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June 26, 2009 Newsletter June 26, 2009
A Week for the Books...
Last night I had the pleasure of attending a reading that Gregg Hurwitz did for his new book, TRUST NO ONE. I loved this book when I read a very early galley over the Christmas holiday and am glad we now can share it with you as it came out this week. Gregg told two wonderful back stories on things that influenced the book. He is a self-confessed insomniac, and the opener, which is dramatic and powerful (you can read it here), came to him one night when he was lying in bed and started thinking, “What is the worst thing that could happen at this time of night?” And from there he conceived the book’s opening scene that takes place at 2:18AM. He also was not allowed to watch television as a child except for Red Sox games and Hitchcock movies. Hitchcock very much influenced his writing as he liked the kind of a story where the character gets plunged in somewhere and from there it becomes a series of what ifs. Gregg is a terrific presenter, so if you ever get the opportunity to see him at a book reading or signing, go.

Remember last week when I reminded you that even in the rain you can read. I was thus amused to hear that Lucas Glover, the winner of the US Open, is a very avid reader, who read four books during his time on Long Island for the golf championship. Seems there was lots of time for reading during the rain delays. According to our local paper, he is as much a fan of Clive Cussler and Daniel Silva as he is of A.W.Tillinghast and Ronald Ross. He recommends THE LOST CITY OF Z by David Grann.

Obviously this reading/golf tie-in had an impact on my son, Cory. This week he went out to play in the junior golf league in our town, and besides clubs and his golf towel he had a book in his bag. When my husband questioned him about this, he said, “I had it in case things got slow. And there were a few times I almost pulled it out.” I was amused. You can see a picture of him with me the night of his graduation here. He had a haircut last weekend, thus ensuring that he was not immortalized at middle school graduation as a cross between a sheepdog, Ringo, and a child studying the Talmud.

THE FIXER UPPER by Mary Kay Andrews is in stores this week. I have been a fan of Andrews since her first book SAVANNAH BLUES, and this one was just such fun. I dare you to read these books and not want to click onto HGTV or redecorate once you are done. I sat in my office thinking “what if” as I was reading this and came up with an idea to knit a window treatment for the huge window that overlooks the street. This is one of those projects that will, um, take a while, so I will set a goal to have it done before Andrews’s NEXT book comes out. If an author can do a book a year, I can conquer one big project like this in a year too. Our reviewer Lourdes Orive, who is a huge Mary Kay fan, wrote me a gleeful note once she finished it. Her review includes this: “Perfect for a long weekend on the beach, THE FIXER UPPER is as satisfying as a cold glass of sweet tea on a hot summer day.” I concur with her.

Yesterday we received an email from Marjane Satrapi, the author of PERSEPOLIS, whose memoir is set in Iran and tells the story of Satrapi's early childhood there around the time of the Iranian revolution. As our review on says, "Those were particularly turbulent years for Satrapi's native country of Iran, encompassing the overthrow of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi (the Shah of Iran), the installation of the Islamic Republic, and the war with Iraq. The story is told entirely through the eyes of Satrapi, the child, and how these events affected her parents, her relatives, her friends, and herself." Thus this email from her is from the heart from one who understands the crisis that Iran is facing now all too well. Take a look here for details, and if you feel so moved, here is the petition to sign.

Some of you have written me asking about how you can search for titles on our Word of Mouth page since you would like to see what others are saying about books you may have read --- or want to read. You can do this using’s Search feature. In addition to the reviews and interviews we may have for a particular book, any discussion topics about the title posted in our Word of Mouth feature will appear in the search results as well.

We are launching a new Suspense/Thriller feature for UNDONE by Karin Slaughter. Over the years Karin has become one of my favorite authors. I had a really hectic week this week, but still kept picking up UNDONE whenever there was a moment. Fans of hers will be happy to see that Sara Linton, last seen in FAITHLESS, and Will Trent and Faith Mitchell, last seen in FRACTURED, all are in this book. For those who never have read Karin before, there’s enough back story about the characters to get you on the page quickly. I will not steal any thunder from the prologue, but if you read it here you will see why I wanted to keep reading. Right from the start, Karin’s portrayal of character, setting and plot are so keen that you will be settled in for more. We have 10 copies of UNDONE 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 3rd.

Reminder that the contest for this week’s Beach Bag of Books title, MERCURY IN RETROGRADE, is open until next Wednesday. Click on over to read more about this great romp of a beach read about three single women who live in the same apartment building.

The sad stories of the deaths of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson yesterday and the media coverage of them had me reliving memories of "Charlie’s Angels," the Jackson 5 and Thriller’s release from my growing up. I always thought both of them were a lot younger than they were. For the record, I never could make my hair look like Farrah’s and I cannot moonwalk. And for my boys, this is their Elvis moment.

Please note that next week’s newsletter will come to you on Thursday as we are taking Friday off to celebrate the holiday. Here’s to some sunshine this weekend so I can finish UNDONE outside and then peruse my shelves for something else to unwind with. Have a great on....

Carol Fitzgerald (


Now in Stores: FINGER LICKIN' FIFTEEN by Janet Evanovich
FINGER LICKIN’ FIFTEEN: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich (Mystery)
Trenton bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is working overtime tracking felons for the bonds office at night and snooping for security expert Carlos Manoso, aka Ranger, during the day. Can Stephanie hunt down two killers, a traitor, five skips, keep her grandmother out of the sauce, solve Ranger’s problems and not jump his bones? Reviewed by Roz Shea.

-Click here to read an excerpt from FINGER LICKIN’ FIFTEEN.

Click here to read a review of FINGER LICKIN’ FIFTEEN. Talks to Mary Kay Andrews, Author of THE FIXER UPPER
Mary Kay Andrews is the bestselling author of seven books, including SAVANNAH BREEZE, SAVANNAH BLUES, LITTLE BITTY LIES and HISSY FIT. In this interview with's Lourdes Orive, Andrews explains what inspired the plot of her latest novel, THE FIXER UPPER, and gives a bit of insight into her main character Dempsey's troubles in life and love. She also discusses her own restoring and decorating, mentions some of her favorite Southern writers, and creates an ideal menu for reading groups to enjoy while discussing her book.

THE FIXER UPPER by Mary Kay Andrews (Fiction)
After her boss in a Washington PR firm is caught in a scandal, lobbyist Dempsey Jo Killebrew is left broke, unemployed and homeless. Out of options, she reluctantly accepts her father's offer to help refurbish Birdsong, a dilapidated, Pepto Bismol–pink Victorian house he recently inherited in Guthrie, Georgia. The delightful New York Times bestselling author returns with a hilarious novel about one woman's quest to redo an old house...and her life. Reviewed by Lourdes Orive.

-Click here to read a review of THE FIXER UPPER.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE FIXER UPPER.
-Visit Mary Kay Andrews's official website,

Click here to read our interview with Mary Kay Andrews. Talks to Heather Barbieri, Author of THE LACE MAKERS OF GLENMARA
In this interview with's Bronwyn Miller, Heather Barbieri --- whose second novel, THE LACE MAKERS OF GLENMARA, is now available in stores --- explains what inspired the book's plot and describes her personal connection with its setting in Western Ireland. She also discusses the role sewing played in her upbringing, names the character with whom she most identifies, and reveals what she looks forward to on book tours.

THE LACE MAKERS OF GLENMARA by Heather Barbieri (Fiction)
"You can always start again," Kate Robinson's mother once told her, "all it takes is a new thread." Overwhelmed by heartbreak and loss, the struggling 26-year-old fashion designer follows her mother's advice and flees to her ancestral homeland of Ireland, hoping to break free of old patterns and reinvent herself. THE LACE MAKERS OF GLENMARA is an enchanting, romantic tale of friendship and love in which a young American woman helps a group of lace makers change their lives --- and, ultimately, her own. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

-Click here to read a review of THE LACE MAKERS OF GLENMARA.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE LACE MAKERS OF GLENMARA.

Click here to read our interview with Heather Barbieri. Talks to George Rabasa, Author of THE WONDER SINGER
George Rabasa's third novel, THE WONDER SINGER, is about a ghostwriter asked to pen the autobiography of an aging, legendary opera diva who dies unexpectedly before the project is completed. In this interview with's Eileen Zimmerman Nicol, Rabasa discusses the challenges of writing in the story-within-a-story frame, and explains who inspired --- both in name and personality --- the book's main character. He also describes his unconventional writing process, reveals how his former career in advertising helped hone his voice as a writer, and compares and contrasts the life of an author with that of a performer.

THE WONDER SINGER by George Rabasa (Literary Fiction)
For freelance writer Mark Lockwood, landing the job as ghost writer for opera diva Mercè Casals is a dream. But when she dies in her bath and her agent wants to give the project to a renowned celebrity biographer, Lockwood makes off with the interview tapes to save his last best chance at writing success. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol.

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

Click here to read our interview with George Rabasa.

Our Summer Beach Bag Contest: Spotlight This Week on MERCURY IN RETROGRADE by Paula Froelich
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 Fifth Annual Beach Bag of Books feature and contests.

During select weeks from May 22nd through September 4th, a different title or collection of titles will be featured with a contest prize --- a beach bag stocked with the featured book(s) and summertime essentials. 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 MERCURY IN RETROGRADE by Paula Froelich, a charming debut novel in which the lives of three New York women intersect when they move into the same SoHo apartment building. In a cute and spacious blue and white zippered beach tote, winners will find a two-toned striped blue beach towel, a metal shaker for summer cocktails, a package of colorful wine rabbits, a spring float for relaxing in the pool, a box of Tazo Passion Tea, H2O+ Lemon Lust Moisturizing Body Balm and a spray bottle of H2O+ pool-scented spray, as well as a copy of MERCURY IN RETROGRADE. We have five to give away, as well as five additional prizes of copies of MERCURY IN RETROGRADE.

To enter, fill out this form and answer the following question by Wednesday, July 1st at 11:59PM. You can find the answer by reading the excerpt here.

What is Penelope Mercury's hometown?

MERCURY IN RETROGRADE by Paula Froelich (Fiction)
MERCURY IN RETROGRADE introduces three women whose lives intersect when they each decide to move into the same SoHo apartment building. As these disparate ladies become friends, they soon discover that having their carefully planned lives fall to pieces might have been the best thing that could have ever happened to them. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Read more about Paula Froelich and MERCURY IN RETROGRADE here.

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

New Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Karin Slaughter, Author of UNDONE
Karin Slaughter is the New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including BEYOND REACH and A FAINT COLD FEAR, which was named an International Book of the Month selection. In UNDONE, her new thriller releasing on July 14th, Slaughter weaves together the moving, powerful human stories of characters as real as they are complex and unforgettable.

We have 10 advance copies of UNDONE 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 3rd.

-Click here to read an excerpt from UNDONE.
-Click here to read Karin Slaughter’s bio.
-Visit Karin Slaughter’s official website,

More about UNDONE:
In the trauma center of Atlanta’s busiest hospital, Sara Linton treats the poor, wounded and unlucky --- and finds refuge from the tragedy that rocked her life in rural Grant County. But in an instant, Sara is thrust into a frantic police investigation that will take her right back to Grant County. In UNDONE, three unforgettable characters from Karin Slaughter’s bestselling novels FAITHLESS and FRACTURED collide for the first time, entering an electrifying race against the clock.

Click here to read more about Karin Slaughter and UNDONE.

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: David Morrell, Author of THE SHIMMER

Creator of Rambo and cofounder of the International Thriller Writers Organization, award-winning and New York Times bestselling author David Morrell has been called “the father of the modern action novel.” In THE SHIMMER, his new novel releasing on July 7th, a police officer’s search for his missing wife leads him to a small Texas town that is the site of a mysterious --- and possibly deadly --- phenomenon.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from THE SHIMMER.
-Click here to read David Morrell’s bio.
-Click here to see David Morrell's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE SHIMMER.
-Visit David Morrell’s official website,
-Visit the official book website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about THE SHIMMER:
In New York Times bestselling author David Morrell’s new novel, THE SHIMMER, bizarre phenomena draw hundreds of people to a remote Texas town, including a Santa Fe police officer and his wife who find themselves plunged into violence and bloodshed that quickly spiral out of control. But has the military known about --- and exploited --- these inexplicable phenomena for decades, thus unleashing forces they may not be able to control?


Click here to read more about David Morrell and THE SHIMMER.

Featured Mystery Mayhem Author: Tana French, Author of THE LIKENESS, Now Available in Paperback

In her award-winning debut novel, IN THE WOODS, Tana French demonstrated that she has an uncanny ability to draw disparate elements from her characters' past into the present. THE LIKENESS, which is now available in paperback, continues this theme, though in a totally different manner. With her richly nuanced characters and deep psychological insight, Tana French explores themes of self-invention, deception and the ways truth can emerge from even the most convincing disguises.

-Click here to read a review of THE LIKENESS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE LIKENESS.
-Click here to read Tana French’s bio.
-Click here to see Tana French's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE LIKENESS.
-Visit Tana French's official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about THE LIKENESS:
Six months after the events of IN THE WOODS, Detective Cassie Maddox is still trying to recover. She’s transferred out of the Murder squad and started a relationship with Detective Sam O’Neill, but she’s too badly shaken to make any commitment either to him or to her career. Then Sam calls her to the scene of his new case: a young woman found stabbed to death in a small town outside Dublin.

The dead girl’s ID says her name is Lexie Madison --- the identity Cassie used, years ago, as an undercover detective. And she looks exactly like Cassie.


Click here to read more about Tana French and THE LIKENESS.

Featured Mystery Mayhem Author: Dorothy Howell, Author of HANDBAGS AND HOMICIDE
Now available in paperback, HANDBAGS AND HOMICIDE is the first novel in Dorothy Howell’s Haley Randolph Mystery series. When a fashion-obsessed salesclerk finds her boss dead, she must team up with the store’s head of loss prevention to search for the killer. The second novel in the series, PURSES AND POISON, will be in stores on June 30th.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from HANDBAGS AND HOMICIDE.
-Click here to read Dorothy Howell’s bio.
-Click here to read critical praise for HANDBAGS AND HOMICIDE.
-Visit Dorothy Howell’s official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

Witty, smart and always chic, Haley Randolph has it all: Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Coach, Burberry, and she’d kill for the newest Louis Vuitton handbag...but it seems she’s not the only one. When someone’s passion for designer purses leads to murder, Haley goes shopping for a killer and to clear her name.

Click here to read more about Dorothy Howell and HANDBAGS AND HOMICIDE.

Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Henry Perez, Author of KILLING RED
Henry Perez has worked as a newspaper reporter for more than a decade. In his debut thriller novel, KILLING RED, a reporter’s dream story --- an interview with a notorious serial killer --- leads to a frightening race again time. KILLING RED is now available in stores.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from KILLING RED.
-Click here to read Henry Perez’s bio.
-Click here to read critical praise for KILLING RED.
-Visit Henry Perez's official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about KILLING RED:
On death row, serial killer Kenneth Lee Grubb has six days to live, and his last request is an interview with reporter Alex Chapa. What begins as a dream story soon turns into a nightmare for Alex. For amidst Grubb’s taunts and boasts lies the horrific claim that someone is carefully repeating his past crimes. When nine people suddenly turn up dead, Alex realizes Grubb is telling the truth. Now the copycat killer is ready to pay his ultimate tribute to his idol. He’s set his sights on Annie “Red” Sykes, the only survivor of his bloodlust 15 years ago.

Click here to read more about Henry Perez and KILLING RED.

Now in Stores: SWORN TO SILENCE by Linda Castillo
SWORN TO SILENCE by Linda Castillo (Thriller)
Kate Burkholder, who grew up in the Amish community of Painters Mill, Ohio, before abandoning their way of life for the outside world and the study of law enforcement, has recently been appointed Chief of Police in her former hometown. Her knowledge of the Amish, their language and customs, makes her a natural. When the serial killer whose spree 16 years before was dubbed The Slaughterhouse Murders returns with spectacular violence, Kate is determined to catch him. But she is also desperate to keep a secret from her past: the reason she fled the Amish world is that she was the young girl the killer attacked before disappearing --- and she killed him in self defense. No one knows, except the father and brother who helped bury the body. So who is behind the current murders? And what is the connection to Kate's past?

-Visit Linda Castillo's official website,

Click here to read more about Linda Castillo and SWORN TO SILENCE.

New in Paperback for June
June’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, Garth Stein’s New York Times bestselling novel about family, love, loyalty and hope; MOSCOW RULES by Daniel Silva, in which the death of a journalist leads Israeli spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon to Russia; FEARLESS FOURTEEN, Janet Evanovich’s 17th mystery featuring New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum; KILLER VIEW, which marks the return of Sun Valley sheriff Walt Fleming in a new thriller from Ridley Pearson; THE WIDOWS OF EASTWICK, the highly anticipated sequel to John Updike’s classic 1984 novel THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK; WHERE THE RIVER ENDS, Charles Martin’s powerfully emotional and beautifully written story of heartbreaking loss and undying love; and WHEN YOU ARE ENGULFED IN FLAMES, David Sedaris’s sixth collection of uproariously funny and profoundly moving essays.
Click here to see our New in Paperback feature for June.

This Week's Reviews
MEDUSA: A Novel from the NUMA® Files by Clive Cussler with Paul Kemprecos (Fiction/Action & Adventure)
For seven books, Clive Cussler has dazzled readers with the “spine-tingling adventures” (Chicago Tribune) of Kurt Austin, Joe Zavala and the rest of the NUMA® Special Assignments Team. But in MEDUSA the NUMA® team faces what may be its most perilous mission of all. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

TRUST NO ONE by Gregg Hurwitz (Thriller)
In the middle of the night, a SWAT team bursts into Nick Horrigan’s apartment, grabs him and drags him to a waiting helicopter. A terrorist --- someone Nick has never heard of --- has seized control of a nuclear reactor, threatening to blow it up. And the only person he’ll talk to is Nick, promising to tell Nick the truth behind the events that shattered his life 20 years ago. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from TRUST NO ONE.

SANCTUARY: A Jack Taylor Novel by Ken Bruen (Thriller)
When a letter containing a list of victims arrives in the post, P.I. Jack Taylor tells himself that it has nothing to do with him. A guard and then a judge die in mysterious circumstances. But it is not until a child is added to the list that Taylor determines to find the identity of the killer, and stop them at any cost. What he doesn’t know is that his relationship with the killer is far closer than he thinks. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN by Colum McCann (Fiction)
In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in Colum McCann’s portrait of a city and its people. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

THE SECOND DEATH OF GOODLUCK TINUBU: A Detective Kubu Mystery by Michael Stanley (Mystery)
The memorable Kubu of A CARRION DEATH returns in this gripping story of murder, greed and hidden motives. Set in northern Botswana, amid lush vegetation and teeming wildlife, THE SECOND DEATH OF GOODLUCK TINUBU captures the intense loyalties and struggles taking place at the country's borders --- and the shattered dreams of those living just outside this modern democracy. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

In the heart of New York City, hidden in the back room of an old Laundromat, are nine rare and valuable plants. HOTHOUSE FLOWER AND THE NINE PLANTS OF DESIRE tells the story of this legendary garden, and the distance one woman must travel --- from the cold, harsh streets of Manhattan to the lush jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula --- to claim what is hers. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

NAME TO A FACE by Robert Goddard (Thriller)
Robert Goddard’s NAME TO A FACE is another addition to a long line of novels that have captivated readers worldwide with edge-of-the-seat pacing and labyrinthine plotting. This novel features a century’s old mystery involving the sinking of a ship off Sicily in 1707 and how it ties in to a murder 30 years later and the drowning of a journalist in 1999. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

THE DEVIL’S TICKETS: A Night of Bridge, a Fatal Hand, and a New American Age by Gary M. Pomerantz (History)
Through larger-than-life characters and the timeless partnership game they played, THE DEVIL’S TICKETS evokes the last echoes of the Roaring Twenties and the darkness of the Depression. Ultimately it reveals a tension between husbands and wives that is eternal and manifests itself at the bridge table in ways surprising and profound. Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds.

The legendary attorney Clarence Darrow is most remembered for courtroom battles of the 1920s. The Leopold and Loeb case, the Scopes Monkey Trial and the Ossian Sweet murder trial came at the end of his career as he sought to rehabilitate his image, tarnished by his personal criminal prosecution for jury tampering. Here, Donald McRae portrays Darrow’s personal struggle for redemption as well as his courtroom battles for his clients. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

Read this week's reviews here.

Poll, Question and Word of Mouth


Do you consider yourself to be a fast reader?

Very fast
Moderately fast
Very slow

-Click here to answer our poll.


What is a recent book that you just zipped through reading?

-Click here to answer our question.

Word of Mouth:

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 DOOMSDAY KEY by James Rollins, FINGER LICKIN’ FIFTEEN by Janet Evanovich and KILLER SUMMER by Ridley Pearson. Tell us what you are reading and rate the titles 1-5 by noon on July 10th to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.

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 June 30, 2009 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month, one winner will be selected to win the following five books: THE ANGEL’S GAME by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, THE BOURNE DECEPTION by Eric Van Lustbader, THE FIXER UPPER by Mary Kay Andrews, KILLER SUMMER by Ridley Pearson and THE STRAIN by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Dan from Andover, NJ was last month's newsletter winner. He won GONE TOMORROW: A Reacher Novel by Lee Child, ROAD DOGS by Elmore Leonard, THE SCARECROW by Michael Connelly, SHANGHAI GIRLS by Lisa See and THE SIGN by Raymond Khoury

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

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