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November 17, 2006 Newsletter

November 17, 2006

This Week on

Meeting Authors --- Miami Style

Author Talk: Lauren Lipton, Author of IT'S ABOUT YOUR HUSBAND

Announcing Our What to Give/What to Get Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest on --- Spotlight on CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: THE BOOK by Deirdre Dolan

Featured Suspense/Thriller Authors: Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, Authors of CAPITAL CRIMES

Now in Stores: SANTA CRUISE by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark

Now in Stores: CROSS by James Patterson

Now in Stores: NATURE GIRL by Carl Hiaasen

Now in Stores: THE AUDACITY OF HOPE by Barack Obama

Recently Reviewed on

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog Poll: Holiday Shopping Schedule

Question of the Week: A Book Present For You
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

Meeting Authors --- Miami Style

I am writing this week from poolside at the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami where the ever-so-helpful staff here has ensured I have electrical power next to my lounge chair so I can write on my laptop, as well as an endless supply of iced tea and lemon-flavored water. For the record, it's cloudy with small peeks from the sun, the kind of day where I would not be sitting poolside at home, but hey, I am in Florida and when I am in Florida I do not want to be inside. As the pool boy said, "It's all part of the fantasy." 
Last night I met up with Cristina Vazquez, who is a reader. We had a fun dinner at Cafe Versailles, which is a Cuban cuisine landmark and she gave me a quick tour of her neighborhood, which was minutes from the restaurant. Cristina is fluent in Spanish as well as English and throughout the evening impressively moved back and forth between both languages. Over the course of the night, I realized that even with seven years of schooling in Spanish, I was lost on following her. I never mumbled more than "gracias" one or two times lest I embarrass myself.
We then went to the Miami Book Fair evening event with Isabel Allende. Outside the auditorium there literally were hundreds of people waiting to get in. I went to pick up my media credentials and learned that this was the OVERFLOW crowd. The room inside already was packed! As we made our way to the seats reserved for media, I cannot tell you how it warmed my heart to see this HUGE and enthusiastic audience (there had to be 800+ people in attendance). At a time when it is said that reading is in a decline in America, this moment gave me great encouragement. It was a great and very energized crowd of what clearly were Allende devotees. A blog with more about this event will be forthcoming. Again, if you are a reader and will be attending the Fair, please drop me a note so we can try to meet up. It's always a pleasure to meet our readers and I thank Cristina for joining me for this very special evening --- or should I say, gracias.
Earlier this week I did a trip to Chicago where I gave a couple of speeches. Flying back from the Windy City on Tuesday night our flight was delayed by both weather and an "under-pressurized" slide. I wanted to ask for a show of hands of who among the passengers had ever used a slide and see if we could vote to leave with it "under-pressurized" as I was headed into an author event in the city where I was meeting up with my older son. Instead we had a moment that I had not seen in years --- we were given meal coupons from Continental for the inconvenience. Who says airline travel is not what it used to be?
Once airborne I looked up mid-flight and saw the gentleman across the aisle was reading Jeff Shaara's new book, THE RISING TIDE.  Of course, I asked him about it and he enthusiastically and graciously replied to this interruption that he was enjoying it. I passed him my card encouraging him take a look at our interview with Shaara. Please note that this week we have additional reader feedback on the book that you can read here. We also are happy to share Tara Taylor Quinn's replies to reader questions about her book, IN PLAIN SIGHT.
"The Fall of Mega Releases" continues with new books continuing to fly into stores at a rapid pace. This week's releases include SANTA CRUISE by Mary and Carol Higgins Clark, CROSS from James Patterson and NATURE GIRL from Carl Hiaasen. Later in this newsletter we have a listing of many of this fall's prior mega releases so you can reference them for future shopping. Please take note that at the end of the newsletter opener each week we supply a shopping list of all the titles available to buy from the week's update in a printer friendly format so you can access it for easy offline shopping. Online you always are just a click away to buy from
This week's Holiday Cheer title is CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM by Deirdre Dolan, which offers fans an intimate view of the people, experiences and stories behind one of television's funniest shows, which is the brainchild of Larry David. This week we also launch our What to Give/What to Get feature with suggested gift-giving titles in 13 categories. Grab your gift lists now and start making some notes.
We wanted to get sneak peeks at three books that are forthcoming on your radar as well. The first is HANNIBAL RISING from Thomas Harris, which will be in stores on December 5th. You can read an excerpt here and also hear Harris reading an excerpt. Also highly anticipated is NEXT by Michael Crichton, which will be in stores on November 28th. To promote this book, there is a VERY clever website where they have teasers about a fictitious company called NextGenCode, which you can see here
Also, the new Dean Koontz book, BROTHER ODD, which will be in stores on November 28th, is being advertised in a series of commercials running on "CSI," which attempt to describe the Odd Thomas character. They unfold over three consecutive Thursdays, November 16, 23 and 30. The campaign, along with other promotional information, can be viewed here: As always, we applaud interesting ways to promote new titles to readers --- and us!
Tonight I will be attending the Richard Ford event at the book fair. I'll be there listening and knitting (currently working on a wool tank top). This is a reason I love events like this fair. I have not read Ford before, but picked up this book anticipating his talk and I find myself enjoying his work. By the way, this book starts on the Thursday before Thanksgiving in 2000 and I started reading it yesterday, also the Thursday before Thanksgiving, which I thought was so clever of me. 
Here's wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving...we give lots of thanks for all of you and your continued reading of our websites. I look forward to dinner in a restaurant this year (will see if THIS becomes a new tradition or a one-time event). Let's see if we all end up ordering turkey or if something else strikes our fancy!
I leave you now to continue reading Ford's THE LAY OF THE LAND and to signal the poolside waitstaff for a Mojito. I declined earlier to ensure this note got out on time. Have a great week and do the turkey wishbone thing for me.

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on November 17th.

List of titles reviewed and featured on November 10th.


Author Talk: Lauren Lipton, Author of IT'S ABOUT YOUR HUSBAND

Lauren Lipton began her career in journalism at the Los Angeles Times and has since worked at The Wall Street Journal and In Style, as well as contributed to Glamour, Marie Claire, Fit Pregnancy and Working Mother. Now a deputy editor at Cosmopolitan, she recently had her first work of fiction --- IT'S ABOUT YOUR HUSBAND --- published. In this interview, Lipton explains how she managed to write a novel amidst her busy schedule and sheds light on the perks of working for women's magazines. She also describes the real-life inspirations behind her characters, and even shares her own experience with the "one perfect beauty product" featured in her book.

IT'S ABOUT YOUR HUSBAND by Lauren Lipton (Fiction)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
San Fernando Valley native Iris Hedge left her husband and traded coasts for the job of a lifetime --- only to lose it in a New York minute. Now unattached, unemployed and broke, she dreads her loneliness and imminent credit card bills --- until she's offered an exciting, new gig: spying on a possibly cheating husband.

-Click here to read an excerpt from IT'S ABOUT YOUR HUSBAND.
-Click here to visit Lauren's website,

Click here to read an interview with Lauren Lipton and a review of IT'S ABOUT YOUR HUSBAND.

Announcing Our What to Give/What to Get Holiday Gift Guide knows that readers crave ideas for gift-giving ---  and getting --- at the holidays. With that in mind we're offering a What to Give/What to Get Guide with "Reader Perfect" suggestions in the following 13 categories:

Child's Play: For Kids
Eat, Drink & Be Merry: Cookbooks, Entertaining Guides & Culinary Tales
Faces & Places: Biography, Memoir & History
Great Choices for Booklovers: Fiction & Nonfiction Titles to be Spotlighted
Healthy, Wealthy & Wise: Advice & How-To
Holiday Spirit: Perfect Selections for Holiday Reading
Just for Fun: Humor Books
Let the Games Begin: Trivia and Games
Mystery Madness & Thrilling Reads: Mysteries, Thrillers & Suspense
News, Events & Pop Culture: Current Events & Pop Culture
Slam Dunks: Sports Titles
Stocking Stuffers: Books Small Enough to Put In Stockings and Buy In Quantity
Teens' Choice: For Teens

We have books for everyone on your holiday list. And while you're looking for gifts for others may we suggest you jot notes for the books YOU want?

Click here to read our What to Give/What to Get Gift Guide.


Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest on --- Spotlight on CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: THE BOOK by Deirdre Dolan

Each week from November 3rd through December 15th we will spotlight a different title, and readers will have the chance to win one of five holiday baskets filled with winter-themed items as well as two copies of the featured book. Why two? One is to keep, of course, and one is for someone on your holiday gift list. We will also include festive wrapping paper and a ribbon to make the gift-giving hassle-free.

Our third featured title is CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: THE BOOK by Deirdre Dolan --- an in-depth look at the award-winning series. Along with two copies of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: THE BOOK and green-and-tan checkered wrapping paper and coordinating ribbon --- winners will receive a Cinnamon Sugar Scented Illuminations candle, Ghirardelli Rich Dark Hot Chocolate mix, gourmet vanilla marshmallows, sweet-smelling cinnamon sticks, delicious Chewy Peps peppermint candies, adorable winter-themed cookies, a snowman-themed wooden tray and soft comfy fluffy socks (colors on this may vary from what is pictured). 

To enter to win, answer the question below:

On what television show was Deirdre Dolan a producer?

You can find the answer by reading her author bio here.

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: THE BOOK by Deirdre Dolan (Entertainment)
Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller
Think you know everything there is to know about HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm"? Well, think again! This extensive compendium of all things "Curb" is jam-packed with behind-the-scenes interviews of the cast, crew, and creator and star Larry David, and offers a peek into the inventive creative process behind the show.

Click here to read all the details of our Holiday Basket of Cheer feature.


Featured Suspense/Thriller Authors: Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, Authors of CAPITAL CRIMES

Our newest Suspense/Thriller feature spotlights the powerhouse husband and wife literary team of Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, whose new page-turner is CAPITAL CRIMES. The book hits shelves this Tuesday, November 21st and, with two thrillers in one, is bound to be a runaway bestseller.

-Click here to read an excerpt from CAPITAL CRIMES.
-Click here to see our Advance Copy Winners.
-Click here to read Fast Facts for Jonathan and Faye Kellerman.
-Click here to read Faye Kellerman's backlist.
-Click here to read Jonathan Kellerman's backlist.

Internationally bestselling husband and wife Jonathan and Faye Kellerman team up for a powerful one-two punch with CAPITAL CRIMES, a gripping pair of original crime thrillers.

Some of progressive state representative Davida Grayson's views have made her unpopular. Although her foes are numerous no one suspects that any buttons Davida might push could evoke deadly force.

But now Davida lies brutally murdered in her office, and Berkeley homicide detectives Will Barnes and Amanda Isis must unravel Davida's complex, before the killer pulls off a repeat performance.

Baker Southerby was a child prodigy performer. But something leads him to become a Nashville cop. His partner, Lamar Van Gundy, is a would-be studio bassist who earned himself a detective's badge. As part of Nashville PD's elite Murder Squad, they catch a homicide that's high-profile even for a city where musical celebrity is routine.

CAPITAL CRIMES is page-turning, psychologically resonant suspense ---- just what we've come to expect from two of the world's most successful crime writers.

Click here to read more about Jonathan and Faye Kellerman and CAPITAL CRIMES.

Now in Stores: SANTA CRUISE by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark

SANTA CRUISE: A Holiday Mystery at Sea by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark (Mystery)
Reviewed by Amie Taylor
What could be better than a cruise after the hectic holidays to help one unwind and relax? Perhaps a cruise with no stowaways, no crime and no mysteries to be solved! Queen of Suspense Mary Higgins Clark and her daughter Carol --- bestselling author of the Regan Reilly mysteries --- once again join forces to pen a fun, fast-paced novel.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SANTA CRUISE.

Click here to read a review of SANTA CRUISE.


Now in Stores: CROSS by James Patterson

CROSS by James Patterson (Thriller)
Reviewed by Marge Fletcher
Alex Cross was a rising star in the Washington, DC, Police Department when an unknown shooter gunned down his wife, Maria, in front of him. The killer was never found. But years later, when a case involving a serial rapist reveals a connection to Maria's death, Cross braces for the most urgent and terrifying ride of his life.

-Click here to read an excerpt from CROSS.

Click here to read a review of CROSS.

Now in Stores: NATURE GIRL by Carl Hiaasen

NATURE GIRL by Carl Hiaasen (Fiction)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
Honey Santana has a scheme to help rid the world of irresponsibility, indifference and dinnertime sales calls. She's taking telemarketer Boyd Shreave and his less-than-enthusiastic mistress into the wilderness of Florida's Ten Thousand Islands for a gentle lesson in civility.

-Click here to read an excerpt from NATURE GIRL.

Click here to read a review of NATURE GIRL.

Now in Stores: THE AUDACITY OF HOPE by Barack Obama

THE AUDACITY OF HOPE: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama (Current Affairs)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
The junior U.S. Senator from Illinois, a rising star in the political heavens, tells his personal story and lays out his moderate philosophy of government. Political skywatchers are already whispering Barack Obama's name as a possible presidential contender in 2008, so this comprehensive and well-written book is sure to be studied closely.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE AUDACITY OF HOPE.

Click here to read a review of THE AUDACITY OF HOPE.


Recently Reviewed on

As this has been a fall with more big book releases than any time that we can remember, we are providing the following list of recently released --- and reviewed --- titles, in case you may have missed them:

ACT OF TREASON by Vince Flynn
THE BOOK OF FATE by Brad Meltzer
THE COLLECTORS by David Baldacci
THE ECHO MAKER by Richard Powers
ECHO PARK by Michael Connelly
FOR ONE MORE DAY by Mitch Albom
HOME TO BIG STONE GAP by Adriana Trigiani
THE INNOCENT MAN by John Grisham
MOTOR MOUTH by Janet Evanovich
THE LAY OF THE LAND by Richard Ford
LISEY'S STORY by Stephen King
THE MISSION SONG by John le Carre
PAINT IT BLACK by Janet Fitch
THE TESTAMENT by Eric Van Lustbader
THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield

THIRTEEN MOONS by Charles Frazier
WILD FIRE by Nelson DeMille


This Week's Reviews and Features

FROM BAGHDAD, WITH LOVE: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava by Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman (Memoir)
Reviewed by Shannon McKenna
In this inspiring true story, an unlikely band of heroes, led by a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marines, comes together in war-torn Iraq to rescue a stray puppy named Lava. The Marines learn unexpected lessons about life, death and war from this "mangy little mutt."

BLEEDING HEARTS by Ian Rankin (Thriller)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
While loyal fans look forward to the next John Rebus police procedural, Ian Rankin offers readers a fast-paced story of fate, murder for hire, revenge, betrayal, redemption and love in his newest stand-alone thriller, a stellar addition to his ouvre.    

THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS by John Connolly (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
New York Times bestselling author John Connolly takes his writing in an entirely new and imaginative direction with THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS, a rich, reflective exploration of children's fantasy worlds that is no less thrilling than Connolly's previous works.

THROUGH THE CHILDREN'S GATE: A Home in New York by Adam Gopnik (Essays)
Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg
In this perceptive and engaging work, Adam Gopnik claims a place in the tradition of New York observers like E.B. White and Alfred Kazin. Skillfully illuminating the world of Upper Manhattan at the turn of the 21st century, he offers a diverse assortment of essays that will enable even long-time residents of the city to see it with fresh eyes.

BUBBLES ALL THE WAY by Sarah Strohmeyer (Mystery)
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton
The latest in a string of books featuring hairdresser-turned-reporter Bubbles Yablonsky, BUBBLES ALL THE WAY finds our heroine a witness to the death of the much-hated Debbie Shatsky during a hair appointment at the House of Beauty. Bubbles's instincts smell murder, and she is determined to investigate.

GRAVE DESCEND by John Lange (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Diver James McGregor is accustomed to being hired to explore sunken ships. But there's something strange about the wreck of the luxury yacht Grave Descend. No one who was aboard tells quite the same story about what happened. Then there's the matter of the mysterious cargo they were carrying... 

Click here to read our reviews and features. Blog

November 7th Entry:
-I Approve This Message

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

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: Holiday Shopping Schedule

When do you start your holiday shopping?

I already started.
I start right after Thanksgiving.
I wait until December.
I wait until the absolute last minute.
I already am done.
I do not do holiday shopping.
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: A Book Present For You

What book would you most like to receive this holiday season?

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 BROTHER ODD by Dean Koontz and HOLLYWOOD STATION by Joseph Wambaugh.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on December 1st.


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 November 30, 2006 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: THE BOSS by Stan Pottinger, BROTHER ODD by Dean Koontz, DEAR JOHN by Nicholas Sparks, NATURE GIRL by Carl Hiaasen and WILD FIRE by Nelson DeMille. Last month's winner was Edward from Green Lake, PA, who won 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.

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

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