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October 6, 2006 Newsletter

October 6, 2006

This Week on

Following the Cows Talks to Tara Taylor Quinn, Author of IN PLAIN SIGHT Talks to Lise Haines, Author of SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY

Now in Stores: MOTOR MOUTH by Janet Evanovich

Now In Stores: THE DISCOMFORT ZONE by Jonathan Franzen

Now In Stores: AFTER THIS by Alice McDermott

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

Paulo Coelho, Author of THE ALCHEMIST, Answers YOUR Questions

Now in Stores: THE BOOK OF FATE by Brad Meltzer

What's New On

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog Poll: Books To Anticipate

Question of the Week: Books Worth Gushing Over
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

Historical Fiction Promotion

One to Watch Promotion
Chick Lit Promotion
Books Into Movies
Bestseller Lists

10th Anniversary Page and Pictures

Following the Cows   

It is well-known that I am direction-challenged. Spin me in a circle and I will walk the wrong way. Guaranteed. So last weekend when I was in Madison, Wisconsin for Bouchercon I discovered a new way to track my way --- follow the cows. Downtown Madison was having a CowParade, sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Council. I love these kinds of art festivals as I love clever things. Here the cows were given titles like Mothermoose (shaped like a caboose), Cow Lloyd Wright and Frank Loin Wright (Wright-inspired) and Georgia O'Cowffe (O'Keefe-inspired). On the walk from the conference hotel to my hotel there were at least 12 cows. I knew to make a left at "Half-and-Half Cow," which is pictured here. For more on Bouchercon, you can read my blog here. We also have the winners of the Anthony Awards and the Shamus Awards. Oh, for those of you with a hankering for clever-looking cow designs, there is a commemorative book, COWPARADE WISCONSIN: The Cows Come Home To America's Dairyland, here.
We have interviews this week with Tara Taylor Quinn and Lise Haines. As always, I enjoyed reading their replies to our questions. Hope you enjoy them as well. I had not been familiar with either of these authors' work prior to doing these features, so it has been nice getting to know them with you.
This weekend is a real Books Into Movies weekend. I am looking forward to the movie adaptation of LITTLE CHILDREN by Tom Perrotta, which opens in New York and L.A. this weekend and "goes wide" (love that term) on the 20th. Here's the scoop -- the movie has a different ending. So read, then watch and then let us know which you liked better!
Teens on our teen site,, are loving a new book just out called CATHY'S BOOK, which is the unique story of a girl named Cathy that takes readers from the page into the world of cyberspace and beyond. The book includes a package of letters, photographs, date book entries, telephone numbers readers can call, websites they can access, as well as secrets only a careful reader will be able to decipher that enhance the story. We think it's the first interactive book of its kind and it's getting great raves from readers.   

Here's something different on the web that you may want to check out. You can join George R. R. Martin, the New York Times bestselling author of the epic A Song of Ice and Fire cycle, for his very first podcast. In these eight episodes, George covers a range of topics from the birth of his acclaimed saga, to his experiences in Hollywood, to "weird stuff," and even reads an excerpt from his new paperback novel A FEAST FOR CROWS. (Please note: y
ou'll need to have iTunes or an RSS Reader to subscribe to the podcasts.) You can click here to listen to Episode 1: The Birth of A Song of Ice and Fire. If you listen to this podcast, or others, drop me a note and let me know what you think about them.

We also are sharing news about six very special offers that we have open to registered book clubs on including an opportunity to win a book club chat with Arianna Huffington, the author of the book I talked about last week, ON BECOMING FEARLESS. Groups need to register by October 13th to be eligible to enter. Click here to register. See more information about these offerings for registered book clubs later in this newsletter.

We are making this a long weekend. I decided we need to honor Columbus for sailing the ocean blue. Actually I think we all can use a bit more sleep and time for reading. I need some extra beauty sleep as the Quill Awards black tie event is Tuesday night. I have my picks all selected. Let's see how many I get right. A full report on the winners will be to you next Wednesday morning. I am reading and enjoying Reed Farrel Coleman's, THE JAMES DEANS, which won three awards last weekend at Bouchercon. His character, Moe Prager, is a P.I. with a soul.

I like holiday weekends like this where there is no event or special meal involved! Here's to a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on October 6th.

List of titles reviewed and featured on September 29th. Talks to Tara Taylor Quinn, Author of IN PLAIN SIGHT

Bestselling author Tara Taylor Quinn is known for her deeply emotional and psychologically astute novels. In her latest work of fiction, IN PLAIN SIGHT, she tackles the profound and controversial topic of white supremacy, which she plans to further explore through future installments. In this interview with's contributing writer Bronwyn Miller, Quinn describes the event that sparked her interest in this subject and explains the relevance of the book's title to its weighty subject matter. She also reveals her surprising writing process, discusses the blog she shares with five other authors and provides wise advice to aspiring writers.

IN PLAIN SIGHT by Tara Taylor Quinn (Romantic Suspense)

Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller
USA Today bestselling author Tara Taylor Quinn is back with a heart-racing thriller about an Arizona prosecutor who's working on the case of her life --- a case so dangerous, it could cost her just that. IN PLAIN SIGHT delivers a riveting, suspenseful story that leaves readers breathless.

Click here to read our interview with Tara Taylor Quinn and a review of IN PLAIN SIGHT. Talks to Lise Haines, Author of SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY

SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY, the second novel by author and poet Lise Haines, explores the boundaries of friendship, love and envy. In this interview with's contributing writer Hillary Wagy, Haines describes the extremely complicated, sibling-like relationship shared by the book's two main characters and how that dynamic but volatile bond has negatively impacted each of them. She also addresses the presence, or lack thereof, of antiquated mores regarding love and marriage, and discusses the strong and encouraging figures in her life who indirectly have influenced her writing.


Reviewed by Hillary Wagy
A history of small acts of sex and electricity leads Jane to drive away and bestow her life to best friend Mattie --- her husband Mike included. Trading places comes easily for Mattie because she has been in love with Mike since the threesome met in college. Mattie's new place in the love triangle gives her the opportunity to live the life she has always desired. But does it bring her happiness?

Click here to read our interview with Lise Haines and a review of SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY.


Now in Stores: MOTOR MOUTH by Janet Evanovich

MOTOR MOUTH by Janet Evanovich (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
The racing season is over and Alexandra "Barney" Barnaby and Sam Hooker are on the run --- avoiding charges of grand theft auto, multiple counts of murder and the NASCAR awards banquet --- in Janet Evanovich's fast-paced, thrilling sequel to METRO GIRL.

-Click here to read an excerpt from MOTOR MOUTH.

Click here to read our review of MOTOR MOUTH.


Now In Stores: THE DISCOMFORT ZONE by Jonathan Franzen

THE DISCOMFORT ZONE: A Personal History by Jonathan Franzen (Memoir)
Reviewed by Alexis Burling
Jonathan Franzen arrived late, and last, in a family of boys in Webster Groves, Missouri. The Discomfort Zone is his intimate memoir of his growth from a "small and fundamentally ridiculous person," through an adolescence both excruciating and strangely happy, into an adult with embarrassing and unexpected passions.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE DISCOMFORT ZONE.

Click here to read our review of THE DISCOMFORT ZONE.


Now In Stores: AFTER THIS by Alice McDermott

AFTER THIS by Alice McDermott (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
Alice McDermott, winner of the National Book Award for CHARMING BILLY, offers readers an introspective, quietly profound novel of family life set against the backdrop of the middle years of the twentieth century. It captures the social, political and spiritual upheavals of those decades through the experiences of a middle-class couple, their four children and the changing worlds in which they live.

-Click here to read an excerpt from AFTER THIS.
-Click here to read the Reading Group Guide for AFTER THIS.

Click here to read a review of AFTER THIS.


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.

-Click here to see our Advance Reader Copy Winners.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE RISING TIDE.
-Click here to read Fast Facts for Jeff Shaara.

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.

Paulo Coelho, Author of THE ALCHEMIST, Answers YOUR Questions

In the "interesting things we have heard about on the web" department, at 3 PM ET on Wednesday, October 11th, Paulo Coelho, author of THE ALCHEMISTTHE FIFTH MOUNTAIN and VERONIKA DECIDES TO DIE, will be discussing his books and answering readers' questions in a special program moderated by Beliefnet Spirituality Editor Valerie Reiss. To participate in this free event, readers will need to register and login at 3 PM ET on October 11th. To register, visit here.

Throughout this web event readers can submit questions to Paulo and hear his responses.



Now in Stores: THE BOOK OF FATE by Brad Meltzer

In Brad Meltzer's new thriller, THE BOOK OF FATE, White House aid Wes Holloway suffers a horrible disfigurement while protecting the President. Set against a backdrop of Oval Office corruption, Meltzer delves into the intriguing world of Freemasons and a centuries-old code invented by Thomas Jefferson. Once you enter Meltzer's world, you can't leave.

-Click here to uncover famous Freemasons and Masonic secrets PLUS win a free signed first edition.
-Click here to read our review of THE BOOK OF FATE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE BOOK OF FATE.
-Click here to read an interview with Brad Meltzer.

Click here to read more about THE BOOK OF FATE.

What's New On is giving you some serious incentive to register your group this month --- SIX special offers for registered book groups! Groups that have registered with by October 13th are eligible to win the opportunity to chat with Arianna Huffington, author of ON BECOMING FEARLESS; Donna VanLiere, author of THE ANGELS OF MORGAN HILL; Lolly Winston, author of HAPPINESS SOLD SEPARATELY; Martha Moody, author of BEST FRIENDS; and Laura Zigman, author PIECE OF WORK --- and to win copies of BEFORE I WAKE by Dee Henderson.

We also have the following guides now available on

AFTER THIS by Alice McDermott
ALL MORTAL FLESH by Julia Spencer-Fleming
AT FIRST SIGHT by Nicholas Sparks
BEFORE I GO by Riley Weston
BEFORE I WAKE by Dee Henderson
BREADFRUIT by Celestine Vaite
THE DAYS OF SUMMER by Jill Barnett
ECHO PARK by Michael Connelly
FIRE WITH FIRE by Allan Kahane
FOR ONE MORE DAY by Mitch Albom
THE GUY NOT TAKEN by Jennifer Weiner
HELEN OF TROY by Margaret George
THE HISTORIAN by Elizabeth Kostova
THE HISTORY OF LOVE by Nicole Krauss
JULIE & JULIA by Julie Powell
KABBALAH: A Love Story by Lawrence Kushner
LOVE AND LOUIS XIV by Antonia Fraser
LUCY by Ellen Feldman
MAGIC TIME by Doug Marlette
ON BECOMING FEARLESS.... by Arianna Huffington
THE ONLY BEST PLACE by Carolyne Aarsen
PIECE OF WORK by Laura Zigman
THE RIVER OF DOUBT by Candice Millard
RIVER'S EDGE by Marie Bostwick
THE SNOW FOX by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
THE SENSE OF PAPER by Taylor Holden
THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield
VERTIGO by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
THE VOTE by Sybil Downing

Click here to visit


This Week's Reviews and Features

MORAL DISORDER: And Other Stories by Margaret Atwood (Fiction/Short Stories) Reviewed by Pauline Finch
In these ten interrelated stories Margaret Atwood traces the course of a life and also the lives intertwined with it, while evoking the drama and the humor that color common experiences --- the birth of a baby, divorce and remarriage, old age and death.

ONLY REVOLUTIONS by Mark Z. Danielewski (Fiction)
Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard
Mark Z. Danielewski --- the man responsible for driving readers crazy with HOUSE OF LEAVES --- takes us on a trip through history as witnessed by Sam and Hailey, though they are not your typical 16 year olds. ONLY REVOLUTIONS destroys the conventions of the novel form for an incredible experience.

SKELETON COAST: A Novel of the Oregon Files by Clive Cussler with Jack DuBrul (Action & Adventure)
Reviewed by Marge Fletcher
Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the covert combat ship Oregon have barely escaped a mission on the Congo River when they intercept a mayday from a defenseless boat under fire off the African coast. Little does Cabrillo know that a hunt for giant metal snakes will lead him onto the trail of a deranged militant and his followers.

SHARPE'S FURY by Bernard Cornwell (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds
For more than twenty years, Richard Sharpe, the brave and dashing officer who rose from rags on the street to a commission in his majesty's army, has been thrilling audiences on both the page and on screen. Now Bernard Cornwell returns with a thrilling new installment --- the first new Sharpe novel in more than two years.

ABUNDANCE: A Novel of Marie Antoinette, by Sena Jeter Naslund (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol

In this compelling novel, a very human Marie Antoinette invites readers to live her story as she herself experiences it. From the lush gardens of Versailles to the lights and gaiety of Paris, the verdant countryside of France and finally the stark and terrifying isolation of a prison cell, the young queen's life is joyful, poignant and harrowing by turns.

FEAR by Jeff Abbott (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub

The psychological impairment of post-traumatic stress disorder is the thread that runs through FEAR. It's the possibility of a cure --- and the profit that might be made from it --- that brings three individuals reluctantly together not only to conquer the condition that is controlling their lives but also to save themselves from shadowy pursuers who seem to be bent upon their destruction.

THE LIGHT OF THE EVENING by Edna O'Brien (Fiction)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
The prolific Edna O'Brien's latest novel is --- like much of her work--- about place, loss and longing as well as identity and misunderstanding. She acknowledges James Joyce as a strong influence on her prose, and his voice is evident here; the book is mostly stream of consciousness and deals with subjective memory, not to mention Ireland.

BREADFRUIT by Celestine Vaite (Fiction)
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton
In this sequel to FRANGIPANI, a drunken Pito proposes to Materena Mahi, "the best listener in Tahiti." Materena initially thinks it's just the booze talking, but she can't help starting to plan for a fabulous wedding. Celestine Vaite's latest tale of big dreams on a small island will leave readers cheering.

THE ECHOING GREEN: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the Shot Heard Round the World by Joshua Prager (Sports)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
This wonderfully evocative portrait of the great American pastime is more than a story of a baseball game and the players who participated; it's a magnificent work of history that happens to chronicle the 1951 National League pennant race between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants.

Click here to read our reviews and features. Blog

October 6th Entry:
-Bouchercon 2006 --- A Prairie Escapade

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: Books To Anticipate

Which of the following October releases are you most looking forward to reading, or have you read?

ACT OF TREASON by Vince Flynn
BLUE CHRISTMAS by Mary Kay Andrews
THE COLLECTORS by David Baldacci
DEAR JOHN by Nicholas Sparks
ECHO PARK by Michael Connelly
HOME TO BIG STONE GAP by Adriana Trigiani
THE INNOCENT MAN: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham
LISEY'S STORY by Stephen King
MOTOR MOUTH by Janet Evanovich
ONE GOOD TURN  by Kate Atkinson
THIRTEEN MOONS by Charles Frazier
None of the above
Answer the Poll here.

Read a list of upcoming books here. Browse our author bibliographies by clicking here Click here to visit our 10th Anniversary Page.
Question of the Week: Books Worth Gushing Over

What's the book that you have been "talking up" the most in the past few months?

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 ECHO PARK by Michael Connelly and THE INNOCENT MAN by John Grisham.

-Click here to see our Reading Group Guide for ECHO PARK.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on October 20th.


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 October 31, 2006 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: THE COLLECTORS by David Baldacci, ECHO PARK by Michael Connelly, FAREWELL SUMMER by Ray Bradbury, THE INNOCENT MAN by John Grisham and MOTOR MOUTH by Janet Evanovich. Last month's winner was Judy from Marshaltown, IA, who won 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.

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

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