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March 3, 2006 Newsletter

March 3, 2006

This Week on

Investigating Authors Talks to Stephen White, Author of KILL ME Talks to Allegra Goodman, Author of INTUITION Talks to Joshua Spanogle, Author of ISOLATION WARD

Our Newest Debut Suspense/Thriller Author --- Robert Taylor, Author of PARADIGM

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Richard Montanari, Author of THE SKIN GODS

One to Watch Author: Kate Mosse, Author of LABYRINTH

Our First Featured Romantic Suspense Author --- Lisa Jackson, Author of SHIVER

Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author --- Robert Dugoni, Author of THE JURY MASTER

Kristin Hannah's MAGIC HOUR Rainforest Basket Contest!

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog

Poll: Websites for Your Favorite Authors
Question of the Week: Favorite Author Website
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- THREE 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 about being in a reading group appeals or does not appeal to you?
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

Investigating Authors

I am writing today from Fort Lauderdale where I am attending the Sleuthfest Convention. The last time I was in Florida in March, I was on Spring Break from college! I beat the bad weather out of the Northeast yesterday. This morning as I swam laps under a perfectly blue sky I wondered, "Why do I not live where it's warm year-round?"

I enjoy attending conferences like this where I get to hear authors talk about their craft and the research behind their work. I started my morning with a hands-on workshop given by Elizabeth Becka, the author of TRACE EVIDENCE. She had the audience pull fingerprints from evidence containers and then run tests for blood evidence. Once again her talk confirmed how unreal television CSI shows are. I also got a souvenir of Crime Scene tape that will go up in my office!

The next panel I attended was about The Myths of Writing for Hollywood. Paul Levine, author of THE DEEP BLUE ALIBI was on that one. He spoke about how writing for Hollywood improved the dialogue in his books. When you think of how much in television and film is dialogue driven, you can see how this is possible. This panel talked about the perfect movie scripts. Their selections: ALL ABOUT EVE, BODY HEAT, CHINATOWN, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and CASABLANCA.

This week we bring you THREE terrific interviews. Last April I read Stephen White's KILL ME, in manuscript. I stayed up most of the night to read it. It hit stores this week and after reading our interview with White and Joe Hartlaub's review, I see you heading to get this one. Joni Rendon did a terrific interview with Allegra Goodman, the author of INTUITION. She captured this book so well in her review and interview. And in our interview with Joshua Spanogle we share a chat with an author we are happy to have found on his first book! Joe again reviews this one.

We have advance reader comments about Steve Berry's book, THE TEMPLAR LEGACY. See what they had to say.

Our latest Debut Suspense/Thriller author this week is Robert Taylor, whose book PARADIGM will be in stores on March 13. What if the stock market could be rigged? What if the financial world was not the way it seemed? Curious? We have 10 advance copies to give away. If you would like to enter, send your name and mailing address to

Congratulations to our VERY LUCKY Oscar Basket Winner --- Peggy from Long Beach, CA. She wins the eight Newmarket Movie Tie-in Books, the $50 Blockbuster Gift Card and an assortment of only the finest movie snacks and treats. I know I'll be watching the Oscars from my hotel room this Sunday night. And you?

Speaking of movies based on books, we just updated our Books into Movies feature for March.

I read this in the newsletter today and wanted to pass it along. "In an effort to restock its shelves after Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Public Library is asking for donations of hardcovers and paperbacks for people of all ages. Library staff will decide which books should go into its collection; the rest will go to destitute families or be sold to raise funds for the library.

Please send books to: Rica A. Trigs, Public Relations, New Orleans Public Library, 219 Loyola Ave., New Orleans, La. 70112. Apparently if donors mention to the Postal Service that the books are for the library in New Orleans, they will be able to send the books at the library rate, which is slightly less than the book rate."

I do not travel lightly. I have one huge suitcase with clothes. Another is packed with books (lots of books) and swimming equipment like my fins and water aerobics barbells (yes, I packed those). If my luggage was ever opened for a security check I am sure they would say, "What is this person doing?"  I am in Florida til Tuesday so I look forward to having some reading time, preferably poolside!

Have a great week...find a great book to read.

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on March 3rd.

List of titles reviewed and featured on February 24th.

Click here to read our Books into Movies Feature. Talks to Stephen White, Author of KILL ME

Stephen White tackles a socially controversial topic in KILL ME. In this interview with's Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight Team (Carol Fitzgerald, Joe Hartlaub and Wiley Saichek), White reveals how a conversation with a terminally ill entrepreneur sparked his interest in the subject, and discusses how this particular novel differs in style and format from his previous work. He also explains how his writing career began and expresses what he hopes readers will take away from his most recent undertaking.

KILL ME by Stephen White (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
One of Dr. Alan Gregory's patients, the anonymous protagonist of Stephen White's latest thriller, signs on with a company he calls the Death Angels, who promises to terminate him should his quality of life drop below a certain level. As his health status changes more quickly than he expects, he must fight not only his medical condition but also the group that will fulfill the irrevocable contract.

Click here to read our interview with Stephen White and a review of KILL ME. Talks to Allegra Goodman, Author of INTUITION

With her latest endeavor, INTUITION, Allegra Goodman examines a different sort of faith from the recurring religious and spiritual matters she explored in her previous works. In this interview with's contributing writer Joni Rendon, Goodman discusses how her fascination with scientists and their work inspired her to explore a new milieu, and explains the challenges she faced in writing about a topic so disparate from her own experiences. She also ruminates on the idea of absolute truths and attempts to trace similarities between INTUITION and her prior books.

INTUITION by Allegra Goodman (Fiction)
Reviewed by Joni Rendon
In a world of few certainties, should we let intuition be our guide? Equally, how much faith should we place in the hands of others, even those we think we know the best? These are the intriguing questions driving Allegra Goodman's thought-provoking new novel exploring the human side of the high-stakes world of experimental research.

Click here to read our interview with Allegra Goodman and a review of INTUITION. Talks to Joshua Spanogle, Author of ISOLATION WARD

As a bioethics researcher and medical student, Joshua Spanogle has acquired a wealth of expertise and firsthand experience to fuel his medical thriller, ISOLATION WARD. In this interview with's Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight Team (Carol Fitzgerald, Joe Hartlaub and Wiley Saichek), Spanogle discusses how he used his writing to explore current medical and ethical issues, and reveals how he managed to pen a novel in the midst of his grueling schedule. He also explains the book's noir influences and sensibilities, as well as the didactic element he included to enlighten readers.

ISOLATION WARD by Joshua Spanogle (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
When three residents of group homes for the mentally impaired are admitted to a Baltimore hospital with flu-like symptoms --- and an individual linked to these patients is found brutally murdered --- Dr. Nathaniel McCormick, a young investigator from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not only uncovers the origin of this mystery disease, but is also forced to confront issues from his own past.

Click here to read our interview with Joshua Spanogle and a review of ISOLATION WARD.


Our Newest Debut Suspense/Thriller Author --- Robert Taylor, Author of PARADIGM

Robert Taylor, whose intelligent and wickedly well-written thriller PARADIGM comes out March 13th, is our newest featured Debut Suspense/Thriller author. 

We have 10 Advance Copies of PARADIGM 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, March 10th.

More about PARADIGM:
What is tomorrow's Wall Street Journal worth to you today? Where is the line between reality and fiction? Are the financial markets really predictable? Does an ancient artifact hold the key to how some of the world's wealthiest families made their fortunes?

When a mysterious granite and cypress Egyptian box is found hidden away in a secret room in the palatial Biltmore Estate, twin scientists Alex and Nicholas Shepard work to unlock the secret of its intricate dials, gauges, crystals, and carvings. What they discover has the potential to make them rich beyond their wildest dreams. But it could also collapse financial markets, bankrupt corporations around the globe, and destroy many of the world's most powerful families. As the twins quickly find out, people will not only kill to make money, but will kill to keep it.

Click here to read more about Robert Taylor and PARADIGM.


Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Richard Montanari, Author of THE SKIN GODS

Our newest featured Suspense/Thriller author is Richard Montanari, who readers will no doubt recognize from his previous page-turners THE ROSARY GIRLS, KISS OF EVIL, DEVIANT WAY, and THE VIOLET HOUR. Now, with his noir thriller THE SKIN GODS (which comes out March 14th), Montanari re-establishes himself at the forefront of the suspense/thriller genre.

-Click here to read a new excerpt from THE SKIN GODS.
-Click here to read our list of Advance Copy Winners.
-Click here to read Fast Facts about Richard Montanari.
-Click here to read Richard Montanari's backlist.
-Click here to read Richard Montanari's bibliography.

More about THE SKIN GODS:
With the breakneck pacing and intricate plotting of his most recent novel, THE ROSARY GIRLS, Richard Montanari established himself as one of the most exciting suspense writers working today. Now he proves himself a virtuoso with THE SKIN GODS, an explosive new thriller featuring Philadelphia homicide detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano.

It is the steaming heart of summer in the City of Brotherly Love. Back on the force after taking a bullet during the arrest of a sadistic murderer, Detective Kevin Byrne warily returns to police headquarters. He cannot shake the memory of the Rosary Killer's innocent victims --- or his growing sense that the evil has not been vanquished. And when he and his partner, Detective Jessica Balzano, are called in on a bizarre case, Byrne's gravest suspicions are confirmed.

Hot on the psychopath's trail, Balzano and Byrne descend into the mouth of madness and beyond, deep into the depraved underworld of S&M clubs and the porn industry, where the worship of flesh leads to malevolent evil. Before the final credits roll, the investigators will discover that none of The Actor's victims are as innocent as they appear to be, and that the clue the police need to prevent future murders might be found in Detective Byrne's own dark past.

Click here to read more about Richard Montanari and THE SKIN GODS.

One to Watch Author: Kate Mosse, Author of LABYRINTH

Our newest featured One to Watch author is Kate Mosse, whose novel LABYRINTH has as many twists as a real labyrinth and two female protagonists, set apart by 800 years, who are both strong and obsessed with a mystery that slips between the present day and the year 1209. It's on sale this Tuesday, March 7th.

-Click here to read an excerpt from LABYRINTH.
-Click here to read our list of Advance Copy Winners.
-Click here to read critical praise for LABYRINTH.
-Click here to read Kate Mosse's backlist.

More about LABYRINTH:
In this extraordinary thriller, rich in the atmospheres of medieval and contemporary France, the lives of two women born centuries apart are linked by a common destiny

July 2005. In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery --- two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth; between the skeletons, a stone ring, and a small leather bag.

Eight hundred years earlier, on the eve of a brutal crusade to stamp out heresy that will rip apart southern France, Alais is given a ring and a mysterious book for safekeeping by her father as he leaves to fight the crusaders. The book, he says, contains the secret of the true Grail, and the ring, inscribed with a labyrinth, will identify a guardian of the Grail. As crusading armies led by Church potentates and nobles of northern France gather outside the city walls of Carcassonne, it will take great sacrifice to keep the secret of the labyrinth safe.

In the present, another woman sees the find as a means to the political power she craves; while a man who has great power will kill to destroy all traces of the discovery and everyone who stands in his way.

Click here to read more about Kate Mosse and LABYRINTH.

Our First Featured Romantic Suspense Author --- Lisa Jackson, Author of SHIVER






To launch our Romantic Suspense Author Spotlight we are featuring Lisa Jackson, author of SHIVER. In each of her gripping bestsellers, Lisa Jackson has brought readers to the edge of their seats and proven herself a master of romantic suspense. Now the New York Times bestselling author delivers SHIVER --- her most powerful novel yet.

We have 40! advance reader copies of SHIVER to share with readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. Interested? Send your name and contact info to by Friday, March 10th.

More about SHIVER:
Detective Reuben "Diego" Montoya is back in New Orleans where a serial killer is turning The Big Easy into his personal playground. The victims are killed in pairs -- no connection, no apparent motive, no real clues. Somebody's playing a sick game, and Montoya intends to beat him at it.

His only lead is the ex-wife of one of the victims, Abby Chastain,a woman haunted by painful secrets. Twenty years ago she watched in horror as her mother, a patient at the Our Lady of Virtues Mental Hospital, plunged through a window to her death. Abby has always dreaded that she too would one day go insane...especially now, back in this town, where she's begun to feel watched, as if the devil himself is scraping a fingernail along her spine.

As more bodies are found in gruesome, staged scenarios Montoya's in a desperate race to find a killer whose crimes are getting more terrifying, and closer all the time. Plunging deep into a nightmare investigation will uncover a shocking revelation -- a deadly connection between Abby and Montoya and an asylum where unspeakable crimes were committed, evil once roamed free, and a human predator may still wait.

Click here to read more about Lisa Jackson and SHIVER.


Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author --- Robert Dugoni, Author of THE JURY MASTER

Debut Suspense/Thriller author Robert Dugoni has written a legal thriller with a soul in THE JURY MASTER, which is on sale March 21st. It has high praise from both Nelson DeMille and Stephen White.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE JURY MASTER.
-Click here to see the winners of our Advance Reader Copies.

In a courtroom, David Sloane can grab a jury and make it dance. He can read jurors' expressions, feel their emotions, know their thoughts. With this remarkable ability, Sloane gets juries to believe the unbelievable, excuse the inexcusable, and return the most astonishing verdicts. The only barrier to Sloane's professional success is his conscience -- until he gets a call from a man later found dead, and his life rockets out of control.

THE JURY MASTER hurtles through one hairpin turn and into another. Sloane fights for his life, he gets closer and closer to an explosive truth: about who he is, how little he knows, and who is the master of his fate...

Click here to read more about Robert Dugoni and THE JURY MASTER.


Kristin Hannah's MAGIC HOUR Rainforest Basket Contest!

To celebrate the release of her newest book, MAGIC HOUR, Kristin Hannah is running a very special contest on her website. Four lucky winners will receive a beautiful Rainforest-themed basket stocked with goodies to pamper the body, mind and spirit.

Each woven sea-grass basket contains an assortment of huckleberry teas; a choice-cut smoked salmon fillet; organic and fun "Space noodle" pasta; a large bottle of soothing "Rain" bath & shower gel; a large bottle of luxurious "Rain" lotion; an issue of Peninsula Lifestyles magazine; delicious "Aplets and Cotlets" candy; scrumptious Pastel Chocolate Pears; and a charming notecards and envelopes sampler featuring photographs of Washington Olympic Peninsula by Keith Lazelle, as well as signed copies of both MAGIC HOUR and COMFORT AND JOY

To enter to win, simply answer the question below:
What sound does Julia hear outside her window as she is going to sleep?

You can find the answer by reading an excerpt here:

Send your answer to the question above, along with your name and snail mail address, to by March 31, 2006 at 11:59PM.

Click here to read all the contest details, as well as more about MAGIC HOUR.


This Week's Reviews and Features

MAGIC HOUR by Kristin Hannah (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
In Rain Valley, nothing much ever happens --- until a girl emerges from the deep woods and walks into town. She is a victim unlike any Dr. Julia Cates has ever seen: a child locked in a world of unimaginable fear and isolation. Though a scandal shattered her confidence, ruined her career and made her a media target, this child psychiatrist is determined to save the girl she now calls "Alice."

-Click here to read an excerpt from MAGIC HOUR.

LOVERS & PLAYERS by Jackie Collins (Fiction)
Reviewed by Hillary Wagy
Hollywood's bright lights and headline-worthy scandals blaze from the pages of Jackie Collins's novels, making her an international bestselling author. In her latest work of fiction, Collins weaves a Diamond family dynasty web of lust, power, secrets, murder, seduction and betrayal that jets us from Manhattan to L.A.

THE ETHICAL ASSASSIN by David Liss (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Encyclopedia peddler Lem Altick is suddenly pulled into the dark world of conspiracy and murder by the mysterious and strangely charismatic Melford Kean after witnessing the killing of a couple whom he had spent hours pitching. The self-styled ethical assassin makes Lem a deal: Stay quiet and there will be no problems. Go to the police and take the fall.

SKINNER'S DRIFT by Lisa Fugard (Fiction)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
Ten years after leaving South Africa, the country of her birth and the place where her mother died, Eva van Rensburg returns to her dying father --- a violent man whose terrible secret Eva has kept since she was a child --- in Lisa Fugard's dramatic and immensely readable debut novel.

BABY BROTHER'S BLUES by Pearl Cleage (Fiction)
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton
Two worlds collide in Atlanta's West End community, where a charismatic R&B singer named Blue Hamilton has given up his career to assume responsibility for the safety of his people. He "imposes" his rules to keep peace among them --- but outer forces seem to be tearing the neighborhood apart.

TWO WOMEN OF GALILEE by Mary Rourke (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by Pauline Finch
Journalist Mary Rourke has penned a fresh, honest and credible first novel that builds its engaging story around tiny details barely mentioned in scripture. Creating a richly imagined life for Joanna, a follower of Jesus alluded to in the New Testament, Rourke offers a new perspective on the world's most celebrated woman --- Mary, Mother of Jesus.

PERFECT KILLER by Lewis Perdue (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
For over seventy years, Project Enduring Valor has sought a drug that would turn ordinary soldiers into ruthlessly efficient killers. Now, after decades of secret trial and error, Enduring Valor is ready to be implemented on a massive scale --- despite devastating side-effects --- and neurosurgeon Bradford Stone, a retired war hero turned presidential candidate, is being hunted by the Project's director.

Click here to read our reviews and features. Blog

February 24th Entry:
Serious Expectations

January 11th Entry:
My Week in January With James Frey

January 6th Entry:
Reading Outside the Comfort Zone

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: Websites for Your Favorite Authors
Do you visit the websites of your favorite authors?

Yes, I like to keep track of what my favorite authors are currently working on, and their upcoming titles.

I would visit author websites, but I don't have time.

I would visit author websites, but many of my favorite authors do not have websites.

I'm not sure if my favorite authors have websites --- I've never looked.

Visiting author websites is not of interest to me.

If you do visit author websites, what features appeal to you most? (Check as many as apply.)
Updates on upcoming titles
Praise and reviews
Background information on the book(s)
Contests and book giveaways
Information about author appearances
Author interviews and author information
Photo galleries
I am not sure.
I do not visit author websites.
Answer the Poll here.

Question of the Week: Favorite Author Website

What's your favorite author website? What do you like on it?

Please note: Our question of the week will update on March 17th.

Answer the Question of the Week here.

Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- THREE Prizes!

Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't.

This week we have three great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of DIRTY BLONDE by Lisa Scottoline, THE SKIN TYPE SOLUTION by Leslie S. Baumann and THE TENTH CIRCLE by Jodi Picoult.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on March 17th. 

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 March 31st, 2006 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: MAGIC HOUR by Kristin Hannah; DARK ASSASSIN by Anne Perry, FALSE IMPRESSION by Jeffrey Archer, GONE by Jonathan Kellerman, THE TENTH CIRCLE by Jodi Picoult. Last month's winner was Sue from Council Bluffs, Iowa who won THE 5TH HORSEMAN by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, THE BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEAD by Kevin Brockmeier, THE GOOD LIFE by Jay McInerney, MAGIC HOUR by Kristin Hannah and THE OLD WINE SHADES: A Richard Jury Mystery by Martha Grimes.

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

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