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June 9, 2006 Newsletter

June 9, 2006

This Week on

Oh Canada! Talks to Daniel Judson, Author of THE DARKEST PLACE

Our Newest One To Watch Author --- Robyn Young, Author of BRETHREN Beach Bag of Books Contest --- Spotlight on THE SECOND WIVES CLUB by Jane Moore

New Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: M. J. Rose, Author of THE VENUS FIX

New Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author --- Stephen Spignesi, Author of DIALOGUES

Featured One to Watch Author --- Elisabeth Hyde, Author of THE ABORTIONIST'S DAUGHTER

Great Gift Ideas For Dad

What's New On

2006 Summer Golf Books Roundup

Reviews and Features Blog

Poll: Summer Reading Rituals
Question of the Week: Where You Love to Read
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
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

Oh Canada!

I am writing from Toronto where I am speaking at the Book Expo Canada conference today. It's a very quick trip where I am not seeing much more than the CN Tower out the window of my hotel and the swimming pool at the health club (which is one of my favorites). At this conference I look forward to hearing more about what is happening with books and readers in Canada.
I finished reading this week's beach bag book, THE SECOND WIVES CLUB by Jane Moore, on the flight up here yesterday. It's a great summer read that explores the lives of four women who are second wives and their trials and tribulations. As you know the beach bags are themed around the book and I try to push my limits of being clever each week. I had fun pulling together the beach bag for this one and you can see details about it later in the newsletter.
Our latest One to Watch author is Robyn Young, whose book BRETHREN is about the Templars and culminates on the eve of the last Crusade. It will be in stores on July 11th. Knowing how many of you have enjoyed anything Templar, we are happy to tell you that we have 10 advance reading copies to share. Interested in being selected? Then send your name and mailing address to by Friday, June 16th to be eligible.
For the golfers --- and those who love golf --- among our readers, we bring you our annual Golf feature written by Stuart Shiffman. There's lots of great armchair reading here for inspiration.
Also, this week we have advance reader comments on two of the books that we recently featured --- QUEEN OF BABBLE by Meg Cabot and THE LAST SPYMASTER by Gayle Lynds. I enjoyed reading these as I liked both books. Sometimes reading our advance reader comments I feel like I was at a book club discussion about them.
In our post-9/11 world I am anticipating all kinds of fun and games tonight at the airport when I fly home since I have an expired passport (more than 10 years expired) and my driver's license as ID. I had my birth certificate and marriage license FAXed up to me last night since I left them behind --- the official immigration website did not make it sound like I needed them. Do note that valid non-expired passports are required as of December 1st. I am practicing singing "Oh Canada" in case I cannot cross the border.
Have a great week. Get your Father's Day shopping done....see our feature for some great book suggestions.
PS...for those who read the entry about THE SECOND WIVES CLUB and now are wracking your brains trying to remember who wrote THE FIRST WIVES CLUB, it was the late Olivia Goldsmith. Every time I mentioned Moore's book this week someone would remember Goldsmith's title, but not her name. 

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on June 9th.

List of titles reviewed and featured on June 2nd. Talks to Daniel Judson, Author of THE DARKEST PLACE

Daniel Judson, author of the award-winning THE BONE ORCHARD and THE POISONED ROSE, has released THE DARKEST PLACE, his first book in four years. In this interview with's Joe Hartlaub, Judson describes the time he spent living in Southampton, and the impact of its winter landscape on his imagination and unconscious mind. He also discusses the recurring theme of loss in his latest novel, elaborates on his recent career struggles, and reveals how writing from a woman's point of view in an upcoming novel is actually a welcome change from the masculine "Hero's Journey" he's explored in his previous work.

THE DARKEST PLACE by Daniel Judson (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
From Daniel Judson, Shamus Award winner and emerging master of the modern literary thriller, comes a riveting and accomplished crime novel set in the seedy underside of a celebrated beach town. During a bone-chilling snap of record cold, a series of enigmatic drowning deaths plays out in a small Hamptons community on Long Island's Shinnecock Bay.

Click here to read our interview with Daniel Judson and a review of THE DARKEST PLACE.

Our Newest One To Watch Author --- Robyn Young, Author of BRETHREN

Robyn Young, author of BRETHREN --- an epic and atmospheric historical tale --- is our newest One to Watch Author. Loaded with adventure, intrigue, politics and romance, BRETHREN, which hits stores on July 11th, is already garnering praise from critics and fellow authors.

We have 10 Advance Copies of BRETHREN 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, June 16th.

More about BRETHREN:
When Will Campbell joins the most powerful organization in Europe, the Order of the Knights Templar, he is thrown into a world of intrigue. Apprenticed to the foul-tempered scholar Everard, he must try to make sense of many things: his own past, the dangerous mystery that surrounds Everard, and his feelings for Elwen, the strong-willed young woman whose path seems linked with his own.

From the filthy backstreets of Paris and London to the burning plains of Syria, BRETHREN culminates on the eve of the last Crusade. With page-turning suspense and breathtaking battle scenes, Robyn Young portrays a rich cast of characters, reflecting on each side greed, ambition and religious fanaticism, as well as courage, love and faith.

Click here to read more about Robyn Young and BRETHREN Beach Bag of Books Contest --- Spotlight on THE SECOND WIVES CLUB by Jane Moore

Every week from May 19th through August 25th a different title in the's Second Annual Beach Bag of Books promotion will be featured with a review and 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 fourth spotlighted title is THE SECOND WIVES CLUB by Jane Moore, a sexy tale of modern (re)marriage, packed with razor-sharp wit, female-bonding and high-stakes drama. In an orange drawstring beach tote, winners will find a Margarita party set with three bottles of flavored mixers and salt and flip-flip floating candles --- the essentials for throwing your very own party with the girls. For a little pre-party pampering and relaxation we also have a sea-green cucumber melon sponge and a brightly-colored towel. Since second wives often inherit children, we have bright pink dominoes that will provide hours of enjoyment --- as well as a copy of THE SECOND WIVES CLUB. We have five to give away, as well as five additional prizes of copies of THE SECOND WIVES CLUB. To enter to win answer the question below:

What is the name of the band at Allison's wedding?

You can find the answer by reading an excerpt here:

THE SECOND WIVES CLUB by Jane Moore (Fiction)
Reviewed by Amie Taylor
Being a second wife is synonymous with being second best for Alison, Fiona, Julia and Susan --- but don't think they'll take it laying down. They form the Second Wives Club and show everyone that being a second wife doesn't mean they have to settle for anything less than the best that life and marriage have to offer.

Click here to read all the details of our Summer Beach Bag Contest.


New Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: M. J. Rose, Author of THE VENUS FIX

We are thrilled to be featuring M. J. Rose as our latest featured Suspense/Thriller author. Already an established voice in the genre, M. J. Rose is the author of the previous novels LIP SERVICE, IN FIDELITY, FLESH TONES, SHEET MUSIC and THE HALO EFFECT. Her newest psychologically chilling page-turner THE VENUS FIX, the latest in the Morgan Snow series, hits stores on July 1st. 

We have 20 Advance Copies of THE VENUS FIX 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, June 16th.

More about THE VENUS FIX:
International bestselling author M. J. Rose returns with the third thrilling book in her Butterfield Institute series featuring sex therapist/reluctant crime solver Dr. Morgan Snow. THE VENUS FIX follows Dr. Snow as she strives to make the connection between murdered online Web cam sex performers and her clients.

As one of New York's top sex therapists, Dr. Morgan Snow sees everything from the abused to the depraved. From high-profile clients with twisted obsessions to courageous survivors, the Butterfield Institute is the sanctuary to heal battered souls.

Morgan's newest patient is a powerful, influential man --- secretly addicted to watching Internet Web cam pornography. But he's not alone in those desires.  Morgan's also working with a group of high school teenagers equally and dangerously obsessed with these real-time fantasies. Fantasies that are all too accessible.

Click here to read more about M. J. Rose and THE VENUS FIX.


New Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author --- Stephen Spignesi, Author of DIALOGUES

Stephen Spignesi is our newest featured Debut Suspense/Thriller author. Spignesi is the New York Times bestselling author of three dozen nonfiction books and one novel. His newest work is DIALOGUES --- a complex and compelling legal drama that hits shelves in paperback on June 27th.

-Click here to see our Advance Reader Copy Winners.
-Click here to read an excerpt from DIALOGUES.
-Click here to read Critical Praise for DIALOGUES.

More about DIALOGUES:
With this electrifying debut, Stephen Spignesi reinvents the psychological thriller with a chilling tale of mounting intensity. Ingeniously crafted and crackling with suspense, here is a puzzle within a puzzle, at the center of which stands a hauntingly enigmatic young woman whose story will challenge everything you think you know....

Six people have been murdered in the animal shelter in which they worked. One unlikely woman stands accused of the crimes. Her name is Victoria Troy, and she is the most improbable of cold-blooded killers. A lover of animals, petite, brainy, and gifted with a sharp sense of humor, she too worked in the shelter, in an anguishingly difficult job. What could possibly have provoked her to murder six of her own coworkers --- some of whom were her friends.

Fiercely engaging and morally provocative, DIALOGUES is a rush of adrenaline that will keep you riveted from the first page to the last, a novel that will leave readers deeply shaken --- and deeply moved.

Click here to read more about Stephen Spignesi and DIALOGUES.

Featured One to Watch Author --- Elisabeth Hyde, Author of THE ABORTIONIST'S DAUGHTER

We are spotlighting Elisabeth Hyde as one of our One to Watch Authors. The author of three previous novels, including CRAZY AS CHOCOLATE, her newest work, THE ABORTIONIST'S DAUGHTER, is a compelling and provocative tale that comes out June 20th and is already garnering advance praise from readers.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE ABORTIONIST'S DAUGHTER.
-Click here to see the winners of our Advance Reader Copies.
-Click here to read Elisabeth Hyde's Backlist.
-Click here to read Critical Praise for THE ABORTIONIST'S DAUGHTER.

Elisabeth Hyde has taken a powerful moral predicament and constructed around it a richly layered, compulsively readable novel about a murder in a small Colorado town, about the choices we make and the way their unintended consequences ripple through our lives.

It's a riveting and provocative page-turner: a novel of stunning economy and momentum by a writer poised for wide discovery.

Click here to read more about Elisabeth Hyde and THE ABORTIONIST'S DAUGHTER.

Great Gift Ideas For Dad

Our Father's Day Duffel Bag of Books contest may be over, but if you're still not sure of the perfect gift for Dad, may we suggest one of our featured titles?

KILLER INSTINCT by Joseph Finder
MEXICAN DAYS by Tony Cohan
POP CULTURE by Christopher Healy


Read more about these great gifts for Father's Day here.

What's New On

The following guides are now available on

THE ASSASIN'S GATE by George Packer
BLUE PENINSULA by Madge McKeithen
THE BREAKDOWN LANE by Jacquelyn Mitchard
CAGE OF STARS by Jacquelyn Mitchard
CHRISTMAS, PRESENT by Jacquelyn Mitchard
CLAIRE KNOWS BEST by Tracey Bateman
EYE CONTACT by Cammie McGovern
FAMILY AND OTHER ACCIDENTS by Shari Goldhagen (Hardcover)
FAMILY AND OTHER ACCIDENTS by Shari Goldhagen (Paperback)
THE FRIEND WHO GOT AWAY by Jenny Offill and
Elissa Schappell
GODS IN ALABAMA by Joshilyn Jackson
THE LAST SONG OF DUSK by Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi
LIKE DANDELION DUST by Karen Kingsbury
LIPSTICK JIHAD by Azadeh Moaveni
LIVING ON AIR by Anna Shapiro
LOVE IN THE PRESENT TENSE by Catherine Ryan Hyde
LUCKY STRIKE by Nancy Zafris
1906: A Novel by James Dalessandro
THE POTLUCK CLUB: Trouble's Brewing by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson
THE PRINCE OF POISON by Pamela Kaufman
THE RED CARPET by Lavanya Sankaran
SHOOTING WATER by Devyani Saltzman
SKELLS by F. P. Lione
A SOUNDING BRASS by Shelley Bates
SPEAK TO MY HEART by Stacy Hawkins Adams
A THEORY OF RELATIVITY by Jacquelyn Mitchard
TRIANGLE: A Novel by Katharine Weber
TWELVE TIMES BLESSED by Jacquelyn Mitchard
WHEN LIGHT BREAKS by Patti Callahan Henry

Please note that these titles, for which we already had guides when they appeared in hardcover, are now available in paperback:

CAST OF SHADOWS by Kevin Guilfoile
THE DIVIDE by Nicholas Evans
MAYBE A MIRACLE by Brian Strause

Click here to visit


2006 Summer Golf Books Roundup

Each year, between professional golf's first two major championships, the Masters and the U.S. Open, publishers present avid golfers and equally avid readers with a broad panoply of books --- instructional, inspirational, educational and sometimes simply enjoyable. This season's range of books offers any enthusiastic golfer many noteworthy volumes for vacation and travel reading.'s Stuart Shiffman takes a look at eight of these works, including a homage to the most famous golf course in the world and a celebration of quite possibly one of the greatest achievements in all of sports.

Click here to read our 2006 Summer Golf Books Roundup.


Reviews and Features

TERRORIST by John Updike (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
The ever-surprising John Updike's 22nd novel is a brilliant contemporary fiction that will surely be counted as one of his most powerful. It tells of 18-year-old Ahmad Ashmawy Mulloy and his devotion to Allah and the words of the Holy Qur'an, as expounded to him by a local mosque's imam.

-Click here to read an excerpt from TERRORIST.

MAYFLOWER: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick (History)
Reviewed by Colleen Quinn
In Nathaniel Philbrick's spellbinding new book, the Pilgrims fight the elements, the natives, and their own assumptions while carving out their place in the New World. The true story of the Pilgrims is much more than the well-known tale of piety and sacrifice; it is a 55-year epic that is at once tragic, heroic, exhilarating and profound.

SUSANNAH'S GARDEN by Debbie Macomber (Fiction)
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
Susannah is 50 years old and content, yet recently she finds herself dreaming about her high school boyfriend who mysteriously disappeared. When she goes home to help her increasingly fragile elderly mother, Susannah confronts those long-ago mysteries that changed her life once --- and may have the power to transform her again.

WISDOM OF OUR FATHERS: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons by Tim Russert (Biography/Memoir)
Reviewed by Carole Turner
After the publication of Tim Russert's number one New York Times bestseller about his father, BIG RUSS & ME, he received an avalanche of letters from daughters and sons who wanted to tell him about their own fathers. The result of this huge outpouring is WISDOM OF OUR FATHERS, which examines and explains fatherhood from every possible aspect.

BLUE NUDE by Elizabeth Rosner (Fiction)
Reviewed by Alexis Burling
Prizewinning poet and bestselling author Elizabeth Rosner's second novel (following THE SPEED OF LIGHT) is a rousing tour-de-force that tells the engrossing and timely story of an artist and his model, and the moral and political implications of their relationship.

THE ART OF DETECTION by Laurie R. King (Mystery)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
Homicide detective Kate Martinelli lands a case in modern-day San Francisco that seems to mirror a fictional one in the same city in the 1920s. What possible connection could the two have? The only link she can see is Sherlock Holmes.

TAKEDOWN by Brad Thor (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
After years without a terrorist attack on American soil, one group has picked the 4th of July weekend to pull out all the stops. With domestic efforts focused on search and rescue, a deadly team of highly trained foreign soldiers methodically makes its way through New York City with the singular objective of locating one of their own --- a man so powerful that America will do anything to keep him hidden.

AMERICA'S BOY by Wade Rouse (Memoir)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
Born in 1965 into a small town in the heartland of America, Wade Rouse doesn't quite fit in. As a teenager, he finds comfort with his family until a tragic accident takes his brother's life and, afraid of losing the love of the remaining family, swears that he will never allow them to mourn the loss of their only remaining son.

ACADEMY X by Andrew Trees (Fiction)
Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds
John Spencer, an English teacher at the elite Academy X, is struggling through the final weeks of the spring semester. But encouraging his students to focus on the genius and wit of Jane Austen is the least of his problems. With each bumbling effort to keep everyone happy (and get his girl!), John digs himself deeper into trouble, until his very career is at stake.

BRANDENBURG GATE by Henry Porter (Thriller)
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad
Middle-aged Dr. Rudi Rosenharte is about to see his former life as a Stasi foreign agent turn his present life as a renowned art historian upside down. In this multilayered espionage thriller, the 2005 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award winner Henry Porter captures the tense final moments before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Click here to read our reviews and features. Blog

Read the Blog

May 5th Entries:
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books - Part 1 - Getting There, The Mystery Bookstore and the Book Prizes
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books - Part 2 - Saturday's Panels and The Rockbottom Remainders
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books - Part 3 - Sundays Panels and The Redeye

May 4th Entry:
Mysterious Doings

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.
Poll: Summer Reading Rituals
During the summer do you find yourself reading more?

Yes, I read more during the summer.
No, my reading habits don't change.
I am not sure if my reading habits change.

Do you find yourself reading "lighter fare" during the summer?

Yes, I read lighter books during the summer.
No, my reading habits don't change.
I am not sure if I read "lighter fare" during the summer.
Answer the Poll here.

Read a list of upcoming books here. Browse our author bibliographies by clicking here Sign up for Author Newsletters here.
Question of the Week: Where You Love to Read

Question: Where is your favorite place to read during the summer?

Please note our Question of the Week will update June 23rd.

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 TERRORIST by John Updike and TWELVE SHARP by Janet Evanovich.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on June 23rd.


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 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 June 30th, 2006 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books:BLUE SCREEN by Robert B. Parker, THE COLD MOON by Jeffery Deaver, KILLER DREAMS by Iris Johansen, MOCKINGBIRD: A Portrait of Harper Lee, by Charles J. Shields and TWELVE SHARP by Janet Evanovich. Last month's winner was Lorinda from Saugerties, NY who won AT RISK by Patricia Cornwell, CAGE OF STARS by Jacquelyn Mitchard, KILLER INSTINCT by Joseph Finder, THE MAN OF MY DREAMS by Curtis Sittenfeld and POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: True Stories by Augusten Burroughs.

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