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July 17, 2009 Newsletter July 17, 2009
On the Road Again.....
Yesterday morning the phone rang with a wakeup call. When I answered I wanted to ask, “What city am I in?” It’s been that kind of a week.

I never use alarm clocks in hotels since each one is different, and I really do not have time to learn how to use them. I figure it’s easier to have this handled by someone else. In New York a person called to wake me, in Chicago there was music playing when I answered, and here in DC I again have a person who asked if I would like the weather as well. Of course, I was thinking, maybe when they call they can say, “Good morning. This is your 7AM wakeup call. You are in Washington, DC. The weather is X.” Then I will know what city I am in!

I also love it when they ask if I need a follow-up call. One call works for me. However, if I am with my older son Greg, seven alarms are not too many! The other morning he had a virtual symphony ringing...the alarm clock in the room, his BlackBerry and the hotel calling...and he slept on as I tried to keep up with turning off the rings.

When we left off last week we were at ThrillerFest. That event wrapped with the Awards Ceremony on Saturday night, which Greg covered for us as I already had flown to Chicago for the American Library Convention’s annual show. You can see the winners here, and we will have photos from the conference next week.

The library show was very, very upbeat with lots of passionate librarians. At one panel the moderator asked the audience who had brought a book with them to the convention. Every hand went up. She then asked who had brought two books in case they finished the first one. Again every hand went up. Moments like that when I realize I am among likeminded people truly makes me smile!

There were a number of terrific author guests, with Neil Gaiman showing true rock star-like status. I saw him outside my hotel getting into a cab and it was one of the few moments where I think he was not signing books! As the Newbery Award winner for THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, there was a long line each time he had a signing. I never had time to wait, but I enjoyed hearing him speak at a panel presented by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund about censorship and challenges with graphic novels with Terry Moore and Craig Thompson, moderated by Charles Brownstein.

As we have websites for children and teens as well as book clubs, graphic novel and Christian book readers, my agenda is always chockfull. Highlights of this conference included seeing YA author Laurie Halse Anderson receive the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement. I finished her book WINTERGIRLS on this trip, and it was one of the most powerful books that I have read this year. Laurie takes on tough topics, and this one was no exception as it looked at anorexia and bulimia. Brilliantly done. I want to read all the rest of her work since I had not read her since SPEAK.

Also, there was a fabulous event for Jerry Pinkney’s THE LION & THE MOUSE at the Field Museum where we truly felt like we had been dropped into the setting of the book with a gorgeous wildlife backdrop around us. This wordless and brilliantly drawn picture book will be in stores in September. The cover has no title, just a fabulous drawing of a lion. As Pinkney and his publisher shared the thought that went into creating this book, it was really inspiring.

Chicago is one of my favorite cities for walking, and I got to enjoy a river/lake cruise on the last night, which was a perfect break from working. The weather was spectacular, which made this trip memorable. My last trip there for this convention saw temperatures well over 100, which was not fun.

Now I am in Washington, DC at the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference. The opening speaker was Janet Evanovich, who walked onto the stage with her foot in an orthopedic boot. Ironically she had fallen off the stage at an event on her tour as she made her way to sign a book for a woman in a wheelchair! She shared her road to getting published, which included 10 years of writing before her first book was accepted. She spoke on the subject of the business of publishing and encouraged authors to write each day, with writing a good book that does not disappoint readers being the most important thing. In her talk she mentioned that these days she has no time to read. The voices in her head as she writes need to be those of her characters, instead of those of other authors. While I can understand this, as a reader I felt some sadness about this. Evanovich studied art, not writing, and she did not think of herself as a writer for a long time. She also shared that "The Burg" much resembled the town where she grew up, where everyone was caught up in everyone else's life. A true slice of America. She sees her books like television where people check in each year on what is going on with the characters, namely Stephanie.

Linda Howard told amusing stories about her family in her lunch speech, and today Eloisa James talked about how her own life has infused the emotion in her stories. She also encouraged the audience, which was made up of many women who were waiting for their first break in publishing, to shake off the anger and write from the heart. For me, it was lovely to meet Eloisa, whose real name is Mary Bly. She is an Associate Professor at Fordham who teaches Shakespeare, and she has degrees from both Oxford and Yale. She is one sharp woman who I wish had taught me. She clearly understands the importance of emotion in writing. As always, hearing the authors behind the books was inspiring. Also inspiring was hearing that the Literacy Author Signing that was held on Wednesday night raised $60,000. Given that this was a two-hour event in a tough economy, that truly was wonderful. There is lots more to share from all of these conferences, which I will include in the weeks to come. One fun thing has been the authors who I have seen at more than one conference as my worlds collide, like Debbie Macomber, Wendy Corsi Staub and Laura Caldwell!

Our Beach Bag of Books Contest this week has a fabulous collection of books --- Claire Cook’s
SUMMER BLOWOUT and THE WILDWATER WALKING CLUB, as well as LOOSE GIRL: A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen and THE RICHEST SEASON by Maryann McFadden. The items in the bag include a pedometer and lavender-scented items that are inspired by the WILDWATER book. I bought an extra pedometer for myself, and I wish I had been wearing it this week to see how many steps I had taken! You can enter the contest here.

This week we are launching two new Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlights. Our first is for Linwood Barclay’s FEAR THE WORST, in which a father’s search for his missing daughter uncovers a dark world of corruption, exploitation and murder. Barclay got the idea for this book when his daughter asked him a simple question at breakfast one morning: "Suppose you came to pick me up at my job, and found out I'd never worked there?” I truly enjoyed this book with all its twists and turns. We have 20 copies of FEAR THE WORST 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 24th.

Our second new feature shines a spotlight on Mary Jane Clark, whose new suspense novel, DYING FOR MERCY, will be available in stores on July 28th. In this book, a wealthy community in southern New York becomes the target of a calculating killer. We have 10 copies of DYING FOR MERCY 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 24th.

Our advance readers of THE SHIMMER by David Morrell had wonderful things to say about the book, which is now available in stores. Click here to read their responses. And two weeks ago we also shared with you the nice feedback we received for THE FIXER UPPER by Mary Kay Andrews, THE LACE MAKERS OF GLENMARA by Heather Barbieri and THE WONDER SINGER by George Rabasa. This week we’re featuring the authors’ responses to questions submitted by our advance readers, which you can read by clicking on the names above.

Whew….that was quite a long note. Summer does not mean slacking at I am flying back home tomorrow where I will be resting up before I fly out to Comic-Con in San Diego on Tuesday for my last conference trip of the summer. I look forward to some reading time too. Things have been so hectic that I have yet to open either of the books that I brought with me! Read on for the rest of the news.

Carol Fitzgerald ( Talks to Karin Slaughter, Author of UNDONE
Karin Slaughter's latest novel, UNDONE, features characters from both her Grant County and Will Trent/Atlanta series who come together to solve a grisly murder. In this interview with's Joe Hartlaub, Slaughter describes the hardest aspect of this "cross-pollination" and examines the complex relationships shared by the main characters. She also discusses the shocking statistics she uncovered while researching crimes committed against women in the US, reveals her ultimate goal in writing crime fiction, and shares details about her next book, tentatively titled BROKEN.

UNDONE by Karin Slaughter (Thriller)
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. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read a review of UNDONE.
-Click here to read a third excerpt from UNDONE.

Click here to read our interview with Karin Slaughter.

Author Talk: Stephen L. Carter, Author of JERICHO'S FALL
Stephen L. Carter is a law professor and has written 11 fiction and nonfiction titles, including the novels THE EMPEROR OF OCEAN PARK, NEW ENGLAND WHITE and PALACE COUNCIL. In this interview, Carter explains how his latest book, JERICHO'S FALL, differs from his previous work and was inspired by his fascination with the prominence of mental illness amongst the intelligence community. He also discusses his research on the CIA and elaborates on the difficult lives spies lead.

JERICHO’S FALL by Stephen L. Carter (Thriller)
In an imposing house in the Colorado Rockies, Jericho Ainsley, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and a Wall Street titan, lies dying. He summons to his bedside Beck DeForde, the younger woman for whom he threw away his career years ago, miring them both in scandal. Beck believes she is visiting to say farewell. Instead, she is drawn into a battle over an explosive secret that foreign governments and powerful corporations alike want to wrest from Jericho before he dies. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read a review of JERICHO'S FALL.
-Click here to read an excerpt from JERICHO’S FALL.
-Visit Stephen L. Carter’s official website,

Click here to read an interview with Stephen L. Carter.

Author Talk: Jennifer Weiner, Author of BEST FRIENDS FOREVER
In this interview, Jennifer Weiner --- bestselling author of seven titles, including GOODNIGHT NOBODY, IN HER SHOES and CERTAIN GIRLS --- discusses her latest novel, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, and elaborates on some of its themes, including friendship and its connection with faith and religion. She also explains why she is always drawn to exploring relationships between women in her books, and shares what she hopes readers will take away from her work.

BEST FRIENDS FOREVER by Jennifer Weiner (Fiction)
When Addie Downs opens her front door and discovers her long-lost childhood best friend, Valerie Adler, standing there, with terror on her face and blood on her coat, she finds herself on an extraordinary adventure on which she’ll learn the truth about her past and forever change her future. Reviewed by Roberta O’Hara.

-Click here to read a review of BEST FRIENDS FOREVER.
-Click here to read an excerpt from BEST FRIENDS FOREVER.

Click here to read an interview with Jennifer Weiner.

Now in Stores: THE BEST OF TIMES by Penny Vincenzi
THE BEST OF TIMES by Penny Vincenzi (Fiction)
On a Friday afternoon, on a motorway outside of London, a trailer truck suddenly and violently swerves across fives lanes of traffic --- careening cars into one another like dominoes and leaving a trail of chaos and confusion. Within the space of a minute, a pileup has amassed, and, as the survivors await help, their stories unfold. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE BEST OF TIMES.
-Click here to see the reading group guide for THE BEST OF TIMES.

Click here to read a review of THE BEST OF TIMES.

Our Summer Beach Bag Contest: Spotlight This Week on a Collection of Titles from Hyperion
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 a collection of four titles from Hyperion: LOOSE GIRL: A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen, THE RICHEST SEASON by Maryann McFadden, SUMMER BLOWOUT by Claire Cook and THE WILDWATER WALKING CLUB by Claire Cook. In a green floral-patterned bag, winners will find a two-tone striped orange towel, parrot-shaped clips to keep your towel from blowing away, H2O+ Lavender-Sage Shower and Bath Treatment, a pedometer to measure your steps each day, lavender seeds, a lavender-scented sachet and an inflatable inner tube for floating while reading, as well as a copy of LOOSE GIRL, THE RICHEST SEASON, SUMMER BLOWOUT and THE WILDWATER WALKING CLUB. We have five to give away, as well as five additional prizes of copies of LOOSE GIRL, THE RICHEST SEASON, SUMMER BLOWOUT and THE WILDWATER WALKING CLUB.

To enter, fill out this formA> and answer ONE of the following questions by Thursday, July 23rd at 11:59PM.

Question for LOOSE GIRL:

At what number did the narrator lose count of the boys and men on her "list"?
You can find the answer by reading the excerpt

Where did Sharon move?

You can find the answer by reading the excerpt here.

Question for SUMMER BLOWOUT:
What kind of car is Craig driving?

You can find the answer by reading the excerpt here.

Who does the narrator call?

You can find the answer by reading the excerpt here.

LOOSE GIRL by Kerry Cohen (Memoir)
LOOSE GIRL is Kerry Cohen’s captivating memoir about her descent into promiscuity and how she gradually found her way toward real intimacy. The story of addiction --- not just to sex, but to male attention --- LOOSE GIRL is also the story of a young girl who came to believe that boys and men could give her life meaning.

-Read more about Kerry Cohen and LOOSE GIRL here.

THE RICHEST SEASON by Maryann McFadden (Fiction)
When lonely corporate wife Joanna Harrison runs away to Pawleys Island, she has no idea what happens next. But as a new life takes root, thanks to a passionate fisherman and a commitment to save endangered turtles, demands from her old life may force her to return.

-Read more about Maryann McFadden and THE RICHEST SEASON here.

SUMMER BLOWOUT by Claire Cook (Fiction)
Bella Shaughnessy is the resident makeup maven in a family of Boston Irish hair salon owners; she has an artful solution to almost every problem. But Bella feels bruised beyond the reach of even the best concealer when her half-sister runs off with her husband. What could she come up with to cover a hurt like that?

-Read more about Claire Cook and SUMMER BLOWOUT here.

Three women find each other --- and themselves --- when they start walking together. But it’s more than mere exercise. It’s the beginning of a fresh attitude, a new strength and forever friendships. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

-Read more about Claire Cook and THE WILDWATER WALKING CLUB here.

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

New Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Linwood Barclay, Author of FEAR THE WORST
Linwood Barclay is the author of several critically acclaimed novels, including TOO CLOSE TO HOME and NO TIME FOR GOODBYE, a #1 bestseller in Britain. In FEAR THE WORST, his gripping new thriller releasing on August 11th, a father’s search for his missing daughter leads him into a dark world of corruption, exploitation and murder.

We have 20 advance copies of FEAR THE WORST 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 24th.

-Click here to read Linwood Barclay’s bio.
-Visit Linwood Barclay’s official website,
-Visit Bantam Dell's Suspense Book Club page,

More about FEAR THE WORST:
Your daughter doesn’t come home from her summer job. You go there looking for her. No one’s seen here --- no one’s ever seen her. So where has she been going every day? And where is she now?

In Linwood Barclay’s riveting new thriller, an ordinary man’s desperate search for his daughter leads him into a dark world of corruption, exploitation and murder. Sometimes the people you think you know best are the ones harboring the biggest secrets.

Click here to read more about Linwood Barclay and FEAR THE WORST.

New Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Mary Jane Clark, Author of DYING FOR MERCY
New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark has written 12 novels, all set in the high-stakes world of broadcast journalism. Her new novel, DYING FOR MERCY, will be available in stores on July 28th. When death shatters the serenity of a wealthy town, the co-host of the country's premier morning television show is on the scene. As she begins searching for the truth, it becomes apparent that someone has conceived a plan to expose the sins of the past involving some of the town's most revered citizens.

We have 10 advance copies of DYING FOR MERCY 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 24th.

-Click here to read Mary Jane Clark’s bio.
-Visit Mary Jane Clark’s official website,
-Click here to watch a trailer for DYING FOR MERCY.

When death shatters the serenity of the exclusive moneyed enclave of Tuxedo Park, New York, Eliza Blake, co-host of a television show, is on the scene. While attending a lavish gala at her friends' estate, Pentimento, Eliza's host is found dead.

Determined to find out the truth, Eliza and her colleagues discover that Pentimento holds the key. It becomes clear that no amount of wealth or privilege will keep the residents of Tuxedo Park safe.

Click here to read more about Mary Jane Clark and DYING FOR MERCY.

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Christopher Reich, Author of RULES OF VENGEANCE
Christopher Reich is the New York Times bestselling author of many acclaimed novels, including THE PATRIOTS CLUB, which won the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel in 2006. In RULES OF VENGEANCE, Reich’s highly anticipated sequel to RULES OF DECEPTION, Dr. Jonathan Ransom finds himself at the center of a deadly game of nations in which only one will emerge victorious and truth is the ultimate victim. RULES OF VENGEANCE will be available in stores on August 4th.

-Click here to read an excerpt from RULES OF VENGEANCE.
-Click here to read Christopher Reich’s bio.
-Click here to see Christopher Reich's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for RULES OF VENGEANCE.
-Visit Christopher Reich’s official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

Months after foiling an attack on a commercial jetliner, Doctors Without Borders physician Jonathan Ransom is working under an assumed name in a remote corner of Africa, while his newly revealed spy wife, Emma, desperate to escape the wrath of Division, the secret American intelligence agency she betrayed, has vanished into the netherworld of international espionage. Both look forward to sharing a stolen weekend in London --- until an ambush on a convoy of limousines turns their romantic rendezvous into a terrorist bloodbath.

Click here to read more about Christopher Reich and RULES OF VENGEANCE.

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: John Gilstrap, Author of NO MERCY

John Gilstrap is the acclaimed author of six thrillers, and his novels have been translated into more than 20 languages. He has also adapted several books for film, including Thomas Harris’s RED DRAGON (uncredited). In NO MERCY, Gilstrap’s new novel now available in stores, a specialist in covert rescues finds himself the target of someone who wants to control a devastating secret.

-Click here to read an excerpt from NO MERCY.
-Click here to read John Gilstrap’s bio.
-Click here to see John Gilstrap's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for NO MERCY.
-Visit John Gilstrap’s official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about NO MERCY:
Deep inside the dangerous world of rescue operations, one anonymous hero pays no ransom, takes no prisoners, and breaks every rule. Meet Jonathan NO MERCY. New York Times bestselling author John Gilstrap delivers a page-turning, action-packed thriller filled with “rocket-paced suspense.” --Jeffery Deaver


Click here to read more about John Gilstrap and NO MERCY.

Featured Historical Fiction Author: Jeanne Kalogridis, Author of THE DEVIL'S QUEEN

Jeanne Kalogridis is the author of many critically acclaimed titles, including THE BORGIA BRIDE and I, MONA LISA. In her new historical fiction book, THE DEVIL’S QUEEN: A Novel of Catherine de Medici, Kalogridis crafts an intriguing tale about one of the most infamous queens in history. THE DEVIL’S QUEEN will be available in stores on July 21st.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from THE DEVIL'S QUEEN.
-Click here to read Jeanne Kalogridis’s bio.
-Click here to see Jeanne Kalogridis's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE DEVIL'S QUEEN.
-Visit Jeanne Kalogridis’s official website,
-Click here to read more about BOOK OF BLACK MAGIC: The Devil’s Queen Grimoire, a bonus mini e-book with spells, charms and enchantments inspired by THE DEVIL’S QUEEN.
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.

From Jeanne Kalogridis, the bestselling author of I, MONA LISA and THE BORGIA BRIDE, comes a new novel that tells the passionate story of a queen who loved not wisely...but all too well.

Confidante of Nostradamus, scheming mother-in-law to Mary, Queen of Scots, and architect of the bloody St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, Catherine de Medici is one of the most maligned monarchs in history. In her latest historical fiction, Jeanne Kalogridis tells Catherine’s story --- that of a tender young girl, destined to be a pawn in Machiavellian games.


Click here to read more about Jeanne Kalogridis and THE DEVIL'S QUEEN.

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 listen to a podcast in which Tana French discusses her first title, IN THE WOODS.
-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.

Now in Stores: WHISKEY GULF by Clyde Ford
WHISKEY GULF by Clyde Ford (Thriller)
In the new nautical thriller by award-winning author Clyde Ford, former PI Charlie Noble must investigate the disappearance of a sailboat and its two passengers that crossed into a naval exercise area.

“This second entry in the Noble series (following PRECIOUS CARGO, 2008) is a winner. It features a likable, self-aware protagonist; carefully developed secondary characters; staccato, Spenser-like dialogue; and a fascinating deep-blue-sea setting.” --Booklist

Click here to read more about WHISKEY GULF and Clyde Ford.

This Week's Reviews
RAIN GODS by James Lee Burke (Thriller)
When Hackberry Holland became sheriff of a tiny Texas town near the Mexican border, he had hoped to leave certain things behind: his checkered reputation, his haunted dreams, and his obsessive memories of the good life with his late wife, Rie. But the discovery of the bodies of nine illegal aliens, machine-gunned to death and buried in a shallow grave behind a church, soon makes it clear that he won't escape so easily. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE LOVERS by John Connolly (Thriller)
Deprived of his private investigator's license and under scrutiny by the police, Charlie Parker takes a job in a Portland bar. But he uses his enforced retirement to begin a different kind of investigation: an examination of his own past and an inquiry into the death of his father, who took his own life after apparently shooting dead two unarmed teenagers. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

IN THE HEART OF THE CANYON by Elisabeth Hyde (Fiction)
In this irresistible page-turner from the author of THE ABORTIONIST’S DAUGHTER, a group of varied strangers gather for a rafting trip down the Colorado River --- a journey that will thrill them, terrify them, and change their relationships and their lives forever. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

THE PENNY PINCHERS CLUB by Sarah Strohmeyer (Fiction)
If you happen to be suffering the money blues, this novel is the prescription! Kat's spending ways come to a screeching halt when she discovers that she must not only pay off her considerable consumer debt, but also save up enough to divorce her husband. How she goes about finding her inner frugality makes for a timely tale about finances that manages to be upbeat and fun to read. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

MY REMARKABLE JOURNEY by Larry King (Memoir)
For a half-century the world's most influential figures have been telling their story to Larry King. Now the man in suspenders shares his riveting and inspiring story, from his humble roots in Depression-era Brooklyn to the heights of celebrity as host of CNN's “Larry King Live.” Reviewed by Marge Fletcher.

THE GLASSBLOWER OF MURANO by Marina Fiorato (Fiction)
Hurting from a painful divorce and unsure of her place in the world, Nora Manin moves to Venice on a whim to trace her family history and study the art of glassblowing. While rebuilding her life, she uncovers a mystery surrounding an ancestor and unexpectedly falls in love. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

-Click here to see the reading group guide for THE GLASSBLOWER OF MURANO.

THE NIGHT COUNTER by Alia Yunis (Fiction)
If Scheherazade, the famous narrator of 1001 Nights, gained immortality beyond the immortality of her words, how do you imagine she would spend her time? In her debut novel, THE NIGHT COUNTER, Alia Yunis writes that she would spend her time collecting more stories. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

IN THE VALLEY OF MIST: Kashmir: One Family in a Changing World by Justine Hardy (Current Events)
IN THE VALLEY OF MIST is the story of the North Indian state of Kashmir, as told by the English journalist Justine Hardy, who spent decades visiting and revisiting the region dubbed “Heaven on Earth.” Middle Eastern conflict is no easy read for most of us, but having it described by a Western outsider and one who is familiar with the Dars --- a somewhat typical Kashmiri family --- gives the reader personal insight into what can often be a very impersonal conflict. Reviewed by Shannon Luders-Manuel.

STARFINDER: A Skylords Novel by John Marco (Fantasy)
Moth has the Starfinder. Rendor wants it. The dragon wants it. The Skylords want it. They all will do anything to get it. Born to lives where those they love have been lost, Moth and his friend Fiona undertake a perilous adventure to restore a woman to her true form, free the skies from the control of callous masters, and somehow begin to find faith in each other and those around them. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

Read this week's reviews here.

Poll, Question and Word of Mouth


Do you read more during the summer?

Not sure

-Click here to answer our poll.


What has been your favorite book this summer? (You can name up to three since we know it may be tough to pick just one.)

-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 BEST OF TIMES by Penny Vincenzi, JERICHO’S FALL by Stephen L. Carter and SACRED HEARTS by Sarah Dunant. Tell us what you are reading and rate the titles 1-5 by noon on July 31st 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 July 31, 2009 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month, one winner will be selected to win the following five books: THE BEST OF TIMES by Penny Vincenzi, BLACK HILLS by Nora Roberts, THE DEFECTOR by Daniel Silva, LABOR DAY by Joyce Maynard and TWENTIES GIRL by Sophie Kinsella. Raina from Gardner, NY was last month's newsletter winner. She won 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.

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

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