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July 21, 2006 Newsletter

July 21, 2006

This Week on

Weekends are for Reading: No Matter WHAT the Weather

Author Talk: Scott Smith, Author of THE RUINS

Our Newest Suspense/Thriller Author: Tess Gerritsen, Author of THE MEPHISTO CLUB Beach Bag of Books Contest --- Spotlight on SECRET SOCIETY GIRL by Diana Peterfreund

Now in Stores: SLEEPING WITH FEAR by Kay Hooper

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

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

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

Special Opportunities for Kids and Teens on and

This Week's Reviews and Features

Two Exciting Contests at

Poll: Companionship in a Book
Question of the Week: If You Could Meet Any Character.....
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

Weekends are for Reading: No Matter WHAT the Weather

I spent part of the time at ThrillerFest in Phoenix a few weekends ago reading THE MEPHISTO CLUB by Tess Gerritsen. Tess and I have gotten to know each other these past few years, and as I was sitting in the pool reading (literally IN the pool with the book propped up on the side of the pool) I kept looking up to see if she was walking by. I imagine for an author it's quite interesting (most say it's disconcerting) to watch someone reading your book. I finished it a few days later in Colorado and once again it's pure Gerritsen, full of blood, spine-tingling scenes and moments that will have you checking the doors. Here's a bit...a woman is found dead and above her head in Latin are the words, "I have sinned." Ready to be thrilled? Tess is our latest Suspense/Thriller author and we have 20 copies of THE MEPHISTO CLUB to give away to 20 readers who are interested in reading and commenting. Interested? Then send your name and email address to by Friday, August 4th.
Also, for those of you interested in being advance readers for SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE, we are now offering 50 copies of advance giveaway titles, not the 20 previously announced. See details further below! Also, we have M. J. Rose's replies to our advance reader questions about THE VENUS FIX.
Our Summer Beach Bag featured book this week is SECRET SOCIETY GIRL by Diana Peterfreund. It's a read in the vein of PREP and THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA that centers around a girl who is tapped for a sorority that is all-male and a bastion of power. Capitalizing on the college theme here we have everything from shot glasses to a gift certificate for Pizza Hut pizza in this week's beach bag. See details on entering later in this newsletter.
This morning I started reading a novel that really has my attention, THE ATTACK by Yasmina Khadra. It's the story of a surgeon in Tel Aviv who spends a day treating a number of victims from a suicide bomber. He goes home after work and is roused from sleep by a call from a friend who is with the police who asks him to come back to the hospital. There he learns he is not needed for surgery, but rather to identify his wife who was not only killed in the blast, but is presumed from her injuries to be the suicide bomber. His shock and what happens to him beyond this is the point where I am reading now. Given the strife in the Middle East this week, it's providing me with some thought-provoking reading and portraying the toll of terrorism.
We are sharing early messages from readers on our celebration of our 10th anniversary. Want to see what they have to say? Click on the link below. Interested in sending a message? Then write us at We'll keep adding messages through September.
I am off to the Romance Writers of America in Atlanta next week where I am sure the temperatures will match the writing material...I am thinking hot and sultry. Among the authors who I am looking forward to seeing are Meg Cabot, Kristin Hannah, Debbie Macomber, Linda Lael Miller, Mary Kay Andrews, Patti Callahan Henry, Mary Alice Monroe and others I am sure that I am omitting. I am spending Wednesday attending a special session for librarians and booksellers that I am looking forward to. I always am interested as to how these folks share books with their patrons and customers.
This weekend I have a completely free weekend. Imagine that!  It's reading time. Besides finishing THE ATTACK, I am looking forward to reading more from THE MEMORY KEEPER'S DAUGHTER, which I started last week. And I would love to see the movie version of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA. I enjoyed the book as I had that job when I was at Conde Nast for ONE WHOLE DAY. Luckily my other 17 years were a lot more fun.
Happy's summer...enjoy it.

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on July 21st.

List of titles reviewed and featured on July 14th.

Click here to see our 10th Anniversary Page.

Author Talk: Scott Smith, Author of THE RUINS

Author and screenwriter Scott Smith has penned the acclaimed suspense/thriller novel A SIMPLE PLAN, as well as the screenplay for its film adaptation, for which he earned an Oscar nomination. In this interview, Smith explains how he spent his hiatus between those projects and his latest release, THE RUINS, and describes the gradual shifts in plot the book had undergone since its initial inception. He also discusses how writing for films has helped to develop his narrative abilities and expounds on several topics he explores in his work.

THE RUINS by Scott Smith (Horror/Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Scott Smith's first novel since 1993's A SIMPLE PLAN follows two American couples, just out of college, enjoying a pleasant, lazy beach holiday together in Mexico. On an impulse they go off with newfound friends in search of a young German who, in pursuit of a girl, has headed for the remote Mayan ruins, site of a fabled archeological dig.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE RUINS.

Click here to read an interview with Scott Smith and our review of THE RUINS.

Our Newest Suspense/Thriller Author: Tess Gerritsen, Author of THE MEPHISTO CLUB

Tess Gerritsen, the New York Times bestselling author of VANISH, BODY DOUBLE and THE SINNER, is our newest featured Suspense/Thriller Author. A master of the genre, Gerritsen's newest page-turner --- THE MEPHISTO CLUB, which hits shelves August 29th --- will chill you to the bone.

We have 20 Advance Copies of THE MEPHISTO CLUB 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, August 4th.

Evil exists. Evil walks the streets. And evil has spawned a diabolical new disciple in this white-knuckle thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.

The Latin word is scrawled in blood at the scene of a young woman's brutal murder: I HAVE SINNED. It's a chilling Christmas greeting for Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli, who swiftly link the victim to controversial celebrity psychiatrist Joyce O'Donnell --- Jane's professional nemesis and member of a sinister cabal called the Mephisto Club.

Delving deep into the most baffling and unusual case of their careers, Maura and Jane embark on a terrifying journey to the very heart of evil, where they encounter a malevolent foe more dangerous than any they have ever faced . . . one whose work is only just beginning.

Click here to read more about Tess Gerritsen and THE MEPHISTO CLUB. Beach Bag of Books Contest --- Spotlight on SECRET SOCIETY GIRL by Diana Peterfreund

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 tenth spotlighted title is SECRET SOCIETY GIRL by Diana Peterfreund, a smart and sexy look at the dark secrets behind the ivy gates of elite universities. Our beach bag celebrates fun in the sun, college style, with six shot glasses, mini bottles of Absolut Vodka (both original and Mandarin Orange) gumdrops for your sugar buzz, an orange and blue striped beach towel, a one-pound bag of Starbucks coffee beans and a colorful coffee mug, and the ultimate college necessity --- a $20 gift certificate to Pizza Hut, as well as a copy of the book, all in an orange-and-pink-colored beach tote. We have five to give away, as well as five additional prizes of copies of SECRET SOCIETY GIRL. To enter to win answer the question below:

How late is Amy Haskel for her mysterious first meeting with the shadowy members of the Rose & Grave Society?

You can find the answer by reading an excerpt here:

SECRET SOCIETY GIRL by Diana Peterfreund (Fiction)
Reviewed by Joni Rendon
Diana Peterfreund takes us into the heart of the Ivy League's ultra-exclusive secret societies when a young woman is invited to join as one of their first female members. SECRET SOCIETY GIRL provides the perfect excuse to set aside your required reading this summer and bask in a few hours of collegiate nostalgia.

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


Now in Stores: SLEEPING WITH FEAR by Kay Hooper

SLEEPING WITH FEAR by Kay Hooper (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
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 --- the final installment in the Bishop/Special Crimes Unit "Fear" trilogy --- a psychic special agent finds herself caught up in a tangled web of secrets, lies...and evil.

-Click here to read our Suspense/Thriller feature for Kay Hopper and SLEEPING WITH FEAR.

Click here to read our review of SLEEPING WITH FEAR.


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

David L. Robbins is one of our featured Suspense/Thriller authors --- he is the 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.

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 50! 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 28th.

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.

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.


Special Opportunities for Kids and Teens on and

This summer on we're asking our teen readers what books they would like to see included on their school's summer reading list. We will compile their entries and from them create the Ultimate Summer Reading List. If you know a teen who would like to weigh in, ask them to drop us a note at with the book or books (up to three) that they would pick for their school's summer reading list. We want to hear their selections --- and why they chose the book(s) that they did.
Meanwhile, on we've teamed up with NASTYbooks series author Barry Yourgrau to create a wild, wacky and kinda nasty Summer Story String Contest. Barry will write a wacky, nasty and funny opening scene for a different story each month of summer --- there will be three stories altogether --- and kids will have the chance to continue the story, week by week. Readers can send their submissions to and Barry will choose his favorite, weekly. Click here to learn more about this exciting contest.


This Week's Reviews and Features

BREAK NO BONES by Kathy Reichs (Thriller)
Reviewed by Margaret Fletcher
Following the tremendous success of CROSS BONES, Kathy Reichs explores another high-profile topic in BREAK NO BONES -- a case that lands forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan in the middle of a gruesome international scheme.

-Click here to read an excerpt from BREAK NO BONES.

ANGELS FALL by Nora Roberts (Romantic Suspense)
Reviewed by Hillary Wagy
Nora Roberts's latest effort is a romantic suspense set among the splendor of the Grand Tetons of Wyoming. Blissful scenery and caring from a warm group of people in the small town of Angel's Fist free Reece Gilmore from painful memories and give her a gift as large as the mountain peaks she comes to love.

THE SABOTEURS: A Men at War Novel by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV (Historical Fiction/Action & Adventure)
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad
W.E.B. Griffin fans have waited years for the return of his rousing stories of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). And now, at last, aided and abetted by his son, William E. Butterworth IV, Griffin has brought back his iconoclastic heroes in a brand-new adventure.

CAN'T WAIT TO GET TO HEAVEN by Fannie Flagg (Fiction)
Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller
Once again, Fannie Flagg brings her readers back to the kind souls and tender hearts of Elmwood Springs, Missouri, in her sixth novel. This time out, octogenarian Elner Shimfissle falls from a ladder while picking figs, and this kick-starts her raucous journey to Heaven and back again. How will the residents of tiny Elmwood Springs react to her tales from the other side?

ALENTEJO BLUE by Monica Ali (Fiction)
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton
Following the success of her 2003 novel BRICK LANE, Monica Ali has returned with ALENTEJO BLUE, the story of a village community in Portugal, told through the lives of men and women whose families have lived there for generations and some who are passing through.

LEARNING TO KILL: Stories by Ed McBain (Mystery/Short Stories)
Reviewed by Tom Callahan
Before his death in 2005, bestselling mystery writer Ed McBain gathered together 25 of his short stories written for the crime and mystery pulp magazines of the 1950s. They show a great writer in training, right before he launched the 87th Precinct novels that would revolutionize the police procedural.

EVERFREE by Nick Sagan (Science Fiction)
Reviewed by Pauline Finch
The latest in Nick Sagan's tales of future "post humans" is a thrilling and provocative mix of adventure and enigma that just begs to be continued for at least another volume.

THE SERIAL KILLERS CLUB by Jeff Povey (Fiction)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
When our hero finds himself in the path of a serial killer, he gives the blood-thirsty madman a taste of his own medicine. But when he goes through the dead man's wallet, he finds a mysterious personal ad inviting him to join a party hosted by Errol Flynn. He soon becomes acquainted with 18 killers. Their game: to share the thrill of the hunt and to make sure no two members choose the same two victims.

THE SENATOR AND THE SOCIALITE: The True Story of America's First Black Dynasty by Lawrence Otis Graham (Biography)
Reviewed by Amie Taylor
Attorney and commentator Lawrence Otis Graham has penned the fascinating history of America's first powerful black family --- a dynasty that rose from the ashes of slavery to the heights of power and prestige, and then fell again through scandal and imprisonment.

Click here to read our reviews and features.

Two Exciting Contests at

In a book club? Then here are two exciting offers for your group that are being offered at
Special Offer: Win THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS, a book that's coming out in September!
We have a contest this month that we are excited about as it gives us a chance to share a book that is not being published until September 12th. When we read it, we knew The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was a title that readers --- especially book club readers ---- would not want to miss. Thus we have two exciting ways for you to share this book with your group. First, we will select 35 clubs to win one copy of the book as a special preview. Then 3 groups will be selected to win 12 copies of the book as soon as it is published. See here for details.
YA-YAS IN BLOOM: Special Opportunity to Write Rebecca Wells, the Author, With Your Questions

For the second month of our feature on Rebecca Wells and Ya-Yas in Bloom, Rebecca wanted to hear from her readers, so we are giving you the opportunity to send your comments and questions to her. Write to and tell her what you think of Ya-Yas in Bloom, and the rest of her books in the Ya-Yas series. Ask her about her inspiration for the books and her cast of spicy, sassy Southern belles and we'll send along your questions and post Rebecca's responses. Click here to read more about Rebecca and Ya-Yas in Bloom.

Click here to visit

Poll: Companionship in a Book
USA TODAY reports that more and more Americans are lonely. If you're alone and reading a book, do you feel like you have a "companion" with you?
Not sure
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: If You Could Meet Any Character.....

What book character would you most like to meet and why?

Please note our Question of the Week will update August 4th.

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 JUDGE & JURY by James Patterson and THE MESSENGER by Daniel Silva.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on August 4th.


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.

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

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