaurant unfolded on the pages. I loved learning the "behind the scenes" story of what goes on in a restaurant, especially since I love to cook. I found my mouth watering more than once as I read. I know when I look at that book on my shelf I am going to remember those lovely days at Beaver Creek.

Tom Donadio, our Editorial Manager, has updated the Author Bibliographies. If you love reading books in the order they were published, have discovered an author you want to read more from, or are interested in reading someone new, we encourage you to check out these lists.

Know a teen? If so, I would love them to answer our Reader Survey. You can get to the survey here. Teens only, please!

By the way, are you ready to read the newest Harry Potter? My two sons are ready to tackle the FedEx delivery guy in the morning.

For those of you who are wondering, I had a great hike last Friday. I managed to get myself onto a trail that was steeper and more challenging than I had planned, but I met up with a family from Texas who made this adventure a lot of fun --- and a whole lot safer too. When we reached the bottom of the six-mile trail we were feeling pretty proud of ourselves. Then a woman passed us jogging up the hill. We had taken the chairlift up and walked down. She said this was "the start" of her workout. I wanted to yell after her, "but what do you read?" As I have said before, if reading was an Olympic sport, I would be a record breaker. Thanks also to our Colorado readers who read the newsletter last week and invited me to spend time with them. That was such fun mail to get. I wish I had had more time so we could have gotten together.

Off to perfect my "sport"....and float in the pool.

Have a nice week.

Carol Fitzgerald ( 


OVER HER DEAD BODY by Kate White (Mystery)
Reviewed by Amie Taylor
Some might say that finding a job can be murder, but crime writer Bailey Weggins never knew they meant it literally. After landing a new position at a celebrity gossip magazine, her boss --- who runs the business with an iron fist and takes no prisoners --- is killed. Join Bailey as she pursues one lead after another in order to keep from becoming the next victim.

Enjoy this new book in the Bailey Weggins Mystery series and for more about Kate White, go to

Click here to read an excerpt and a review of OVER HER DEAD BODY.

See our  Summer Beach Bag of Books feature here.

Beach Bag Of Books: Spotlight on SWEETGRASS by Mary Alice Monroe 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 ninth spotlighted title is SWEETGRASS by Mary Alice Monroe. Savor the balmy days of summer with this poignant and compelling tale of a family struggling against the biting winds of change. Our SWEETGRASS BEACH BAG prize is a green and yellow beach tote stocked with breezy summer essentials. Along with a copy of Mary Alice Monroe's SWEETGRASS, readers will find a straw basket in yellow, green or blue, a beach blanket in a carrying case, cotton-scented potpourri and a light blue candle that smells like the sea. We have five to give away, as well as five additional prizes of copies of SWEETGRASS. 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.



Candlewick Press calls ENCYCLOPEDIA PREHISTORICA: DINOSAURS "the definitive pop-up" --- and that is exactly what Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart's latest masterpiece is. Dinosaurs of all shapes, sizes and colors come to life in six multi-layered spreads that each feature one large pop-up (including a massive T-Rex with jagged teeth and a raptor that appears to fly off the edge of the page) along with several booklets of smaller pop-ups, all making for a visually stunning read. In addition, Sabuda and Reinhart offer lots of cool facts and up-to-the-minute information about more than 50 different species of dinosaurs and even some amusing tidbits on the history of paleontology itself. This fascinating book --- the first of three in a series --- will be read, admired and treasured for a long time to come.



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.

New this week:
-Read an excerpt from TRACE EVIDENCE here
-Read Critical Praise for TRACE EVIDENCE here.
-See our Advance Copy Winners of TRACE EVIDENCE here.

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.

New this Week:
-Read Fast Facts about Stephen J. Cannell.
-Read Critical Praise for Stephen J. Cannell.

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:

-See our Advance Copy Winners of PARDONABLE LIES here.

Previous Weeks:
-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.


THE TIARA CLUB by Beverly Brandt, a Perfect Summer Read, Is Now in Stores

In Georgia Elliott's Mississippi hometown, The Tiara Club is working its way through the Bartender's Black Book, one drink at a time, when Georgia Elliott assembles the former beauty queens for help. For reasons she would never reveal, even to her lifelong friends, Georgia desperately needs to keep a secret from her mama. The meddlesome society maven, who lives down the street, must never find out that Georgia's the inventor of TV's hottest new kitchen gadget, the Miracle Chef.  Not an easy secret to keep when the slick host of TV's hit food show knocks on her door and challenges her to a cook-off to prove her invention isn't a fraud. 

What harm could a little TV exposure do to Georgia and her success? After all, The Tiara Club has its hands full helping a new Yankee member win the title of Miss Shrimp Queen, and Georgia could do a lot worse than score with the Hollywood hottie.
"Delightful "Sweet Potato Queens Meets 'Friends'"
---RT BOOKclub Top Pick review

Read more about THE TIARA CLUB here.


2005 Summer Golf Books

Throughout the year, publishers recognizing the continued popularity of golf have made available a number of books for the avid reading golfer. This summer is no different. A wide range of titles occupies the shelves of bookstores in anticipation of the interest in golf that peaks in June, July and August, when three of the sport's four major championships are played. In this roundup, written by's Stuart Shiffman, you'll find some wonderful fiction, biographical essays, and several books that offer a few tips to frustrated golfers.


Read our Golf Books feature here.


This Week's Reviews and Features

LOOKING FOR PEYTON PLACE by Barbara Delinsky (Fiction)
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
For successful author Annie Barnes, going home to Middle River means dealing with long hidden truths, some of which she buried there herself. But it's a journey she knows she must take if she is to put to rest --- once and for all --- her misgivings about her mother's recent death, as well as determine the cause of her sister's illness.

A GOOD YARN by Debbie Macomber (Fiction)
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
A cancer survivor. A retired librarian who's broke and homeless. A recent divorcee. A depressed and overweight teenager. Four very different women in difficult periods of their lives bond during knitting classes. A stand-alone sequel to THE SHOP ON BLOSSOM STREET, A GOOD YARN lives up to its name.

ORIGIN IN DEATH by Nora Roberts, writing as J.D. Robb (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
J.D. Robb's latest "In Death" mystery, set in New York City in the year 2059, revolves around the murders of a father and son who are known as pioneers in the fields of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. It is up to Detective Eve Dallas to find a cunning, cold-blooded murderer who kills in a chillingly efficient manner.

FIRE SALE by Sara Paretsky (Mystery)
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
Detective V.I. Warshawski's return to her old neighborhood in South Chicago to coach high school basketball draws her into a web of secrets in this intelligent mystery, which probes not only disappearances and plant sabotage, but also class power and poverty.

Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton
On a winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son is perfectly healthy, but his daughter is born with Down's syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect his wife, David makes a split second decision that will alter all their lives forever.

BITTER MILK by John McManus (Fiction)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
From Whiting Award-winning writer John McManus comes this debut novel about a young boy who learns to live with the remnants of his troubled mother's eccentric family after she leaves him without explanation.

CROSSWORLD by Marc Romano (Nonfiction)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
Marc Romano, a newspaper reporter turned crossword fanatic, visits the rarefied world of top-speed solvers at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament --- held each year in Stamford, CT --- and brings back a diverting report on who they are and what makes them tick.


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: Harry, Now or Later?

As soon as it comes out
Soon after it comes out
I am not planning to read it.
Answer the Poll here.

Question of the Week: The Best of Harry

What do you love most about the Harry Potter Series?

Please note: Our question of the week will update July 29th.

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 CRUSADER'S CROSS by James Lee Burke and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN by Cormac McCarthy. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on July 29th. 

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.

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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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