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July 18, 2008 Newsletter

July 18, 2008

This Week on

Finally Elite --- and Halloween in July Talks to Christopher Reich, Author of RULES OF DECEPTION

Author Talk: Lisa Gardner, Author of SAY GOODBYE

Our Summer Beach Bag Contest: Spotlight This Week on WHERE THE RIVER ENDS by Charles Martin
Now in Stores: SWAN PEAK by James Lee Burke

Now in Stores: THE LAST PATRIOT by Brad Thor

New Featured One to Watch Author: Andrew Davidson, Author of THE GARGOYLE

New Featured One to Watch Author: Matt Rothschild, Author of DUMBFOUNDED

Featured Historical Fiction Author: C. W. Gortner, Author of THE LAST QUEEN

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Brandon Massey, Author of DON'T EVER TELL
This Week's Graphic Novel Reviews
Now in Stores: LOVE AS A WAY OF LIFE by Gary Chapman

This Week's Reviews

Poll and Question of the Week: Political 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

Finally Elite --- and Halloween in July

The other night, right before I left for Orlando, I learned that I had achieved “Silver Elite” frequent flyer status on Continental, which, given my non-stop travel this year, should come as no surprise. Yes, I danced a happy dance over that one, and then a true nirvana moment of any frequent traveler came through in email --- the complimentary upgrade to First Class. Hmmmm I wonder if they had read last week’s newsletter about my fear of Mickey ears and Shamu the whale in coach. I think I was out of the airport and into a taxi before the last row got off the plane. It is the little things that make me happy!

Before I jumped on that plane I wrapped up events at the International Thriller Writers conference, which ended as well as it began. One of the highlights of Friday was the demonstration by the ATF of firearms, weapons and their armored truck. I had a blast climbing around the truck and donning the bulletproof vest and helmet. The picture here is of me climbing out of the back after I raised the turret on top. The fashion look you see is part of my audition for Charlie's Angels. Can't you see me now frolicking on a caper? 

Christopher Reich threw a really lovely party on Friday night where he feted the nominees for Best Novel, an award that he won two years ago for THE PATRIOTS CLUB. I had the chance to talk to my pal Linwood Barclay, which is always fun, and to meet Gregg Hurwitz. I love moments at these conferences where I get to meet an author who I have heard about, and read our reviews of, but whom I have never read. Thus I have been enjoying Hurwitz's novel, THE CRIME WRITER, which was recently released in paperback. Gregg also told my son Greg that Gregg with two g's IS a good thing, which made ME smile since it’s my preferred spelling and my Greg used that until second grade when one day the "g" just fell off the end! I needed to dash out Saturday night to make my flight before the Awards Ceremony, but you can see the winners here.

Reich’s new book RULES OF DECEPTION came out on Tuesday, and I am thrilled to share our interview with him and Joe Hartlaub’s review this week. As Joe says, “Christopher Reich is a sure-footed guide through the labyrinthine plotting of RULES OF DECEPTION, and his characters --- both primary and secondary --- are every bit as compelling and memorable as the storyline, which reads as if it was ripped from tomorrow's headlines.”

Our Beach Bag of Books contest book this week is WHERE THE RIVER ENDS by Charles Martin. I have been a HUGE fan of Charles’s work since I read the manuscript of his first book, THE DEAD DON’T DANCE, five books ago. WHERE THE RIVER ENDS is a very powerful love story and a very emotional read. You will need tissues at various points, but I am one who loves to feel as I read, and Charles once again made me feel. It also made me want to paddle my way down the St. Mary’s River, which is something Charles did as research for the book. You can see a video interview with him here that has some footage of this. For this beach bag contest I went with a camping theme. We have a great camp pillow, a NALGENE water bottle (I was looking for a metal canteen but was told they were passé) and a compass among the items that you can win. Read on for more about this book, and click here to enter the contest.

Also out this week is Lisa Gardner’s SAY GOODBYE. You heard me talk about this one a few months ago as a fantastic book. The spider storyline was inspired by Lisa’s daughter, who loves tarantulas. You can read more about this in the Author Talk with Lisa that we are featuring along with Joe’s review.

We’re launching two new One to Watch features this week. Our first new featured author is Andrew Davidson, whose debut novel, THE GARGOYLE, weaves an astonishing tale about love and redemption. I have started reading this one, and the writing is strong and tugging me in. We have 10 copies of THE GARGOYLE 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, July 25th.

Our second new featured author is Matt Rothschild, whose debut memoir, DUMBFOUNDED, tells the humorous story of a boy trying to find his place in the world. I was laughing from the opening pages. The dialogue between Rothschild’s grandparents is like watching a tennis match.We have 10 copies of DUMBFOUNDED 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, July 25th.

We have received some great responses from our advance readers for IN THE WOODS by Tana French, which you can read here. Don’t forget that French’s new book, THE LIKENESS, is now in stores. We will be featuring a review of it next week.
On Tuesday, Daniel Silva’s new book, MOSCOW RULES, the latest in his Gabriel Allon series, will be in stores. It’s received terrific pre-publication buzz. Want to read more about it? His new website just went live today at Check it out. 
Wednesday I am off to San Diego for Comic-Con, the comic book convention, where attendance for this four-day show will be at something like 120,000. People have me bracing for crowds of completely passionate fans. We are planning to launch a graphic novel site here on (we’ve been including two reviews each week and features on books in this format these past few months) as well as on in the very near future. I am planning to meet both authors and creators at this show. People keep asking what costume I'm going to wear since this convention is filled with folks into roleplaying and dressing up. For the record, I will be the one NOT in costume; as a rule I limit my costumes to Halloween. I am sure I will have more than a story or two to share with you once this is over.

Have a great week...I have a hammock and a pool chair here with my name on them before I pull out my luggage and again get packing. Here’s to all of you finding something wonderful to read here at this week.

Carol Fitzgerald ( Talks to Christopher Reich, Author of RULES OF DECEPTION

Bestselling author Christopher Reich's latest work of fiction, RULES OF DECEPTION, is the first installment in a series featuring mountaineer and Doctors Without Borders surgeon Dr. Jonathan Ransom. In this interview with's Joe Hartlaub, Reich describes how an encounter with General Tommy Franks inspired the plot of this book and discusses some of the real-life counterparts upon which his characters are based. He also sheds light on how he manages to balance his writing career with his family life, mentions some of his past and present favorite reads, and shares details about his current writing and travel plans.

RULES OF DECEPTION by Christopher Reich (Thriller)
Following the tragic death of his wife, Dr. Jonathan Ransom receives an envelope addressed to her containing two baggage-claim tickets. So begins a journey that will draw him deeper into a world of spies, high-tech weaponry and global terrorism --- a world where no one is who they appear to be and where the end always justifies the means. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read a review of RULES OF DECEPTION.
-Click here to read an excerpt from RULES OF DECEPTION.
Click here to read our interview with Christopher Reich.


Author Talk: Lisa Gardner, Author of SAY GOODBYE

Lisa Gardner's latest novel, SAY GOODBYE, marks the return of FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy (last seen in 2006’s GONE), this time in a starring role. In this interview, Gardner explains why she chose to continue the Quincy family's story and describes the unlikely inspiration behind some of the book's more gruesome elements. She also discusses the amount of research she performed to give the narrative a unique and authentic flavor, shares her favorite scene, and reveals details about her next project, the sequel to SAY GOODBYE.

SAY GOODBYE by Lisa Gardner (Thriller)
Lisa Gardner's latest novel has something to terrify everyone. Pick your poison: Spiders. Abducted children. Spiders. Sexual abuse. Spiders. Put it all in the frame of a smartly plotted and compellingly told tale, and you have a winner --- one that you won't put down from beginning to end, other than to brush the imaginary crawling things off yourself. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read a review of SAY GOODBYE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from SAY GOODBYE.


Click here to read an interview with Lisa Gardner.

Our Summer Beach Bag Contest: Spotlight This Week on WHERE THE RIVER ENDS by Charles Martin
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 Fourth Annual " Beach Bag of Books."

Every week from May 16th through August 29th, a different title or collection of titles will be featured with a review and contest prize --- a beach bag stocked with the featured book(s), plus summertime essentials that tie in to the weekly theme. Five FABULOUS beach bags will be given away each week, as well as five copies of the featured book(s) to additional winners.

This week we’re spotlighting WHERE THE RIVER ENDS by Charles Martin, a powerfully emotional and beautifully written story of heartbreaking loss and undying love. In a yellow and white striped shoulder bag, winners will find a green and blue towel with a cute frog on it, a pink sun hat, a green camping pillow, an outdoors-grade compass, a white and green frame with a dragonfly on it to remember your river adventures, a blue NALGENE water bottle and delicious fly-shaped cookies, as well as a copy of WHERE THE RIVER ENDS. We have five to give away, as well as five additional prizes of copies of WHERE THE RIVER ENDS.

To enter, fill out this form and answer the following question by Thursday, July 24th at 11:59PM. You can find the answer by reading the excerpt here.

What are the two things Doss says he likes about his bed?

WHERE THE RIVER ENDS by Charles Martin (Fiction)
Award-winning author Charles Martin's sixth novel is a touching story of love and loss, with plenty of memorable characters and rich details about Charleston and the people who populate it. Painter Doss Michaels sets out for a once-promised 130-mile canoe trip with his dying wife Abbie, but events and others conspire to try to keep him from fulfilling his commitment to her. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

-Read more about Charles Martin and WHERE THE RIVER ENDS here.
Click here to read all the details of our Summer Beach Bag Contest.

Now in Stores: SWAN PEAK by James Lee Burke
SWAN PEAK: A Dave Robicheaux Novel by James Lee Burke (Thriller)
James Lee Burke's new novel finds Detective Robicheaux attempting to relax in the untouched wilderness of rural Montana. He, his wife and his buddy Clete Purcell have retreated to stay at an old friend's ranch, hoping to spend their days fishing and enjoying their distance from the harsh, gritty landscape of Louisiana post-Katrina. But the serenity is soon shattered when two college students are found brutally murdered in the hills behind where the Robicheauxs and Purcell are staying. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SWAN PEAK.

Click here to read a review of SWAN PEAK.


Now in Stores: THE LAST PATRIOT by Brad Thor


THE LAST PATRIOT by Brad Thor (Political Thriller)
Was the Prophet Mohammed assassinated by his companions in order to keep his final revelation hidden and out of the Koran? This is the premise behind Brad Thor's pulse-pounding thriller, THE LAST PATRIOT. Navy SEAL turned covert Homeland Security operative Scot Harvath must race to locate an ancient secret that has the power to stop militant Islam dead in its tracks. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE LAST PATRIOT.


Click here to read a review of THE LAST PATRIOT.

New Featured One to Watch Author: Andrew Davidson, Author of THE GARGOYLE

Andrew Davidson’s debut novel, THE GARGOYLE, is the product of seven years' worth of research and composition. Releasing on August 5th, THE GARGOYLE weaves a riveting love story about the redemptive power of suffering and a romance that transcends the limits of space and time.

We have 10 copies of THE GARGOYLE 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, July 25th.

-Click here to read Andrew Davidson's bio.
-Visit these two pages about THE GARGOYLE: and

More about THE GARGOYLE:
Marianne Engel is a beautiful sculptress of gargoyles who appears in the burn unit one day and tells the narrator of this mesmerizing tale that they were lovers in medieval times, when she was a scribe and he was a mercenary. Is she simply mad? Or is she truly the angel of mercy who will save him from his suicidal despair?


Click here to read more about Andrew Davidson and THE GARGOYLE.


New Featured One to Watch Author: Matt Rothschild, Author of DUMBFOUNDED

In his debut memoir, DUMBFOUNDED, Matt Rothschild writes a laugh-out-loud narrative of a precocious and sexually confused boy raised by his grandparents --- the only Jews in an elite Manhattan apartment building. DUMBFOUNDED will be available in stores on August 12th.

We have 10 copies of DUMBFOUNDED 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, July 25th.

-Click here to read Matt Rothschild’s bio.
-Visit the author’s official website,

The only Jewish family in a luxury Fifth Avenue building of WASPs, the senior Rothschilds took over the responsibility of raising their grandson, Matt, after his mother left him for Italy and a fourth husband. But rearing Matt was no small task --- even for his sharp-tongued grandmother, a cross between Lauren Bacall and Bea Arthur, and a lady who Matt grew to love deeply.


Click here to read more about Matt Rothschild and DUMBFOUNDED.


Featured Historical Fiction Author: C. W. Gortner, Author of THE LAST QUEEN

C. W. Gortner has a master’s degree in writing with an emphasis on historical studies. In THE LAST QUEEN, which will be available on July 29th, Gortner tells the story of a Spanish queen, her tumultuous marriage into the Habsburg Empire, her dynamic relationship with her parents Ferdinand and Isabella, and her determination to hold on to the throne that is rightfully hers.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from THE LAST QUEEN.
-Click here to read C. W. Gortner’s bio.
-Click here to see C. W. Gortner's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE LAST QUEEN.
-Visit the author's official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about THE LAST QUEEN:
Juana of Castile, the last queen of Spanish blood to inherit her country’s throne, has been for centuries an enigmatic figure shrouded in lurid myth. Was she the bereft widow of legend who was driven mad by her loss, or has history misjudged a woman who was ahead of her time? In his stunning new novel, C. W. Gortner challenges the myths about Queen Juana, unraveling the mystery surrounding her to reveal a brave, determined woman we can only now begin to fully understand.

Click here to read more about C. W. Gortner and THE LAST QUEEN.

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Brandon Massey, Author of DON'T EVER TELL

In 2000, Brandon Massey won the Black Writers Alliance’s Gold Pen Award for Best Thriller for his first book, THUNDERLAND. He has since published nine more suspense novels and short story collections. In DON’T EVER TELL, his newest thriller now in stores, a woman’s dark secrets have a way of coming back with a vengeance.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from DON'T EVER TELL.
-Click here to read Brandon Massey’s bio.
-Click here to see Brandon Massey's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for DON'T EVER TELL.
-Visit the author’s official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about DON’T EVER TELL:
With a new identity, a new city to live in and a wonderful new husband, Rachel Moore believes she's finally free of the demons in her past. But nothing could be farther from the truth. For the deadly secrets she thought were long buried are now on the brink of being exposed...


Click here to read more about Brandon Massey and DON'T EVER TELL.

This Week's Graphic Novel Reviews
POTENTIAL: The High School Comic Chronicles of Ariel Schrag by Ariel Schrag
Ariel Schrag’s high school journey continues, as does her emotional development. Struggling with her sexual identity and the pressures of being a teenager, she takes a lighthearted yet remarkably insightful look at what it means to be young in POTENTIAL. Reviewed by John Hogan.

GENTLEMAN JIM by Raymond Briggs
Jim is tired of his life cleaning toilets and aspires to bigger things --- if only the bureaucracy didn’t constantly get in his way. Raymond Briggs satirizes modern life and its travails in his witty social commentary, GENTLEMAN JIM, now reprinted after nearly 30 years. Reviewed by John Hogan.

Click here to see all our graphic novel reviews and features.

Now in Stores: LOVE AS A WAY OF LIFE by Gary Chapman
LOVE AS A WAY OF LIFE: Seven Keys to Transforming Every Aspect of Your Life by Gary Chapman (Relationships)
Dr. Gary Chapman has taught millions of people how to speak the love language of those they are closest to. Now, in his first major study of love since THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES, he shows how to base every area of life on seven characteristics of authentic love. In his new book, LOVE AS A WAY OF LIFE, you’ll learn that the essential qualities of kindness, patience, forgiveness, courtesy, humility, generosity and honesty work together to transform the way you live.

-Click here to read a review of LOVE AS A WAY OF LIFE on

Click here to read more about LOVE AS A WAY OF LIFE.


This Week's Reviews

KILLER VIEW by Ridley Pearson (Thriller)
When a skier goes missing at Sun Valley's Galena Summit, Sheriff Walt Fleming quickly assembles his crack search-and-rescue team and heads out into the snowy night. Despite the treacherous conditions, Walt and his group set off on skis, accompanied by highly trained search dogs. Within minutes, something goes horribly wrong: a shot rings out, and one of their team is dead. By morning, Walt's best friend has disappeared. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

-Click here to read an excerpt from KILLER VIEW.

MY NAME IS WILL: A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and Shakespeare by Jess Winfield (Fiction)
In this retelling of William Shakespeare's youth, his story is paired with that of another Shakespeare: a struggling graduate student in Reagan-era California. In Jess Winfield's funny debut novel, both young men must tame their libidos and grow up. And it may be theater that saves them. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

-Click here to read an excerpt from MY NAME IS WILL.
-Visit the publisher’s website,

THE SISTER by Poppy Adams (Psychological Suspense)
When Virginia's long-lost sister Vivien comes back home after almost 50 years, they realize that their recollections of the past differ in essential and unsettling ways. Before long, the deeply buried resentments that have shaped both their lives rise to the surface, and Vivien's presence threatens to disrupt Ginny's carefully ordered world. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

MADE IN THE U.S.A. by Billie Letts (Fiction)
The bestselling author of WHERE THE HEART IS tells the story of two homeless siblings who travel from a small town in South Dakota in search of a better life. They encounter trouble and hardships in Las Vegas before a guardian angel comes to their rescue, giving them a second chance in life. Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton.
HOW TO BE SINGLE by Liz Tuccillo (Fiction)
Bestselling self-help author Liz Tuccillo turns her attention to fiction in HOW TO BE SINGLE, a novel that, like her advice book HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU, manages to instill single women with feelings of power, self-worth and friendship --- even when the going gets really tough. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
OXYGEN by Carol Cassella (Fiction)
Dr. Marie Heaton is an anesthesiologist at the height of her profession. She has carefully constructed and constricted her life according to empirical truths, to the science and art of medicine. But when her tried-and-true formula suddenly deserts her during a routine surgery, she must explain the nightmarish operating room disaster and face the resulting malpractice suit. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol.
THE MERCY RULE by Perri Klass (Fiction)
At first glance, Dr. Lucy Weiss looks like the typical high-achieving, upper-middle-class working mother who, along with her husband, is bringing up much-beloved children in the suburbs. But having overcome a difficult childhood in foster care, she is what's called a super-survivor. Now a pediatrician, Lucy finds herself working with some of those same at-risk patients and their families. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

Read this week's reviews here.


Poll and Question of the Week: Political Books


Are you planning to read any books by or about the presidential candidates?

Not sure

How do you characterize your political beliefs?

Middle of the road
Not sure

-Click here to answer our poll.


Over the years, what is the political book that has been most memorable to you?

-Click here to answer our question.


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

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
MOSCOW RULES by Daniel Silva and SAY GOODBYE by Lisa Gardner.
Tell us what you are reading and rate the titles 1-5 by noon on July 25th to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on July 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 July 31, 2008 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: AT FIRST SIGHT: A Novel of Obsession by Stephen J. Cannell, FISHERMAN'S BEND: A Jane Bunker Novel by Linda Greenlaw, KILLER VIEW by Ridley Pearson, MOSCOW RULES by Daniel Silva and SAY GOODBYE by Lisa Gardner. Vada from Anoka, MN
was last month's newsletter winner. She won THE BROKEN WINDOW: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel by Jeffery Deaver, FEARLESS FOURTEEN: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich, THE MURDER NOTEBOOK by Jonathan Santlofer, NOTHING TO LOSE: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child and THIS CHARMING MAN by Marian Keyes.

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