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May 4, 2007 Newsletter

May 4, 2007

This Week on
11 Days, 3 Cities, Dozens of Authors: Priceless Talks to Monica Pradhan, Author of THE HINDI-BINDI CLUB

Author Talk: Conn Iggulden, Author of GENGHIS: BIRTH OF AN EMPIRE

Great Books for Moms for Mother's Day and Congratulations to our Hatbox Contest Winners

Win an Advance Reading Copy of FALLING OUT OF FASHION by Karen Yampolsky

New Featured One to Watch Author: Khaled Hosseini, Author of A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS

Now in Stores: BACK ON BLOSSOM STREET by Debbie Macomber

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Barry Eisler, Author of REQUIEM FOR AN ASSASSIN

Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Todd Buchholz, Author of THE CASTRO GENE

Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Heather Terrell, Author of THE CHRYSALIS

Now in Stores: BOBBIE FAYE'S VERY (VERY, VERY, VERY) BAD DAY by Toni McGee Causey

Now in Stores: DON'T SLEEP WITH A BUBBA by Susan Reinhardt

What's New on

This Week's Reviews and Features

Poll and Question of the Week

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
Books Into Movies
Bestseller Lists
Coming Soon
New in Paperback
11 Days, 3 Cities, Dozens of Authors: Priceless
I love to take pictures when I travel, and I am noted for shooting a lot of photos when I am on the road. What's interesting about my literary travel is that I rarely shoot an author photo or anything at book festivals and events. I bring back a hundred anecdotes, but rarely do I snap a picture. I had a friend who told me he never shot pictures of mountains, because they never looked as special when you got home and looked at them. The memory was dwarfed once you looked at it. I think these experiences are the same way for me. It's not about how the author looks, but rather about what they said. I find myself running their conversations like film in my head. 

I did almost take a photo at one point last weekend in Los Angeles --- and I actually regret that I did not. Ray Bradbury was giving a talk at the LA Book Festival, and I was lucky enough to have a seat in the third row for this event. Bradbury, who is now 86 years old, spoke for over an hour with no notes. You could hear a pin drop except for the moments of spontaneous laughter and applause. He was passionate and engaging. At the end he was being wheeled from the stage as he is now in a wheelchair. He sat there waving to the crowd and for a moment just stopped and smiled while he drank in appreciation of the crowd. You could see it just washing over him. I caught a look of true happiness on his face.  

People all around me were snapping pictures furiously and I almost went for my camera. Instead, I memorized the moment. And then I did something else. I turned around and looked at what Bradbury was seeing. Royce Hall was filled to capacity, which I have read is 1,800 people. All were standing and applauding him. Knowing that this may be one of the last times I ever see this literary legend I was really moved by this experience. It was quite a memory.  

I still owe you all a blog about my bookish adventure, which I look forward to sharing. For now I am leaving you with a link to the winners of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, which you can read here.

Also, I have learned that audio versions of the author talks and presentations will be made available in the weeks to come. When that link is available I will get it to you so you can share this experience, albeit from afar by hearing your favorite authors' presentations. 
 This week we have advance reader comments about Wendy Corsi Staub's DON'T SCREAM, Paula Wall's THE WILDE WOMEN and Cathy Lamb's JULIA'S CHOCOLATES, as well as answers to readers’ questions from Karen Robards and Beverly Barton. 

Our Word of Mouth selections are BODY SURFING by Anita Shreve, UP IN HONEY'S ROOM by Elmore Leonard and SOUL PATCH by Reed Farrel Coleman. Let us know what you are reading here to enter.  

While I love to travel, I am sitting in my office at the house where I work on Friday humming the line by Paul Simon, "Gee, but it's great to be back home." I love to travel and meet people, but after being gone the last five out of six weekends the thought of sorting and folding laundry, hanging in the hammock and cooking dinner sounds just terrific. The weather here is glorious, the trees are in bloom and all feels quite right with the world.  

Here's wishing you all a nice weekend. Don't forget shopping for Mother's Day. Funny aside: the other night I was at my younger son's baseball game where it was really chilly and damp. A friend called and asked why I did not go home. I said, "Mother's Day is coming; I need some extra points." Enjoy your reading.

Carol Fitzgerald (

Click here to enter our Word of Mouth Contest.
Coming Soon Talks to Monica Pradhan, Author of THE HINDI-BINDI CLUB

Monica Pradhan's debut novel, THE HINDI-BINDI CLUB, is a tale about the meaningful but complex relationships between mothers and daughters, as well as the struggles that first-generation Indian-American children experience with their immigrant parents. In this interview with's Bronwyn Miller, Pradhan describes the event that inspired her to write this book and expresses her desire to fully capture the various facets of the Indian-American experience. She also discusses her writing roots as a romance novelist and her decision to venture into mainstream fiction, shares which aspects of her parents' culture she treasures most, and touches upon the disparities between eastern beliefs and western practices.

THE HINDI-BINDI CLUB by Monica Pradhan (Fiction)
Three Indian women hold fast to their history, their recipes and their desire of a better life for their daughters. Nicknamed "The Hindi Bindi Club" by their American-born offspring, they try to adjust to the challenges facing their more western-thinking daughters while keeping the spirit and traditions of their past alive. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

Click here to read our interview with Monica Pradhan and a review of THE HINDI-BINDI CLUB.


Author Talk: Conn Iggulden, Author of GENGHIS: BIRTH OF AN EMPIRE

Conn Iggulden is no stranger to historical fiction --- he is the author of the acclaimed Emperor series, which consists of four books chronicling the life of Julius Caesar. In this Author Talk, Iggulden describes his first trip to Mongolia while researching the landscape and the main character of his latest work, GENGHIS: BIRTH OF AN EMPIRE. He shares his experiences attempting to communicate via mime gestures, becoming afflicted with his very first saddle sores prior to driving cross country in a jeep, and relishing in day-to-day activities with locals.

GENGHIS: BIRTH OF AN EMPIRE by Conn Iggulden (Historical Fiction)
This first book in an exciting new historical series chronicles the youth of Temujin, the son of a khan, and brings us up to the point where he manages to unite many tribes and take on the identity by which we know him: Genghis Khan, the emperor of Mongolia. Reviewed by Colleen Quinn.

Click here to read an Author Talk with Conn Iggulden and a review of GENGHIS: BIRTH OF AN EMPIRE.


Great Books for Moms for Mother's Day and Congratulations to our Hatbox Contest Winners

The countdown to Mother's Day is on! JULIA’S CHOCOLATES by Cathy Lamb, MARS NEEDS MOMS! by Berkeley Breathed, SWIMMING LESSONS and TURTLE SUMMER by Mary Alice Monroe and VIRGIN RIVER by Robyn Carr are some great choices. Our Mother's Day Contest is over, but thanks to all the readers who entered and told us their favorite book that their moms read to them. 

Click here to see our Mother's Day suggestions.


Win an Advance Reading Copy of FALLING OUT OF FASHION by Karen Yampolsky

To celebrate the release of FALLING OUT OF FASHION by Karen Yampolsky, which hit stores on April 24th, has teamed up with Kensington Publishing to offer 20 readers the chance to win an advance copy of the book.

To enter, simply send your name and mailing address to by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, May 22nd. Please note that P.O. Boxes will not be accepted.

In the bestselling tradition of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, Karen Yampolsky’s hilarious and disarmingly candid debut goes deep inside the glossy, glamorous, and completely ruthless world of magazine publishing, where bitchiness and betrayal are always in vogue, and this month’s hotshots are just one dud issue away from a pink slip and a one-line career obit on Page Six…

-Click here to read all the contest details.

Click here to read more about FALLING OUT OF FASHION.


New Featured One to Watch Author: Khaled Hosseini, Author of A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS

We are beyond thrilled to be featuring Khaled Hosseini, author of the runaway bestseller THE KITE RUNNER, as our newest One to Watch author. Hosseini's newest is A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS --- coming out May 22nd --- and is a haunting, heartbreaking, compelling story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship and an indestructible love.

-Click here to see our advance copy winners.
here to read critical praise for Khaled Hosseini. 

More about
Propelled by the same superb instinct for storytelling that made
THE KITE RUNNER a beloved classic, A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS is at once an incredible chronicle of thirty years of Afghan history and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation to be found in love.

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them --- in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul --- they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman's love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.

Click here to read more about Khaled Hosseini and A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS.


Now in Stores: BACK ON BLOSSOM STREET by Debbie Macomber


Wherever you are, Debbie Macomber takes you home.

BACK ON BLOSSOM STREET is the heartwarming new novel from New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber that readers who loved A GOOD YARN and THE SHOP ON BLOSSOM STREET have been waiting for. A page-turner about friendship, love and the secrets in a woman's heart. Also available, the much-anticipated paperback release of SUSANNAH'S GARDEN.

Bring Debbie home today!

Read more about Debbie Macomber and BACK ON BLOSSOM STREET at

Click here to read more about BACK ON BLOSSOM STREET.


Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Barry Eisler, Author of REQUIEM FOR AN ASSASSIN

We are thrilled to be shining our Suspense/Thriller spotlight on Barry Eisler, whose latest addition to his popular John Rain series, REQUIEM FOR AN ASSASSIN, hits stores May 22nd.

-Click here to see our advance copy winners.
-Click here to read Fast Facts about Barry Eisler.
-Click here to see Barry Eisler's backlist.

-Click here to read critical praise for REQUIEM FOR AN ASSASSIN.
-Click here to read an excerpt from REQUIEM FOR AN ASSASSIN.

If you had to kill three people to save your best friend's life, would you do it?

When John Rain decides to get out of the business, his hand is forced by rogue CIA operative Jim Hilger. Hilger kidnaps Dox, Rain's trusted partner and closest friend, and offers Rain a choice: carry out a final assignment, or bear the responsibility for Dox's murder.

For a professional like John Rain, the choice ought to be easy: Do the job --- a series of three hits --- then walk away. But how does Rain know Jim Hilger won't kill Dox anyway, once the assignment is complete? How does he know that each of the hits isn't simultaneously a setup for Rain himself? And what will he do when he finds out that among the targets of this lethal game of extortion is someone else Rain cares about deeply?

Click here to read more about Barry Eisler and REQUIEM FOR AN ASSASSIN.

Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Todd Buchholz, Author of THE CASTRO GENE

Our second featured Debut Suspense/Thriller author is Todd Buchholz, whose book THE CASTRO GENE is an intricately plotted knockout that hits stores May 15th. 

-Click here to see our advance copy winners.
-Click here to read a new excerpt from THE CASTRO GENE.

After killing a man in the ring, Luke Braden quits boxing. While toiling as a security guard and yearning to reinvent himself, Luke is swept up into the high-flying domain of Paul Tremont. Tremont, the hottest hedge fund hand around, has a penchant for the dramatic and a disquieting need to control. Being Tremont’s protégé has its perks –-- Luke trades in his ratty basement apartment for a penthouse view, his gym clothes for designer suits. But there are strings attached, and Tremont is pulling those strings.

Why does Tremont need a washed-up boxer? The answer lies not in what Luke is, but who he is. Luke Braden is the only man who can execute Tremont’s diabolical scheme. 

Click here to read more about Todd Buchholz and THE CASTRO GENE.


Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Heather Terrell, Author of THE CHRYSALIS

We are thrilled to bring you our newest Debut Suspense/Thriller author --- Heather Terrell, whose provocative historical page-turner THE CHRYSALIS hits stores May 15th.

-Click here to see our advance copy winners.
-Click here to read a new excerpt from THE CHRYSALIS

Haarlem, Holland, seventeenth-century: The city’s chief magistrate commissions a family portrait from Dutch master painter Johannes Miereveld. But when the artist sees the magistrate’s daughter, Amalia, an illicit love affair begins. Miereveld creates a captivating masterpiece, THE CHRYSALIS --- a stunning portrait of the Virgin Mary, full of Catholic symbols, that outrages his Protestant patron and signals the death of his career.

Spanning centuries and continents, THE CHRYSALIS is a brilliant, intelligent, fast-paced thriller that melds art and history into a provocative work of fiction. From the underground Catholicism in seventeenth-century Holland to the unspeakable crimes of the Nazis and the repercussions that reverberate to this day throughout the art world, Heather Terrell has created a fascinating story that will entrance readers to the very last page.

Click here to read more about Heather Terrell and THE CHRYSALIS.


Now in Stores: BOBBIE FAYE'S VERY (VERY, VERY, VERY) BAD DAY by Toni McGee Causey


A fast-paced, hysterically funny caper starring Bobbie Faye (that's Cajun for "Kick-ass"),
 a smart, gutsy, full-of attitude heroine who doesn't take sass from anybody. Newcomer Toni McGee Causey knows Louisiana intimately and it shows. Bobbie Faye runs amok through the bayou determined to outwit the police, organized crime, former boyfriends and her accidental hostage to get back in time to take her place as Queen in the Lake Charles Contraband Days Festival. 



Click here to read more about BOBBIE FAYE'S VERY (VERY, VERY, VERY) BAD DAY.

Now in Stores: DON'T SLEEP WITH A BUBBA by Susan Reinhardt

DON'T SLEEP WITH A BUBBA by Susan Reinhardt

The laugh-out-loud columnist and beloved author of NOT TONIGHT, HONEY, WAIT TIL I'M A SIZE 6, whom Booklist has called “a modern-day Southern-fried Erma Bombeck” has a whole new batch of totally uncensored, side-splittingly hilarious, and blisteringly honest stories for readers to enjoy!
Read more about DON"T SLEEP WITH A BUBBA here.

What's New on

The following reading guides are now available on

90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey
BANK by David Bledin
BLACK & WHITE by Dani Shapiro
FRENCH BY HEART by Rebecca S. Ramsey
THE HINDI-BINDI CLUB by Monica Pradhan
THE LOVE SEASON by Elin Hilderbrand
THE NEW YORKERS by Cathleen Schine
THE ORGANIC GOD by Margaret Feinberg
OVER HER HEAD by Shelley Bates
THE OVERLOOK by Michael Connelly
THE ROPE WALK by Carrie Brown
SAVING THE WORLD by Julia Alvarez
THE SECOND COMING of Mavala Shikongo
THE WEDDING OFFICER by Anthony Capella
WHAT TO EAT by Marion Nestle

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

BETWEEN, GEORGIA by Joshilyn Jackson
CELLOPHANE by Marie Arana
ONCE UPON A DAY by Lisa Tucker

Click here to visit


This Week's Reviews and Features

THE CHILDREN OF HURIN by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien (Fantasy)
The first complete book by the late J.R.R. Tolkien in three decades --- since the publication of THE SILMARILLION in 1977 --- THE CHILDREN OF HURIN reunites fans of THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS with elves and men, dragons and dwarves, eagles and orcs. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN'S UNION by Michael Chabon (Fiction)
A Jewish proverb advises, "Do not ask questions of fairy tales." Readers of THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN'S UNION would be wise to keep that guidance in mind as they journey through a book that is as audacious in its plot as any novel of recent memory. It is nonetheless a remarkable literary work by the highly talented Michael Chabon. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE YIDDISH POLICEMAN'S UNION.

THE NAMING OF THE DEAD by Ian Rankin (Police Procedural)
The leaders of the free world descend on Scotland for an international conference. During a dinner at Edinburgh Castle, a delegate falls to his death. Is it an accident, a suicide --- or something altogether more sinister? While the government and secret services attempt to hush the whole thing up, Inspector John Rebus knows he has only 72 hours to find the answers. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

THE ALIBI MAN by Tami Hoag (Mystery)
Tami Hoag's faithful readers will remember Elena Estes, who played a heroic and tragic role in the 2002 novel DARK HORSE. THE ALIBI MAN marks the return of Estes, one of Hoag's most complicated, difficult and intriguing characters. Damaged but not broken, Estes unofficially investigates the murder of a co-worker, which will force her to confront her past, present and future. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

BLOODTHIRSTY: A Lomax & Biggs Mystery, by Marshall Karp (Mystery)
Witty, wisecracking detectives Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs are back in Marshall Karp's follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut mystery, THE RABBIT FACTORY. This time, Lomax and Biggs discover that Hollywood is even more cutthroat than they had imagined, as a movie deal turns into a serial murder investigation that threatens to bleed the Hollywood police department --- not to mention a bunch of celebrities --- dry. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

SEASON OF THE WITCH by Natasha Mostert (Gothic Thriller)
Natasha Mostert's gothic thriller tells the story of Gabriel Blackstone --- hacker, information thief and skilled "remote viewer." Asked by a former lover to investigate the disappearance of her stepson, Gabriel's suspicions fall on two beautiful witch sisters who live in a rambling Victorian house in London. Reviewed by Bethanne Kelly Patrick.

AMERICAN OUTRAGE by Tim Green (Thriller)
Jake Carlson, a correspondent for a popular television news show, uses his investigative skills to find the truth for his adopted son about Sam's biological mother. Jake uncovers a horrifying ring of deceit and black market child trafficking that he never could have imagined. Worse, Jake is inextricably tied to this nefarious syndicate. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

POOR PEOPLE by William T. Vollmann (Sociology)
Complete with more than 100 powerfully affecting photographs, William T. Vollmann's book is a slow, subtle travelogue through the world of poverty that lies just beyond the parts of our planet that surround our airports, car rental agencies, safe houses and decent eateries. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

DARK ROOM by Andrea Kane (Romantic Suspense)
When she was a child, Morgan Winter discovered the bloody bodies of her murdered parents, and her life was destroyed in that moment. Now, 17 years later, Morgan has rebuilt her life, but all of her hard-won progress may be for naught when she learns that the wrong man was convicted of the crime and that a killer still roams free. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

AN ACCIDENTAL AMERICAN by Alex Carr (Thriller)
Nicole Blake is an ex-convict who is attempting to live quietly in the French countryside. But her life is shattered when she is drawn unwillingly into an international conspiracy in which her past relationships --- and heritage --- come back to haunt her in ways she never thought possible. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

SUMMER AT TIFFANY by Marjorie Hart (Memoir)
Judy Garland. Marlene Dietrich. Gangsters, politicians and Mr. Tiffany himself. All of these larger-than-life figures have important roles to play in Marjorie Hart's engaging memoir, SUMMER AT TIFFANY, but the most charming roles go to Hart herself and her best friend Marty. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

PROMISE NOT TO TELL by Jennifer McMahon (Mystery)
"I killed someone tonight," Kate Cypher tells readers right up front, setting up the ominous, haunting atmosphere of this irresistible tale. PROMISE NOT TO TELL is part murder mystery and part meditation on friendship, family and the possibility of redemption. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

STEALING BUDDHA'S DINNER by Bich Minh Nguyen (Memoir)
This powerful memoir is written by a young Asian American woman whose family fled Saigon the day it fell to the Communists. In STEALING BUDDHA'S DINNER, she has painstakingly recreated her childhood from the point of view of an outsider who desperately wants to fit in. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

FINAL EXAM: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality, by Pauline W. Chen (Memoir)
Searching for a sense of control --- or at least comfort --- in her professional life, Dr. Pauline W. Chen writes a touching, if at times gruesome, account of how she learned to deal with the ultimate downside of medicine: death. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

Click here to read our reviews and features.


Poll and Question of the Week


Which of the following best describes how many books you read in one month?

More than 10
-Click here to answer our Poll.

What book are you most looking forward to reading?
-Click here to answer our Question of the Week


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 May 31, 2007 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: BAD LUCK AND TROUBLE: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child, THE GOOD GUY by Dean Koontz, LETHALLY BLOND by Kate White, LYING WITH STRANGERS by James Grippando, and THE OVERLOOK by Michael Connelly. Last month's newsletter winner was Mary Ellen from New Egypt, NJ who won BODY SURFING by Anita Shreve, THE GOOD HUSBAND OF ZEBRA DRIVE by Alexander McCall Smith, I HEARD THAT SONG BEFORE by Mary Higgins Clark, LACED: A Regan Reilly Mystery by Carol Higgins Clark, and THE WOODS by Harlan Coben.

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