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September 29, 2006 Newsletter

September 29, 2006

This Week on

How I Got Fearless...

Author Talk: Michael Cox, Author of THE MEANING OF NIGHT

Now in Stores: FOR ONE MORE DAY by Mitch Albom

CREEPERS by David Morrell is Now in Paperback

Featured Historical Fiction Author: Jeff Shaara, Author of THE RISING TIDE

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

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

Vote in the 2006 Quill Awards - Voting Ends THIS Saturday, September 30th!

Sobol Awards

New in Paperback for September

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog Poll: Banned Books Week

Question of the Week: Banning Books --- Is it Ever Okay?
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

How I Got Fearless...

The recent anniversary of The Book Report Network has me thinking about how much I personally have changed over these past ten years. Little secret: When we first started the company I HATED making cold calls. In fact, I hated making most phone calls. I would delay calling anyone I did not know. But as time went on I realized that I was the only person who could make the calls to get some things done to make the company work, and I needed to get over my fear of the phone to do this. So I did. The way I see it, passion overcame fear.
Thus when Arianna Huffington's new book, ON BECOMING FEARLESS: Love, Work and Life, came across my desk, I wanted to see what she had to say on this topic. I am about halfway through it and I keep smiling as I am reading her anecdotes and the pieces by fearless women like Nora Ephron, Diane Keaton and Marcy Carsey. As a mom who juggles work and kids, I love to hear how she juggles both fearlessly. I always associated Huffington only with politics, but in this book she speaks to readers as an empowered woman, with politics barely noticeable. There are small things, like she wears a watch with two time zones on it when she travels so she can keep track of her kids with a glance at her wrist. When I travel I always leave my watch on Eastern Time and use my cellphone for local time so I can do the same thing.
She jokes that she looks at her BlackBerry as she exercises. I laughed because I wish my BlackBerry was waterproof so when I am doing a swim workout and on deadline I could check my messages so I could do a quick answer and then do a much longer swim. She talks about how the BlackBerry frees her instead of encumbering her, and I think the same thing. She talks about empowering hikes with her girlfriends instead of lunch. I realize that Central Park is a block from my office and I never walk there. I think maybe we should do some staff meetings there to get ourselves out of the routine a bit. How much could we get done just walking around?
She talks about the influences of her mom and of other women she knows and she talks about raising fearless daughters. I think about what my girlfriends lend to me and I think about how I work each day to raise sons who are confident, but not overconfident. Now I realize what I really want is for them to be fearless!
The other night I had drinks with Arianna --- a very last minute thing. You know how women usually dress when they are doing meetings like this. Well, I was fine (luckily I was not doing my white t-shirt/jeans thing) except I was wearing black suede moccasins, which I was cringing over. They were about as un-chic as one could get. But I brushed it off and thought...they are me. I am so klutzy that I fall off my heels, and one night I even got stuck in the subway grates in my heels (I am NOT kidding.) I decided that 95% of the time I am going for comfort and not style. Thus, it was a moccasin day.
We hit it off talking about kids, work and life the way women do when they get together. As we talked, I noticed she had on the watch with two time zones. I liked that. I hate when people write what they think people want to hear instead of what they really do. We talked about fearlessness and writing and publishing. Later as we were leaving she pointed to my shoes and told me they were fearless shoes. I laughed. I never saw them that way. But they were. In the big scheme of things I was wearing what I wanted instead of what was expected. And it felt good. Like it did when I made those phone calls that took the business to a new level. Nice. Pick up the book and get thinking how you are fearless and how you can become more fearless.
A couple of weeks ago I had a lot going on. I needed a break...a big one. So I took to the hammock with a novel by Mary Kay Andrews, one of my favorite escape authors. I swung and read BLUE CHRISTMAS, her new one, which will be in stores on November 1st. There I was able to visit with her characters, Weezie Foley and BeBe Loudermilk, who feel like friends to me. Mary Kay loves porches and porch swings, and as I swung, I was getting into a whole other groove. For those of you thinking ahead to holidays (and I KNOW there are some of you who are planning to have ALL your shopping done by Halloween, which is why I am saying this now), make room on your lists for this one.

Mitch Albom's new book, FOR ONE MORE DAY, hit stores this week. I loved this one. My older son did too. I dare you to read it and not think about being a little kinder to people while you have the moment to. Seriously. For those of you who want to talk about it with your book clubs, we'll have the discussion guide next week.
I actually am writing this note late Thursday night instead of my usual Friday afternoon. I am off to Madison, Wisconsin for the Bouchercon Convention at the ungodly hour of 5:00 tomorrow morning. The conference already started, but I stayed home tonight to do my older son's Back to School Night at the high school. As I walked to my car my BlackBerry was buzzing with the winners of the Macavity and Barry awards, which we have for you. Joe Hartlaub, our Senior Writer, was at the conference keeping me up to date! Go Joe!
Off to pack...I have nothing pulled together...and Joe just told me it's a high of 50 degrees in Mad-town thus I am trying to remember where my warm clothes are. I still was clinging to summer. Let's see books, yarn for knitting during panels and um....oh yeah, clothes. Warm ones. Oh wait, I forgot. I am fearless. I will figure it out!
Have a great week...lots in this update, so get reading.

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on September 29th.

List of titles reviewed and featured on September 22nd.

Click here for more information about ON BECOMING FEARLESS. Click here to see our 10th Anniversary Page. Click here for more information about BLUE CHRISTMAS.

Author Talk: Michael Cox, Author of THE MEANING OF NIGHT

Michael Cox's first work of full-length fiction, THE MEANING OF NIGHT, is a heavily Victorian-influenced novel thirty years in the making. In this interview, Cox describes the potentially life-threatening situation that propelled him to complete the manuscript after such a lengthy writing process and discusses how his passion for 19th-century literature pervades his narrative. He also explains the metaphorical meaning of the book's title and shares his plans to possibly further his characters' story through a trilogy.

THE MEANING OF NIGHT by Michael Cox (Thriller)
Reviewed by Colleen Quinn
Michael Cox's tale of murder and revenge in Victorian England --- complete with foggy streets, secrets taken to the grave and unrequited love --- is a stunning achievement. Full of drama and passion, THE MEANING OF NIGHT is an enthralling novel that will captivate readers right up to its final thrilling revelation.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE MEANING OF NIGHT.

Click here to read an interview with Michael Cox and a review of THE MEANING OF NIGHT.

Now in Stores: FOR ONE MORE DAY by Mitch Albom

FOR ONE MORE DAY by Mitch Albom (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
Mitch Albom has never failed to delve into the depths of relationships, the sometimes dark and mysteriously gray areas of our interactions with people. Where TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE recounts the rekindling of a mentor relationship in the twilight years of a teacher's life and THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN reinforces the sometimes unknown impact of those we encounter in life, FOR ONE MORE DAY is about missed opportunity and the miraculous "what if."

-Click here to read an excerpt from FOR ONE MORE DAY.

Click here to read our review of FOR ONE MORE DAY.


CREEPERS by David Morrell is Now in Paperback

New York Times bestselling author David Morrell, who has written FIRST BLOOD, THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE ROSE, THE FIFTH PROFESSION and EXTREME DENIAL, was one of our featured Suspense/Thriller authors. His featured thriller, CREEPERS, came out in paperback this week and thus we wanted to take another look at this book and Morrell.

More about CREEPERS:
On a cold October night, five people gather in a run-down motel on the Jersey shore and begin preparations to break into The Paragon Hotel.  Built in the glory days of Asbury Park by a reclusive millionaire, the magnificent structure, which foreshadowed the beauties of Art Deco architecture, is now boarded-up and marked for demolition.

The five people are "creepers," the slang term for urban explorers: city archeologists with a passion for investigating abandoned buildings and their dying secrets. CREEPERS, David Morrell's gripping joy-ride of a thriller, depicts every harrowing second in eight hours of relentless suspense. It will haunt readers for many nights to come.

-Click here to read our review of CREEPERS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from CREEPERS.
-Click here to read our interview with David Morrell.

Click here to read more about David Morrell and CREEPERS.


Featured Historical Fiction Author: Jeff Shaara, Author of THE RISING TIDE

We are so excited to be launching a NEW Feature --- Historical Fiction --- and Jeff Shaara is the perfect inaugural author. A modern master of the historical novel, Shaara has painted brilliant depictions of the Civil War, the Revolutionary War and World War I. Now he embarks upon his most ambitious epic, a trilogy about the military conflict that defined the twentieth century that begins with THE RISING TIDE, which comes out November 7th.

We have 20 Advance Reader Copies of THE RISING TIDE by Jeff Shaara 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, October 6th, 2006.

THE RISING TIDE begins a staggering work of fiction bound to be a new generation's most poignant chronicle of World War II. With you-are-there immediacy, painstaking historical detail, and all-inclusive points of view, Shaara portrays the momentous and increasingly dramatic events that pulled America into the vortex of this monumental conflict.

More than an unprecedented and intimate portrait of those who waged this astonishing global war, THE RISING TIDE is a vivid gallery of characters both immortal and unknown: the as-yet obscure administrator Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose tireless efficiency helped win the war; his subordinates, clashing in both style and personality, from George Patton and Mark Clark to Omar Bradley and Bernard Montgomery. In the desolate hills and deserts, the Allies confront Erwin Rommel, the battlefield genius known as "the Desert Fox," a wounded beast who hands the Americans their first humiliating defeat in the European theater of the war. From tank driver to paratrooper to the men who gave the commands, Shaara's stirring portrayals bring the heroic and the tragic to life in brilliant detail.

Click here to read more about Jeff Shaara and THE RISING TIDE.


Featured One to Watch Author: Lise Haines, Author of 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, hit stores September 15th and explores the boundaries of sex, love and friendship.

-Click here to read a new 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.


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 this Tuesday, October 2nd and it's sure to satisfy her old fans and garner her new ones as well.

-Click here to read a new 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.

Vote in the 2006 Quill Awards - Voting Ends THIS Saturday, September 30th!

The nominees for the second annual Quill Book Awards have been 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 by Saturday, September 30th.



Click here to read the nominees and vote.

Sobol Awards

A new writing contest, The Sobol Award, has been 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


Click here for more information about the Sobol Awards.

New in Paperback for September

September's roundup of New in Paperback fiction titles includes THE WIDOW OF THE SOUTH, the gripping New York Times bestseller from Robert Hicks based on one of the great forgotten Civil War stories; THE CAMEL CLUB by David Baldacci, in which one man's belief that the planet's time is running out sets in motion an audacious plot against the U.S. president; AT FIRST SIGHT, the follow-up to Nicholas Sparks's TRUE BELIEVER that asks the question: Is love at first sight truly possible?; and ANANSI BOYS, a compelling work from Neil Gaiman that marks a return to the territory he explored in his 2001 novel, AMERICAN GODS.

Among our nonfiction offerings are TEAM OF RIVALS, Doris Kearns Goodwin's multiple biography that chronicles not only the life of Abraham Lincoln but also those of his rivals for the Republican nomination for President in 1860; TEACHER MAN, Pulitzer Prize winner Frank McCourt's memoir about his years in the public high schools of New York City; ONE BULLET AWAY, an unflinching account by Nathaniel Fick of his recruitment, advancement and service on the fronts of Afghanistan and Iraq; and Marian Fontana's A WIDOW'S WALK, a deeply personal and poignant memoir from a September 11th widow that recounts the events of that tragic day and its aftereffects.

Click here to read our New in Paperback feature.


This Week's Reviews and Features

THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy (Fiction)
Reviewed by Tom Callahan
Cormac McCarthy, winner of the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, returns with his tenth novel, a terrifying "what if" story about the apocalypse. A father and his son travel the road in search of food, safety and humanity after a nuclear war has wiped out society and most of the human race.

THE AFGHAN by Frederick Forsyth (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Combining meticulous research with crisp narratives and plots as current as the headlines, Frederick Forsyth shows us the world as it is in a way that few have ever been able to equal. THE AFGHAN is a chilling story of modern terrorism from the grandmaster of international intrigue.

THE LOOMING TOWER: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright (Current Affairs)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
This penetrating study examines in detail the witches' brew of events, personalities and political tensions that converged to make possible the horrors of September 11, 2001. Lawrence Wright, a longtime student of Middle Eastern affairs, sorts out the complicated story with a scholar's thoroughness, a reporter's tenacity and a novelist's literary flair.

ALL AUNT HAGAR'S CHILDREN: Stories by Edward P. Jones (Fiction/Short Stories)
Reviewed by Belinda Williams
In fourteen sweeping and sublime stories, five of which have been published in The New Yorker, the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of THE KNOWN WORLD shows that his grasp of the human condition is firmer than ever as he returns to the city that inspired his first prizewinning book, LOST IN THE CITY.

THE LOST: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn (Memoir)
Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg
Daniel Mendelsohn's account of his search to discover the details about the deaths and lives of six of his relatives killed in the Holocaust is a compelling saga of one man's quest to connect with his family roots and a moving meditation on the power of memory to redeem even the most devastating loss.

THE ZERO by Jess Walter (Fiction)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
From the opening pages of this follow-up to 2005's critically acclaimed CITIZEN VINCE --- when hero cop Brian Remy wakes up to find he's shot himself in the head --- novelist Jess Walter takes us on a harrowing tour of a city and a country shuddering through the aftershocks of a devastating terrorist attack.

THE GARDENS OF THE DEAD by William Brodrick (Mystery)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
Ten years ago, Father Anselm was still a lawyer. In the years since, a suspicious death occurred connected to one of his last cases, and the former client has flaunted his myriad crimes. Now his partner on the case has died and left it to him to right a wrong too long left undone.

LITTLE FAITH by Michael Simon (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
A rich stew of murder and corruption connects the state capital, the oil industry and a powerful evangelical church as Michael Simon returns to the Austin Homicide Squad and Detective Dan Reles, featured in the acclaimed thrillers DIRTY SALLY and BODY SCISSORS.

RESURRECTION by Tucker Malarkey (Thriller)
Reviewed by Marcia Ford
In Tucker Malarkey's RESURRECTION, the late-1940s discovery of the Gnostic gospels near Nag Hammadi in Egypt takes center stage against the backdrop of the end of World War II in Europe and an impending war between Egypt and Israel.

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: Banned Books Week

September 23rd-30th is Banned Books Week. Are you aware of books that are on this list?

Not sure
Knowing that a book is on a banned list...

Makes me want to read it more
Makes me want to read it anyway
Makes me skip it
I am not sure how I feel.
I have never heard of a book being banned.
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: Banning Books --- Is it Ever Okay?

What do you think about books being banned? Should it happen? What would be a reason to ban a book?

Please note our Question of the Week will update October 6th.

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 FOR ONE MORE DAY by Mitch Albom and MOTOR MOUTH: An Alexandra Barnaby Novel by Janet Evanovich.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on October 6th.


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

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