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March 7, 2008 Newsletter

March 7, 2008

This Week on

Spring Ahead....Please Let Spring Be Ahead! Talks to Stephen White, Author of DEAD TIME

Author Talk: Jodi Picoult, Author of CHANGE OF HEART

Now in Stores: CHRIST THE LORD: THE ROAD TO CANA by Anne Rice

Now in Stores: HOPE'S BOY by Andrew Bridge

New Featured One to Watch Author: Linda Francis Lee, Author of THE EX-DEBUTANTE

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Linda Fairstein, Author of KILLER HEAT

Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Lisa Jackson, Author of LOST SOULS

Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Joan Johnston, Author of A STRANGER'S GAME

Now in Stores: THE DARK LANTERN by Gerri Brightwell

Books into Movies for March
What's New on

This Week's Reviews

Poll and Question of the Week: Shopping for Books

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

Quick Links to Features On The Book Report Network
Past Reviews
Can't See the Graphics? Read This Newsletter Online
Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight Promotion
Debut Suspense/Thriller One to Watch Promotion
Mystery Mayhem Promotion

Historical Fiction Promotion

One to Watch Promotion
Books Into Movies
Bestseller Lists
Coming Soon
New in Paperback

Spring Ahead....Please Let Spring Be Ahead!

Sleuthfest, the writer's conference that I attended last weekend, was wonderful. As I mentioned last week Lee Child was being honored. I admire Lee for his endless support of other authors. Whenever we are at conferences he is at the panels, introducing authors to others, talking about their work and hanging out. I mentioned this to him last week and he responded like this: "I'm a fan of the genre as much as an author." Nice to hear that, isn't it? While in Florida James O. Born was kind enough to take me to a shooting gallery and taught me how to fire a gun. You can read about this experience and how my life parallels that of Assistant District Attorney Alex Cooper in Linda Fairstein's upcoming thriller KILLER HEAT by reading my blog called "Put Down the Knitting Needles; Pick Up the Gun."

I wish I was in Denver this weekend for the Left Coast Crime conference where Stephen White is being honored. I had been a fan of Stephen's work for many years before we sat down and chatted a few years ago at the Virginia Festival of the Book about a manuscript for a book he had just completed called KILL ME. I read it and loved it. Over the years it has been great fun sharing his books with readers along with interviews where he speaks right to the heart of his work. We are bringing you just such an interview this week of his new book, DEAD TIME. Joe Hartlaub gives it an unabashed rave. It's lovely connecting like this with authors we love, even just once a year. The days between disappear as we check back with them in interviews and meet up with their ongoing characters in their latest books.

Oh, another reason to want to be in Denver. I miss skiing. I hear the snow in the west has been amazing this year --- and I sure could use a run down some of my favorite trails. Years ago I had a wall in my office behind me when I worked at the magazine that was papered with ski trail maps. I often would turn and face that wall and escape plotting routes down my favorite trails. In the span of a few seconds I would be from the top to the bottom of Vail feeling the wind --- and the sun --- on my face. I have not skied in years, but March always brings these memories bubbling back to the surface.

Sometimes we meet people in books and they stay in our heads. We want to know what happens to them and think about them. I had this with HOPE'S BOY by Andrew Bridge. I read this book in October, and as I closed it I wanted to grab coffee with Bridge to talk to him more about where he is now. His story had me pondering the foster care system as I had not done in the past. I was happy to see that our reviewer, Barbara Bamberger Scott, felt the same way.

I have this rather unfortunate habit of starting books that I want to finish that sit winking at me from my book pile screaming for me to pick them back up. THE MONSTERS OF TEMPLETON by Lauren Groff is one of these books. I began this when we were on Christmas vacation, and as I read Norah Piehl's review I thought, this is going to be next up on my list!

A few years ago I met Jodi Picoult at a luncheon where she walked us through her careful research for her books, which was impressive. Thus it's a pleasure to share with you an interview with her this week, as well as our review of CHANGE OF HEART by Kate Ayers.

Our newest featured author is Linda Francis Lee, whose novel, THE EX-DEBUTANTE, tells the smart and funny story of a former Texas debutante who finds herself unwillingly called back to the life she left behind. I am enjoying this one. We have 10 copies of THE EX-DEBUTANTE to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, March 14th.

Our advance readers enjoyed NOTORIOUS by Michele Martinez, a riveting thriller about a Manhattan District Attorney who finds herself involved in a very deadly case. You may read their comments here. Our advance readers also enjoyed THE INVISIBLE by Andrew Britton, a new installment to the international adventures of Ryan Kealey. Click here to read their comments.

Lawrence Goldstone, author of THE ANATOMY OF DECEPTION, and Will Lavender, author of OBEDIENCE, have responded to our advance readers’ questions. Click here to read Goldstone’s responses, and check out Lavender’s responses here.

Our special contest for FORGIVE ME by Amanda Eyre Ward has ended. You may view our winners here. Thank you to everyone who participated!

A reminder to move your clocks AHEAD this weekend, which means we lose an hour. This means you have to read more words per minute to make up for the time you are losing, or put the book under your pillow. Remember how we used to be told that worked? Have a great week. I am going to try to pack and unpack some more boxes around here since the "Purge the Attic Project" continues. We also got a new couch, so I am trying to find the perfect reading spot on it. This is an important mission, and it requires lots of time and attention!

Carol Fitzgerald (

Click here to read Carol's most recent blog entry. Talks to Stephen White, Author of DEAD TIME

Stephen White --- the author of such novels as DRY ICE, KILL ME, MISSING PERSONS and BLINDED --- recently published DEAD TIME, his 16th book in the bestselling Alan Gregory series. In this interview with's Joe Hartlaub, White discusses the evolving relationships between the series' protagonist and various recurring characters and explains the process by which he chooses the particular narrative style of each installment. He also describes his unconventional method (or lack thereof) of planning story arcs, expresses his surprise over the unexpected success of his books despite his two-decade career and ponders the ultimate end of Alan Gregory.

DEAD TIME by Stephen White (Thriller)
Colorado psychologist Alan Gregory’s ex-wife, Merideth, reappears, seeking help she feels only Alan can give. Suddenly he is pulled into a mystery that reaches back years to a camping trip at the Grand Canyon involving Merideth’s fiancé and five friends whose lives were changed forever when a young woman mysteriously vanished from the Canyon floor. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read a review of DEAD TIME.

-Click here to read an excerpt from DEAD TIME.
Click here to read our interview with Stephen White.


Author Talk: Jodi Picoult, Author of CHANGE OF HEART

Jodi Picoult is the bestselling author of such novels as NINETEEN MINUTES, MY SISTER'S KEEPER, VANISHING ACTS and THE TENTH CIRCLE. Her latest work of fiction, CHANGE OF HEART, delves into the polemical issue of the death penalty and how one's perspective on the matter is often dependent upon religious beliefs. In this interview, Picoult discusses how she became fascinated with the subject and recalls some of the eye-opening events she experienced while researching. She also sheds light on Gospel history, ruminates on the difficulty of discussing religion today and shares details of her next novel, HANDLE WITH CARE.

CHANGE OF HEART by Jodi Picoult (Fiction)
Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult tackles the thorny subject of the death penalty in her newest book featuring a young girl in need of a heart, a prisoner with an imminent execution date, a priest with a crisis of faith and an ACLU lawyer drawing them all together. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

-Click here to read a review of CHANGE OF HEART.
-Click here to read an excerpt from CHANGE OF HEART.


Click here to read an interview with Jodi Picoult.


Now in Stores: CHRIST THE LORD: THE ROAD TO CANA by Anne Rice

Anne Rice’s second novel in her fictional saga of a young Yeshua (following CHRIST THE LORD: OUT OF EGYPT) features an adult Jesus finally confronting his own destiny, facing both internal and external pressures --- from Israeli urges to take up arms against Rome, to the temptation of Satan to alter his pre-destined path. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read an excerpt from CHRIST THE LORD: THE ROAD TO CANA.


Click here to read a review of CHRIST THE LORD: THE ROAD TO CANA.

Now in Stores: HOPE'S BOY by Andrew Bridge
HOPE’S BOY: A Memoir by Andrew Bridge (Memoir)
Andrew Bridge loves his mother. This is a certainty you will carry away after reading this harrowing memoir of a little boy lost --- taken away by the system and then trapped in it, abandoned not by his mom but by departments and laws and social servants. In all, as a child, Andrew had two years with Hope, the mentally ill girl who gave birth to him at age 17 and tried her best to make a home for him in her own nightmarish hand-to-mouth existence. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.


Click here to read a review of HOPE'S BOY.


New Featured One to Watch Author: Linda Francis Lee, Author of THE EX-DEBUTANTE

Linda Francis Lee is the bestselling author of 19 novels. In THE EX-DEBUTANTE, her new book releasing on April 1st, Lee tells a humorous and witty tale about Carlisle Wainwright Cushing, a former Texas debutante who wants nothing more than to leave the past behind her. But after receiving an urgent call from her mother, Carlisle must return to Texas and finds herself getting pulled back into her hometown drama.

We have 10 copies of THE EX-DEBUTANTE to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, March 14th.

-Click here to read Linda Francis Lee’s bio.
-Visit the author’s official website,

Against her will, Carlisle Wainwright Cushing has been dragged from her Boston law firm back to Texas to head up Willow Creek’s 100th annual debutante ball. The high-powered lawyer is now hemming dresses and warding off catfights --- not to mention dealing with her mother’s latest impending divorce. And then there is Jack Blair, her first love --- the man who keeps making her forget she is engaged!

Click here to read more about Linda Francis Lee and THE EX-DEBUTANTE.

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Linda Fairstein, Author of KILLER HEAT 
Bestselling author Linda Fairstein is one of America's foremost legal experts on crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence. In her latest thriller, KILLER HEAT (which releases on March 11th), Fairstein orchestrates a page-turning mix of cutting-edge legal issues and forensics, New York City history and spine-tingling suspense.

We have 20 copies of KILLER HEAT to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, March 14th.

-Click here to read Linda Fairstein’s bio.
-Visit the author’s official website,

More about KILLER HEAT:
It’s August in New York, and the only thing that’s hotter than the pavement is Manhattan D.A. Alex Cooper’s professional and personal life. Just as she’s claiming an especially gratifying victory in a rape case, she gets the call: the body of a young woman has been found in an abandoned building. The brutality of the murder is disturbing enough, but when a second body, beaten and disposed of in exactly the same manner, is found off the Belt Parkway, the city’s top brass want the killer found fast, before the tabloids can start churning out ghoulish serial killer headlines.


Click here to read more about Linda Fairstein and KILLER HEAT.


Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Lisa Jackson, Author of LOST SOULS

Lisa Jackson, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 75 novels ---including ABSOLUTE FEAR and SHIVER --- delivers another harrowing thriller. In LOST SOULS, which hits stores on March 25th, a young woman’s determined hunt for a serial killer draws her into a twisted psychopath’s terrifying web.

-Click here to read an excerpt from LOST SOULS.
-Click here to read fast facts about Lisa Jackson.
-Click here to read Lisa Jackson’s bio.
-Visit the author’s official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about LOST SOULS:
Kristi Bentz wants to write true crime. All she needs is that one case that will take her to the top. She finds it when she enrolls at All Saints College after learning that three troubled girls have disappeared in one term. When the bodies are found, all blood drained from their bodies, rumors abound that vampires are on the loose. Are they? Or is there a new serial killer in New Orleans --- one more cunning than any that Detectives Rick Bentz and Reuben Montoya have gone up against before?

Click here to read more about Lisa Jackson and LOST SOULS.


Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Joan Johnston, Author of A STRANGER'S GAME

From New York Times bestselling author Joan Johnston comes a new Bitter Creek novel. A STRANGER’S GAME, which hits stores on March 11th, features all of the passion and intrigue in Texas high society mixed with an explosive, spine-tingling tale of murder, wrongful imprisonment and a woman who counts no cost too high to see a killer brought to justice.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from A STRANGER'S GAME.
-Click here to read fast facts about Joan Johnston.
-Click here to read Joan Johnston’s bio.
-Click here to see Joan Johnston's backlist.
-Visit the author’s official website,
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.

With just five days until the president arrives in Austin, Texas, the last thing the FBI needs is a serial killer on the loose, much less a terrorist suspect who will stop at nothing to clear her name. It’s a strange game alright, but why does Agent Grayhawk suspect he’s missing some of the pieces?


Click here to read more about Joan Johnston and A STRANGER'S GAME.


Now in Stores: THE DARK LANTERN by Gerri Brightwell

THE DARK LANTERN by Gerri Brightwell (Historical Fiction)
London, 1893. Elderly Mrs. Bentley is on her deathbed, and her son Robert has returned from France. But in the Bentleys’ well-appointed home, everyone has their secrets, including Robert’s beautiful and elusive wife, the orphan maid she hires from the country, and the mysterious young woman who arrives, claiming to be the bride of Robert’s drowned brother. The clash between the classes makes for a suspenseful novel of mistaken identities, intriguing women and dangerous deceptions.


Click here to read more about THE DARK LANTERN.

Books into Movies for March
In case you’re in the mood for something with a little more substance than Hollywood blockbusters featuring superhero spoofs or scantily dressed people on the run from woolly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers, March’s Books into Movies feature offers a handful of literary alternatives for lovers of drama, independent films and even whimsical fairy tales. From the flashy 21 --- based on the true events of how MIT math whizzes turned high rollers scammed Vegas casinos out of millions --- and the edgier Gus Van Sant-ified adaptation of Blake Nelson’s YA novel PARANOID PARK, to the star-studded big-screen version of Dr. Seuss’s beloved HORTON HEARS A WHO!, this month’s movies based on books promise to be intense and thought provoking, as well as lighthearted and uplifting.

Relationship woes abound this month with the release of Married Life --- an offbeat, dark dramedy about a man’s bumbling attempts to kill his wife in order to be with a younger woman --- as well as Snow Angels, an emotionally wrought examination of two established marriages that crumble as a new romance begins to blossom. Providing a much lighter perspective on matters of the heart is Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, an adult Cinderella story based on the 1938 novel by Winifred Watson, in which a down-and-out nanny and her new boss help each other to straighten out their tangled love lives.

Click here to read our Books into Movies feature.

What's New on

With more than 2,200 discussion guides available, continues to be the leading place for book clubs to find all the resources they need on the web.

The following guides are now available on

THE BESTIARY by Nicholas Christopher
BETRAYAL by John Lescroart
CARPOOL DIEM by Nancy Star
CROSSED: A Tale of the Fourth Crusade by Nicole Galland
FIREFLY LANE by Kristin Hannah
KEEPER AND KID by Edward Hardy
KILLER HEAT by Linda Fairstein
LITTLE HEATHENS: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish
LOGAN'S HILL: The Blood Brothers of the Night by John M. Scanlan
A LONG RETREAT: In Search of a Religious Life by Andrew Krivak
LOST MEN by Brian Leung
MEMORY by Philippe Grimbert
THE PALACE OF ILLUSIONSA> by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
REGINA'S CLOSET: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal by Diana M. Raab
REMEMBER ME? by Sophie Kinsella
RESISTANCE by Owen Sheers
ROMA: The Novel of Ancient Rome by Steven Saylor
THEFT: Stories by N.S. Koenings
UNCOMMON ARRANGEMENTS: Seven Portraits of Married Life in London Literary Circles, 1910-1939 by Katie Roiphe
WIT'S END by Karen Joy Fowler
THE YEAR OF FOG by Michelle Richmond

We have the following new guide for Christian book groups:

TALK OF THE TOWN by Lisa Wingate

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

ACCEPTANCE by Susan Coll
BURNING BRIGHT by Tracy Chevalier
FOUR QUEENS: The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe by Nancy Goldstone
THE OTHER SIDE OF YOU by Salley Vickers
THEN WE CAME TO THE END by Joshua Ferris


Click here to visit


This Week's Reviews

THE MONSTERS OF TEMPLETON by Lauren Groff (Fiction)
In her impressive and wonderfully accomplished debut, Lauren Groff skillfully re-imagines her hometown of Templeton, New York --- and the novels of James Fenimore Cooper --- in a quirky, ambitious portrait of a town's history and the woman who reclaims it. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
AN INCOMPLETE REVENGE: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear (Mystery)
Jacqueline Winspear's fifth mystery starring psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs finds our heroine entering a new phase of her life while still probing the scars left in so many lives by the past. In AN INCOMPLETE REVENGE Maisie delves into a strange series of crimes in a small rural community. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE SERPENT'S TALE by Ariana Franklin (Historical Mystery)
The second novel to feature Dr. Adelia Aguilar (following MISTRESS OF THE ART OF DEATH) is full of medieval intrigue as she is called on by King Henry II to solve the murder of his mistress. Ariana Franklin's tale gives the genre of historical fiction a new twist by crossing it with forensic science and mystery, resulting in a unique set of characters and an enjoyable read. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

CITY OF THE SUN by David Levien (Thriller)
Twelve-year-old Jamie Gabriel gets on his bike before dawn to deliver newspapers in his suburban Indianapolis neighborhood and vanishes without a trace. Fourteen months later, Paul and Carol are on the verge of abandoning all hope. Crushed by frustrating dead ends and exhausted by a police force that cannot (or will not) locate their son, the Gabriels finally find a ray of hope: the name of an elusive private investigator who may represent their last chance. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

RIDING TOWARD EVERYWHERE by William T. Vollmann (Memoir/Travel)
In his latest work, noted novelist, journalist and occasional rail rider William T. Vollmann delivers a portrait of the life of trainhopping that is both lyrical and unsettling. Mixing travelogue, memoir and social commentary, RIDING TOWARD EVERYWHERE is a vivid and original look at an obscure corner of contemporary America. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

STALKED by Brian Freeman (Thriller)
Lieutenant Jonathan Stride knows his former detective partner Maggie Bei is in trouble when she reports a deadly crime on a bitter winter night. She’s obviously hiding a terrible secret, and her silence only feeds suspicion. But Maggie isn’t the only one keeping secrets in Duluth. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

STANDING STILL by Kelly Simmons (Psychological Suspense)
In STANDING STILL, journalist and suburban mom Claire Cooper must face her own emotional demons as she physically faces down the demons of her husband's unethical business. Kelly Simmons’s darkly psychological debut novel is a sober look at marriage and motherhood. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

Read this week's reviews here.


Poll and Question of the Week: Shopping for Books


When you shop in bookstores, how many books do you typically buy?

Six or more
I do not shop in bookstores.

-Click here to answer our poll.


Tell us a bit about your favorite bookstore. Please include its name and city/state. If it's an online venue, let us know why you like shopping there.

-Click here to answer our question.


Click here

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

font color="#000000">Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't.

This week we have two great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of CHANGE OF HEART by Jodi Picoult and A PRISONER OF BIRTH by Jeffrey Archer. Tell us what you are reading and rate the titles 1-5 by noon on March 14th to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on March 14th.
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 March 31, 2008 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: ANOTHER THING TO FALL: A Tess Monaghan Novel by Laura Lippman, CHANGE OF HEART by Jodi Picoult, THE CURE FOR MODERN LIFE by Lisa Tucker, HOLLYWOOD CROWS by Joseph Wambaugh and A PRISONER OF BIRTH by Jeffrey Archer. Anne Dixon from Astoria, NY
was last month's newsletter winner. She won DEEP DISH by Mary Kay Andrews, FIREFLY LANE by Kristin Hannah, LADY KILLER by Lisa Scottoline, REMEMBER ME? by Sophie Kinsella and STRANGERS IN DEATH by Nora Roberts, writing as J.D. Robb.

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

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