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October 19, 2007 Newsletter

October 19, 2007

This Week on

Miami Reading... And Books That Keep You Up at Night...

Author Talk: Ken Follett, Author of WORLD WITHOUT END

Win a Copy of CARPOOL CONFIDENTIAL by Jessica Benson, Now in Stores

Now in Stores: THE ABSTINENCE TEACHER by Tom Perrotta

Featured One to Watch Author: Marie Bostwick, Author of ON WINGS OF THE MORNING

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: John Lutz, Author of IN FOR THE KILL

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: J.D. Robb Celebrates the Release of the 25th Book in Her In Death Series

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: John Hart, Author of DOWN RIVER

Random House Reader's Circle Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

October's Books into Movies

What's New This Month on

What's New This Month on

This Week's Reviews and Features

Poll and Question of the Week: The Length of a Book

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

Miami Reading... And Books That Keep You Up at Night...

I am writing from Coral Gables, FL where I am in town for the Books & Books 25th Anniversary activities, which include the Book Club Twister Mixer on Sunday afternoon where I will be sharing book ideas with book clubs. You can read more about all of the Books & Books events here, and if you are attending be sure to look for me to say hi.

My husband read Ken Follett's new one, WORLD WITHOUT END this week. He was a huge fan of THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH, so when I shared this one with him, I was looking forward to seeing his reaction. He started it last Friday and he did not move from the couch for hours, which as we all know is the sign of a good book. He was up until 3 a.m. reading on Sunday night ensuring me that this new book was a quantifiable success. We all know books like this. Clearly there should be "personal days" for books for those of us who just get caught up reading. Powering through books we love is an indulgence that needs to be reckoned with. I often think that Harry Potter was released in summer just so children who pulled all-nighters reading it would not have to worry about falling asleep at their desks!

As WORLD WITHOUT END has 1,024 pages, it inspires this week's poll question: "Does the length of a book factor into your decision to read it?" Let us know here.

Last weekend I was in Baltimore for a book conference. I was joined by Shannon McKenna Schmidt, a frequent contributor to, who has a book called NOVEL DESTINATIONS: Literary Landmarks From Jane Austen's Bath to Ernest Hemingway's Key West coming out next May that she wrote with another friend of ours, Joni Rendon. Shannon has been sharing stories of literary places that she has found in the course of her research. Monday afternoon we took a trip to The Poe House and Museum, where Edgar Allan Poe lived from 1829 to 1835. For a bibliophile, moments like this among the surroundings inhabited by great writers is a terrific experience. Afterwards we also visited Poe's grave, which is in a church graveyard located in downtown Baltimore. Lyng on the grave were bouquets of flowers left by those paying respects. These adventures made me look forward to reading the book and planning time to see other literary sites of interest, as either planned expeditions or experiences latched onto other travel. Trust you will hear more about this book in the months to come. There is a photo of Shannon and me at The Poe House above.

That evening I had the opportunity to attend a screening of The Kite Runner, which will be in theaters on December 14th. I loved it and have been sharing bits of it with people all week. It's a very powerful film with images that will sear themselves into your head. I left the theater emotionally spent but fulfilled, which is a good combination. For fans of the book, you will not be disappointed. For those of you who have not read the book, I encourage you to do so before you see it so you can see how your images compare with the film experience.

Tuesday I was invited to lunch with a debut author, Alan Drew, who has written a novel called GARDENS OF WATER that I just love. It will be in stores on February 5th, and we will be sharing a lot more about it in the months to come. The story is set in Istanbul right after the earthquake of 1999 and is the story of a Muslim family and what happens to them in the wake of this disaster. I really enjoyed speaking with Alan about the book and hearing more about his travels in Istanbul. He arrived with his wife for a teaching assignment just days before the quake struck, so the story he shares was inspired by his time there. Those of you who enjoy reading books about other cultures will enjoy this one.

Readers last week told us how much they enjoyed MATRIMONY by Joshua Henkin and THE DOWRY BRIDE by debut novelist Shobhan Bantwal. This week, the authors have responded to readers' questions. Click here to read Josh's responses and here for Shobhan's replies.

We're also spotlighting our Books into Movies feature for October. As a longtime Dennis Lehane fan, I am looking foward to seeing the film adaptation of GONE BABY GONE, which comes out today. Years ago when I read this series, I longed to see it made into a movie. I am happy to see that happen.

For those of you who are wondering.... the turquoise cowboy boots arrived today and my husband assures me that they will make me smile when I get back. This week my wonderful friend Harry Burton gave me a turquoise laptop bag as a gift. It was a great surprise, and I loved every moment of carrying it on the plane today! Okay, I am headed back to the pool, which I hear is the setting for spectacular Busby Berkeley-like water shows, high-dive competitions and demonstrations by superstars like Esther Williams. It's truly spectacular. I have to remember to strike a pose as I swim my laps. My hotel room is stocked with books; I can see five on a shelf above the desk. What a lovely touch!

I will be back in Miami in a few weeks for the Miami Book Fair, which is being held November 4-11. This week I got word from the Fair's organizers that they have arranged for special travel rates for people who want to travel to the Fair from New York, Chicago, Washington, DC and Los Angeles. You can read all the details here.

Have a great week...and here's to some great reading.

Carol Fitzgerald (


Author Talk: Ken Follett, Author of WORLD WITHOUT END

Though known primarily as a writer of suspense/thrillers, author Ken Follett credits his 1989 bestseller THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH --- a historical novel that chronicles the construction of a cathedral during the Middle Ages --- as his greatest work to date. His most recent book, WORLD WITHOUT END, revisits the cathedral town of Kingsbridge 200 years later, during the pivotal time of the Black Plague. In this interview, Follett discusses the shifts in social and religious thought during those two centuries that ultimately gave rise to modern medicine and explains some of the real-life inspirations behind the book's fictional happenings. He also talks about why he chose to write a sequel after 18 years, elaborates on the connections between the two books in terms of setting and characters, and shares topics he'd possibly like to cover in future projects.

-Click here to read an excerpt from WORLD WITHOUT END.

Click here to read an interview with Ken Follett.


Win a Copy of CARPOOL CONFIDENTIAL by Jessica Benson, Now in Stores

We are celebrating the release of CARPOOL CONFIDENTIAL by Jessica Benson --- a touching, funny, sexy book about one woman whose life takes a turn in a completely unexpected direction --- with a special contest. Readers who answer the question correctly by reading an excerpt from the book automatically will be entered to win. Ten lucky winners will receive a finished copy of CARPOOL CONFIDENTIAL.

-Click here to read an excerpt from CARPOOL CONFIDENTIAL.


Click here for more details about the CARPOOL CONFIDENTIAL contest and how to enter.


Now in Stores: THE ABSTINENCE TEACHER by Tom Perrotta

THE ABSTINENCE TEACHER by Tom Perrotta (Fiction)
Tom Perrotta, author of the 2004 bestseller LITTLE CHILDREN, offers another one of his characteristically sharp-eyed looks at suburban America in this story of what happens when sex education clashes with fundamentalist religion. THE ABSTINENCE TEACHER is a witty and entertaining take on a contemporary social issue. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE ABSTINENCE TEACHER.


Click here to read a review of THE ABSTINENCE TEACHER.

Featured One to Watch Author: Marie Bostwick, Author of ON WINGS OF THE MORNING
Marie Bostwick’s FIELDS OF GOLD introduced readers to Eva Glennon, the young woman from Oklahoma who finds love while America fights a great war. In her new book, ON WINGS OF THE MORNING (which hits stores on October 30th), Bostwick tells the story of Eva’s son Morgan and delivers a captivating tale about love while the country faces its greatest challenge --- World War II.

-Click here to read an excerpt from ON WINGS OF THE MORNING.
-Click here to read Marie Bostwick’s bio.
-Click here to see Marie Bostwick's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for Marie Bostwick.
-Visit the author’s official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

Morgan Glennon always dreamed of being a pilot like his father. Soon after he enlists as a Navy pilot, America goes to war. Watching his friends fall in battle robs Morgan of the joy he always felt in the air. It will take one very unusual woman to help him get it back...


Click here to read more about Marie Bostwick and ON WINGS OF THE MORNING.


Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: John Lutz, Author of IN FOR THE KILL

Edgar and Shamus Award-winning author John Lutz has written over 40 books, including SWF SEEKS SAME, which became the film Single White Female, and THE EX, a critically acclaimed feature for HBO. Lutz's newest thriller, IN FOR THE KILL, is set to release on November 6th. After making his first appearance in DARKER THAN NIGHT, Detective Frank Quinn returns to face his toughest --- and most personal --- case yet. Hunting down killers is what he does best. But this time, Quinn is up against a psychopath who will test him as never before.

-Click here to read fast facts about John Lutz.
-Click here to read John Lutz’s bio.
-Click here to see John Lutz's backlist.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about IN FOR THE KILL:
A madman is stalking women in the city. By the time his victims are found, they’ve been dismembered with careful precision. Accustomed to working on the most grisly homicides, detective Frank Quinn’s nerves don’t rattle easily. But when the last names of a serial killer’s victims spell out “Q-u-i-n-n,” the veteran cop feels a chill run down his spine. When one of the victims is linked to a woman he desires, Quinn realizes that he will be tested as never before.


Click here to read more about John Lutz and IN FOR THE KILL.

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: J.D. Robb Celebrates the Release of the 25th Book in Her In Death Series

J.D. Robb, aka Nora Roberts, has written over 100 books in her illustrious career. On November 6th, CREATION IN DEATH, the 25th installment in her bestselling In Death series, will be released. As Eve Dallas --- a lieutenant in the New York Police and Security Department --- hunts for a killer known as “The Groom,” who plagued the city nine years earlier, she realizes that this new wave of attacks is becoming alarmingly personal.

-Click here to read an excerpt from CREATION IN DEATH.
-Click here to read fast facts about J.D. Robb.
-Click here to read J.D. Robb’s bio.
-Click here to see J.D. Robb's backlist.
-Visit the author’s official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas keeps the streets of a near-future New York City safe in this extraordinary series. But even she makes mistakes, and is haunted by those she couldn't save --- and the killers she couldn't capture. When the body of a young brunette is found in East River Park, artfully positioned and marked by signs of prolonged and painful torture, Eve is catapulted back to a case nine years earlier. When it becomes apparent that a gruesome killer known as “The Groom” has returned, Eve is determined to finish him once and for all.


Click here to read more about J.D. Robb and CREATION IN DEATH.


Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: John Hart, Author of DOWN RIVER

John Hart's first novel, THE KING OF LIES, was a bestseller when it was released in 2006. His second work of fiction, which is now in stores, is DOWN RIVER. It tells the haunting story of Adam Chase as he returns to the hometown he was exiled from to reclaim his life.

-Click here to read a review of DOWN RIVER.
-Click here to read an excerpt from DOWN RIVER.
-Click here to read an interview with John Hart.
-Click here to read fast facts about John Hart.
-Click here to read John Hart’s bio.
-Click here to see John Hart's backlist.
-Visit the author’s website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.
-Click here to read advance readers' comments about DOWN RIVER.

More about DOWN RIVER:
Adam Chase has a violent streak, and not without reason. As a boy growing up in Rowan County, North Carolina, he saw things that no child should see, suffered wounds that cut to the core and scarred thin. The trauma left him passionate and misunderstood --- a fighter. After being narrowly acquitted of a murder charge, Adam is hounded out of the only home he’s ever known, exiled for a sin he did not commit. For five long years he disappears, fades into the faceless gray of New York City. Now he’s back and nobody knows why, not his family or the cops, not the enemies he left behind.


Click here to read more about John Hart and DOWN RIVER.

Random House Reader's Circle Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary
Join the Book Club Book Fair!

Check out the online Book Club Book Fair --- and help Random House Reader’s Circle celebrate 10 years of great reads! Check out author podcasts, sweepstakes and much more!

October 18th - November 19th

Click here for more information about the 10th Anniversary of the Random House Reader's Circle.


October's Books into Movies

The films in October's Books into Movies feature aren't of the haunted-house or slasher-fest variety that you'd expect so close to Halloween, but this month’s lineup still packs quite a treat for moviegoers of all ages and interests, ranging from the profound history of O Jerusalem! to the bizarrely uplifting dramedy of Wristcutters: A Love Story.

Provoking goose bumps for entirely different reasons than your typical Hollywood serial killers and supernatural creatures, The Girl Next Door --- based on Jack Ketchum's nonfiction account of the same name --- details the shocking and cringe-worthy true events of a young girl’s torture at the hands of a foster parent gone mad. Much less graphic but equally as heart-wrenching are the gritty police procedural Gone Baby Gone --- about the abduction of a four-year-old girl in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Boston --- and the dark drama Reservation Road, a film that captures every parent's worst fear as two families are irrevocably changed after a hit-and-run accident.

For lighter fare, take the kids to see The Seeker, which brings Susan Cooper's YA novel THE DARK IS RISING to the big screen. This sci-fi/fantasy adventure promises a breathtaking battle of epic proportions between the forces of good and evil in the tradition of The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia.


Click here to read our Books into Movies feature.


What's New This Month on is our website for Christian readers with monthly updates of reviews and interviews, as well as discussion guides, book excerpts, a monthly newsletter and more. A special feature on the site is the Faithful Fifteen, in which authors answer a series of questions about writing and faith.

Here are some of the titles being featured this month on

AND IF I DIE: The Black or White Chronicles, Book Three by John Aubrey Anderson
FINDING HOME: An Imperfect Path to Faith and Family by Jim Daly with Bob DeMoss
FOR PARENTS ONLY: Getting Inside the Head of Your Kid by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice
THE PARTING: The Courtship of Nellie Fisher #1 by Beverly Lewis
PRICED TO MOVE: Shop-Til-U-Drop Series #1 by Ginny Aiken
A PROMISE TO REMEMBER by Kathryn Cushman
SCREAMFREE PARENTING: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool by Hal Edward Runkel


Click here to visit


What's New This Month on

With more than 2,200 discussion guides now available, is the leading place for book clubs to find all the resources they need on the web. Here is a list of recently added guides.

The following guides are now available on

AFTER THIS by Alice McDermott
BRIDGE OF SIGHS by Richard Russo
CASPIAN RAIN by Gina B. Nahai
MATRIMONY by Joshua Henkin
MENDING FENCES by Sherryl Woods
MYSTERIES OF THE LIFE FORCE: My Apprenticeship with a Chi Kung Master by Peter Meech
OUTSIDE IN by Courtney Thorne-Smith
PAINT IT BLACK by Janet Fitch
THE REST OF HER LIFE by Laura Moriarty
TRESPASS by Valerie Martin
WATERCOLOR PEARLS by Stacy Hawkins Adams
WOMEN'S RITES OF PASSAGE: How to Embrace Change and Celebrate Life by Abigail Brenner, MD

Please note that these titles, for which we already had the guides when they appeared in hardcover, are now available in paperback:

KABBALAH: A Love Story by Rabbi Lawrence Kushner
SHOOTING WATER by Devyani Saltzman
THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield

We have the following new guides for Christian book groups:

PRICED TO MOVE by Ginny Aiken
A PROMISE TO REMEMBER by Kathryn Cushman
THE SCRIBE: Sons of Encouragement #5 by Francine Rivers


Click here to visit


This Week's Reviews and Features

PANDORA'S DAUGHTER by Iris Johansen (Romantic Suspense)
Successful physician Megan Blair is a psychic who hears voices. She and government agent Neal Grady are on the hunt for a ledger that keeps track of a huge, powerful family of psychics --- even as they dodge the man who is relentlessly determined to kill Megan. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read an excerpt from PANDORA'S DAUGHTER.

THE ALMOST MOON by Alice Sebold (Fiction)
The bestselling author of THE LOVELY BONES takes a look at relationships --- mothers, daughters, siblings, lovers, friends and more --- in a highly disturbing day in the life of a middle-aged woman driven to an unthinkable act of desperation. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

DEXTER IN THE DARK by Jeff Lindsay (Mystery)
In the latest installment of this devilishly clever series, Dexter Morgan, America’s most righteous serial killer, is having an identity crisis. Abandoned by his soul mate, facing marriage and stepfatherhood, he finds himself, for the first time, becoming prey rather than predator. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.

On the heels of his acclaimed memoir NEVER HAVE YOUR DOG STUFFED, beloved actor and bestselling author Alan Alda offers readers an insightful and funny look at some of the impossible questions he has asked himself over the years. What do I value? What, exactly, is the good life? Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

FATAL REVENANT: The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Book 2 by Stephen R. Donaldson (Fantasy)
Thomas Covenant is alive, and Linden Avery's son, Jeremiah, is with Covenant. Time has folded on itself, and the forces of Lord Foul march with malice over The Land. Covenant can stop him, if only Linden will return his white gold ring --- but she is not convinced he is who he claims to be. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

THE DEAD DON’T LIE: An Abe Lieberman Mystery by Stuart M. Kaminsky (Mystery)
THE DEAD DON'T LIE is the latest novel in Edgar Award winner and MWA's Grand Master Stuart M. Kaminsky's Abe Lieberman mystery series. Lieberman and his partner, Bill Hanrahan, are determined to make the mean streets of Chicago just a little safer. As usual, they have their hands full. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

THIRTEEN by Richard K. Morgan (Thriller)
The subject of a failed government program to produce a more deadly military fighter, Carl Marsalis is a hit man who has lost his desire to kill. When he is arrested in Miami, it seems he might finally have left his troubled past behind. Unfortunately, certain government officials have a different plan for Marsalis. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

REDEMPTION FALLS by Joseph O’Connor (Historical Fiction)
From the author of STAR OF THE SEA comes a story of a descendant of one of its characters, searching for her brother after the Civil War ravaged our country. She finds him in Redemption Falls, being sheltered by the Governor and his wife. But the reunion at the end of the long search goes terribly wrong. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

THE FLORIST'S DAUGHTER by Patricia Hampl (Memoir)
Acclaimed memoirist Patricia Hampl, on the occasion of her mother's imminent death, delves into inheritance, personality and family dynamics as she explores her parents' history, her hometown and her own identity as THE FLORIST'S DAUGHTER. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

KILL NOW, PAY LATER by Robert Terrall (Mystery)
When Ben Gates took the job guarding the presents at a ritzy upper-class wedding, he thought it would be a simple assignment. But that was before someone slipped sleeping pills into Ben’s coffee and a bizarre robbery attempt left two people dead. Now Ben’s reputation is on the line --- and if he doesn’t figure out which of three beautiful women is hiding a murderous secret, his life may be as well. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.


Read this week's reviews and features here.


Poll and Question of the Week: The Length of a Book


Does the length of a book factor into your decision to read it?

I do not like to read long books.
I will read a long book, but only when I know I have a lot of time to complete it.
I will read a long book regardless of how long it might take to complete it.
I am not sure how I feel about this.

-Click here to answer our poll.


What was the longest book that you ever read?

-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
MY GRANDFATHER'S SON: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas, PROTECT AND DEFEND by Vince Flynn and THE RACE by Richard North Patterson. Tell us what you are reading and rate the titles 1-5 by noon on November 2nd to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on November 2nd.


Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.


As always, here are a few housekeeping notes. If you are seeing this newsletter in a text version, and would prefer to see the graphics, you can either read it online or change your preferences below.

Those of you who wish to send mail to, please see the form on the
Write to Us page. If you would like to reach me, please write Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us.

Those who are subscribed to the newsletter by October 31, 2007 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: BOOK OF THE DEAD by Patricia Cornwell, EXIT GHOST by Philip Roth, NOW AND THEN: A Spenser Novel by Robert B. Parker, PANDORA'S DAUGHTER by Iris Johansen and PROTECT AND DEFEND by Vince Flynn
. Jo from Makakilo, HI was last month's newsletter winner. She won THE BONE GARDEN by Tess Gerritsen, THE CHOICE by Nicholas Sparks, PLAYING FOR PIZZA by John Grisham, RUN by Ann Patchett and YOU'VE BEEN WARNED by James Patterson and Howard Roughan.

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

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