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July 14, 2006 Newsletter

July 14, 2006

This Week on

Talking Books in the Rockies Talks to Robyn Young, Author of BRETHREN

Our Newest One to Watch Author: Dan Burstein, Author of SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE Beach Bag of Books Contest --- Spotlight on THE HOT FLASH CLUB CHILLS OUT by Nancy Thayer

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

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

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

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

Now Available in Paperback: PARDONABLE LIES by Jacqueline Winspear

Now in Stores: WHAT IS MINE by Anne Holt

Now in Stores: VANISHING POINT by Marcia Muller

This Week's Reviews and Features

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

Talking Books in the Rockies

I got back last night from my biz/vaca/biz trip to Phoenix, the mountains of Colorado and Denver. As I was walking through downtown Denver the other night I was wishing that publishing was headquartered there instead of New York, so I could live there. I love that part of the country. There is something about the colors, the light and the sky that invigorate me.
A couple of fun notes. Tuesday evening I had drinks with Stephen White at a terrific place in Denver on Larimer Street. My family and I had driven down to Denver from the mountains on Saturday and as we were driving, my husband said, I am thinking of that drive in KILL ME when we are on this portion of the road. I laughed as I was thinking the SAME thing. There is a pulse-driving section in that book that will stay with you. Stephen and I talked about KILL ME and his upcoming book, DRY ICE. We've seen each other in New York, but it was more fun getting together in Denver and having him show me the sights on Larimer and share stories about Denver and the mountains. I ended up dropping back to a place on Larimer Street later in the evening for dinner like I was a native.
Wednesday evening I went to stay with my friend, Starr, who had just gotten back from Russia and the Baltic Sea where as she said, "the economy of the countries there was greatly enhanced by her visit." Let's just say that Starr passes very few stores without exploring them. She is a decorator and home designer who has a gorgeous home just south of Denver --- the kind of place that you look at in magazines and gasp over --- that is one of my favorite places to visit. It's fabulous, yet so comfortable. She told me that on the flight home from Europe she read THE UNDOMESTIC GODDESS by Sophie Kinsella, which she loved. In fact, she made quite a scene laughing about it on the plane. Hands down I know what her hostess gift is going to be --- the Shopaholic books also by Kinsella. I love matching up my friends with books I know will make them happy!
With the Christian Retailing Convention and lots of meetings in Colorado on the schedule this week there was not much time for my personal reading. Last night I started THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield and I was drawn in from the first page and I look forward to having time to finish it. I have quite a stack of reading here that I am itching to get to.
Our Beach Bag book this week is THE HOT FLASH CLUB CHILLS OUT by Nancy Thayer, who continues her hugely successful Hot Flash series with this wickedly funny, delightfully bawdy tale. Our beach bag prize includes a special anniversary edition of 9 to 5 --- the ultimate working girls chick flick.
This week we have advance reader comments for THE VENUS FIX by M.J. Rose and BRETHREN by Robyn Young. Many of our readers picked up Rose for the first time with this title and they are looking forward to reading more after the riveting and intense read of THE VENUS FIX. Debut author Robyn Young impressed readers with her mix of history and suspense and they look forward to more from her, as well.

Also, this week we are announcing our latest One to Watch author, Dan Burstein, whose book SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE will be in stores on August 14th. Burstein is the author of the Secrets series, which includes SECRETS OF THE CODE, which our own Marcia Ford called the BEST title written about THE DA VINCI CODE. Want to enter to win a copy? We have 10 copies to give away to readers who send us their name and mailing information by Friday, July 28th.
As I mentioned last 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 beginning next week. Thank you to those who already shared your memories and thoughts.
My sister is in town this weekend so I am off to the beach for the first time this summer! Looking forward to it. Reading on the beach is one of the best parts of summer. Also, Colorado does not have a beach...I think I would miss the beach if I lived there. I guess I'll stick in the East for a bit longer. Have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on July 14th.

List of titles reviewed and featured on July 7th. Talks to Robyn Young, Author of BRETHREN

Robyn Young is the author of BRETHREN, the first book in an intended trilogy set during the Crusades and featuring the Knights Templar. In this interview with's contributing writer Stephen Hubbard, Young discusses the allure of this mysterious order and what initially caught her interest in the Holy Wars. She also describes the challenges of writing historical fiction, what she hopes to convey through her characters, and the path her career will take in the future.

BRETHREN: An Epic Adventure of the Knights Templar by Robyn Young (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard
This debut novel from Robyn Young offers a brilliant tale woven into the history of the Ninth Crusade. Not only is the Holy Land at risk but the Knights Templar are in danger of being brought down by a secret from within. With page-turning suspense and breathtaking battle scenes, 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 our interview with Robyn Young and a review of BRETHREN.

Our Newest One to Watch Author: Dan Burstein, Author of SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE

We are so excited to be featuring Dan Burstein as our newest One to Watch Author. Burstein is the creator of the Secrets series, which, in addition to SECRETS OF THE CODE, includes SECRETS OF ANGELS & DEMONS, SECRETS OF THE WIDOW'S SON, and his newest --- SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE, which hits stores August 14th.

We have 10 Advance Copies of THE SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE 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 21st.


Continuing in the tradition of the New York Times bestselling SECRETS OF THE CODE, the latest book from the Secrets team, SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE, brings together world class experts from different faiths, backgrounds, and perspectives, to discuss the most thought-provoking new ideas and original thinking about Mary Magdalene.

All of the contributors to SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE are well-known and highly respected authors whose books have sold more than five million copies in total. Never before has such a wide range of fascinating ideas and new scholarship about Mary Magdalene been collected in one book that is so timely, popular and accessible.

Click here to read more about Dan Burstein and SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE. Beach Bag of Books Contest --- Spotlight on THE HOT FLASH CLUB CHILLS OUT by Nancy Thayer

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 ninth spotlighted title is THE HOT FLASH CLUB CHILLS OUT by Nancy Thayer, a wickedly funny, delightfully bawdy tale of fun, sun, love, sex and estrogen therapy. Our beach bag features everything you need for a day of indulgence and R&R with the ladies. In a pink and orange tote winners will find an oversized pink striped beach towel, Cosmopolitan mini pops, invisible playing cards, Tropical Colada body wash and a blue loofah, and the ultimate girl-bonding chick-flick: 9 to 5 --- as well as a copy of the book. We have five to give away, as well as five additional prizes of copies of THE HOT FLASH CLUB CHILLS OUT. To enter to win answer the question below:

What drink does Faye get Aubrey to ease his bursitis-induced aches and pains?

You can find the answer by reading an excerpt here:

THE HOT FLASH CLUB CHILLS OUT by Nancy Thayer (Fiction)
Reviewed by Jennifer Krieger
Nancy Thayer's fourth addition to her Hot Flash Club series finds the spry and spunky gals attempting to get some much-needed rest and relaxation in Nantucket. Unfortunately, mysterious goings-on in their quaint cottage as well as the stress and frustrations of their everyday lives conspire against this idyllic vacation getaway. 

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.

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

Barbara Cleverly is one of our featured One to Watch Authors. 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.

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

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

-Click here to read our Advance Copy Winners.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE GLASS BOOKS OF THE DREAM EATERS.

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 fiance 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 BOOKS OF THE 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 BOOKS OF THE DREAM EATERS.

Now Available in Paperback: PARDONABLE LIES by Jacqueline Winspear

In the third novel of this bestselling series, London investigator Maisie Dobbs faces grave danger as she returns to the site of her most painful WWI memories to resolve the mystery of a pilot's death

Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone. Alexander McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe. Every once in a while, a detective bursts on the scene who captures readers' hearts --- and imaginations --- and doesn't let go. And so it was with Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs, who made her debut just two years ago in the eponymously titled first book of the series, and is already on her way to becoming a household name.

Here's More About PARDONABLE LIES:
A deathbed plea from his wife leads Sir Cecil Lawton to seek the aid of Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator. As Maisie soon learns, Agnes Lawton never accepted that her aviator son was killed in the Great War, a torment that led her not only to the edge of madness but to the doors of those who practice the dark arts and commune with the spirit world.

In accepting the assignment, Maisie finds her spiritual strength tested, as well as her regard for her mentor, Maurice Blanche. The mission also brings her together once again with her college friend Priscilla Evernden, who served in France and who lost three brothers to the war --- one of whom, it turns out, had an intriguing connection to the missing Ralph Lawton.

Following on the heels of the triumphant BIRDS OF A FEATHER, PARDONABLE LIES is the most compelling installment yet in the chronicles of Maisie Dobbs, "a heroine to cherish" (Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review).

-Click here to read our review of PARDONABLE LIES.
-Click here to read our interview with Jacqueline Winspear.
-Click here to read an excerpt from PARDONABLE LIES.
-Click here to read our Mystery Mayhem Feature on Jacqueline Winspear and PARDONABLE LIES.
-Click here to visit Jacqueline Winspear's website.

Click here for more about PARDONABLE LIES.


Now in Stores: WHAT IS MINE by Anne Holt

WHAT IS MINE by Anne Holt
In a matter of days, two children in Norway have been kidnapped --- by whom and for what reason is anyone's guess. And now one child is dead, packed like a piece of furniture and delivered to his parents' home with a horrifying note. Stumped and desperate, Norwegian police inspector Adam Stubo hopes former FBI profiler Johanne Vik can come up with answers. Already immersed in the investigation of a murder suspect who fled to the United States forty years ago, Vik is reluctant to take on the case of this boy and the kidnapping of a little girl named Emilie, two crimes which seem to have nothing in common. Then another child is abducted, and Vik, a mother of a six-year-old herself, can no longer stand idly by.

A singularly clever crime story combined with a serious discussion of our responsibilities toward children, WHAT IS MINE is a harrowing thriller from one of the world's masters of suspense.

-Click here to read an excerpt from WHAT IS MINE.

Click here to read more about WHAT IS MINE.

Now in Stores: VANISHING POINT by Marcia Muller

VANISHING POINT: A Sharon McCone Mystery by Marcia Muller (Mystery)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
In the latest installment of this critically acclaimed series from Marcia Muller, PI Sharon McCone is hired to investigate one of San Luis Obispo County's most puzzling cold cases. But before McCone can penetrate this tangled mystery, she must first solve the disappearance of her client.

-Click here to read an excerpt from VANISHING POINT.
-Click here to visit Marcia Muller's website.

Click here to our review of VANISHING POINT.

This Week's Reviews and Features

TALK TALK by T.C. Boyle (Fiction)
Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol
The bestselling author of THE INNER CIRCLE and DROP CITY returns with a timely new novel about a woman in desperate pursuit of a man who has stolen her identity. It is both a thrilling road trip across America and a moving story about language, love and identity from one of America's finest novelists.

-Click here to read an excerpt from TALK TALK.

THE PALE BLUE EYE by Louis Bayard (Mystery)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
When the mutilated corpse of a cadet is found on the grounds of West Point Academy, the administration sends for a retired NYPD detective, who enlists the aid of one of the plebes, an older student named Edgar Allan Poe. Together, they investigate the death and come to a stunning conclusion.

THE KING OF LIES by John Hart (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
John Hart creates a literary thriller that is as suspenseful as it is poignant, a riveting murder mystery layered beneath the southern drawl of a humble North Carolina lawyer. When Work Pickens finds his father murdered, the investigation pushes a repressed family history to the surface and he sees his own carefully constructed façade begin to crack.

THE WRONG HOSTAGE by Elizabeth Lowell (Romantic Suspense)
Reviewed by Jennifer McCord
New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell returns with a chilling tale of the law gone wrong and a kidnapping that threatens more than one life. This is a fast-paced story with smart repartee and edge-of-your-chair suspense from an author who writes with an intensity and passion that few can match.

SANDCASTLES by Luanne Rice (Fiction)
Reviewed by Carole Turner
Both John and Honor Sullivan are artists --- John creates massive sculptures from nature and then photographs his fleeting work that nature will soon rearrange and destroy, and Honor paints landscapes and portraits in oils. While working in Ireland John crosses paths with a troubled drifter, and a fateful confrontation between them causes a tragedy that eventually threatens to destroy the entire Sullivan family.

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
In Los Angeles in the near future, the country is terrified over threats of imminent attack and disease. The world situation afflicts the existence of three sets of ordinary people who try to make sense of it while living their lives: falling in love, enduring an unhappy marriage, recovering from the death of a loved one, and anguishing over a child who is not quite right.

ADVERBS by Daniel Handler (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
Daniel Handler, better known as the genius behind a children's book series about some most unfortunate orphans, offers up a book for adults that is no less delightful or playful. ADVERBS is a sometimes silly, sometimes serious collection of meditations about love.

THE MIGHTY AND THE ALMIGHTY: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs by Madeleine Albright with Bill Woodward (Current Affairs)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
The former U.S. Secretary of State ponders the influence --- for good or ill --- of religion on many combustible flash points in the world today. She mixes historical perspective with her own strongly held views on how the U.S. can advance its own interests without trying to bully or dictate behavior to other nations.

SAILING TO CAPRI by Elizabeth Adler (Fiction)
Reviewed by Hillary Wagy
The allure of the Mediterranean and the Cote d'Azur is as desired as any diamond. The champagne flows freely and the sun shines on the exotic ports of Monte Carlo, Saint-Tropez and Sorrento as a small group of guests celebrate the life of a deceased mega-tycoon aboard a luxurious private yacht in order to reveal a murderer.

CANDLES BURNING by Tabitha King & Michael McDowell (Fiction)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Known for his chilling Blackwater series, author Michael McDowell left behind the unfinished manuscript for CANDLES BURNING upon his death in 1999. In the spirit of the ghost stories that Michael loved, Tabitha King has taken up where he left off, weaving a Southern gothic fabric of murder, guilt, innocence, corruption and survival, in the voices of the living and the dead.

COCKEYED: A Memoir by Ryan Knighton (Memoir)
Reviewed by Alexis Burling
At the age of 18, Ryan Knighton was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), a congenital, progressive illness that begins with diminished night vision and degenerates into total loss of vision. Currently, he has access to only 1% of his eyesight. Yet, instead of wallowing in his predicament, he has written a pithy, moving and delightfully snarky memoir that chronicles the ups and downs of his 15-year relationship with blindness.

Click here to read our reviews and features.

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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