Skip to main content

September 15, 2006 Newsletter

September 15, 2006

This Week on

In Case of Emergency.... Talks to Tess Gerritsen, Author of THE MEPHISTO CLUB Talks to John Boyne, Author of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS

Author Talk: Diane Setterfield, Author of THE THIRTEENTH TALE

Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Tara Taylor Quinn, Author of IN PLAIN SIGHT

Featured One to Watch Author: Lise Haines, Author SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY

Dan Burstein, Author of SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE, Answers Questions from Readers

Now in Stores: THE INN AT HALF MOON BAY by Diane Tyrrel

What's New on

Vote in the 2006 Quill Awards

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog Poll: 10th Anniversary Special

Question of the Week: What Would Make Us Better?
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

In Case of Emergency....

My boys are back in school this week for a full week. For all the moms out there, HOW tired are you of filling out forms for school where you list emergency numbers? My favorite was this week when I was filling out a form for my younger son online and I needed cell numbers for all "in case of emergency" contacts, including the three neighbors who can be called if my husband or I cannot be found. This came after I had listed home/office and cell numbers for both myself and for my husband. Both of my sons have cellphones too with all these numbers speed dialed. So the form was not letting me close it without this info for our neighbors, which I did not know. So I typed 000-000-0000 and it worked! I know, I am a bad mother!
My older son is a junior in high school, so many of my friends are now taking their older children to college. (Wonder how many emergency numbers I will need then since he actually will leave town?) The chatter is about decorating rooms, roommates and the horrific food at school. I remember college being a lot about mac and cheese and pizza. I also remember reading fashion magazines about how not to put on the Freshman 15. Thus when a book called THE DORM ROOM DIET by Daphne Oz came across my desk, I was flipping the pages. Inside were smart eating ideas. Here's my favorite, which easily is do-able. Take your weight, divide it in half. Drink that number of ounces of water a day; it will fill you up. Try it; it really works. This is a great book for any of you with someone at college. Daphne's dad co-wrote YOU: The Owner's Manual; she is in college at Princeton. The advice in the book is adaptable to your life instead of being some didactic list of rules. Besides, what good is the grapefruit diet if you hate grapefruit? And um, I think the Dorm Room Diet ideas can work in the office, too! Looking for more about this book, then go to
Enjoy our interview with Tess Gerritsen this week! Her latest book, THE MEPHISTO CLUB, just hit stores on Tuesday. I had a very interesting dinner with her in Miami last November where we talked about this book, including conversation about the secret societies that she had researched for it. Tess is meticulous about her research, so reading this interview should give you some terrific background. We also have an interview with John Boyne, the author of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS, where he talks about why he calls the book a fable, as well as his enthusiasm for historical fiction. Our early readers love both of these books.
We also feature THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield and have an interview with the author. Kate Ayers writes a terrific review for us and beautifully captures this book, which has been getting some wonderful early buzz.
I had less reading time than usual this week because I was filling out emergency forms, but I am well into THE INN AT HALF MOON BAY by Diane Tyrell, which I am enjoying. I would love to run an inn like this. Read more about this book later in the newsletter.
This week a new writing contest, The Sobol Award, was announced. Open to unpublished and unagented fiction writers, the Sobol has a committee of readers who will evaluate each of the manuscripts submitted, offer editorial feedback and, ultimately, award cash prizes of $100,000, $25,000, and $10,000, as well as literary representation to the winners. Entries will be accepted through December 31, 2006. Sobol provides all contestants with a reader's report on the main strengths and weaknesses of their manuscripts and each one is evaluated by multiple readers and the top-ranking entries are passed on to a panel of distinguished judges, who select the winning manuscripts. Interested in learning more? Go to

In 10th Anniversary news, next week we are throwing a 10th anniversary party for publishers and authors where many of our former staffers will be joining us. At this party I am going to offer a very special toast to our readers. Across our network of seven websites we have more than 1.3 million readers each month --- and we appreciate each of you.  We'll post party pictures next week. This week a few of our reviewers weigh in with their comments about writing for us over these past ten years. You have one more week to get your anniversary wishes to us. Please write to if you have something to share.
Have a great's to celebrating and reminiscing.

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on September 15th.

List of titles reviewed and featured on September 8th.

Click here to send us your 10th Anniversary wishes.
Click Here for More Information About The Sobol Award Talks to Tess Gerritsen, Author of THE MEPHISTO CLUB

Tess Gerritsen is the author of such bestselling thrillers as THE SURGEON, THE APPRENTICE, THE SINNER, BODY DOUBLE and VANISH. She recently spoke with's Carol Fitzgerald and Joe Hartlaub about her latest book featuring Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, THE MEPHISTO CLUB, which explores pre-Christian mythological notions of the origins of evil. In this interview, Gerritsen describes her own fascination with the Old Testament and shares rumors of secret organizations similar to the one featured in the novel. She also discusses the complex relationships of her characters and muses on what is in store for them in future installments.

THE MEPHISTO CLUB by Tess Gerritsen (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Delving deep into the most baffling and unusual case of their careers, Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli embark on a terrifying journey to the very heart of evil, where they encounter a malevolent foe more dangerous than any they have ever whose work is only just beginning.

-Click here to read the study guide for THE MEPHISTO CLUB.

Click here to read our interview with Tess Gerritsen and a review of THE MEPHISTO CLUB. Talks to John Boyne, Author of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS

THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS by John Boyne is a profound and thought-provoking novel set during the Holocaust and told from the perspective of a young child who befriends a boy "on the other side of the fence." In this interview with's contributing writer Alexis Burling, Boyne discusses the parallels between the two children and explains why he chose to leave certain pertinent details deliberately ambiguous. He also elaborates on his main character's naïveté and its implications of society on a larger scale, examines the varying strengths of his female characters, and shares his enthusiasm for historical fiction.

THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS by John Boyne (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by Alexis Burling
John Boyne's fourth novel is the stunning and gripping story of two boys --- one the son of a commandant in Hitler's army and the other a Jew --- who come face-to-face at a barbed wire fence that separates, and eventually intertwines their lives.

Click here to read our interview with John Boyne and a review of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS.


Author Talk: Diane Setterfield, Author of THE THIRTEENTH TALE

Diane Setterfield, a former academic from Yorkshire, England, has published her first work of fiction, THE THIRTEENTH TALE. In this interview, Setterfield explains what prompted this shift in careers, and describes how her academic and literary background has helped shape both the direction of the novel and her voice as a storyteller. She also discusses some of the book's recurring themes --- such as the possible dangers of reading addiction and acknowledging the truths of one's past --- and recounts how her own relationship with books developed at a young age.

THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield (Mystery)

Reviewed by Kate Ayers
In a plot lush with rich characters and myriad twists, Diane Setterfield weaves together a tale of twins and ghosts when an aging bestselling author invites an obscure biographer to her creepy old home to write the true story of her life. Is it the house that's keeping secrets, or is the old woman still holding something back?

Click here to read an interview with Diane Setterfield and a review of THE THIRTEENTH TALE.


Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Tara Taylor Quinn, Author of IN PLAIN SIGHT

We are thrilled to be featuring Tara Taylor Quinn as our newest Romantic Suspense Author. Lisa Jackson fans will fall hard for Quinn's unique ability to explore edgy subjects with mesmerizing style. Her newest title, IN PLAIN SIGHT, hits stores October 2nd and it's sure to satisfy her old fans and garner her new ones as well.

-Click here to read an excerpt from IN PLAIN SIGHT.
-Click here to see our Advance Copy Winners.
-Click here to visit Tara's website,

More about IN PLAIN SIGHT:
Are those red laces in the hiking boots of the youth sulking in your favorite mall?  If so, beware. The red laces could signal danger IN PLAIN SIGHT --- and a tie to white supremacists who want to strike fear in people like you and me.


On the outside, Arizona chief prosecutor Janet McNeil is the epitome of a driven, daring attorney who lives life by her own rules. But inside her world is in chaos. Terrifying nightmares keep her in a constant state of anxiety. Yet saving face is imperative now that she's prosecuting a member of a white supremacy organization, a killer who wouldn't think twice about using his twisted followers to silence Jan for good.

It looks like an ordinary neighborhood.....

Neighbor Simon Green is the only person who isn't begging her to quit the case. Simon, an ex-police officer with dark secrets of his own, understands how vital it is to obliterate violence and hate. But when one word from the most unlikely source threatens to change their lives forever, Jan must decide what risks she's willing to take.

Quinn's latest Romantic suspense hits the stands with Publisher's Weekly and USA Today support and follows through on a road unlike any other as she attacks an edgy subject with boldness and compassion.

Click here to read more about Tara Taylor Quinn and IN PLAIN SIGHT.


Featured One to Watch Author: Lise Haines, Author SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY

We are so excited to be featuring Lise Haines as our newest One to Watch author. The author of IN MY SISTER'S COUNTRY is a provocative and intelligent writer whose newest title, SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY, hits stores September 15th and explores the boundaries of sex, love and friendship.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY.
-Click here to see our Advance Copy Winners.
-Click here to read praise for SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY.

Beauty and privilege, a charming, handsome husband and two promising young daughters, money, a beach house on the Pacific --- Jane has everything that Mattie thinks she wants. But Jane always works to damage what she's given. Mattie knows that better than anyone.

But even she is caught off-guard when Jane leaves her whole life behind one broken morning before dawn. And it will take Mattie awhile to see that, by driving away, Jane has forced open the questions that have always hung in the air between them --- the ones that are hardest to answer --- questions about desire and envy and integrity. These are the issues of the heart that reveal themselves, not through the bold and dramatic gestures of a woman like Jane, but in even the briefest moments and the smallest of acts.

With the same rich language and keen, compassionate eye that earned acclaim for her first novel, Lise Haines delves here into the forces that memory and touch raise in our lives and our most private hungers.

Click here to read more about Lise Haines and SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY.


Dan Burstein, Author of SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE, Answers Questions from Readers

Dan Burstein, one of's featured One to Watch authors, answers readers' questions about the inspiration for SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE, the research he conducted for this powerful and insightful new work, his views on the mega-success of THE DA VINCI CODE and the books that offer commentary on the Dan Brown bestseller, and the future of the Secrets series.

SECRETS OF MARY MAGDALENE by Dan Burstein (Literary Criticism)
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.

Click here to read Dan Burstein's answers to readers' questions.

Now in Stores: THE INN AT HALF MOON BAY by Diane Tyrrel

In delicious Gothic style, THE INN AT HALF MOON BAY delivers a tangled web of secret desires and hidden truths.

Sprawled across a bluff overlooking California's Half Moon Bay, the Magic Mermaid Inn embodies the simplicity and ambiance of times past. Cozy and inviting, the Queen Anne farmhouse and surrounding cottages enchant Kelly Redvers into purchasing the property, in spite of her better judgment.

Most of the resort's staff and clientele take to Kelly. But soon bizarre events tied to the Inn's ominous past reveal someone has an unhealthy obsession with her. Is it Eli, the wealthy guest who's courting her, or could Nick, the mysterious handyman, be behind the efforts to add Kelly to the list of those who have mysteriously disappeared, never to be seen again?

Click here to read more about THE INN AT HALF MOON BAY.

What's New on

The following guides are now available on

ABIDING DARKNESS by John Aubrey Anderson
AFTER THIS by Alice McDermott
ALL MORTAL FLESH by Julia Spencer-Fleming
BEFORE I GO by Riley Weston
BLOOD MASK by Lauren Kelly
BREADFRUIT by Celestine Vaite
FIRE WITH FIRE by Allan Kahane
FIRST AID by Janet Davey
FRANCA'S STORY by Diane Kinman
THE GUY NOT TAKEN by Jennifer Weiner
HELEN OF TROY by Margaret George
THE HISTORY OF LOVE by Nicole Krauss
LUCY by Ellen Feldman
THE MEPHISTO CLUB by Tess Gerritsen
THE ONLY BEST PLACE by Carolyne Aarsen
PIECE OF WORK by Laura Zigman
RIVER'S EDGE by Marie Bostwick
THE SNOW FOX by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
THE STOLEN HEART by Lauren Kelly
THREE WISHES by Liane Moriarty
THE VOTE by Sybil Downing
YOU'VE GOT TO READ THIS BOOK by Jack Canfield and Gay Hendricks

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

AMERICAN HEROINES by Kay Bailey Hutchison
AT FIRST SIGHT by Nicholas Sparks
CITIZEN VINCE by Jess Walter
THE CONJURER'S BIRD by Martin Davies
GARBAGE LAND by Elizabeth Royte
THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold


Vote in the 2006 Quill Awards

On August 22, 2006, the nominees for the second annual Quill Book Awards were announced. Sponsored by Reed Business Information and NBC, the Award is designed to act as an industry qualified "consumers choice" program that honors excellence in writing and publishing, recognizes the creators of great literature, and promotes reading and literacy initiatives. The winners will be announced at the Quills Awards Ceremony on October 10th, in New York City. Click here to vote.




Click here to read the nominees and vote.


This Week's Reviews and Features

READING LIKE A WRITER: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose (Literary Criticism)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
Francine Prose, a prolific novelist and teacher of writing, has words of advice for would-be authors --- with a little help from Chekhov, Kafka, Flaubert, Virginia Woolf, Raymond Chandler and a score or so of other authors, living and dead. Rule no. 1: There ARE no rules.

ARMAGEDDON'S CHILDREN by Terry Brooks (Fantasy)
Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard
War and disease have destroyed all that humanity once knew. Demons seek to over-run the remnants of human society. But a handful of brave and powerful souls refuse to yield. This is a gripping chronicle of a once-familiar world now spun shockingly out of control, in which an extraordinary few struggle to salvage hope in the face of terrifying chaos.

FORGETFULNESS by Ward Just (Fiction)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
From one of our most critically acclaimed authors comes this masterly story of one man's attempt to extricate himself from his past, and its disastrous consequences. Ward Just has written a thoughtful novel intertwining questions of justice, mercy, friendship and patriotism into a strong and meaningful tale.

THE SLOW MOON by Elizabeth Cox (Fiction)
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton

On an early spring night in 1991, Sophie and Crow slip away from a rowdy high school party and sneak off into the woods. Tonight, for the first time, they will make love. An hour later, Sophie lies unconscious, covered with blood, and Crow is crashing through the underbrush, hurling himself into the river to escape the police.

TO FEEL STUFF by Andrea Seigel (Fiction)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman

Elodie Harrington, an undergraduate at Brown University, is so sick she has essentially moved into the school's infirmary. Strangely enough, it is not just one disease or illness affecting her. The situation becomes really interesting when she meets a doctor determined to understand her case, falls in love, and then starts seeing a ghost.

COVER OF NIGHT by Linda Howard (Suspense)
Reviewed by Hillary Wagy
Under the cover of night, Cate Nightengale discovers a sexy hero who reawakens her desires. Trying to rebuild her life in a remote Idaho town as a young widow with twin toddlers leaves little time for romance. A terrifying experience changes Cate's perspective and opens her eyes to the possibility of loving a new man.

TOO FAR GONE by John Ramsey Miller (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Alexa Keen is a special agent for the FBI whose forte is finding victims of abduction before they can be killed. Casey LePointe West is heiress to one of the greatest fortunes in America. Now, as Hurricane Katrina roars toward New Orleans, these two women are finding common ground: Alexa as the FBI's representative in a case guaranteed to destroy careers, and Casey as a woman whose husband has gone missing --- and who herself may be the next victim of a brilliant manipulator's rage.

AMERICA'S REPORT CARD by John McNally (Fiction)
Reviewed by Marge Fletcher
John McNally tells the story of two unlucky people who forge an improbable yet possibly life-saving connection in a world overshadowed by the Patriot Act and No Child Left Behind. He offers a brilliant vision of contemporary American life that is frightening, darkly hilarious and tinged with satire.
THE GUNS OF HEAVEN by Pete Hamill (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and Tom Callahan
Bestselling author Pete Hamill wrote a mystery series in the late 1970s and early 1980s featuring newspaper reporter Sam Briscoe. Hard Case Crime has now reissued The Guns of Heaven. This, the third Briscoe story, dealt with a planned terrorist attack in New York City ten years before the first attack on the World Trade Center.

Click here to read our reviews and features. Blog

September 8th Entries:
-What I Did On My Summer Vacation
-Reflecting on 9/11: The Books

Note: You can read past blogs here as well.
Sign up here to get notified each time this blog is updated.

Click here to read the blog. Poll: 10th Anniversary Special

How did you first hear about (Please select only one.)

Another search engine
Amazon review
Author website
Publisher website
Pages magazine
Friend or family member
A member of my book club
I found the site via AOL.
Other (Please specify)
I can't remember.
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: What Would Make Us Better?

What would you like to see added to

Please note our Question of the Week will update September 22nd.

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 THE BOOK OF FATE by Brad Meltzer and THE TESTAMENT by Eric Van Lustbader.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on September 22nd.


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 September 30, 2006 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: THE BOOK OF FATE by Brad Meltzer, FOR ONE MORE DAY by Mitch Albom, FRAGILE THINGS: Short Fictions and Wonders, by Neil Gaiman, THE GUY NOT TAKEN: Stories by Jennifer Weiner and THE TESTAMENT by Eric Van Lustbader. Last month's winner was Alice from Walla Walla, WA, who won 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.

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

The Book Report Network
250 W. 57th Street - Suite 1228
New York, New York 10107


Back to top.