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September 10, 2010 Newsletter September 10, 2010
Reading and Chillaxing

We’re back, and I’m very well read after this short hiatus; more on that in a bit. My annual beach vacation took a turn uphill to the mountains midweek as Hurricane Earl threatened the Outer Banks. The week started with perfectly blue skies and lots of time for reading and floating, but The Weather Channel was rolling in the background with ominous threats for the latter part of the week; by Friday, Jim Cantore was actually awarded an Emmy for Best Dramatic Performance by the Whalebone Surf Shop. By Wednesday, evacuations for the southern Outer Banks were on, though we were told we did not have to leave as we stay further north. I hit the grocery store to buy food that could be grilled in case the power went out and water. Thursday morning my husband was playing golf when the auto-call came calling for mandatory evacuation for the county we were in with instructions to collect all belongings, including all food, and proceed to express checkout (I had no idea what THAT was); the skies were still blue.

At this point we were rather spread all over the house, and thus this packing was going to be a production. My husband finished 18 (Earl was not interrupting golf!), and when he came back, we decided we were not going home. We would go west in our version of the stagecoach --- the Yukon XL. We pulled out maps, and he honed onto The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia as our destination. I made a call and got one of the last rooms (they had eight prior calls from the Outer Banks that morning), and we scrambled to pack up and left around 2:30. Before we left, I cooked up the chicken I had bought and made chicken salad sandwiches, and the grill was fired up for burgers. We were not rushing anywhere.

On the drive west, we realized that Cory had a beach wardrobe with him; nothing that would make the cut at a nice resort. Where to stop to shop? Charlottesville! WHY? Well, because I knew the town from the Virginia Festival of the Book, that was logical, and I had us steered towards Belk. Within 15 minutes, Cory had yet another pair of khakis, two polo shirts and a belt, all very similar to the same things he owned at home and will grow out of by December but which would work with his only footwear --- brown leather sandals. I suggested we stop by The Needle Lady in the downtown Charlottesville area as they had an open knitting night that night, but quickly realized that knitting/yarn shopping was not happening as I felt the car accelerate out of town like it was possessed; it was more like the driver was!

On the drive west, I learned why this hotel was the prime pick --- they have one of the Top 25 golf courses in the country! Ha, I should have known. We settled back to our routines the next day: me reading, Tom on the links and Cory chillaxing, which is a combo of chilling and relaxing. We had such a great time that we stayed til Monday, getting Cory back in time to start school on Tuesday. He was finishing up his summer reading on the drive back (THE ALCHEMIST) and banged on the three mandatory pages of notes, finishing just as we hit the exit. Nothing like taking things down to the wire. He also was firm that his first day outfit would be his MOCKINGJAY District 12 t-shirt and the shorts he was wearing. Thus I got to hang out that night doing laundry once we got home. Of course, if I had a daughter, she would have been planning this outfit for weeks, so I guess I should consider myself lucky.

All adventures aside, I had one terrific week of reading --- and watching and talking to readers. The first night we were there, we had dinner with two of our readers --- Judy and Neil --- and it was one terrific bookish conversation. I loved hearing what has struck a chord with them from the newsletter and also hearing more about their reading habits. Neil juggles a fiction title and a nonfiction one; they both have Kindles. Judy loves historical fiction. I found myself making recommendations over a lovely dinner that her brother Louis and his wife Joan served.

To read more about what I read this trip, click over here to the Blog to get the lowdown on NINE books --- including some I already have selected for future Bets On picks --- that comprised my end-of-summer reading adventure!

Yes, that was a lot of reading, but there was not a dud in the bunch, which made this a wonderful reading vacation. Poolside and mornings and evenings on the porch at The Homestead, I saw lots of books; at one point each day, just about everyone poolside was reading. Cory spotted two Kindles by the pool and a Kindle and an iPad inside the hotel, but I saw neither. I was recognizing people by the books they were reading as the week went on. With the exception of THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST, there were few repeat titles. And many were not reading frontlist titles, but rather backlist ones. Most were reading hardcovers. I realize this was just one slice of Americana on any given weekend, but it was fun to see what was going on. I also realize that while I was reading a book a day, most people had the same book in hand each day at the pool or in the lobby. Lots to ponder with these observations.

With the end of the summer also came the end of our Beach Bag of Books contest. You can see if you were one of our five grand prize winners or five runners-up here. Thanks to all of you who entered, and congratulations to all the winners and runners-up. We hope you enjoyed your prizes as much as I had shopping for them! Also, many thanks to all those who entered our Sneak Peek: An Early Look at an Upcoming Book contest for Kristin Hannah’s NIGHT ROAD. We’ll announce the lucky 100 winners shortly. Those 100 readers will receive a specially formatted early reader edition and a series of questions to answer. As this is a unique opportunity, we hope to have answers from all 100 winners. NIGHT ROAD is scheduled for release in March 2011.

I’m excited to announce HEALER by Carol Cassella as my latest Bets On pick. This is a book I read earlier this year and hit stores this week. I met Carol earlier this year while visiting the Seattle area and again during the summer when she visited New York. I had loved OXYGEN when I read it last year, and thus, when she said HEALER was being published, I snagged an early copy. You can read on later in this newsletter as to why I loved it so much --- and why I think you will love it too. I know all was quiet on the Bets On front for a bit, but I’m proud to share HEALER with you this week, and to have brought you STILTSVILLE by Susanna Daniel and RICH BOY by Sharon Pomerantz last month. I also have another one coming next week, so stay tuned! As I am reading so far in advance, I plan to keep announcing future Bets On picks in this newsletter, so keep reading each week to line up the books with either pre-orders or reserves at your libraries.

Although not a Bets On pick, Michael J. Sandel’s JUSTICE: What’s the Right Thing to Do? is a book that has really captured my interested. It’s not a title we traditionally cover on, but I felt compelled to share it with you as it raises a lot of philosophical questions and arguments. This is the type of book that can really trigger a discussion whether it’s at a dinner table or a national forum. The book is culled from Sandel’s popular class at Harvard, which is always one with a waiting list, and has since begun webcasting it live for alumni and archiving classes as episodes here. To celebrate the recent paperback release, everyone will be able to participate in a live web event on November 7th at 5 PM EST. Click here for more details. We will have our review next week from Stuart Shiffman, who actually used parts of the book in a program he taught. The November 7th event promises to give you a chance to weigh in on the issues in Sandel’s discussions, and we are excited about this opportunity and hope you will be, too.

On our site this week, we have an interview with William Kent Krueger about VERMILION DRIFT, his latest Cork O’Connor mystery. We’ve featured Kent before, and VERMILION DRIFT is attracting a lot of attention and some positive reviews, including one from our own Joe Hartlaub, who says: “Longtime fans of Krueger will find their loyalty more than rewarded with VERMILION DRIFT, while readers who are new to the series will find this installment the perfect place to jump on.VERMILION DRIFT is in stores now.

We also have a review of Jennifer Crusie’s MAYBE THIS TIME, our current Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight title. Our reviewer Sarah Rachel Egelman says, “There is just enough supernatural activity, but it is well-balanced with skepticism and humor, laced with a love story and family drama, and full of compelling characters.” We’ll have an interview with Jennifer in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back. MAYBE THIS TIME is in stores now.

Another title in this week’s reviews is ZERO HISTORY, the latest from William Gibson. Over many years and books, William has built a strong following with his futuristic, dystopian titles like NEUROMANCER, PATTERN RECOGNITION and SPOOK COUNTRY. Our reviewer Stephen Hubbard says, “Gibson provides perceptive snapshots of our current lives as the drive for brand exclusivity and the desire for the next great collectible propel us onward.” ZERO HISTORY is in stores now, and you can visit William’s website here. He also has a very active message board, so if you are a William Gibson fan, you will find MANY other like-minded readers here, too.

A few months ago, there was a wonderful party at Petrossian for William Ryan, whose book THE HOLY THIEF Joe Hartlaub reviews for us this week. Around the room that night, there were comparisons to GORKY PARK and CHILD 44. Each person who had read it had a new way to share the story with me --- all were astounded that this was the work of a debut writer. As Joe says, "To all appearances, Ryan did yeoman’s work in researching Stalin’s era while writing THE HOLY THIEF; the narrative is shot through with chilling vignettes, some as subtle as a whisper, others as startling as a sledgehammer’s smash."

For those aspiring writers searching for inspiration, this contest is for you. If you have a short story sitting in a drawer or rattling around in your head, now is your shot at stardom. St. Martin’s Press announced earlier this week that it will host a short story contest to be judged by worldwide bestselling author Jeffrey Archer in celebration of his forthcoming collection, AND THEREBY HANGS A TALE. The winner, as selected by Archer, will receive a publishing contract from St. Martin’s. The deadline is October 1st, so get writing and editing! Check out all the details here/A>. AND THEREBY HANGS A TALE will be in stores September 14th.

Our latest poll took a fun turn as we noticed a few different authors wondering why no authors were cast on the latest season of "Dancing with the Stars" or never cast in the show's history. So we're asking "Which author would you most like to see on 'Dancing with the Stars'?" You can vote below or here. We can't wait to see the results! Young Adult author Ally Carter got the conversation started with her excellent blog post here. We posted the question on our Facebook page. If you're not on Facebook, you can keep up with our posts here.

Lastly, as I’ve mentioned in previous newsletters, we’re seriously considering launching a new site aimed at readers from 17 to 30 years old. If you are or know an avid reader in that age range, please participate in our CO-20 survey. We’re trying to gather as much feedback as possible to help us design the best site possible. Participants will be automatically entered in a drawing for one of our $25 gift cards to the bookstore of their choice. Take the survey here.

Whew. Quite a couple of weeks. I wanted to take a moment to thank the many of you who wrote to wish us a happy 14th anniversary. My BlackBerry was buzzing on the way to the beach, and I was smiling as I read your comments. If I did not answer all, please know it was only because of some dicey service on the DelMar peninsula.

This weekend is all about sorting through all the things I did not unpack, like books and yarn. In our haste to leave the Outer Banks, we managed to bring two sets of the keys to the house home with us; clearly we were dashing. Cory also informed me that he left clothes in the drawers, and my Internet cord is still plugged in down there, thus making for a scramble back here for a new one. Clearly we are not the kind of folks who can pack and go quickly! It was slightly embarrassing pulling up to The Homestead with the cooler, bags of food and other paraphernalia piled high like we were doing the 2010 version of "The Beverly Hillbillies." Luckily it was dark and late. I did the thing I always do at moments like this: I tipped the bellman well. Also, I bought a wetsuit on the Outer Banks so I can keep swimming; it beats heating the pool and helps me extend SUMMER, my favorite season.

As I am finishing this, my husband came home from a golf tournament with a two-foot-high trophy and a $100 American Express gift certificate. He and his fellow teammates had the lowest score. Siince he "practiced" every day of vacation, I should have expected this. Now I have NO idea where this trophy is going to go, and the ever-scheming me is wondering if there is a possibility of future sponsorship deals --- or perhaps a book on how the amateur golfer lives his life. I can write the foreword from the wife's perspective!

Here’s wishing all our Jewish friends a Happy New Year. Happy reading to all….read on….

Carol Fitzgerald (

Click here to see Carol's end-of-summer reading list on the Blog.

An Interview with William Kent Krueger, Author of VERMILION DRIFT

William Kent Krueger is the creator of a mystery series featuring Cork O'Connor, a former sheriff of Irish and American-Indian descent. In this interview, Krueger discusses his inspiration for the latest installment, VERMILION DRIFT, and why he explores more fully Cork’s relationship with his parents. He also talks about his decision to use Minnesota’s Iron Range as the primary setting for the novel, elaborates on the role of dreams in his work, and shares details about the next book in this award-winning series, which is expected to release in the fall of 2011.

VERMILION DRIFT by William Kent Krueger (Mystery)
William Kent Krueger’s gripping tale of suspense begins with a recurring nightmare, a gun, and a wound in the earth so deep and horrific that it has a name: Vermilion Drift. When the Department of Energy puts an underground iron mine on its short list of potential sites for storage of nuclear waste, a barrage of protest erupts in Tamarack County, Minnesota, and Cork is hired as a security consultant. Deep in the mine during his first day on the job, Cork stumbles across a secret room that contains the remains of six murder victims. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read a review of VERMILION DRIFT.
-Click here to read an excerpt from VERMILION DRIFT.
-Click here to read William Kent Krueger’s bio.
-Click here to see William Kent Krueger’s backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for VERMILION DRIFT.


Click here to read an interview with William Kent Krueger.


Now in Stores: MAYBE THIS TIME by Jennifer Crusie

MAYBE THIS TIME by Jennifer Crusie (Fiction)
Andie Miller is ready to move on in life. She wants to marry her fiancé and leave behind everything in her past, especially her ex-husband, North Archer. But when Andie tries to gain closure with him, he asks one final favor of her before they go their separate ways forever. A very distant cousin of his has died and left North as the guardian of two orphans who have driven out three nannies already, and things are getting worse. He needs a very special person to take care of the situation, and he knows Andie can handle anything. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from MAYBE THIS TIME.
-Click here to read Jennifer Crusie’s bio.
-Click here to see Jennifer Crusie’s backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for MAYBE THIS TIME.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.


Click here to read a review of MAYBE THIS TIME.


Now in Stores: ZERO HISTORY by William Gibson

ZERO HISTORY by William Gibson (Technological Thriller)
Former military agents, rock drummers turned writers, recovering druggies, manipulative advertising executives, espionage, deceit, and potty-mouthed computer geniuses. Who knew fashion was so intense? ZERO HISTORY is the third book in William Gibson’s trilogy detailing the events in the life of Hubertus Bigend and his ad agency, Blue Ant. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

-Click here to read an excerpt from ZERO HISTORY.
-Visit William Gibson’s official website,


Click here to read a review of ZERO HISTORY. Bets On: HEALER by Carol Cassella

With thousands of books published each year and much attention paid to the works of bestselling and well-known authors, it is inevitable that some titles worthy of praise and discussion may not get the attention we think they deserve. Thus we continue to spotlight books that immediately struck a chord with us and made us say “just read this.” By alerting our readers to these titles as soon as they’re released, our hope is that you can discover them for yourselves and recommend them to your family and friends.

Here is our latest featured title:

HEALER by Carol Cassella (September 7th): Carol Cassella, author of the brilliant debut novel OXYGEN, returns with HEALER. Those who already have fallen in love with her work will appreciate this stellar sophomore effort, while those who have not yet discovered her will want to pick up this one. Cassella, who is an anesthesiologist living in the Seattle area, again sets her book in Washington and takes readers inside the medical profession. This time she plunges us into the world of new drug testing --- and what a fascinating world that is with huge stakes on all sides.

Claire Boehning has “the perfect life” as her days are consumed with finding the right things for the house, shepherding her daughter Jory from event to event, and showing up at a whirl of social events to support her husband Addison’s biotech career. But when testing for a promising cancer drug falls apart, which her husband backed with all their capital, Claire’s world is abruptly changed.

The family is uprooted from their comfortable digs into the fixer-upper second home that they bought, where they will live as Addison tries to gather funding to start again. They face an economic downturn that shatters their world and pushes their familiar bonds to the breaking point. Claire, who never completed the board certification for her medical training, now finds herself working in a clinic that is short on dollars and long on lines of migrant worker patients. Jory is far from her friends and is acting out to show her displeasure with their new circumstances. And Addison travels to try to regain his position and raise new funding, trying to appear successful while his world is crumbling around him.

Cassella portrays an honest look at marriage and family when all bets are off and the familiar tethers are not there for support. And she does it brilliantly. At the same time, she’s developed a beautifully crafted suspenseful story where she does not burden her prose with wearisome medical facts, but rather weaves them seamlessly into the story. Thus it’s a truly satisfying read on many levels.

-Click here to read a review of HEALER.

Click here to see all the titles we’re betting you’ll love.


Featured Historical Fiction Author: Francine Rivers, Author of HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM

Francine Rivers returns with HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM, the much-anticipated sequel to her New York Times bestselling novel HER MOTHER'S HOPE. With HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM, Rivers tells the story of Carolyn, the granddaughter of HER MOTHER'S HOPE's Marta, as she navigates a turbulent youth in this sweeping epic of mothers and daughters.

-Click here to read an excerpt from HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM.
-Click here to read Francine Rivers's bio.
-Click here to see Francine Rivers’s backlist.
-Visit Francine Rivers’s official website,
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.

Growing up isn’t easy for little Carolyn Arundel. With her mother, Hildemara, quarantined to her room with tuberculosis, Carolyn forms a special bond with her oma, Marta, who moves in to care for the household. But as tensions between Hildie and Marta escalate, Carolyn believes she is to blame. When Hildie returns to work and Marta leaves, Carolyn and her brother grow up as latchkey kids in a world gripped by the fear of the Cold War. College offers Carolyn the chance to find herself, but a family tragedy shatters her new-found independence. Rather than return home, she cuts all ties and disappears into the heady counterculture of San Francisco. When she reemerges two years later, more lost than ever, she reluctantly turns to her family to help rebuild a life for her and her own daughter, May Flower Dawn.

Click here to read more about Francine Rivers and HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM.


Featured One to Watch Author: Tatiana de Rosnay, Author of A SECRET KEPT

Tatiana de Rosnay follows her acclaimed bestseller SARAH’S KEY with the tension-filled A SECRET KEPT. A brother and sister return to their childhood vacation home to celebrate a birthday until a car crash triggers a series of strange events and memories.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from A SECRET KEPT.
-Click here to see the reading group guide for A SECRET KEPT.
-Click here to read Tatiana de Rosnay’s bio.
-Click here to see Tatiana de Rosnay’s backlist.

-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about A SECRET KEPT:
This stunning new novel from Tatiana de Rosnay, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller SARAH’S KEY, plumbs the depths of complex family relationships and the power of a past secret to change everything in the present. It all began with a simple seaside vacation, a brother and sister recapturing their childhood. Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island, where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach. But on the drive home to Paris, Mélanie finally summons the courage to reveal a dark secret to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car.

Click here to read more about Tatiana de Rosnay and A SECRET KEPT.

Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Beverly Barton, Author of DON’T CRY

Master of romantic suspense Beverly Barton returns with DON'T CRY, a taut thriller that finds detective J.D. Cass teamed with a family counselor he can't stand. But the two put aside their differences to track down a brutal killer and find they have more in common than they care to admit.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from DON’T CRY.
-Click here to watch a book trailer for DON’T CRY.
-Click here to watch an interview with Beverly Barton.
-Click here to read Beverly Barton’s bio.
-Click here to see Beverly Barton’s backlist.

-Visit Beverly Barton's official website,
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.

More about DON'T CRY:
The crime scenes are horrifying: the victims arranged with deliberate care, posed to appear alive despite their agonized last moments and the shocking nature of their deaths. Chattanooga grief counselor Audrey Sherrod moonlights for the local police. It’s clear to her, and to Special Agent J.D. Cass, that the murders are the work of a deranged serial killer. At first, the only link is the victims’ similar physical appearance. But then another connection emerges, tying them to a long-ago series of horrifying crimes Audrey hoped would never resurface --- crimes that hit all too close to home. Each grisly new discovery proves the past has not been forgotten, and the worst is yet to come. Audrey went looking for the truth and she’s about to find it…and it will be more twisted and more terrifying than she ever imagined.

Click here to read more about Beverly Barton and DON'T CRY.

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Michael Walsh, Author of EARLY WARNING

Michael Walsh introduced the special National Security Agency operative known only as Devlin in last year's HOSTILE INTENT. EARLY WARNING marks the return of Devlin, who is racing the clock to stop a group of cyber-terrorists and militant insurgents from plunging America into anarchy.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from EARLY WARNING.
-Click here to read Michael Walsh’s bio.
-Click here to see Michael Walsh’s backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for EARLY WARNING.
-Click here to watch a trailer for EARLY WARNING.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

"All Enemies Foreign And Domestic" is the National Security Agency's motto. The NSA's most lethal weapon is back. Code-named Devlin, he operates in the darkest recesses of the US government. When international cyber-terrorists allow a deadly and cunning band of radical insurgents to breach the highest levels of national security, Devlin must take down an enemy bent on destroying America --- an enemy more violent and ruthless than the world has ever known.

Click here to read more about Michael Walsh and EARLY WARNING.

Now in Stores: SHE’S GONE COUNTRY by Jane Porter

SHE'S GONE COUNTRY by Jane Porter (Fiction)
Jane Porter, the award-winning author of THE FROG PRINCE and FLIRTING WITH FORTY, returns with an entertaining tale about Shey Darcy, a newly divorced woman who moves back to Texas to reinvent herself. But going home is no easy fix, and before long it’s clear that Shey must let go of her broken past and uncertain future to find happiness --- and maybe love --- in the present.

-Click here to read a review of SHE’S GONE COUNTRY.
-Click here to see the reading group guide for SHE’S GONE COUNTRY.


Click here to read more about SHE'S GONE COUNTRY.

Now in Stores: WARRIOR by Zoe Archer

WARRIOR: The Blades of the Rose by Zoe Archer (Historical Romance/Fantasy)
To most people, the realm of magic is the stuff of nursery rhymes and dusty libraries. But for Capt. Gabriel Huntley, it's become quite real and quite dangerous. The vicious attack he witnesses in a dark alley sparks a chain of events that will take him to the ends of the Earth and beyond --- where what is real and what is imagined become terribly confused. And frankly, Huntley couldn't be more pleased. Intrigue, danger and a beautiful woman in distress --- just what he needs.


Click here to read more about WARRIOR.

New in Paperback for September

September’s roundup of New in Paperback fiction titles includes Michael Crichton’s final work, PIRATE LATITUDES, a pirate adventure novel that swashes and buckles its way through the Caribbean in the mid-17th century at the height of piracy on the high seas; THE PROFESSIONAL, the 37th installment in the late Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series; LOCKED IN by Marcia Muller, a Sharon McCone mystery that finds the San Francisco private eye trapped by locked-in syndrome --- almost total paralysis but an alert, conscious mind; 61 HOURS, a Jack Reacher thriller with a cliffhanger ending that Lee Child will follow up with in the sequel, WORTH DYING FOR, releasing in hardcover on October 19th; and BLUE NUDE, a moving story of history, legacy and ultimate reconciliation that prize-winning poet and bestselling author Elizabeth Rosner explores through the relationship between a German artist and an Israeli-born model.

Among our nonfiction highlights are STITCHES, a graphic novel memoir that recounts award-winning author David Small’s childhood in an abusive and emotionally absent household; TRAVELING WITH POMEGRANATES, in which Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter, Ann, chronicle their travels together through Greece and France at a time when each was on a quest to redefine herself and rediscover each other; and ANIMAL MAGNETISM by Rita Mae Brown, who takes a break from her Mrs. Murphy series to share the lessons she has learned from all the marvelous creatures that have walked, galloped and flown into and through her world, as well as her deep appreciation for them.

Click here to see our New in Paperback feature for September.

Books into Movies/Books into Movies on DVD for September

Fall is right around the corner, and fortunately for moviegoers, September promises to be yet another big month on the big screen. Action-packed flicks like The American and The Town will be sure to satisfy thriller enthusiasts everywhere, while the heart-wrenching drama Never Let Me Go will be embraced by readers of Kazuo Ishiguro’s highly acclaimed novel of the same name. And viewers looking for a family adventure can find three-dimensional fun in Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, the animated film based on Kathryn Lasky’s beloved The Guardians of Ga’Hoole series.

Don’t forget to check out our Books into Movies on DVD feature. This month we’re spotlighting Letters to Juliet, an enchanting love story starring Amanda Seyfried, which releases on DVD and Blu-ray September 14th.

Click here for more details about September's films.

This Week’s Reviews

BODY WORK: A V. I. Warshawski Novel by Sara Paretsky (Mystery)
The enigmatic performer known as the Body Artist takes the stage at Chicago's Club Gouge and allows her audience to use her naked body as a canvas for their impromptu illustrations. The evening takes a strange turn when one woman's sketch triggers a violent outburst from a man at a nearby table. Days later, the woman is shot and killed outside the club. Reviewed by Jennifer McCord.

-Click here to read an excerpt from BODY WORK.

DEXTER IS DELICIOUS by Jeff Lindsay (Thriller)
Dexter Morgan keeps his dark urges in check by adhering to one stead­fast rule: he only kills very bad people. But now Dexter is experiencing some major life changes, and they’re mostly wrapped up in the eight-pound curiosity that is his newborn daughter. Family bliss is cut short, however, when Dexter is summoned to investigate the disappearance of a 17-year-old girl who has been running with a bizarre group of goths who fancy themselves to be vampires. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from DEXTER IS DELICIOUS.

THE HOLY THIEF by William Ryan (Historical Mystery)
Moscow, 1936, and Stalin’s Great Terror is beginning. In a deconsecrated church, a young woman is found dead, her mutilated body displayed on the altar for all to see. Captain Alexei Korolev, finally beginning to enjoy the benefits of his success with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Militia, is asked to investigate. But when he discovers that the victim is an American citizen, the NKVD --- the most feared organization in Russia --- becomes involved. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE THOUSAND by Kevin Guilfoile (Thriller)
Kevin Guilfoile’s riveting follow-up to CAST OF SHADOWS centers on an extraordinary young woman’s race to find her father’s killer and to free herself from the crossfire of a centuries-old civil war in which she has unknowingly become ensnared. THE THOUSAND seamlessly traverses the realms of math, science, music and philosophy. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

AN IMPARTIAL WITNESS: A Bess Crawford Mystery by Charles Todd (Historical Mystery)
Charles Todd, the pseudonym for a mother-son writing team that has been producing top-notch historical thrillers for several years, continues their newest mystery series as British WWI nurse Bess Crawford returns in a new tale whereby she is the key witness to a murder and suicide. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

OUR TRAGIC UNIVERSE by Scarlett Thomas (Fiction)
Meg Carpenter is a young writer who embarks on an assignment to read New Age books and then puts them to work in her own life. In this completely unique novel brimming with philosophical ideas, Meg's encounters with the unexplained shape her own messy personal life. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

JUDGMENT AND WRATH by Matt Hilton (Thriller)
After barely escaping with his life while trying to save his half brother from a deranged killer, former military operative Joe Hunter has a new life in Florida. But he's soon approached by a man who wants Hunter to bring his daughter home. He claims that her boyfriend is a twisted, abusive man, and he hints that Hunter should use whatever force is necessary to rescue the girl. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

SICK CITY by Tony O’Neill (Thriller)
Meet Jeffrey and Randal, two desperate junkies and your guides on this top-to-bottom fun-house tour of Hollywood's underbelly. From infamous crime scenes to celebrity treatment centers, SICK CITY is an outrageous page-turning adventure set in the sun-bleached wilds of L.A. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Click here to read this week's reviews.

Poll, Question and Word of Mouth

Which author would you most like to see on “Dancing with the Stars”?

Dave Barry

Sandra Brown

Candace Bushnell

Meg Cabot

Ally Carter

Lee Child

Janet Evanovich

Neil Gaiman

John Grisham

Carl Hiaasen

Stephen Kingspan>

James Patterson

Nora Roberts

Nicholas Sparks

Adriana Trigiani

-Click here to answer our poll.


Name up to three additional authors you would love to see on “Dancing with the Stars.”

-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 FALL: Book Two of the Strain Trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, MINI SHOPAHOLIC by Sophie Kinsella and ROOM by Emma Donoghue. Tell us what you are reading and rate the titles 1-5 by noon ET on Friday, September 24th to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.

-Click here for more details about Word of Mouth.


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Those who are subscribed to the newsletter by September 30, 2010 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month, one winner will be selected to win the following five books: FALL OF GIANTS: Book One of the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett, MINI SHOPAHOLIC by Sophie Kinsella, A NOSE FOR JUSTICE by Rita Mae Brown, SAFE HAVEN by Nicholas Sparks and ZERO HISTORY by William Gibson.

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