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May 11, 2007 Newsletter

May 11, 2007

This Week on

Cookbooks With Memories

Author Talk: Sally Koslow, Author of LITTLE PINK SLIPS

New Featured One to Watch Author: Andrea Portes, Author of HICK

Available in Paperback May 15th: BABY PROOF by Emily Giffin

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

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

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: THE FIVE-FORTY-FIVE TO CANNES by Tess Uriza Holthe Has Been Updated

What's New on

This Week's Reviews and Features

Poll and Question of the Week

Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading --- THREE 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
Books Into Movies
Bestseller Lists
Coming Soon
New in Paperback

Cookbooks With Memories

Wednesday night I got home around 8:30 to find Cory, my younger son, the one who usually is so buried in a book that he barely acknowledges my arrival home, standing by the door saying, "I need to make homemade chocolate chip cookies for school tomorrow and we have no butter." Well there went my plan to sit on the couch and eat some dinner, read and relax. In his defense, he had mentioned this and the lack of butter the evening before, but all three people who could hit the store blanked on remembering to get there.
I quickly enlisted my older son, who has a newly minted driver's license and a car of his own, to hit the grocery store for me. I even was happy to pay the "gas fee" that was negotiated into this errand. (By the way, I need to learn to give him smaller bills when he does errands as I never get change.)
Cory had pulled out THE SILVER PALATE COOKBOOK and opened it to the page with the recipe for GIANT chocolate chip cookies. The book was able to stay open pretty much on its own. The page with the recipe had a number of fingerprints and what looked like batter splatters, and there may even have been some flour in the spine. Yes, I have at least two of those handy dandy acrylic cookbook holders, but they never seem to make their way out of the closet to do what I bought them for. Looking at that recipe page made me wish that I had penciled in all the times we had made these cookies over the years. It would have been a diary of our baking adventures. I see that a 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION SILVER PALATE COOKBOOK is now available. Hmmmm...that would be a great Mother's Day present for me! I got this cookbook shortly after I was married, and I always say it made me a better cook.
Those who have been reading this newsletter for a while know how much I LOVE to make cupcakes and other small-sized cakes. I have come across a beautiful cookbook with some gorgeous decorated cakes and clear instructions on how to create them. It's THE CONFETTI CAKES COOKBOOK by Elisa Strauss, who is the founder and head designer of Confetti Cakes in New York. These cakes are both elaborate and whimsical. I am looking at flipflop, pool ball, polka dot and snowman cupcakes, as well these scrumptious-looking ones with crystals. And the cake ideas. If you love to bake, or even if you just want to try a project with the theme, this is the book for you.
As always, we have an exciting lineup for you this week. To kick it off we have an interview with Sally Koslow. Years ago when I first started working at Mademoiselle magazine, Sally was an editor there. She went on to work at many other magazines, including the editor-in-chief position at McCall's, before it was taken over --- or can we say trampled on --- by Rosie O'Donnell. Sally's LITTLE PINK SLIPS is a rollicking fun roman au clef about the magazine world, and I can vouch for so many of the adventures she pens as being dead on. It's reviewed by Kathy Weissman, who also worked at Mademoiselle, so reading this review was lots of fun for me. You can read more about Sally and the book at
Our new One to Watch author is Andrea Portes, whose book HICK hit stores on April 15th. It's about a 13-year-old who leaves her home in Nebraska and heads to Las Vegas, where a roving obsessive with a violent streak and a fading but lovely grifter do battle for her head and heart. If you would like to be one of our 10 readers who will read the book and comment on it, please send a note to by Friday, May 18th.
We also announce our Mother's Day Hatbox Contest winners this week. Thanks to all of you who took the time to enter. We are sharing some of your entries along with the winners this week, so be sure to take a look at this feature. It's been fun seeing what books your moms read you when you were a child. 

I am heading out to shop for beach bag items as next Friday we kick off our summer-long Summer Beach Bag of Books promotion. Between reading the books, I have been jotting notes for summery items I see being part of these beach bags. Make sure you check back next week to see our summer lineup.

Since one can never hear it enough, I am wishing all the moms out there a Happy Mother's Day. Here's wishing you a day where you take some time for yourself. I was teasing Cory when we made the cookies the other night til 10:30(!) that this meant I should get an extra smooch Sunday. And he agreed. By the way, the cookies were for health class. They were an example of a healthy food. I still am trying to figure how cookies with butter, sugar and chocolate count as healthy. Cory told me they would have been unhealthy if they were store-bought. All I can think is that maybe "we" were the unhealthy example.

Have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (


Author Talk: Sally Koslow, Author of LITTLE PINK SLIPS

Sally Koslow relied on her years spent as the editor-in-chief of McCall's to give readers the inside scoop on the magazine industry in her debut novel, LITTLE PINK SLIPS. In this interview, Koslow reveals her sole reason for writing the book, and discusses the biggest differences between creating fiction and nonfiction. She also describes her habits for overcoming procrastination, shares some of her thoughts on America's obsession with celebrities and explains why running a magazine was her ultimate dream job.

LITTLE PINK SLIPS by Sally Koslow (Fiction)
More fun than a newsstand full of glossy monthlies, this ex-magazine editor's workplace roman à clef has the authority of someone who's Been There --- as well as descriptions galore of glamorous clothes, hot sex and behind-the-scenes corporate nastiness. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.

-Click here to read a review of LITTLE PINK SLIPS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from LITTLE PINK SLIPS.
-For more, visit Sally Koslow's website,

Click here to read an interview with Sally Koslow.


New Featured One to Watch Author: Andrea Portes, Author of HICK

We are pleased to announce that Andrea Portes is our newest One to Watch author. Her debut novel HICK --- which is now available in stores --- tracks the real perils that modern teenagers so often face. And it does so with bright wit, energy and an indomitable spirit.

We have 10 copies of HICK to give to readers who would like to read and comment on the book. Interested? Send your name and mailing address to by Friday, May 18th.

Because the book is already in stores, readers will notice some differences in the timing of our One to Watch feature for Andrea Portes. This week we are featuring the following:

-Click here to read a review of HICK.
-Click here to read Andrea Portes's bio.
-Visit Andrea Portes's website,

HICK by Andrea Portes (Fiction)
Foreseeing a hopeless future in barrooms and parking lots, cagey 13-year-old Luli McMullen bolts headlong from the heartland, aiming at Las Vegas where she expects to find herself a sugar daddy. Almost immediately, crooked-bodied Eddie Kreezer, a roving obsessive with a violent streak, and a fading but lovely grifter named Glenda begin to do battle for Luli's head and heart. Reviewed by Alexis Burling.

Click here to read more about Andrea Portes and HICK.


Available in Paperback May 15th: BABY PROOF by Emily Giffin

BABY PROOF by Emily Giffin (Fiction)
From the author of the smash hits SOMETHING BORROWED and SOMETHING BLUE comes a novel that explores the question: is there ever a deal-breaker when it comes to true love?  First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes...a baby carriage? Isn’t that what all women want?
Not so for Claudia Parr in BABY PROOF. And just as she gives up on finding a man who feels the same way, she meets warm, wonderful Ben. Things seem too good to be true when they fall in love and agree to buck tradition with a satisfying, child-free marriage. Then the unexpected occurs: one of them has a change of heart. One of them wants children after all. This is the witty, heartfelt story about what happens to the perfect couple when they suddenly want different things.


Click here to read more about BABY PROOF.


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

Our Mother's Day Hatbox Contest has ended, and we’re pleased to announce our five winners: Heather from Easton, PA, who has fond memories of her mother reading the Little House on the Prairie series; Judy from West Carrollton, OH, whose mother read her LITTLE WOMEN; Kerri from Eclectic, AL, remembers mom reading THE VELVETEEN RABBIT; Marcia from Gray, ME, whose mother read from ALICE IN WONDERLAND; and Michael from Orland Park, IL, whose mother read him GREEN EGGS AND HAM. Thanks to all the readers who entered and told us their favorite book that their moms read to them.

-Click here to see what other readers had to say.

Looking for a last-minute gift to give to Mom on Sunday? Our featured Mother's Day titles --- 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.


Click here to see our Mother's Day feature.


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

We are beyond thrilled to be featuring Khaled Hosseini, who wrote the runaway bestseller THE KITE RUNNER, as one of our One to Watch authors. 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.
-Click here to see Khaled Hosseini's backlist. 

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.


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


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


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

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 a new excerpt from REQUIEM FOR AN ASSASSIN.

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

One of our featured Debut Suspense/Thriller authors 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

Our second Debut Suspense/Thriller author is Heather Terrell, whose provocative historical page-turner THE CHRYSALIS hits stores May 15th.

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

More about
, 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: THE FIVE-FORTY-FIVE TO CANNES by Tess Uriza Holthe

THE FIVE-FORTY-FIVE TO CANNES by Tess Uriza Holthe (Fiction/Short Stories) 

In THE FIVE-FORTY-FIVE TO CANNES, Tess Uriza Holthe peers deeply into the inner lives of women and men, while evoking the sensual grace and richness of the land and culture they share: the time-stopping quality of an exquisite and leisurely meal taken at a tiny ristorante in an unmapped village; the salty breeze that wafts through the open bedroom window of an elegant chateau by the sea; the pulse of life at the festival in Rapallo, in the bullrings of Pamplona, and on the streets of Cannes when the movie people have gone. Sad and lovely, often at the same time, THE FIVE-FORTY-FIVE TO CANNES takes us to places where we are happy to linger, in the world and in the human heart.

Click here to read more about THE FIVE-FORTY-FIVE TO CANNES. Has Been Updated, The Book Report Network's website for Christian readers, has been updated. Looking for a last-minute gift to give to Mom on Sunday, or planning to get a head start on Dad's special day? Then be sure to check out our Mother's Day and Father's Day roundups for some bookish suggestions. In addition to an interview with award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick, we're spotlighting THE ORGANIC GOD by Margaret Feinberg and Karen Kingsbury's SUNRISE in features that include a reading group guide for each title. We also have added 10 new reviews in three different categories: Faithful Fiction, Christian Living and Marriage and Family Life.

Click here to visit


What's New on

On book clubs have the chance to win one of 25 copies of Khaled Hosseini's much-anticipated second novel, A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS. The deadline to enter this special contest is Tuesday, May 15th. Click here for more details. 

The following reading guides are now available on

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 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

We have the following new guides for Christian book groups:
90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey
THE ORGANIC GOD by Margaret Feinberg
OVER HER HEAD by Shelley Bates
Please click here to visit

This Week's Reviews and Features

THE 6th TARGET by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro (Thriller)
The members of The Women's Murder Club deal with their most difficult --- and dangerous --- cases yet, as a serial killer, a kidnapper and a deadly vandal terrorize the streets and homes of San Francisco. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE 6th TARGET.

BODY SURFING by Anita Shreve (Fiction)
Sydney, divorced and widowed at age 29, begins to re-emerge into her life when she tutors a teenager on New Hampshire's coast. When the family's sons arrive, they set events into domino-toppling motion, testing Sydney's character --- and keeping the reader turning pages far into the night. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt from BODY SURFING.

ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver (Memoir)
Leave it to Barbara Kingsolver to make her first full-length nonfiction book just as engaging as any novel. In ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE, Kingsolver relates the story of the year in which her whole family ate only locally produced food --- and she challenges readers to reexamine, and transform, their old eating habits and damaging ways of thinking about food. Reviewed by Norah Piehl and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt from ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE.

AFTER DARK by Haruki Murakami (Fiction)
Haruki Murakami's 12th work of fiction centers on two sisters --- Eri, who has been asleep and perhaps trapped in a dark dream world for two months, and Mari, who is struggling to understand Eri's bizarre slumber and their relationship, all the while trying to plan for her own future. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

THE RIVER KNOWS by Amanda Quick (Romance)
Late Victorian London is on the precipice of becoming thoroughly modern. Our heroine, Louisa Bryce, is a ghostwriter for a notorious London rag, and illicit affairs are the topic of her columns. Stolen moments with handsome Anthony Stalbridge replicate Louisa's fantasies garnered from "sensation novels." Reviewed by Hillary Wagy.

FREE FIRE: A Joe Picket Novel by C. J. Box (Mystery)
Joe Pickett, having recently been fired from his job as a Wyoming game warden, is working on his father-in-law's ranch when he receives a call from the governor's office. Governor Rulon will reinstate Pickett as a game warden if he investigates the circumstances behind four murders that have taken place in Yellowstone National Park. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE UNKNOWN TERRORIST by Richard Flanagan (Thriller)
What would you do if you turned on the television and saw you were the most wanted terrorist in the country? Gina Davies is about to find out when, after a night spent with an attractive stranger, she becomes a prime suspect in the investigation of an attempted terrorist attack. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

STORMY WEATHER by Paulette Jiles (Historical Fiction)
This beautifully written novel tells the poignant tale of a family who overcomes poverty, tragedy and shame while scratching out a living in the Texas oilfields during the Great Depression. Paulette Jiles has created, in Jeanine Stoddard, a courageous and determined young woman who finds hope and love in the face of adversity. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

THE ROPE WALK by Carrie Brown (Fiction)
Ten-year-old Alice MacCauley and her playmate, Theo Swann, are the heroes of this frank and tender portrayal of two children coming of age in the course of a Vermont summer. Veteran literary novelist Carrie Brown brings her considerable gifts to bear in creating this affecting tale. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

BABY LOVE by Rebecca Walker (Memoir)
Rebecca Walker, the daughter of literary icon Alice Walker, tells the story of her pregnancy: not just the physical evolution, but also the emotional and intellectual transformation from ambivalence to certainty to unconditional love. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

LUNCHEON OF THE BOATING PARTY by Susan Vreeland (Historical Fiction)
Susan Vreeland has gained a well-deserved reputation for creating credible, fascinating fictional portraits of some of the great artists in history. Now, in LUNCHEON OF THE BOATING PARTY, Vreeland turns her pen to Pierre Auguste Renoir and the genesis of the painting that will make or break his career. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

TOO FAR FROM HOME: A Story of Life and Death in Space by Chris Jones (Science)
Chris Jones takes readers aboard the International Space Station with a vividness of emotional detail that makes every nut and bolt stand out and every breath taken by three astronauts marooned after the Columbia disaster seem as real as being there. Reviewed by Pauline Finch.

Click here to read this week's reviews and features.


Poll and Question of the Week


Do you read before you go to sleep at night?

Every night
Most nights
Some of the time

-Click here to answer our poll.


What is the last book that kept you up reading longer than you planned?

-Click here to answer our Question of the Week.

Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading --- THREE Prizes!

Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't.

This week we have three great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of BAD LUCK AND TROUBLE: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child, LETHALLY BLOND by Kate White, and FALLING MAN by Don DeLillo.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on May 25th.

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 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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