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July 7, 2006 Newsletter

July 7, 2006

This Week on

Reading, One Mountain at a Time...and Counting Down to Ten Years.... Talks to M. J. Rose, Author of THE VENUS FIX

Our Newest Debut Supense/Thriller Author: Gordon Dahlquist, Author of THE GLASS BOOK OF DREAM EATERS Beach Bag of Books Contest --- Spotlight on CLOSE ENOUGH TO KILL by Beverly Barton

Our Newest Suspense/Thriller Author: David L. Robbins, Author of THE ASSASSINS GALLERY

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author : Kay Hooper, Author of SLEEPING WITH FEAR

Our Newest One to Watch Author: Barbara Cleverly, Author of THE PALACE TIGER

Featured One to Watch Author: Robyn Young, Author of BRETHREN

Now in Stores: THE DRESSMAKER by Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck

Now in Stores: IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN WHAT HE SAID by Eden Collinsworth

This Week's Reviews and Features

What's New on

Poll: Beyond Reading
Question of the Week: Page-Turners
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
Summer Beach Bag Feature

Reading, One Mountain at a Time...and Counting Down to Ten Years....

I am writing this week from the deck of a condo at Beaver Creek as I am wrapping up a week of vacation in Colorado. (For those of you left with last week's cliffhanger, my husband and sons met me in Denver without incident last Saturday night in a moment that made me very grateful to whoever invented the cell phone.)
My memorable book moments/sighting of the week: the guy seated at the reception area at the bottom of the Great Sand National Park reading Bill Bryson's A WALK IN THE WOODS (was it for inspiration?), the woman at the pool at the condo in Crested Butte reading IN COLD BLOOD (I wonder what inspired that read), my husband reading SALT at each place we stopped (need to ask him what made him pick that to read now), my older son begging me to buy him 1984 at the Blue Moon Books bookstore in Crested Butte ("I loved ANIMAL FARM and want to read this.") while my younger son, who had finished THE BOOK THIEF and LOVED it, asking me to buy him PENDRAGON Book 7 at the Bookworm bookstore in Edwards ("Mom, you never got this one for me.") Both book requests happily were obliged. It beat buying t-shirts and yet another baseball cap.
As for me, how many people ride the gondola to the top of Vail thinking...hmmm....this would be a great place to read in peace and quiet?
It's been a great trip down memory lane for me as I spent a lot of time in Colorado over the years and in many ways for me it is like coming home. I have been doing a lot of hiking and walking and exploring via 4-wheel drive trails. I confess that when I see some of these really remote areas I think, "these are the places was created for." I can see many people in these locations ordering online and getting deliveries via mail. I realize how lucky I am to live in a place where my book passion can be satisfied "same day" most of the time. To all of our readers who live where books are not easy to come by, I salute you.
Our featured Beach Bag book this week is CLOSE ENOUGH TO KILL by Beverly Barton. I am glad I finished this one in Phoenix or I would have missed a lot of scenery along the way as the story snags readers at the very fast pages. If you like a romantic/suspense that grabs you from the first page and will keep your attention at your own version of the beach, read on for how to enter. I loved the colors of the cover of this book and our bag is very blue and purple as a result. I wish I bought an extra planter for myself! 

Our interview with M. J. Rose will give you insight into her research and inspiration for her new book, THE VENUS FIX. Everyone in the office who has read it has loved it as much as me. We are impressed with the way she deftly handled a difficult social issue --- Internet porn --- and wove it into a very suspenseful plot. We can see why there is buzz around this one.
Our newest featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author is Gordon Dahlquist, an acclaimed playwright whose deeply compelling and suspenseful first novel THE GLASS BOOK OF DREAM EATERS hits shelves August 1st.
We have 10 Advance Copies of THE GLASS BOOK OF DREAM EATERS 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, July 14th.
Next month we will celebrate our 10th Anniversary at The Book Report Network. was our first website. We'd love to hear from readers as we celebrate --- everything from what you've enjoyed about, or the names of books and authors you discovered by reading us, or any other special memories or congratulatory messages. Please send your reflections to We'll share these reflections as part of our 10th Anniversary feature later this summer.
I am in Denver this weekend and most of next week at the International Christian Retailer Show, which I am looking forward to. I know I promised you a blog about ThrillerFest, but traveling this week got in the way. We do have the winners of the first annual Thriller Awards for you here.

Here's wishing you a great week of reading wherever you are.

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on July 7th.

List of titles reviewed and featured on June 30th. Talks to M. J. Rose, Author of THE VENUS FIX's Carol Fitzgerald and Joe Hartlaub interviewed internationally bestselling author M. J. Rose about THE VENUS FIX, the third installment in her Butterfield Institute suspense/thriller series. Rose explains how she first became interested in the novel's topic --- Internet sex sites --- and reveals what she discovered while conducting her research. She also discusses the series's recurring theme of patient confidentiality, shares what's on her reading list, and divulges a few details about her future project. 

THE VENUS FIX by M. J. Rose (Suspense)

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
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.

Click here to read our interview with M. J. Rose and a review of THE VENUS FIX.

Our Newest Debut Supense/Thriller Author: Gordon Dahlquist, Author of THE GLASS BOOK OF DREAM EATERS

We are very excited to be introducing you to Gordon Dahlquist, whose deeply compelling and suspenseful first novel THE GLASS BOOK OF DREAM EATERS hits shelves August 1st. An accomplished playwright, Dahlquist proves himself a master storyteller with THE GLASS BOOK OF DREAM EATERS.

We have 10 Advance Copies of THE GLASS BOOK OF DREAM EATERS 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, July 14th.

It begins with a simple note. Roger Bascombe wishes to inform Celeste Temple that their engagement is forthwith terminated. But, Celeste, for all her lack of worldly experience, is determined to find out why her fiancé should have thrown her over so cruelly. Adopting a disguise, she follows her erstwhile lover to the forbidding Harschmort manor, where she discovers a world --- by turns dizzyingly seductive and utterly shocking --- she could never have imagined, and a conspiracy so terrifying as to be almost beyond belief.

Seething with danger, terror and romance, THE GLASS BOOK OF DREAM EATERS is a mammoth work of the imagination, a deliriously readable, heartstoppingly suspenseful, and darkly erotic masterpiece of storytelling.

Click here to read more about Gordon Dahlquist and THE GLASS BOOK OF DREAM EATERS. Beach Bag of Books Contest --- Spotlight on CLOSE ENOUGH TO KILL by Beverly Barton

Every week from May 19th through August 25th a different title in the 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 eighth spotlighted title is CLOSE ENOUGH TO KILL by Beverly Barton, a mesmerizing tale of murder and suspense that will keep you sitting on your beach towel until the very last page. To go with the noir, Southern inflections of the book, we've created a very blue, southern-infused Beach Bag Prize. In an oversized, rose-patterned blue beach bag, winners will find a blue striped towel, a copy of Southern Living magazine, Tazo Passion iced tea mix and a blue pitcher for serving it, a blue picnic blanket and a hand-painted clay flowerpot --- as well as a copy of the book. We have five to give away, as well as five additional prizes of copies of CLOSE ENOUGH TO KILL. To enter to win answer the question below:

What does Jim eat before going to shave and pick up Agent Patterson?

You can find the answer by reading an excerpt here.

CLOSE ENOUGH TO KILL by Beverly Barton (Romantic Suspense)

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
In sleepy little Adams County, Alabama, Sheriff Bernie Granger welcomes her new deputy sheriff, Jim Norton, while discovering a horrific problem in her community. A serial killer who romances and then tortures, rapes and kills attractive young women is on the loose. Can Bernie and Jim find the murderer?

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


Our Newest Suspense/Thriller Author: David L. Robbins, Author of THE ASSASSINS GALLERY

Our newest featured Suspense/Thriller author is David L. Robbins, New York Times bestselling author of WAR OF THE RATS, LIBERATION ROAD and LAST CITADEL. His newest thriller, THE ASSASSINS GALLERY, comes out July 25th and is a breathlessly-paced historical thriller, with an ending you'll never see coming.

-Click here to see the winners of the Advance Reader Copy Mailing.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE ASSASSINS GALLERY.
-Click here to read Fast Facts for David L. Robbins.
-Click here to read David L. Robbins's backlist.
-Click here to read Critical Praise for THE ASSASSINS GALLERY.

New Year's Eve, 1945. The assassin steps out of the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of a raging nor'easter. Cool and efficient, she's a weapon of war superbly trained in the ancient arts of subterfuge and murder. And even though she's outnumbered, she's got one major advantage --- No one knows she's coming.

Professor Mikhal Lammeck's specialty is the history and weaponry of assassins. But even Lammeck is caught off guard when the Secret Service urgently requests his help: A gruesome double murder and suicide in Massachusetts has set off alarm bells. It's only a hunch, but all too soon Lammeck suspects the unthinkable.

In the waning days of the war, someone wants one last shot to alter history. An assassin is headed to Washington, D.C., to kill the most important soldier of them all: the U.S. commander in chief. As Lammeck and a killer at the top of her profession circle the streets of the capital in the hunt for FDR, one of them will attempt to kill the world's most powerful man; the other, to save him. And between them, for an instant, history will hang in the balance...

Click here to read more about David L. Robbins and THE ASSASSINS GALLERY.


Featured Suspense/Thriller Author : Kay Hooper, Author of SLEEPING WITH FEAR

Kay Hooper, the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of HUNTING FEAR, CHILL OF FEAR, TOUCHING EVIL and the Shadows trilogy, is one of our featured Suspense/Thriller authors. Her mesmerizing newest page-turner is SLEEPING WITH FEAR, which hits shelves on July 18th and is sure to send chills down your spine.

-Click here to see our Advance Reading Copy Winners.
-Click here to read a new excerpt from SLEEPING WITH FEAR.
-Click here to read Fast Facts about Kay Hooper.
-Click here to read Kay Hooper's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for SLEEPING WITH FEAR.

Fear has never been so close....

New York Times bestselling author Kay Hooper returns with a relentless thriller that brings her readers face-to-face with fear itself. In this terrifying new novel, a psychic special agent finds herself caught up in a tangled web of secrets, lies . . . and evil.

Riley Crane woke up fully dressed, a gun under her pillow, and covered in blood. Even more frightening, she didn't remember what happened the night before. In fact, she barely remembered the previous three weeks.

Click here to read more about Kay Hooper and SLEEPING WITH FEAR.

Our Newest One to Watch Author: Barbara Cleverly, Author of THE PALACE TIGER

Barbara Cleverly is our newest featured One to Watch Author. She has made a name for herself with works such as THE LAST KASHMIRI ROSE and THE DAMASCENED BLADE and her newest tale of overseas intrigue and mystery, THE PALACE TIGER, hits stores in paperback on July 25th and is sure to be a breathless summer read.

-Click here to see our Advance Reading Copy Winners.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE PALACE TIGER.

In her award-winning mysteries --- from THE LAST KASHMIRI ROSE to THE DAMASCENED BLADE --- Barbara Cleverly paints a dazzling portrait of the British Raj, infusing it with intrigue, enchantment, and menace. And in her detective hero Joe Sandilands, war veteran and Scotland Yard policeman, Cleverly gives us a gallant guide to this paradise lost. Having seen humankind at its worst, now, in a lush royal kingdom, Sandilands will see it at its most dangerously complex...

Click here to read more about Barbara Cleverly and THE PALACE TIGER.

Featured One to Watch Author: Robyn Young, Author of BRETHREN

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

-Click here to see our Advance Copy winners.
-Click here to read a new excerpt from BRETHREN.
-Click here to read Critical Praise for BRETHREN.

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.

Now in Stores: THE DRESSMAKER by Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck

With her mother working for Diana Vreeland at Harper's Bazaar, Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck was served fashion for breakfast, lunch and dinner while growing up in Manhattan. Later she worked in book and magazine publishing, contributing a regular column to Cosmopolitan. Now, with a charming book that draws on these experiences, Elizabeth celebrates the launch of her debut novel, THE DRESSMAKER. 

A humble French dressmaker in the small town of Senlis, Claude Reynaud falls instantly in love with Valentine de Verlay, the lovely engaged lady of Parisian society who comes to him to design her wedding dress.

A Book Sense Pick and Literary Guild Featured Alternate, THE DRESSMAKER is perfectly suited for reading groups, is "reminiscent of a Jane Austen novel" (Library Journal) and is "an engaging dissection of high fashion and those who determine its whimsical directions." - Booklist

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE DRESSMAKER.

Click here for more about THE DRESSMAKER.


Now in Stores: IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN WHAT HE SAID by Eden Collinsworth

IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN WHAT HE SAID by Eden Collinsworth (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
Isabel was able to remember the precise moment she tried killing her husband. Strangely enough, she couldn't recollect why. A page-turning tale of passion, promises and deceit, this compelling debut novel from Eden Collinsworth makes for perfect summer reading.

Click here to read our review of IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN WHAT HE SAID.

This Week's Reviews and Features

HIT PARADE by Lawrence Block (Mystery)
Reviewed by Tom Callahan
Lawrence Block, New York Times bestselling author and master of the modern mystery, brings back professional hit man Keller in his third book. The introspective assassin takes on nine new "assignments" filled with plot twists, ironic turns and deeper questions.

RUSTY NAIL: A Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels Mystery by J.A. Konrath (Mystery)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
Someone is sending snuff videos to Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels of the Chicago Police Department. The victims are people she knows, and they share a common trait --- all were involved in one of Jack's previous cases. With her stalwart partner hospitalized and unable to help, Jack follows a trail of death throughout the Midwest, on a collision course with the smartest and deadliest adversary she's ever known.

THE WHOLE WORLD OVER by Julia Glass (Fiction)
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
In National Book Award winner Julia Glass's second novel, Greenie Duquette is wooed away from her New York pastry shop to cook for the eccentric governor of New Mexico, leaving her husband behind. Greenie's life intersects with the lives of others in a riveting tale of secrets, yearning and connection.

DARK TORT: A Novel of Suspense by Diane Mott Davidson (Suspense)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
Goldy Schulz is enjoying her lucrative new gig preparing breakfasts and conference-room snacks for a local law firm --- until the night she arrives to find Dusty, the firm's paralegal, dead. The poor young woman also happened to be Goldy's friend and neighbor, and now Dusty's grieving mother begs Goldy to find out who murdered her daughter.

WHAT PRICE LOVE? A Cynster Novel by Stephanie Laurens (Historical Romance)
Reviewed by Jennifer McCord

Enter the unforgettable world of New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens, creator of the phenomenal Cynster family. This amazing clan --- and their friends --- is a bold, powerful group of men who let nothing stand in their way when it comes to matters of the heart. And in this, Stephanie Laurens's newest novel, a passionate man and a daring woman confront the ultimate question...

TEN SECOND STAIRCASE: A Bryant & May Mystery by Christopher Fowler (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub

In Christopher Fowler's latest Bryant & May novel, the Peculiar Crimes Unit must solve a series of locked-room mysteries, in which a noted personality of some dubious repute is found dead under ambiguous circumstances. An unlikely figure, appearing to be an old English highwayman, is seen in the vicinity of each death and leaves a somewhat cryptic calling card at each scene.

THE CINDERELLA PACT by Sarah Strohmeyer (Fiction)
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton
In this funny and big-hearted story by Sarah Strohmeyer, author of THE SECRET LIVES OF FORTUNATE WIVES and the Bubbles Yablonsky mystery series, three best friends make a pact to transform themselves into the glamorous women they've always wanted to be.

THE DEFINING MOMENT: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope by Jonathan Alter (History)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
Franklin D. Roosevelt became President of the United States at the darkest hour of the Great Depression --- the deepest crisis to face this country since the Civil War. Jonathan Alter examines the qualities of FDR's mind and spirit that gave the stricken nation hope, and also the crafty maneuvering he often used to gain his ends and outfox his enemies.

A SIMPLE ACT OF MURDER: November 22, 1963 by Mark Fuhrman (True Crime/History)
Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller
Former LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman, who first found notoriety while working the OJ Simpson case in 1994 and then later for writing a number of books on other famous cases, now turns his well-trained eye on the most well-known murder case of the 20th century --- the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

THE HIGHLY EFFECTIVE DETECTIVE by Richard Yancey (Mystery)        
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
With his favorite waitress as his secretary and a lease on space strategically chosen over a dry cleaner's, Teddy Ruzak tries his hand at private detecting. His first case involves a hit-and-run murder of a very unique type. He would have called it manslaughter, but it didn't exactly involve a man.

LEMONS NEVER LIE by Richard Stark (Crime Fiction)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub

Alan Grofield, a thief with scruples, agrees to fly to Las Vegas to hear Andrew Myers's plan for a major heist. Unfortunately, the plan is insane --- so Grofield walks out on him. But Myers isn't a man you walk out on, and his retribution culminates in an act of unforgivable brutality.

Click here to read our reviews and features.

What's New on

The following Reading Guides are now available on

THE ASSASSINS' GATE by George Packer
BETWEEN, GEORGIA by Joshilyn Jackson
COURTESAN by Diane Haeger
EYE CONTACT by Cammie McGovern
FIRST AID by Janet Davey
GODS IN ALABAMA by Joshilyn Jackson
GOOD IN BED by Jennifer Weiner
THE LAST SONG OF DUSK by Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi
LIKE DANDELION DUST by Karen Kingsbury
LILY'S GHOST by Cheryl Drake Harris
LIPSTICK JIHAD by Azadeh Moaveni
THE LOST NIGHT by Rachel Howard
LOVE IN THE PRESENT TENSE by Catherine Ryan Hyde
MAD GIRLS IN LOVE by Michael Lee West
1906: A Novel by James Dalessandro
ONCE UPON A DAY by Lisa Tucker
POTLUCK CLUB: Trouble's Brewing by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson
A SUDDEN COUNTRY by Karen Fisher
TRIANGLE: A Novel by Katharine Weber

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

BEING MRS. ALCOTT by Nancy Geary

The following Christian guides are now available on

CLAIRE KNOWS BEST by Tracey Bateman
DIVAS OF DAMASCUS ROAD by Michelle Stimpson
RACHEL'S PRAYER by Leisha Kelly
A SOUNDING BRASS by Shelley Bates
SKELLS by F. P. Lione
Click here to visit
Poll: Beyond Reading
When you're not reading, what is your favorite entertainment pastime? (Please select one)
Going to the movies
Watching a DVD or video
Watching television
Watching a pre-recorded show
Listening to music
Surfing the web and other Internet-related activities
Other (please specify)
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: Page-Turners

Question: What's the book you read most recently that you could not put down?

Please note our Question of the Week will update July 21st.

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 BREAK NO BONES by Kathy Reichs and VANISHING POINT by Marcia Muller.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on July 21st.


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 July 31st, 2006 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: BREAK NO BONES by Kathy Reichs, THE MESSENGER by Daniel Silva, RUSTY NAIL by J. A. Konrath, VANISHING POINT by Marcia Muller and WIVES BEHAVING BADLY by Elizabeth Buchan. Last month's winner was Kristi from Independence, OR who won 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.

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