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August 11, 2006 Newsletter

August 11, 2006

This Week on

Writing, Reading and This Week's Lineup

Author Talk: Victoria Lustbader, Author of HIDDEN

Our Newest One to Watch Author: John Boyne, Author of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS Beach Bag of Books Contest --- Spotlight on LIPSTICK JUNGLE by Candace Bushnell

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

Our Newest Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Jed Rubenfeld, Author of THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER

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

Author Talk: Keith Raffel, Author of DOT DEAD

On Sale August 22nd: THE RIGHTEOUS MEN by Sam Bourne --- Win an iPod and a Copy of the Book!!!

Now in Stores: THE ATTACK by Yasmina Khadra

This Week's Reviews and Features

What's New on

Poll: Favorite Features
Question of the Week: Discovering Authors on
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

Writing, Reading and This Week's Lineup

This week as I was writing emails I realized how much of a better writer I have become since I started writing on a computer. I write more. I write faster. But more than that I edit myself. A lot. I constantly am moving words, phrases and sentences to convey what I want to say more clearly, which was an effort in the days of scrawling on legal pads and typing on typewriters. I find I write more conversationally and less "tight" when I bang out copy on a computer compared to when I handwrite. I also type almost as fast as I think (which is scary sometimes to people on the staff). Since I handwrite like a chicken (at my son's school they once asked what kind of doctor I was) typing allows people to actually READ what I write.
This may seem like an observance out of nowhere, except as we approach our 10th anniversary I am thinking a lot about ten years ago when few of my friends were online, when I was explaining what the Internet was more than writing to people on it and when my first thought was not to "google" something when I was not sure where to find it. Communication was so different. I have to say, I like things a lot better now. I never would have met most of you and learned so much from you about books without this medium. Just a little point to ponder today.
Each week we strive to give you a well-rounded lineup. Sometimes I know most of the books that we are talking about; others I am learning about them along with you. This week it's the former. First up I am very excited to be featuring John Boyne and THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS as the newest addition to our One to Watch feature. Many of you may remember my writing about this book when I was on my spring break beach vacation. It moved me enormously. I passed it to my son who read it in the car and told me he was slowing down to savor it. When he closed it, he said he could not talk about it right away; it was that meaningful to him. Yet he has referenced it a lot these past months. We recently ran a contest for this title on and it pulled in an extraordinary number of entries.
The book is in stores on September 12th and everyone who's read it, from my 16-year-old son to the various members of our staff lucky enough to get their hands on an Advance Copy, has been talking about it. It's an important and compelling novel, beautifully told and wonderfully written --- we are thrilled to be sharing it with you. We have 10 advance reading copies to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please send your name and mailing address to by Friday, August 18th, 2006.
Also, this week we have a review of THE ATTACK, a novel by Yasmina Khadra, which I read a few weeks ago. With this week's new level of anxiety about terrorism (I am VERY glad I am not flying this week!) this title is poignant as a doctor looks for clues as to why his wife became a suicide bomber. I am equally excited to share HIDDEN by Victoria Lustbader (for those of you who are wondering, she is the wife of Eric Van Lustbader), a wonderful historical fiction title that I thoroughly enjoyed. We also have a terrific interview with Victoria. And the third title in this trifecta is DOT DEAD by Keith Raffel. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Keith over these last months at various mystery events. His debut novel takes place in Silicon Valley and is sharp and moves quickly. Keith also taught me the correct pronunciation of Silicon telling me I sounded uninformed by pronouncing it like a bust enhancer. Ah the things I learn from authors!
Our featured Beach Bag title is LIPSTICK JUNGLE by Candace Bushnell --- the epitome of the sexy, smart beach read. Bushnell, who's SEX AND THE CITY was a phenomena of money, men and Manolos, writes some fabulous, fun and powerful women characters again. The female characters in LIPSTICK JUNGLE are a little bit older and wiser --- bratty kids, moribund house-husbands and grey hairs all threaten to crash the party --- and they are more compelling for it. These women may have grown up, but they haven't lost an ounce of glamour, fun and adventure. Our sexy and sophisticated Beach Bag prize for this title is stocked with all the goodies you need to tap into your inner daring and cosmopolitan glamour girl. My favorite item has to be the leopard sunglasses! Seriously those glasses have an attitude all their own.

We also have Advance Reader Comments for Gordon Dahlquist, author of THE GLASS BOOKS OF THE DREAM EATERS. Readers found the book to be a hefty page-turner --- compelling, suspenseful and beautifully written.
This past week I read Mitch Albom's new book, FOR ONE MORE DAY, which will be in stores on September 26th. I like his writing.  I still think about my five people a lot. After reading this one I will think a lot more about how to make every moment count so I do not find myself longing for one more day with anyone. Instead I want to make those moments happen now. This is a book packed with some powerful messages and I look forward to sharing more about it with you in the months to come.
This weekend I am reading RIVER'S EDGE by Marie Bostwick (in stores September 6th) and IN PLAIN SIGHT by Tara Taylor Quinn (in stores October 1st). I also am going to visit the knitting shop to be sure my stitches are on target in this tank top I am knitting. I usually knit scarves and shawls. I have learned that armholes are a whole other thing. Fingers crossed that I got it right!
Have a great week...we are back to cool and comfortable in New York now...I love it. Happy reading.

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on August 11th.

List of titles reviewed and featured on August 4th.

Click here to send us your 10th Anniversary wishes.

Author Talk: Victoria Lustbader, Author of HIDDEN

Former fiction editor Victoria Lustbader's debut novel, HIDDEN, follows two disparate families during the tumultuous 1920s in New York. In this interview, Lustbader discusses why she chose to set her story in that particular era of American history and shares her thoughts on sexuality and its impact on human behavior. She also describes her two-decade-long research and writing process, as well as the sense of liberation she feels from creating dark characters.

HIDDEN by Victoria Lustbader (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by Carole Turner
The battlefield traumas of World War I cement an improbable friendship between Jed Gates, scion of the wealthy Gates family, and David Warshinsky, first-generation American from New York's poverty-ridden lower East Side. Concealing their passions and innermost thoughts, the Warshinskys and Gateses love, lust, seize power and strive during a decade of turmoil at home and abroad.

-Click here to read an excerpt from HIDDEN.
-Click here to visit Victoria Lustbader's website,

Click here to read an interview with Victoria Lustbader and our review of HIDDEN.

Our Newest One to Watch Author: John Boyne, Author of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS

We are SO excited to be featuring John Boyne and THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS as the newest addition to our One to Watch feature. The incredible story of two boys, one the son of a commandant in Hitler's army and the other a Jew, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS hits stores on September 12th and is already garnering exciting advanced buzz --- this is a book that touches everyone who reads it.

We have 10 advance reading copies of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS by John Boyne to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. A description can be found by clicking the link below. If you are interested, please send your name and mailing address to by Friday, August 18th, 2006.

Set during the Holocaust, Bruno is only nine years old when his father, a commandant in Hitler's army, is transferred from Berlin to Auschwitz. The house at "Out-With," as Bruno calls it, is small, dark, and strange. He spends long days gazing out the window of his new bedroom, where he notices people dressed in striped pajamas and rows of barracks surrounded by a barbed wire fence. Bored and lonely, and not really understanding the circumstance of his new existence, Bruno sets out to explore the area and discovers Shmuel, a very thin Jewish boy who lives on the other side of the fence. An unlikely friendship develops between the two boys, but when Bruno learns that his mother plans to take her children back to Berlin, he makes a last effort to explore the forbidden territory where the boy in the striped pajamas lives.

-Click here to read our Reading Group Guide for THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS.

Click here to read more about John Boyne and THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS. Beach Bag of Books Contest --- Spotlight on LIPSTICK JUNGLE by Candace Bushnell

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 thirteenth spotlighted title is LIPSTICK JUNGLE by Candace Bushnell, the bestselling author of SEX AND THE CITY. No one is better at writing sexy, stiletto-wearing girlfriends. LIPSTICK JUNGLE is the ultimate cool and delicious summer treat and our Beach Bag prize is particularly sexy and sophisticated for this title. In a hot pink mesh tote, winners will find lipstick from Sephora in a daring and dangerous Hot Red, Cosmopolitan mix where you can whip up a batch of drinks for a crowd, Cosmo-flavored salts for your beverage glasses, a beach towel decorated with summer cocktails (the reverse side is decorated with cut limes), flip-flop playing cards, colorful floating flip-flop candles, a lady-like pink sudsing loofah, and the piece de resistance --- Leopard print sunglasses for beachgoing in style, as well as a copy of the book. We have five to give away, as well as five additional prizes of copies of LIPSTICK JUNGLE. To enter to win answer the question below:

What is the name of the magazine that Nico O'Neilly runs?

You can find the answer by reading an excerpt here.

LIPSTICK JUNGLE by Candace Bushnell (Fiction)
Reviewed by Hillary Wagy
Three best friends --- all with glamorous and successful careers in fashion design, movie making, and publishing --- support one another through strategic liaisons and sharing intimate details of their personal relationships. Avid fans of Candace Bushnell's bestselling SEX AND THE CITY will not be disappointed with the provocative scenes and strong women we've come to expect from her novels.

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


Featured 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.

-Click here to see our Advance Copy Winners.
-Click here to read a new excerpt from THE MEPHISTO CLUB.
-Click here to read Fast Facts about Tess Gerritsen.
-Click here to read Tess Gerritsen's Backlist.
-Click here to read Critical Praise for THE MEPHISTO CLUB.
-Click here to read a Study Guide for THE MEPHISTO CLUB.

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.


Our Newest Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Jed Rubenfeld, Author of THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER

We are very excited to be introducing you to Jed Rubenfeld, our newest featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author. Currently the Robert R. Slaughter Professor of Law at Yale University, Jed Rubenfeld is one of this country's foremost experts on constitutional law. His debut novel, the psychological page-turner THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER, hits stores September 5th. 

-Click here to see our Advance Copy Winners.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER.

In this ingenious, suspenseful historical thriller, Sigmund Freud is drawn into the mind of a sadistic killer who is savagely attacking Manhattan's wealthiest heiresses

THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER leads readers from the salons of Gramercy Park, through secret passages, to Chinatown --- even far below the currents of the East River where laborers are building the Manhattan Bridge. As Freud fends off a mysterious conspiracy to destroy him, Dr. Stratham Younger, America's most committed Freudian analyst, is drawn into an equally thrilling adventure that takes him deep into the subterfuges of the human mind.

Richly satisfying, elegantly crafted, THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER marks the debut of a brilliant, spectacularly entertaining new storyteller.

Click here to read more about Jed Rubenfeld and THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER.

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

We are so excited to be featuring Dan Burstein as one of our One to Watch authors. 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.

-Click here to see our 50! Advance Copy winners.
-Click here to read a new excerpt from SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE.

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.

Author Talk: Keith Raffel, Author of DOT DEAD

Keith Raffel, author of DOT DEAD, has worked for 20 years as a software entrepreneur before trying his hand at mystery novels. In this interview, Raffel shares how he began this second career and names an unlikely source of inspiration for his writing. He also describes the parallels between Silicon Valley and the publishing industry, and explains how he has managed to squeeze in penning a novel in between his full-time job and his role as a husband and father of four.

DOT DEAD: A Silicon Valley Mystery by Keith Raffel (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Ian Michaels, a Silicon Valley over-achiever who values success at work above all, finds himself entangled in a web of suspicion and murder when he discovers the lifeless body of his maid in his house. Despite his best efforts to prove otherwise, the evidence against Ian is growing. It looks like someone is framing Ian for murder, but who?

-Click here to read an excerpt from DOT DEAD.
-Click here to visit Keith Raffel's website,

Click here to read an interview with Keith Raffel and our review of DOT DEAD.

On Sale August 22nd: THE RIGHTEOUS MEN by Sam Bourne --- Win an iPod and a Copy of the Book!!!

"Remember what I said.  Look to your work," said the kidnapper. Reporter Will Monroe's wife is being held captive in the ultra-orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn. But, what could the two men Will wrote recent obituaries about --- a pimp stabbed in a rough New York neighborhood and a right-wing Montana extremist --- have to do with his wife and with the orthodox Jewish community? The only similarity was that each man performed one righteous act.

-Enter to win an iPod and a copy of THE RIGHTEOUS MEN here.
-Learn more about the book here.
-Visit the official website of THE RIGHTEOUS MEN here.

Click here to learn more about THE RIGHTEOUS MEN.


Now in Stores: THE ATTACK by Yasmina Khadra

THE ATTACK by Yasmina Khadra (Fiction)
Reviewed by Pauline Finch
Yasmina Khadra's intense novel penetrates the messiness of terrorism, war, grief and cultural stress in the Middle East with such powerful immediacy that at times readers might forget it's a fictional account...but one about an ever-present and worsening truth

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE ATTACK.

Click here to read our review of THE ATTACK.


This Week's Reviews and Features

JUDGE & JURY by James Patterson and Andrew Gross (Legal Thriller)
Reviewed by Margaret Fletcher
Andie DeGrasse, an aspiring actress and single mom, is not your typical juror. Hoping to get dismissed from the pool, she tells the judge that most of her legal knowledge comes from a bit part curling around a stripper's pole in "The Sopranos." But she still ends up as juror #11 in a landmark trial against a notorious mob boss.

-Click here to read an excerpt from JUDGE & JURY.

PHANTOM by Terry Goodkind (Fantasy)
Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard
In this tenth entry in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, Kahlan is missing and struggling to recall who she is. Richard is the only one who remembers her, but he can't locate her. As they struggle to find each other, the world around them is starting to come undone.

-Click here to read an excerpt from PHANTOM.

I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron (Humor/Essays)
Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller
Three-time Academy Award nominee Nora Ephron, screenwriter of Heartburn (based on her novel) and Sleepless in Seattle, has returned with this charming collection of personal essays all about being a woman in today's youth-obsessed society.

Reviewed by Alexis Burling
In her final year of high school at the elite (and unusual) St. Gallway School in Stockton, North Carolina, Blue van Meer falls in with a charismatic group of friends and their captivating teacher, Hannah Schneider. But when the drowning of one of Hannah's friends and the shocking death of Hannah herself lead to a confluence of mysteries, Blue is left to make sense of it all.

DECEIT by James Siegel (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
As reporter Tom Valle eagerly starts investigating a so-called car accident that left one driver dead, he seems to be the only one who cares about getting the story right. As he begins checking facts, and unveiling lie after lie, he finds himself completely alone --- and negotiating a dark trail of corruption, cover-ups, fraud, and murder that stretches back for decades.

STILL LIFE by Louise Penny (Mystery)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
Murder in a small Canadian town brings out the Surete du Québec and the oddballs of the community as they try to decode a puzzle seemingly hidden in the victim's art show entry that may have had something to do with her death.

THE LAST QUARRY by Max Allan Collins (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
The ruthless professional killer known as Quarry long ago disappeared into a well-earned retirement. But now a media magnate has lured the restless hitman into tackling one last lucrative assignment. The target is an unlikely one: Why, Quarry wonders, would anyone want a beautiful young librarian dead?

DUCHESS: A Novel of Sarah Churchill by Susan Holloway Scott (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by Amie Taylor
Brimming with the intrigue and sensuality of one of history's most decadent courts, DUCHESS is the fascinating and inspiring account of a woman from humble beginnings who rose to great heights in the Court of King Charles II of England.

Click here to read our reviews and features.

What's New on

This month on we are bringing readers a very special offer as we debut a new feature on --- an Advance Copy Giveaway of ABIDING DARKNESS by John Aubrey Anderson. It is a stirring and compelling tale of racial tensions and one young girl's unswayable faith during the 1940s. We are looking for 20 readers who would like to read this book and give us feedback on it. Interested? Then please send your name and your mailing address to by Friday, August 18th, 2006 to be eligible. We also invite advance readers to submit questions to the author, which makes this an even more exciting promotion. 

Also this month on is an exclusive interview with New York Times bestselling author Joel C. Rosenberg and a review of his newest book THE COPPER SCROLL, as well as our latest Faithful Fifteen interview with Ginger Garrett, reviews and newly updated Coming Soon feature --- we have titles from August through December listed.

Click here to visit

Poll: Favorite Features
What features on are your favorites? (Check as many as apply.)
Author Interviews
Special Features (Suspense/Thriller, One to Watch, Mystery Mayhem, etc)
Contests like Beach Bag and Holiday Basket of Cheer
Word of Mouth
New in Paperback
Quote of the Day
Coming Soon
Books Into Movies
Author Bibliographies
Carol's Blog/Newsletter Openers
None of the above
Which special features are your favorites?

Debut Suspense/Thriller
One to Watch
Mystery Mayhem
Romantic Suspense
Chick Lit
None of the above
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: Discovering Authors on

Share an author (or two or three) who you discovered on

Please note our Question of the Week will update August 18th.

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 SNOW BLIND by P. J. Tracy and TRIPTYCH by Karin Slaughter.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on August 18th.


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 August 31, 2006 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: HELEN OF TROY by Margaret George, MESSENGER OF TRUTH by Jacqueline Winspear, RICOCHET by Sandra Brown, SNOW BLIND by P. J. Tracy and TRIPTYCH by Karin Slaughter. Last month's winner was Marcia from Derby, KS, who won 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.

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

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