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December 9, 2005 Newsletter

December 9, 2005

This Week on

Turquoise Holidaze

Spotlight On Our Newest Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Raymond Khoury, Author of THE LAST TEMPLAR

Debut Suspense/Thriller Feature --- Richard Hawke, Author of SPEAK OF THE DEVIL

Holiday Basket of Cheer: Spotlight on S IS FOR SILENCE by Sue Grafton and Weekly Basket Giveaway

Announcing our Holiday What to Give/What to Get Guide!

What to Give/What to Get: Healthy, Wealthy & Wise: Advice & How-To

What to Give/What to Get: Let The Games Begin --- Trivia and Games

What to Give/What to Get --- Best for Bookworms: Books For Those Who Love to Read

New Guides on

The Best Books of the Year for Teens

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog

Poll: Reading Holiday Books
Question of the Week: Best Book to Give
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 Question of the Week: What author would you most like to have over for a holiday dinner?
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
Holiday Basket of Cheer Promotion

Turquoise Holidaze

Life in our house is never dull, but the holidaze definitely ramps up the excitement. Like last weekend. We had a lovely tree decorated in our front foyer. It was done in golds and burgundies and just looked perfect. It was "done." Then I got a brainstorm while at the Charity Tree Event last Thursday night. I saw a fabulously decorated purple tree. Now anyone who knows me knows I love turquoise. So the wheels started turning on doing a turquoise and silver tree for NEXT year. Well, I have never been one to have patience so why wait for next year?
Saturday found my younger son and I at Treasure Island buying ornaments, including new lights that are shaped like ice skates. We came home and I found all the silver ornaments that had been banished to the attic when I decided to "go gold." Within an hour, the entire foyer tree had been redone in turquoise and silver. I love it, and I link to a picture of it at the end of this letter for those of you who would like to see it. Also, there's a new blog called Holiday Shopping 101, which I had fun writing.
Our Holiday Basket of Cheer title this week is S IS FOR SILENCE by Sue Grafton. My older son prides himself on having read A-S (he got an advance reader copy). According to him, readers who love Grafton will not be disappointed. Enter our contest and you can win one for yourself and one for a friend. Altruism begins at
This week we spotlight three new What to What to Give/What to Get categories: Advice and How-To, Trivia and Games, and Best for Bookworms. May these suggestions help with your gift giving.
A couple of months ago I read THE LAST TEMPLAR, which has a wonderfully dramatic opening sequence where terrorists garbed in the attire of knights walk horses up the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to rob from an exhibit of Vatican art. These fast-paced pages set the stage for a terrific adventure read. This week we announce the book's author, Raymond Khoury, as our latest Debut Suspense/Thriller Author. THE LAST TEMPLAR will be on sale on January 19th.

We have 10 copies to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment about it. Interested in entering? Then please submit your name and mailing address to by Friday, December 16th. One more Debut Suspense/Thriller note. We are sending out 20 copies of the advance reading copies of SPEAK OF THE DEVIL instead of the 10 previously planned. Check for the link below to see if you are a winner.
Those who love books made into movies hit the trifecta today as Brokeback Mountain, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Memoirs of a Geisha (in NYC today, nationwide on Dec. 23rd) all open. A nice gift idea: A book with a movie gift certificate as a bookmark!

As you shop, may we remind you that if you would like to support, we suggest you click on the Amazon graphic above this note to shop shop shop. If you would like to support your local independent bookseller, then click here to find out where your local independent bookseller is located.

It's snowy, cold and very wintry outside here. This weekend is about painting trees, which is one of my favorite parts of the holidays! Hope you find joy in one of your own special traditions.

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on December 9th

List of titles reviewed and featured on December 2nd

Click here to see my turquoise tree in all its glory!

Spotlight On Our Newest Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Raymond Khoury, Author of THE LAST TEMPLAR

Acclaimed screenwriter and producer Raymond Khoury's debut novel THE LAST TEMPLAR hits bookshelves on January 19th and already has been met with international acclaim. From the stunning first scene to the startling climax, Khoury weaves a breathlessly compelling tale that will delight thriller fans and history buffs alike.

We have 10 advanced reading copies of THE LAST TEMPLAR by Raymond Khoury to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. A description can be found by clicking the link below. If you are interested, please send your name and mailing address to by Friday, December 16th, 2005.

"It has served us well, this myth of Christ."
-Pope Leo X, 16th Century

In a hail of fire and flashing sword, as the burning city of Jerusalem falls from the hands of the West in 1291, The Last Templar opens with a young Templar knight, his mentor, and a handful of others escaping to the sea carrying a mysterious chest entrusted to them by the Order's dying Grand Master. The ship vanishes without a trace.

In present day Manhattan, four masked horsemen dressed as Templar Knights emerge from Central Park and ride up the Fifth Avenue steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the black-tie opening of a Treasures of the Vatican exhibit. Storming through the crowds, the horsemen brutally attack anyone standing between them and their prize. Attending the gala, archaeologist Tess Chaykin watches in silent terror as the leader of the horsemen hones in on one piece in particular, a strange geared device. He utters a few cryptic Latin words as he takes hold of it with reverence before leading the horsemen out and disappearing into the night.

In the aftermath, an FBI investigation is led by anti-terrorist specialist Sean Reilly. Soon, he and Tess are drawn into the dark, hidden history of the crusading Knights, plunging them into a deadly game of cat and mouse with ruthless killers as they race across three continents to recover the lost secret of the Templars.

Click here to read more about Raymond Khoury and THE LAST TEMPLAR.


Debut Suspense/Thriller Feature --- Richard Hawke, Author of SPEAK OF THE DEVIL

Richard Hawke is one of the authors spotlighted in our Debut Suspense/Thriller feature. His white-knuckle thrill ride of a novel SPEAK OF THE DEVIL has already garnered praise from critics, fellow authors and readers alike. Called "intense and intriguing" by Michael Connelly, SPEAK OF THE DEVIL promises to establish Hawke's place at the table of acclaimed Suspense/Thriller authors.

New this week:
-Click here to read an excerpt from SPEAK OF THE DEVIL.
-Click here to see our list of 20! Advance Reader Copy Winners.

It all begins on a beautiful crisp Thanksgiving morning. A gunman takes aim on the crowd gathered for Manhattan's world-famous parade. Only one man in the throng sees it happening. And before the gunshots have even finished echoing off the venerable apartment buildings lining the parade route, that man is on the chase.

And that man doesn't know when to let up.

He's Fritz Malone, bastard son of a former New York City police commissioner, every bit as wry and old-style romantic as he is cool, smart and relentless. Within minutes of pursuing the parade shooter (within pages!), Fritz is tossed into a game that involves coldhearted criminals, dirty cops and long-buried secrets held by those who have no intention of allowing anyone to bring them up into the light of day. Ever.

Click here to read more about Richard Hawke and SPEAK OF THE DEVIL.


Holiday Basket of Cheer: Spotlight on S IS FOR SILENCE by Sue Grafton and Weekly Basket Giveaway

The holiday season is upon us! At this means it's time for us to share the spirit of the season with you with our Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest.

Each week from November 4th through December 16th we will spotlight a different title, and readers will have the chance to win one of five holiday baskets filled with winter-themed items as well as two copies of the featured book. Why two? One is to keep, of course, and one is for someone on your holiday gift list. We will also include festive wrapping paper and a bow to make the gift-giving hassle-free.

This week our featured title is S IS FOR SILENCE by Sue Grafton.

Our Holiday Basket of Cheer is a woven basket stocked with holiday-themed items. Along with two copies of S IS FOR SILENCE by Sue Grafton, green-and-tan checkered wrapping paper and a matching bow --- winners will receive a cinnamon spice-scented Illuminations candle, Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate mix, gourmet vanilla marshmallows, sweet-smelling Cinnamon sticks, delicious Chewy Peps peppermint candies, soft comfy slipper socks and blue-green treated pinecones that will color your holiday fire.

S IS FOR SILENCE by Sue Grafton (Mystery)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
In 1953, Violet Sullivan left her house to attend the Fourth of July fireworks display. She was never seen again. In the small California town of Serena Station, some said she had run off with a lover, while others believed she was murdered by her husband. But for Daisy, the daughter she left behind, Violet's absence has never been explained or forgotten. Now, 34 years later, she wants to find out once and for all what happened to her mother.

Click here to read all the details of our Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest.


Announcing our Holiday What to Give/What to Get Guide!

 ( ) knows that readers crave ideas for gift-giving --- and getting --- at the holidays. With this in mind we're offering a What to Give/What to Get Guide with "Reader Perfect" suggestions in 12 categories.

We have book ideas for everyone on your holiday list. And while you're looking for gifts for others, may we suggest you jot notes for the books YOU want?

Please note that all the titles spotlighted in the What to Give/What to Get Guide will be on our shopping checklist each week (found in the bottom of the newsletter opener), which you can print and bring with you when you do your holiday shopping.

Click here to read our What to Give/What to Get Feature.


What to Give/What to Get: Healthy, Wealthy & Wise: Advice & How-To

Our Healthy, Wealthy & Wise titles are perfect for anyone looking to stay sane and keep it all in perspective during the holiday season.


JAPANESE WOMEN DON'T GET OLD OR FAT by Naomi Moriyama and William Doyle

THE MOMMY BRAIN by Katherine Ellison


Click here to read more about the Healthy, Wealthy & Wise Titles featured in our What to Give/What to Get Guide.

What to Give/What to Get: Let The Games Begin --- Trivia and Games

Our Let the Games Begin category features titles for all the puzzle and trivia lovers on your list.



ODDS 'R by Roger Schlaifer


Click here to read more about the Trivia and Games Titles featured in our What to Give/What to Get Guide.

What to Give/What to Get --- Best for Bookworms: Books For Those Who Love to Read






Our Best for Bookworms category is perfect for all the people on your list who love a compelling read.


CANDIDE by Voltaire

Special Limited Time Offer: buy 2 copies of THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN and get 1 free.
For details, visit

JESUS LAND by Julia Scheeres


THE TENDER BAR by J.R. Moehringer

TICK... TICK... TICK...: The Long Life and Turbulent Times of 60 Minutes by David Blum

WOMEN'S LETTERS by Lisa Grunwald and Stephen J. Adler (editors)

Click here to read more about the Best for Bookworms Titles featured in our What to Give/What to Get Guide.

New Guides on

The following guides are now available on

GOODNIGHT NOBODY by Jennifer Weiner
THE LADY OF THE SEA by Rosalind Miles
THE MYTH OF YOU AND ME by Leah Stewart
THE PERFECT PLAY by Louise Wener
SHANTARAM by Gregory David Roberts
SNOW IN JULY by Heather Barbieri
A THREAD OF GRACE by Mary Doria Russell
THE WORLD IS FLAT by Thomas Friedman

Click here to visit


The Best Books of the Year for Teens

As 2005 comes to a close has compiled some of the best books of the year for teens --- and we're giving you the list just in time for your holiday shopping!

Along with HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE and ELDEST --- two of the year's most anticipated and talked-about releases --- we spotlight three finalists for this year's National Book Award for Young People's Literature, in addition to such standouts as THE WILL OF THE EMPRESS and THE MINISTER'S DAUGHTER. We also revisit the series that made their debuts this year, including James Patterson's Maximum Ride, as well as updates to a number of long-running series titles.

Click here to read more about our Best Books for Teens.

This Week's Reviews and Features

THE SEA by John Banville (Fiction)
Reviewed by Colleen Quinn
In John Banville's THE SEA, winner of the 2005 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, narrator Max Morden returns to the seaside spot where he spent his holidays as a boy. He comes back to mourn his wife, who died of cancer, contemplate his own death, and remember the incidents of a certain summer.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE SEA.

BLUE SMOKE by Nora Roberts (Romantic Suspense)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
The Hale family lives in a Baltimore row house and is the second generation to run Sirico's, an Italian pizzeria. The very Irish Gibson Hale marries the lovely Bianca, and their children thrive, learning the business that eventually will belong to one of them. However, the attempted rape of 11-year-old Reena Hale sets into motion a series of events that will span 20 years, leaving death and wreckage in its wake.

THE KILLING ART by Jonathan Santlofer (Suspense)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
Devastated by the death of her husband, former Queens cop Kate McKinnon is attempting to quietly rebuild her life as a single woman. But when a lunatic starts slashing the very paintings she is writing about --- along with their owners --- Kate is once again tapped by the NYPD. History and fiction collide with deadly consequences in this story of bitter revenge, where the past invades the present and a decades-old secret proves fatal.

OH WHAT A SLAUGHTER: Massacres in the American West: 1846-1890 by Larry McMurtry (History)
Reviewed by Ron Kaplan
Larry McMurtry, master of the western genre, takes a look at the bloody massacres that marked --- and marred --- the settling of the American West in the nineteenth century. Beginning with the Sacramento River massacre in 1846, McMurtry leaves little to the reader's imagination in this slim volume.

A CHRISTMAS GUEST by Anne Perry (Mystery)
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
Grumpy Grandmama Ellison of the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series is the star and sleuth in this Victorian-era holiday tale. While solving a mystery, Grandmama undergoes a transformation that is in the nature of a subtle and heartwarming Christmas miracle.

THE CHRISTMAS QUILT by Jennifer Chiaverini (Fiction)
Reviewed by Carole Turner
The discovery of a Christmas quilt, begun years ago and worked on by four members of the Bergstrom family but never completed, causes Sylvia to recall and confront her past and try to come to terms with unresolved issues.

TALK TO THE HAND by Lynne Truss (Humor/Reference)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
Rudeness has been cleverly insinuating itself into our daily lives, while we all pretend everything's still cool. But now comes this superb little book that will give the polite among us the courage to say "Enough already!" Let's praise the well-mannered and the respectful and kick the butts of the gods of boorish sarcasm.

FIRST MAN: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen (Biography)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
James R. Hansen has written an exhaustively detailed biography of the first human ever to set foot on the moon, setting him within the context of his small-town Ohio roots, his military experience, and the U.S. space exploration program that made him an iconic historical figure.

Click here to read our reviews and features. Blog

December 9th Entry:
Holiday Shopping 101

December 2nd Entry:
Why the Holidaze is a Crazy Time of Year!

November 23rd Entry:
Musing the Miami Book Fair

November 18th Entry:
Books for Boys

November 17th Entry:
My 24 Hours with Joan Didion

October 30th Entry:
Time Time Time...See What's Become of Me....

October 21st Entry:
My Role as a Book Concierge to My Friends
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: Reading Holiday Books
Do you read holiday-related titles?
I have not in the past, but I would like to do that this year.
Not sure how I feel about this.
Answer the Poll here.

Question of the Week: Best Book to Give

What book published this year would you want to give multiple copies of --- and why?

Please note: Our question of the week will update on December 16th.

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 THE CONSTANT PRINCESS by Philippa Gregory and S IS FOR SILENCE by Sue Grafton.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on December 16th. 

Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.


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