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May 18, 2007 Newsletter

May 18, 2007

This Week on

Going Postal.... Talks to Heather Terrell, Author of THE CHRYSALIS Talks to Todd Buchholz, Author of THE CASTRO GENE

Our Summer Beach Bag Contest is Back! Spotlight This Week on THE WEDDING OFFICER by Anthony Capella

Our Newest One to Watch Author: Carol Goodman, Author of THE SONNET LOVER

Featured One to Watch Author: Khaled Hosseini, Author of A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS -- In Stores Tuesday, May 22nd

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Barry Eisler, Author of REQUIEM FOR AN ASSASSIN -- In Stores Tuesday, May 22nd

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

Author Talk: Leslie Schnur, Author of LATE NIGHT TALKING

Now in Stores in Paperback: BABY PROOF by Emily Giffin

Now in Stores: IN THE TENTH HOUSE by Laura Dietz

Now In Stores: KEEP IT REAL by Bill Bryan

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

Summer Beach Bag of Books Promotion

Going Postal....

Is there anyone else annoyed about the postage increase this week? I find this maddening since I feel like we are being asked to invest more in something that is a failing system. Sending and receiving mail has become a game that is about as much fun as trying to figure out the timing of traffic patterns at the Lincoln Tunnel (which I have not figured out in 29 years of commuting). We still get mail from the person who owned our house two people before us, which is not astounding unless you realize we have owned this house for 17 years. I used to be able to mail something in New York City to someone in New York City and have it get there in a day. Now it could be a day, or a week, IF it gets there at all. No wonder I love email. The way I see it, if I relied on the post office to get you this newsletter, you might never hear about new releases --- and you would miss all contest deadlines. And that's my two cents on this, which is the same cost as the increase.
This week we kick off our Third Annual Summer Beach Bag of Books feature with its weekly contests. Look down our list to make your own summer reading list. As you know I love these contests as I enjoy getting creative with the prizes we coordinate to spotlight the featured books. I have a room in our house that my boys have renamed Beach Bag Central. Looking on the shelves there, I feel like it's summer as I have been pulling together towels, beach bags and other beach essentials in all colors to create the bags. See details on how to enter our first contest for THE WEDDING OFFICER below...and mangia and good luck.

For those of you who are John Grisham fans, note that he will be on "Dateline NBC" on Tuesday, May 22nd talking about his nonfiction book, THE INNOCENT MAN. As you know, Grisham rarely tours or does speaking engagements, so this is a terrific opportunity to hear him talk about his work.
In stores now is Lee Child's new one, BAD LUCK AND TROUBLE. I saw Lee at the Virginia Festival of the Book in March. During his talk he cleverly repeated a number of times that the book would be on sale May 15th. It completely stuck with me as he said it over and over. I think the entire room was hypnotized to remember the date by the time he was done. Jack Reacher is back...and fans will enjoy this one.
Our new One to Watch author is Carol Goodman, whose book THE SONNET LOVER hits stores on June 12th. It's about a literature professor who travels to Italy to explore if Shakespeare penned a series of passionate sonnets, unknown to modern scholarship, ardently praising a mysterious dark-haired beauty. It's a question raised by her student, a troubled, enigmatic young man who plunged to his death in front of the college’s entire faculty --- an apparent suicide --- and she's determined to find the truth. 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 25th.
This week we have advance reader comments about GENGHIS by Conn Iggulden, and both Wendy Corsi Staub and Cathy Lamb answer reader questions.

Next week we kick off our Father's Day Duffel Bag of Books feature with ideas for dads. My garden needs clearing, cleaning and planting, so that's on the agenda for the weekend unless it rains. Reading THE WEDDING OFFICER has me inspired to do some cooking, and my visit to the local Italian food store this morning yielded some nice ingredients and included a freshly made canoli that I inhaled in the car. GREAT breakfast! I have a pile of summer reading books for Beach Bag that I cannot wait to get into.

Have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald ( Talks to Heather Terrell, Author of THE CHRYSALIS

Heather Terrell --- a litigator who has worked at some of the country's top law firms and Fortune 500 companies --- has published her debut work of fiction, which combines her knowledge of the law and her passion for the fine arts. In this interview with's Joe Hartlaub, Terrell recounts the hypothetical question she was asked that sparked the idea for THE CHRYSALIS and describes the research she conducted on 17th-century artists and Nazi practices during World War II in preparation for the book. She also reveals some of her favorite art museums, discusses her writing influences and shares details about her next novel featuring protagonist Mara Coyne.

THE CHRYSALIS by Heather Terrell (Thriller)
A highly-prized painting, the captivating masterpiece known as The Chrysalis, is the source of a mystery that threatens to derail the career of an ambitious attorney, even as it reveals a decades-old conspiracy of theft and murder. Heather Terrell's debut novel is a fast-paced thriller that melds art and history into a provocative work of fiction. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read a review of THE CHRYSALIS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE CHRYSALIS. 

Click here to read our interview with Heather Terrell. Talks to Todd Buchholz, Author of THE CASTRO GENE

In addition to advising the White House on economic policy, teaching at Harvard and managing a multi-billion-dollar hedge fund, Todd Buchholz has written five nonfiction books and one novel, the newly released THE CASTRO GENE. In this interview with's Joe Hartlaub, Buchholz explains how his experiences in the fields of politics and economics have taught him to be a storyteller, and sheds light on the inherent difficulties of writing fiction. He also describes why he chose the controversial Cuban dictator to be one of the central figures in his work, discusses his newfound respect for mass-market writers such as John Grisham and Dan Brown, and touches upon his participation in the Broadway hit Jersey Boys.

THE CASTRO GENE by Todd Buchholz (Thriller)
After killing a man in the ring, Luke Braden quits boxing. While working as a security guard and hoping to reinvent himself, Braden is swept up into the high-flying domain of Paul Tremont, the hottest hedge fund hand around. Why does Tremont need a washed-up boxer? Because Braden is the only man who can execute Tremont's diabolical scheme. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read a review of THE CASTRO GENE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE CASTRO GENE.

Click here to read our interview with Todd Buchholz.


Our Summer Beach Bag Contest is Back! Spotlight This Week on THE WEDDING OFFICER by Anthony Capella

Whether your "beach" is on sand, your backyard deck or a grassy meadow in the country, the summer months mean it's time for "beach reading." is celebrating the lazy days of summer reading with our Third Annual " Beach Bag of Books."

Every week from May 18th through August 24th a different title in the Beach Bag of Books promotion will be featured with a review and contest prize --- a beach bag stocked with that book, plus summertime essentials that tie in to its theme. Five FABULOUS beach bags will be given away each week, as well as five copies of the book to additional winners.

Our first spotlighted title is THE WEDDING OFFICER by Anthony Capella. THE WEDDING OFFICER brings us a tale of war-torn Europe --- and the sumptuous cuisine that sparked renewed hope, as well as an unexpected romance, for a young Italian widow and a British Army captain. In an oversized Escada straw beach bag, winners will find an orange striped beach towel and ingredients for an Italian feast including pasta; a can of San Marzano tomatoes; a cruet for olive oil; seeds for planting sunflowers, oregano, basil and Italian parsley; scrumptious summer biscotti; dried apricots; a bottle of lemon drink; and color-coordinated dish towels for cleanup (they also make nice napkins!) --- as well as a copy of the book. We have five to give away, as well as five additional prizes of copies of THE WEDDING OFFICER.

To enter to win, answer the question below:

What does Livia pour for the soldier to drink?

You can find the answer by reading an excerpt here.

Send your answer to the question above, along with your name and snail mail address, to by Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 11:59PM.

THE WEDDING OFFICER by Anthony Capella (Fiction)
Captain James Gould is sent to the Italian Riviera to enforce a mandate that discourages British officers from marrying Italian women during the Allied occupation. However, the British government didn't count on him falling in love with Italy. Livia Pertini's culinary skills also entice the young officer into a romance with food and a sensuous woman who captures his heart. Reviewed by Hillary Wagy.

Read more about THE WEDDING OFFICER and Anthony Capella here.

Click here to read all the details of our Summer Beach Bag Contest.


Our Newest One to Watch Author: Carol Goodman, Author of THE SONNET LOVER


We are so excited to be featuring Carol Goodman as our newest One to Watch author. In THE SONNET LOVER --- which releases on June 12th --- the tantalizing question of whether Shakespeare penned a series of passionate sonnets praising a mysterious dark-haired beauty is raised in a letter to literature professor Rose Asher.

We have 10 advance reading copies of THE SONNET LOVER by Carol Goodman 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, May 25th.

Did Shakespeare pen a series of passionate sonnets, unknown to modern scholarship, ardently praising a mysterious dark-haired beauty? This tantalizing question is raised in a letter to literature professor Rose Asher. But the letter’s author, Rose’s star pupil, is not telling. A troubled, enigmatic young man, he plunged to his death in front of the college’s entire faculty, an apparent suicide. Determined to find the truth, Rose journeys from New York to Italy, back to the magnificent Tuscan villa where as an undergraduate she first fell in love.

Lush, lyrical, and enthralling, THE SONNET LOVER vividly brings to life the Tuscan countryside and the fascinating world of the Renaissance poets. Unmatched in her ability to evoke atmosphere and intrigue, Carol Goodman delivers her most ambitious and satisfying work to date, a seductive novel that skillfully propels its reader headlong to the final suspenseful page.

Click here to read more about Carol Goodman and THE SONNET LOVER.


Featured One to Watch Author: Khaled Hosseini, Author of A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS -- In Stores Tuesday, May 22nd

Our second One to Watch author is Khaled Hosseini, who wrote the runaway bestseller THE KITE RUNNER. 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 -- In Stores Tuesday, May 22nd

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 One to Watch Author: Andrea Portes, Author of HICK

Our third One to Watch author is Andrea Portes, whose 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.

-Click here to see our advance copy winners.
-Click here to read a review of HICK.
-Click here to read an excerpt 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.


Author Talk: Leslie Schnur, Author of LATE NIGHT TALKING

In this interview, Leslie Schnur --- author of THE DOG WALKER --- discusses the anxieties and challenges that came with writing her second novel, LATE NIGHT TALKING, and reveals the personal obsessions that fueled its story. She also describes the real-life inspirations behind the four-legged friends in her books, shares her plan to make the world a better place and explains how she thought of the concept for her current work in progress.

LATE NIGHT TALKING by Leslie Schnur (Fiction)
Jeannie Sterling, the host of a late-night radio talk show, enjoys her crusade telling people off about their annoying habits. While she thinks she's doing the right thing, Jeannie isn't exactly winning any points with her family and closest friends. Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton.

-Click here to read a review of LATE NIGHT TALKING.
-Click here to read an excerpt of LATE NIGHT TALKING.
-For more, visit Leslie Schnur's website,

Click here to read an interview with Leslie Schnur.


Now in Stores in Paperback: 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 and author Emily Giffin.


Now in Stores: IN THE TENTH HOUSE by Laura Dietz

Dr. Ambrose Gennett, a pioneer in the science of madness, is dedicated to the eradication of superstition. An encounter with a woman he believes is delusional arouses his desire to help, but he soon learns she isn’t what she appears to be.

Lily Embly is a medium; she holds séances for wealthy patrons. She fakes spirit messages to earn money, but her tarot card readings are startlingly accurate. Deeply in arrears to dangerous moneylenders, Lily interprets Ambrose’s kindness to her as a sign, a way out of debt. She invites his spinster sister and aunt into her spiritualist circle. Horrified that his family is being exploited, Ambrose vows to expose Lily as a fraud. He pursues her obsessively, through all levels of London society, from West End soirees to East End slums.

Intrigued by his pursuit, Lily stays one step ahead of both Ambrose and the moneylenders, but when the doctor crashes the most lucrative séance Lily has ever assembled, their confrontation ensures that the evening’s outcome will have unseen consequences for them both.

A riveting story that brings the late Victorian era to life, IN THE TENTH HOUSE is a remarkable debut from an exciting new author. 

Read more about IN THE TENTH HOUSE here.


Now In Stores: KEEP IT REAL by Bill Bryan

"KEEP IT REAL is a wild, riotous romp. A piercing satire of the excesses (and abscesses) of the entertainment industry. The best skewering of Hollywood since THE PLAYER. Bill Bryan keeps it real and keeps it funny, and I hope he keeps it coming."
 -Paul Levine, author of TRIAL & ERROR

Ted used to be an investigative reporter --- a good one. But that was before the divorce, the meltdown, the subsequent supervised visitation of his adorable little girl. Now he's one of several peon producers for the inexplicably successful reality show, “The Mogul.” Ted's not a happy man. Unlike his viewers, he takes no joy in the vapid "reality" he helps edit together for ratings. That is, until it lands him in the middle of a murder investigation....

“TV writer and producer Bryan spoofs, satirizes, and burlesques his way through that kingdom of sin and sizzle, Hollywood, in this… funny debut crime novel… [that] shows a real gift for satire.”  ---Publishers Weekly

"If you like to laugh, and you hate reality TV, you will love this wonderfully, viciously hilarious book." ---Dave Barry 

Click here to read more about KEEP IT REAL.

This Week's Reviews and Features

BAD LUCK AND TROUBLE: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child (Thriller)
Jack Reacher's past collides dramatically with his present when he receives a call for assistance from a member of his former military police investigative unit. Lee Child's BAD LUCK AND TROUBLE is the 11th installment in what is arguably one of the best thriller series being published today. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from BAD LUCK AND TROUBLE.

FALLING MAN by Don DeLillo (Fiction)
When a novelist as fine as Don DeLillo addresses the events and aftermath of September 11th, readers of literature take notice. In FALLING MAN, he has chosen to focus on the lives of just a few people: Keith, his estranged wife Lianne, and their young son Justin. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol.

-Click here to read an excerpt from FALLING MAN.

UP IN HONEY'S ROOM by Elmore Leonard (Fiction)
Bestselling and award-winning novelist Elmore Leonard returns with his 43rd book. Carl Webster of the U.S. Marshal Service tracks escaped German prisoners of war to Detroit in the waning days of World War II. Once there, he becomes involved with a most unusual Nazi spy ring and the most incredible Honey Deal. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.

-Click here to read an excerpt from UP IN HONEY'S ROOM.

INVISIBLE PREY by John Sandford (Thriller)
Two elderly women lie murdered in their home in Minneapolis, apparently the random work of someone looking for money to buy drugs. But as Lucas Davenport examines the situation more closely, he begins to wonder if there might not be some invisible agenda at work here. Gradually, a pattern begins to emerge, and it leads him to nothing he ever expected. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

DREAM WHEN YOU'RE FEELING BLUE by Elizabeth Berg (Fiction)
New York Times bestselling author and master storyteller Elizabeth Berg takes readers to Chicago at the time of World War II in this enjoyable page-turner about three sisters, their lively Irish family and the men they love. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

A FAR COUNTRY by Daniel Mason (Fiction)
Raised in a remote village on the edge of a sugarcane plantation, 14-year-old Isabel was born with the gift and curse of "seeing farther." When drought and war grip the backlands, her brother Isaias joins a great exodus to a teeming city in the south. Soon Isabel must follow, but upon her arrival, she discovers that Isaias has disappeared. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

THE LOST DIARY OF DON JUAN by Douglas Carlton Abrams (Historical Fiction)
Capturing the decadent and dangerous world of the Spanish Golden Age, THE LOST DIARY OF DON JUAN is a historical novel that reveals the hidden heart and mind of the world's most famous lover. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

THE SAVAGE GARDEN by Mark Mills (Mystery)
A student working on his thesis in the 1950s visits an ancient Tuscan garden and turns up more than ingenious symbolism. He discovers that the monuments point to an old murder. And the villa at its center has its own dark secrets --- on the sealed-off top floor. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

KEPT: A Victorian Mystery by D. J. Taylor (Historical Mystery)
Ever wish Charles Dickens had written just one more novel? Get your Victorian fix with D. J. Taylor's superb mystery KEPT, a richly plotted, multifaceted historical novel with a decidedly Dickensian feel. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

ODALISQUE: Book One of the Percheron Saga by Fiona McIntosh (Fantasy)
Fiona McIntosh returns with an all-new fantasy epic, this time taking readers into the bizarre and intriguing realms reminiscent of Byzantine times. Here, the new Zar of the fabled city of Percheron must struggle for his life and the security of his people against enemies known and unknown, as gods begin to make their own play in the fates of all. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

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.

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

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