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May 2, 2008 Newsletter

May 2, 2008

This Week on

From LA to MWA....It Was One VERY Bookish Week.....

The 2008 Edgar Awards

Great Books for Moms for Mother's Day

Special Contest: Win a Copy of THE ANGEL by Carla Neggers

New Featured Women's Fiction Author: Victoria Lustbader, Author of STONE CREEK

Featured Historical Fiction Author: Jeff Shaara, Author of THE STEEL WAVE: A Novel of World War II

Featured One to Watch Author: Jane Porter, Author of MRS. PERFECT

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Gregg Olsen, Author of A COLD DARK PLACE

Author Talk: Kip Gayden, Author of MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE

Author Talk: Nic Sheff, Author of TWEAK: Growing Up on Methamphetamines
Books into Movies for May's Grab Bag of Books Giveaway

This Week's Reviews

Poll and Question of the Week: Crime Fiction

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

From LA to MWA....It Was One VERY Bookish Week.....

When we last left off, I was in L.A. for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I love going to L.A. There are people who loathe that city, but I love it, especially in April. While New York in April is usually spitting out a nice day here and there with a few flowers popping up, L.A. is bright and colorful. Thus the opportunity to hop on a plane and fly west is something that I will seize. With glee.  

My favorite hotel in Westwood is the W. Somehow I drop into the funky coolness of it with great pleasure. I joked to a friend in email that I needed a tattoo to sit in the "backyard" by the pool. I definitely was not as buff as most of the crowd there, but I love it nonetheless. I parked myself on a lounge chair to read, nap, people watch and stop to smell the flowers --- literally. I need to ask what flowers are back there and get myself candles with that scent since every time I am there I smell and relax. Same thing with whatever flowers there are on the walk up Hilgard to the campus. These relaxing moments were offset by the pace at the Festival on Saturday and Sunday that kept me hopping. For a blog about my Friday night stroll to Santa Monica (and yes, this is humorous) and my Saturday events, read on here.

On the flight back from L.A. I finished a book that people are buzzing about, THE LACE READER by Brunonia Barry. I see why people are excited about it and so eagerly anticipating its publication in July.

I often forget how much authors love books as much as many of us do. Last weekend reminded me of that as did the events that I attended this week presented by the Mystery Writers of America in conjunction with the Edgar Awards. Every speaker who I heard speak during the MWA Symposium programs mentioned at least one author, frequently more, who I had not read as well as a title that I could not place.

I think a love of books was driven home most when Marcia Muller was interviewing her husband, Bill Pronzini. Bill was receiving the Grandmaster Award that Marcia had been recognized with in 2005. During their discussion it was revealed that their home has more than 25,000 books. He has had to double and triple shelve the titles to have them all fit and the floors are groaning. I love hearing stories like that. Of course, it got me to thinking how many books I actually own. I knew we were racking up some pretty serious numbers when I started shelving wine books in the dining room and the home and art books on every available space in the living room. Who needs objects d'arte when I have BOOKS!

Our Blog this week took on a Mystery theme. I had read a newsletter from Joanne Sinchuk, owner of Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore in Delray Beach, Florida, who talked about the mystery book clubs that she hosts at her store. Many times book clubs do not think about mysteries, so in honor of MWA Edgars Week, we asked Joanne and four crime fiction writers --- Jacqueline Winspear, Michele Martinez, Nancy Martin and Craig Johnson --- to blog for us about their experiences with book clubs. Fun reading.

Jennifer Hart, a contributor to our Blog and the author of the clever blog Book Club Girl, is doing her third show on on Thursday, May 22nd at 7PM. This month she will be speaking with Thrity Umrigar, author of THE SPACE BETWEEN US. I read this extraordinary novel set in modern-day India a couple of years ago, and the two main characters --- the wealthy woman and her housekeeper --- have stayed with me, and I remember their stories vividly. Listeners will be invited to call in or send in questions for the author during the program. We encourage you to tune in, as this is sure to be an interesting conversation. Click here to learn more about the show. If you would like to schedule an automatic reminder for yourself, there is a "Set Reminder" feature available as well. Interested in participating? Send a message to Bookclubgirl AT gmail DOT com with your name and address. The first 25 people to respond will be eligible to receive a copy of THE SPACE BETWEEN US and will have the chance to participate in this exciting opportunity! 

Our newest featured author this week is Victoria Lustbader, whose new novel, STONE CREEK, will be in stores on May 27th. In this story, a random meeting in a small town offers hope and the chance of love for two lonely people. I read this back in January and had the pleasure of moderating a panel at the American Library Association's Midwinter Conference where Victoria spoke about it. EVERY person who I have shared this book with loves it, and I see it becoming a true book group favorite. We have 10 copies of STONE CREEK 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, May 9th.

We received great responses for GUILTY by Karen Robards, which you can read here, and DEAD TIME by Stephen White, which you can read here. You may also remember the positive responses we featured last week for Heather Graham's THE DEATH DEALER. This week, the author responds to our readers' questions, which you can read here.

Well, this opener is shorter than usual this week since I am racing out to celebrate my mom's birthday and one wrapped the gift! More next week. Think about Mom and Mother's Day before the 11th hour. You have our suggestions below. Read on....

Carol Fitzgerald (

Click here to read Carol's most recent blog entry.


The 2008 Edgar Awards

On May 1st in New York City, the Mystery Writers of America (MWA) held their 62nd annual Gala Banquet, where the winners of this year's Edgar Allan Poe Awards were announced. This ceremony honored the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction, television and film published or produced in 2007.

-For more information about the Edgar Awards and the Mystery Writers of America, go to


Click here to see the winners of the 2008 Edgar Awards.


Great Books for Moms for Mother's Day

From April 18th through May 2nd, readers had the chance to win one of our five Mother’s Day floral-decorated keepsake trunks filled with goodies Mom will just love, as well as one copy of ALL 13 of our featured books. Thanks to all the readers who entered and told us their favorite book that their moms read to them. We will announce the winners on Monday.

Although the contest has ended, we encourage you to visit our Mother's Day feature. Heartbreaking and humorous, inspirational and informative, these titles are sure to make wonderful gifts for Mom on her special day in May.

Our featured Mother's Day titles are:

-ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver
-THE BLUE STAR by Tony Earley
-BODY SURFING by Anita Shreve
-CHEZ MOI by Agnes Desarthe, translated by Adriana Hunter
-FRIDAY NIGHTS by Joanna Trollope
-GIRLS IN TRUCKS by Katie Crouch
-LOSING IT: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time by Valerie Bertinelli
-PINK LADIES & CRIMSON GENTS: Portraits and Legends of 50 Roses by Molly Glentzer
-WHEN THE HEART CRIES: Sisters of the Quilt, Book One by Cindy Woodsmall
-WHEN THE MORNING COMES: Sisters of the Quilt, Book Two by Cindy Woodsmall
-WOMAN IN RED by Eileen Goudge
-THE WOMAN WHO IS ALWAYS TAN AND HAS A FLAT STOMACH: And Other Annoying People by Lauren Allison and Lisa Perry


Click here to see our Mother's Day suggestions.


Special Contest: Win a Copy of THE ANGEL by Carla Neggers

We are celebrating the release of THE ANGEL --- Carla Neggers’s new romantic suspense novel in which a woman's passion for myth and magic leads her into the heart of a murderous evil --- with a special contest. Ten readers each will have the opportunity to win one finished copy of THE ANGEL, which is now available in stores. Those who answer a question correctly by reading an excerpt from the book automatically will be entered to win. Enter between now and Wednesday, May 28th by filling out the form found here.

More about THE ANGEL:
On a remote stretch of the rugged coast of Ireland, folklorist Keira Sullivan pursues the mysterious Irish legend of an ancient Celtic stone angel. Soon Keira realizes that the long-forgotten story that has captivated her has also aroused a killer... a calculating predator who will certainly kill again. Suspenseful and evocative, THE ANGEL is a riveting novel of dangerous myths, haunting secrets and the shattering truth concealed within them.

-Click here to read more about THE ANGEL.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE ANGEL.


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

New Featured Women's Fiction Author: Victoria Lustbader, Author of STONE CREEK
Victoria Lustbader’s first book, HIDDEN, received much critical praise when it was released in 2006. In STONE CREEK, her second work of fiction releasing on May 27th, Lustbader weaves an unforgettable novel of tremendous emotional heft and brilliantly illuminates how the powers of love and loss transform the human heart.

We have 10 copies of STONE CREEK 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, May 9th.

-Click here to read Victoria Lustbader’s bio.
-Visit the author’s official website,

More about STONE CREEK:
In the small town of Stone Creek, a random encounter offers two lonely people a chance at happiness. When Lily and Danny meet, something immediate and undeniable happens between them. Neither one can ignore that Lily is married and 10 years older than Danny, but it is Danny's son, Caleb, who continues to bring them together.


Click here to read more about Victoria Lustbader and STONE CREEK.


Featured Historical Fiction Author: Jeff Shaara, Author of THE STEEL WAVE: A Novel of World War II

In THE STEEL WAVE, Jeff Shaara --- America’s premier author of military historical fiction and New York Times bestseller --- brings us the centerpiece of his epic trilogy of the Second World War that began with THE RISING TIDE. Releasing on May 13th, this second installment tells the story of World War II through the points of view of some of history's most colorful and dynamic characters.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from THE STEEL WAVE.
-Click here to read Jeff Shaara’s bio.
-Click here to see Jeff Shaara's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE STEEL WAVE.
-Visit the author’s official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about THE STEEL WAVE:
General Dwight Eisenhower once again commands a diverse army that must find its single purpose in the destruction of Hitler’s European fortress. His primary subordinates, Omar Bradley and Bernard Montgomery, must prove that this unique blend of Allied armies can successfully confront the might of Adolf Hitler’s forces, who have already conquered Western Europe.


Click here to read more about Jeff Shaara and THE STEEL WAVE.

Featured One to Watch Author: Jane Porter, Author of MRS. PERFECT

Jane Porter is the author of over 20 books, including FLIRTING WITH FORTY, ODD MOM OUT and THE FROG PRINCE. In MRS. PERFECT, her new book releasing on May 5th, a woman’s seemingly perfect life is threatened by a devastating secret. As her fairy-tale lifestyle begins to unravel, she realizes she must become the woman her family truly needs.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from MRS. PERFECT.
-Click here to read Jane Porter’s bio.
-Click here to see Jane Porter's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for MRS. PERFECT.
-Visit the author’s official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about MRS. PERFECT:
For Taylor Young, life is very good. She has a handsome husband, three gorgeous children and a dream house. Then a devastating secret bursts Taylor’s fairy-tale bubble. Struggling to maintain her alpha image, Taylor finds help from the unlikeliest of people. But to become the woman her family truly needs, Taylor must first believe in the person she is hardest on --- herself.


Click here to read more about Jane Porter and MRS. PERFECT.


Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Gregg Olsen, Author of A COLD DARK PLACE

Gregg Olsen is the New York Times bestselling author of seven nonfiction books and two novels. As a journalist and true crime author, Olsen has received numerous awards and much critical acclaim for his writing. In A COLD DARK PLACE, his new thriller now in stores, police officer Emily Kenyon must find a diabolical killer --- before the killer finds her daughter...

-Click here to read a review of A COLD DARK PLACE.
-Click here to read a third excerpt from A COLD DARK PLACE.
-Click here to read an interview with Gregg Olsen.
-Click here to read fast facts about Gregg Olsen.
-Click here to read Gregg Olsen’s bio.
-Click here to see Gregg Olsen's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for A COLD DARK PLACE.
-Visit the author’s official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

In a secluded farm house in the Pacific Northwest, a family has been slaughtered --- and a teenage son has disappeared. Single mother and cop Emily Kenyon spearheads a dark hunt for a killer. But Emily’s teenage daughter Jenna knows the boy suspected of murdering his family and wants to help him --- perhaps too much. As Emily fits the puzzle pieces together, she realizes that the danger surrounding her daughter is worse than she had imagined.

Click here to read more about Gregg Olsen and A COLD DARK PLACE.


Author Talk: Kip Gayden, Author of MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE

Judge Kip Gayden's MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE is a work of historical fiction based on a shocking murder trial that took place in 1913 Tennessee. In this interview, Gayden explains how he came across the case and discusses what fascinated him enough to base a full-length novel around this seemingly forgotten historical event. He also shares what surprised him the most while researching the story, weighs in on the trial's outcome and talks about how the legal system has changed over the course of the last century.

MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE by Kip Gayden (Historical Fiction)
Based on actual events, Anna Dotson is a passionate modern woman of the 1900s who finds herself stifled by the lingering outdated rules of Victorian society. When her every attempt to rekindle romance and affection with her husband --- a prominent local doctor --- fails, she finds herself turning to the friendship of Charlie Cobb. Their starcrossed affair leads to a shocking public murder. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

Click here to read a review of MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE.
-Click here to see the reading group guide for MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE.
-Visit the author’s official website,

Click here to read an interview with Kip Gayden.

Author Talk: Nic Sheff, Author of TWEAK: Growing Up on Methamphetamines
Nic Sheff is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic who recently opened up about his experiences in the raw and confessional memoir TWEAK. In this interview, Sheff explains how he was able to garner the courage to write about his harrowing ordeals so honestly and reveals which part of the process was most challenging for him. He also discusses BEAUTIFUL BOY --- a parallel account written by his father, David Sheff --- what he hopes teens may take away from his story, and details about two upcoming projects.

TWEAK: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff (Memoir)
Nic Sheff was drunk for the first time at age 11. In the years that followed, he would regularly smoke pot, do cocaine and Ecstasy, and develop addictions to crystal meth and heroin. Even so, he felt like he would always be able to quit and put his life together whenever he needed to. It took a violent relapse one summer in California to convince him otherwise. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

-Click here to read a review of TWEAK.
-Click here to read an excerpt from TWEAK.
-Click here to read a review of BEAUTIFUL BOY by David Sheff.


Click here to read an interview with Nic Sheff.

Books into Movies for May

Movie lovers are in for quite a treat this month, as May’s Books into Movies feature boasts one of the first and biggest “summer blockbusters” of the season, as well as a couple of lesser-known independent films that promise to pack quite an emotional punch for cinephiles in the mood for something a bit more dramatic and innovative.

Hitting the big screen on May 16th is the eagerly anticipated Prince Caspian, the second installment in C. S. Lewis’s beloved The Chronicles of Narnia series that is sure to bring out the bedtime story-loving child in all of us. Also not to be missed is Fugitive Pieces, the emotionally wrought war drama based on Anne Michaels’s acclaimed novel, and The Tracey Fragments, Ellen Page’s post-Juno indie arthouse film.

New on DVD this month is the heartwarming tear jerker P.S. I Love You, and Youth Without Youth, Francis Ford Coppola’s philosophical study on life, love and the passage of time.


Click here to read our Books into Movies feature.'s Grab Bag of Books Giveaway
We at are THRILLED with the response we’ve been getting to our brand new Grab Bag of Books contest. Every month five readers will be awarded a signature tote bag filled with some of the hottest books --- and may even include a sneak peak at titles that haven’t been released yet. This contest period’s winners will each receive a copy of GENIUS SQUAD by Catherine Jinks, PRINCESS BEN by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, SIXTEEN CANDLES by Tia Williams, SUITE SCARLETT by Maureen Johnson and revised editions of the first two installments in Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High series --- DOUBLE LOVE and SECRETS.

-Click here for previous winners.
Click here to read all the contest details.


This Week's Reviews

THE PLAGUE OF DOVES by Louise Erdrich (Fiction)
In Louise Erdrich's mesmerizing new novel, her first in almost three years, the lives of many Native American and white residents of Pluto, North Dakota intertwine. Their stories are linked by the continuing repercussions of an appalling crime that took place in 1911. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE PLAGUE OF DOVES.
SANTA FE DEAD by Stuart Woods (Thriller)
When last we encountered Ed Eagle, he had been the target of a murder-for-hire plot orchestrated by his wife, Barbara, the ultimate black widow. But when Barbara escapes from police custody, Ed knows that not only will his life be in danger but also the life of his new girlfriend. To add to his troubles, Ed has taken on a new client, Don Wells, who may or may not have murdered his own wife and son. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

THE FORGERY OF VENUS by Michael Gruber (Literary Thriller)
An upstart artist begins painting like an old master, then claims he has become the old master. Where did reality end for him and madness begin? Or did he go mad at all? Maybe someone is manipulating him. After all, there is a lot of profit in art, even forgeries. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.
A REMARKABLE MOTHER by Jimmy Carter (Biography)
Former President Jimmy Carter has written a candid and loving biography of his hard-working, often outspoken mother. A registered nurse, pecan grower, university housemother, Peace Corps volunteer, public speaker and renowned raconteur, Miss Lillian ignored the mores and prejudices of the racially segregated South of the Great Depression years. Reviewed by Carole Turner.
MADNESS: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher (Memoir)
Marya Hornbacher, author of a critically acclaimed novel and the bestselling memoir WASTED, explains the rest of her story in MADNESS: A Bipolar Life, a thoroughly engrossing, painfully raw account of her struggles to come to terms with the often-misunderstood mental illness that has defined most of her life. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

SHE WAS by Janis Hallowell (Fiction)
Doreen Woods is a successful dentist who donates time and skills to the needy, a loving wife and mother, and a sister who cares for her dying brother. But her exemplary life is threatened when a comrade from the 1970s shows up. Over the next week Doreen's past rushes in as she is forced to admit to her family and herself the actions that caused her to change her name and identity three decades earlier. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

A CARRION DEATH by Michael Stanley (Forensic Thriller)
Michael Stanley is the collective name for the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Sears and Trollip have shared a number of exotic adventures together, with Sears living in Johannesburg, South Africa and Trollip dividing his time between Minneapolis, Minnesota and South Africa. They write seamlessly as one and have crafted an engrossing, even enchanting, mystery. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Read this week's reviews here.


span>Poll and Question of the Week: Crime Fiction


In honor of the Edgar Awards, which were presented on May 1st, do you read crime fiction, which includes mysteries, suspense and thriller titles?

What percentage of your reading is crime fiction?

All of it
More than half
Half of it
Less than half
I do not read crime fiction.

-Click here to answer our poll.


We know it might be hard to limit yourself, but who are your five favorite crime fiction authors?

-Click here to answer our question.


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 THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer, KILLING ROMMEL by Steven Pressfield and SKELETONS AT THE FEAST by Chris Bohjalian, all of which will be in stores on May 6th. Tell us what you are reading and rate the titles 1-5 by noon on May 9th to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on May 9th.
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, 2008 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein, BLACK OUT by Lisa Unger, COMFORT FOOD by Kate Jacobs, KILLING ROMMEL by Steven Pressfield and ODD HOURS by Dean Koontz. Juanita from West Salem, OH
was last month's newsletter winner. She won THE GIRL WITH NO SHADOW by Joanne Harris, HOLD TIGHT by Harlan Coben, SEPULCHRE by Kate Mosse, WHERE ARE YOU NOW? by Mary Higgins Clark and THE WHOLE TRUTH by David Baldacci.

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