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January 06, 2006 Newsletter

January 6, 2006

This Week on

Happy New Year!

Now in Stores: GOT THE LOOK by James Grippando

Mystery Mayhem Update: Spotlight on Sarah Graves, Author of NAIL BITER

Suspense/Thriller Update: Spotlight on David Hewson, Author of THE SACRED CUT

Our Newest One to Watch Featured Author: Keri Arthur, Author of FULL MOON RISING

Debut Suspense/Thriller Feature: Raymond Khoury, Author of THE LAST TEMPLAR

Debut Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Richard Hawke, Author of SPEAK OF THE DEVIL

Now in Stores: ON THE RUN by Iris Johansen

Now in Stores: THE DELILAH COMPLEX by M.J. Rose

What's New On Generic Discussion Guides and New Guides

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog

Poll: The Impact of Negative Reviews
Question of the Week: Regarding the Review
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 do you think was the best book published in 2005?

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

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Yesterday I was telling a colleague that a lot of time has been spent this past week saying "Happy New Year and how was your vacation?" Probably enough to have had time to read an entire book. This week demands those niceties. Those people who know me know that emails from me rarely have warm fuzzy openers. They just have questions or rambling thoughts or answers. This week I found myself slowing down to add the above line. I am hoping that there are a few more Happy New Years left and then I can go back to being good old dash the note me! Not that I mean anything less by this sentiment.

We all had a wonderful vacation. I got some reading done and I knitted four scarves. Seriously. I found this shop on the Outer Banks called Knitting Addiction and let's just say, this was a very apt subtitle to my week. I was addicted to knitting. At the end of the week I actually went back for more yarn! I found out I can knit when I read! I admit my reading was not as zippy as usual, but I loved pairing these two things together.

What did I read? I tried something new, which I am calling Reading Outside the Comfort Zone. Curious as to what that is? Well, you can read my blog entry and learn more. What did I read? CONFESSIONS OF A WALL STREET ANALYST by Dan Reingold (in stores February 7th), GOT THE LOOK by James Grippando, which Joe Hartlaub reviews for us this week; THE TEMPLAR LEGACY by Steve Berry (February 21st); ISOLATION WARD by Joshua Spanogle (February 28th); THE SPACE BETWEEN US by Thrity Umrigar (on sale Tuesday) and THE VANISHING POINT by Mary Sharratt (June). My comments about all of these books are in the blog as well. GREAT reading!

This week I taped (or DVRed) the first of the segment of the Walking the Bible program based on Bruce Feiler's book of the same name. This is the kind of trip that I would love to do. The program airs the next two Wednesdays as well. Look for it.

Keri Arthur, whose sexy and supernatural novel FULL MOON RISING comes out January 31st, is the newest author in our One to Watch Author Feature. And with this dark and delectable tale of vampires, werewolves and desire, she's making quite a debut in the supernatural genre. Interested in reading and commenting on FULL MOON RISING? We have 10 advance copies to share with readers who would like to read and comment on the book. Just send your name and mailing address to by Friday, January 13th.

Our poll question this week explores negative reviews. Weigh in and let us know what you think about them.

Lots of great reading on the website this week. I plan to knit my way through the Giants/Panthers game on Sunday. After watching THREE great Bowl games this week --- and some very late nights --- I am ready for more football. As for my reading, I am eyeing the stack next to my desk. Read next week and I will tell you what I picked.

Have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on January 6th.

List of titles reviewed and featured on December 16th


Read more about WALKING THE BIBLE here.

Now in Stores: GOT THE LOOK by James Grippando

GOT THE LOOK by James Grippando (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
From bestselling author James Grippando comes the newest Jack Swyteck thriller, in a series that critics have called "riveting," "a winner" and "lapel grabbing." In GOT THE LOOK, Swyteck is up against a killer who's so fiendishly clever and so diabolical that even Jack may have at last met his match.

-Click here to read an excerpt from GOT THE LOOK.

Click here to read a review of GOT THE LOOK.

Mystery Mayhem Update: Spotlight on Sarah Graves, Author of NAIL BITER

NAIL BITER: A Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery by Sarah Graves (Mystery)
Reviewed by Belinda Williams
When you mix big city with old town, snoops, cops and drug dealers, what do you get? An excitingly wild ride of suspense, mayhem, humor and home repair. Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree took the dangerous plunge from Wall Street power broker to homeowner. Now the do-it-yourself enthusiast is about to discover that her own dream house is built on a foundation of murder.

-Click here to read an excerpt from NAIL BITER.
-Click here to read a review of NAIL BITER.

Click here to read more about Sarah Graves.


Suspense/Thriller Update: Spotlight on David Hewson, Author of THE SACRED CUT

THE SACRED CUT by David Hewson (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
In the heart of Rome, under the Pantheon's great dome, a woman's body lies on the marble floor, carefully positioned with a gruesome carving on her back. In David Hewson's third novel featuring detective Nic Costa, this horrific murder hurtles Rome's police force into a collision with U.S. agents --- and a secret that has festered for fifteen years.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE SACRED CUT.
-Click here to read a review of THE SACRED CUT.

Click here to read more about David Hewson.


Our Newest One to Watch Featured Author: Keri Arthur, Author of FULL MOON RISING

Our newest featured One to Watch author is Keri Arthur, whose debut supernatural novel FULL MOON RISING hits shelves on January 31st. Deliciously sexy and mysterious, with a touch of humor, FULL MOON RISING is a sinfully delicious little bonbon of thrills, chills and romance.

We have 10 advance copies to share with readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. Interested? Then send your name and mailing address to by Friday, January 13th.

In this exciting debut, author Keri Arthur explodes onto the supernatural scene with a sexy, sensuous tale of intrigue and suspense set in a world where legends walk and the shady paths of the underworld are far more sinister than anyone envisioned.

A rare hybrid of vampire and werewolf, Riley Jenson and her twin brother, Rhoan, work for Melbourne's Directorate of Other Races, an organization created to police the supernatural races-and protect humans from their depredations. While Rhoan is an exalted guardian, a.k.a. assassin, Riley is merely an office worker --- until her brother goes missing on one of his missions. The timing couldn't be worse. More werewolf than vampire, Riley is vulnerable to the moon heat, the weeklong period before the full moon, when her need to mate becomes all-consuming.

She must follow her instincts not only to find her brother but to stop an unholy harvest. For someone is doing some shifty cloning in an attempt to produce the ultimate warrior --- by tapping into the genome of nonhumans like Rhoan. Now Riley knows just how dangerous the world is for her kind --- and just how much it needs her.

Click here to read more about Keri Arthur and FULL MOON RISING.


Debut Suspense/Thriller Feature: 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.

-Click here to read a new excerpt from THE LAST TEMPLAR.
-Click here to see our list of 20! Advance Reader Copy Winners.

"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 Spotlight: 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, which hits shelves on January 10th, 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.

-Click here to read a new 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.

Now in Stores: ON THE RUN by Iris Johansen






ON THE RUN by Iris Johansen (Suspense)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
#1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen is back with an electrifying new thriller that pits a mother and daughter against a relentless killer who takes no prisoners, accepts no surrender, and leaves his intended victims with no choice but to run for their lives.

-Click here to read an excerpt from ON THE RUN.

Click here to read a review of ON THE RUN.


Now in Stores: THE DELILAH COMPLEX by M.J. Rose

THE DELILAH COMPLEX by M.J. Rose (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
The Scarlet Society is a secret club of twelve powerful and sexually adventurous women. But when a photograph of the body of one of the men they're recruited to dominate is sent to a newspaper, they are shocked and frightened. Unable to cope with the tragedy, the women turn to Dr. Morgan Snow. What starts out as grief counseling quickly becomes a murder investigation, with any one of the twelve women a potential suspect.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE DELILAH COMPLEX.

Click here to read a review of THE DELILAH COMPLEX.


What's New On Generic Discussion Guides and New Guides

While we have hundreds of reading guides available, and we're adding more all the time, it can happen that no guide is available for the book your group has chosen to read. It can be intimidating when it's your turn to lead the discussion and you have no idea where to begin. In order to aid your discussion and enjoyment of your group's choices, we have created a list of questions that can be used for those books with no reading guides. We've broken these out to cover the following genres: Biography, Christian Fiction, Classics, Current Events & Politics, Fiction, Historical Fiction, History, Mystery & Thriller, Memoir, and Religion & Spirituality. Click here to read our list of questions.

The following guides have just been added to

IF YOU COULD SEE ME NOW by Cecelia Ahern
THE LADY OF THE SEA by Rosalind Miles
THE LAST OF HER KIND by Sigrid Nunez
LIGHTING UP by Susan Shapiro
LOVE WALKED IN by Marisa de los Santos
MARY AFTER ALL by Bill Gordon
THE PERFECT PLAY by Louise Wener
PREP by Curtis Sittenfeld
SNOW IN JULY by Heather Barbieri
THE TEMPLE OF MUSIC by Jonathan Lowy
THIS HEAVY SILENCE by Nicole Mazzarella
A THREAD OF GRACE by Mary Doria Russell
THE WHITE ROSE by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Click here to visit


This Week's Reviews and Features

TURNING ANGEL by Greg Iles (Mystery)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
As two of the most prominent citizens of Natchez, Drew Elliott and Penn Cage sit on the school board of their alma mater. When the nude body of a young female student is found near the Mississippi River, the entire community is shocked --- but especially Penn, who discovers that his best friend was entangled in a passionate relationship with the girl and may be accused of her murder.

TRUTH AND DUTY: The Press, the President and the Privilege of Power by Mary Mapes (Current Events/Memoir)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
Former CBS News producer Mary Mapes, who was caught in the crossfire of a celebrated controversy last year, tells her side of the story in prose that reflects both passion and a desire to settle scores. TRUTH AND DUTY is Mapes's account of the fallout she experienced after raising questions about President Bush's National Guard service.

THE PROTÉGÉ by Stephen Frey (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Having survived his rise to Chairman of the world's largest private equity firm, and the ferocious attempts on his life that ensued, Christian Gillette finally seems safely perched atop the financial industry. But everything comes to a screeching halt when a shadowy man calls him to a meeting, requesting a favor and offering in return new information about Gillette's father and his still mysterious death.

THE ROAD TO PARADISE by Max Allan Collins (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Max Allan Collins chronicled the gripping story of one young boy's travels with his gangster father in the bestseller ROAD TO PERDITION, then led his readers along the ROAD TO PURGATORY --- a tale of this same boy, all grown up. Now, in his most powerful work to date, we again meet Michael Satariano and travel with him as he faces the most difficult and heartbreaking struggle of his life.

HAPPINESS: A History by Darrin M. McMahon (History)
Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott
Chronicling the evolution of happiness over 2,000 years of Western culture and thought, Darrin M. McMahon's new book argues that our modern belief in happiness --- that happiness is a natural right --- is a relatively recent development. It is a product of a dramatic revolution in human expectations carried out since the eighteenth century.

A PLEA FOR EROS by Siri Hustvedt (Essays)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
What do writings on corsets, parenting, post-September 11th New York, an obscure character actor, and Charles Dickens all have in common? Not much really, but these disparate topics are brought together in A PLEA FOR EROS, previously published essays by Siri Hustvedt that are thoughtful and thought-provoking.

ANGEL AND APOSTLE by Deborah Noyes (Fiction)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
At the end of Nathaniel Hawthorne's THE SCARLET LETTER, Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne, is somewhere in Europe. But it could not have been easy for her to arrive at such a place, when she begins life as the bastard child of a woman publicly humiliated again and again. Deborah Noyes envisions the path Pearl takes to make herself whole and to carve her place in the New World.

CONTACT WOUNDS: A War Surgeon's Education by Jonathan Kaplan (Memoir)
Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.
Jonathan Kaplan is a soldier in his own private war. An expatriate by choice from his home in South Africa, he wanders the world looking for other people's wounds to stitch. In this fascinating memoir Kaplan recounts his experiences in war-torn Eritrea, Kurdistan, Angola and finally Baghdad, where he treats civilian casualties amid gunfights for control of hospitals.

GARDENIAS by Faith Sullivan (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
With GARDENIAS, Faith Sullivan returns at long last to the characters in her beloved novel THE CAPE ANN. This time, nine-year-old Lark Erhardt
and her newly independent mother must start a new life in a city 2,000 miles from their Minnesota home.

Click here to read our reviews and features. Blog

January 6th Entry:
Reading Outside the Comfort Zone

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
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: The Impact of Negative Reviews
Will a negative book review in a newspaper or online site keep you from buying or reading a book?

Yes, unless it's a book by an author that I really want to read.
Yes, negative reviews always are a turnoff to me.
No, negative reviews do not influence me.
I am not sure how I feel.
Do you read customer comments/reviews about books online?
All of the time
Some of the time
Will negative customer comments/reviews keep you from buying or reading a book?
Yes, unless it's a book by an author that I really want to read.
Yes, negative reviews always are a turnoff to me.
No, negative reviews do not influence me.
I am not sure how I feel.
Answer the Poll here.

Question of the Week: Regarding the Review

What book (you can name up to 3) did you buy in spite of reviews that were less than stellar?

Please note: Our question of the week will update on January 20th.

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 two great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of DEATH DANCE by Linda Fairstein and GOT THE LOOK by James Grippando.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on January 20th. 

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.  If you would like to reach me, please write Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us.

Those who are subscribed to the newsletter by January 31, 2006 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: CELL by Stephen King, DEATH DANCE by Linda Fairstein, GENTLEMEN AND PLAYERS by Joanne Harris, GOT THE LOOK by James Grippando and IF YOU COULD SEE ME NOW by Cecelia Ahearn. Last month's winner was Sandi from Guilford, CT, who won THE CONSTANT PRINCESS by Philippa Gregory, NAIL BITER: A Home Repair is Homicide Mystery by Sarah Graves, THE NEW WOMAN: A Staggerford Novel by Jon Hassler, OH WHAT A SLAUGHTER by Larry McMurtry and TURNING ANGEL by Greg Iles.

Happy reading! Don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend or to visit our other websites from,,,,, and

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