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January 21, 2005 Newsletter

January 21, 2005

This Week on

We've Gotten BIGGER!

THE BROKER by John Grisham

THE SAME SWEET GIRLS by Cassandra King

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Richard Montanari, Author of THE ROSARY GIRLS

ONE TO WATCH: THE EFFECTS OF LIGHT by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Michele Martinez, Author of MOST WANTED

Featured Website:

This Week's Reviews and Features

Make Your Book Club a Jane Austen Book Club: Discuss MANSFIELD PARK, Featured in THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB

Michael L. Printz Award

Newbery and Caldecott Winners -- And Other Children's Book Prizes Announced This Week Blog

Poll: Upcoming Releases
Question of the Week: Name Those Authors
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes!
Quick Links to Features On The Book Report Network
Past Reviews
Can't See the Graphics? Read This Newsletter Online
Past Poll: What books are you looking forward to reading?
Past Question of the Week: What did you read over the holiday?
Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight Promotion
Debut Suspense/Thriller One to Watch Promotion
Mystery Mayhem Promotion

Fantasy Author Spotlight Promotion

One to Watch Promotion
Chick Lit Promotion
Read the Blog. See more about the January/February issue of Pages magazine here. Shop Amazon with this link to support

We've Gotten BIGGER!

Welcome to the newly expanded version of the Newsletter. With this week's issue we are now able to highlight 15 features, which is up 50% from previous issues! This will give us the opportunity to spotlight many more titles and authors for you.

This week was all about prizes as the awards for the best written and illustrated books were announced for both children and young adults. We created full features on these awards on and, which you can access from this newsletter. These titles are "keepers" and great ones for you to add to the libraries of your favorite children.

Last weekend I escaped with Grisham's latest, THE BROKER. Read our review of it from Stuart Shiffman and then see my thoughts on why not to read this book when you are hungry in the Blog. This week I review THE SAME SWEET GIRLS by Cassandra King. If it was summer, this is the kind of book I would read on the beach not moving much more than to snag another glass of sweet tea. Reading it now made me feel like it was summer in winter. I loved reading about these six women and had a good cry at the end. We have a special contest running with this book on this month where you can win books for your entire group. Interested in knowing more about this? Click here.

What am I reading now? SPEAK SOFTLY, SHE CAN HEAR by Pam Lewis, which will be our next Debut Suspense/Thriller title. It's the gripping story of a young woman who was on the scene of a murder that haunts her as she has been told that she was the murderer. The details of that night  are murky to her, and she is emotionally and financially blackmailed for what happened that night. I still am trying to figure out how this one will end. More about it in a few weeks.

On my table for weekend reading --- ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AN ORDINARY LIFE by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. One of my friends handed me this one the other day and said..."You are going to love this!" and then she went on to quote from the book with great passion. I love when that happens. I will write more about it on the Blog this week after I finish it.

I had hot chocolate (okay, I do not drink coffee...I drink tea, Coke and hot chocolate) with Michele Martinez yesterday. She is the author of MOST WANTED, our Debut Suspense/Thriller. We talked plots. We talked characters. You are going to love getting to know this author. You will say...I remember reading about her first at!

This week's poll and question are about a subject near and dear to me, so please answer both. Movies are pre-promoted so that if we went to the movies today we would see promos on every movie coming out for the next six months; Blockbuster lists upcoming videos; TV pre-promotes television shows; Music is promoted before it hits stores. And then...there are books. Books arrive in store and unless they are by John Grisham or have a title with Harry Potter, little is done to announce them in advance! I want to know what you think of this. So, please weigh in and answer the poll. (By the way tonight for the first time I saw a "Coming Soon" list in the Borders store in Short Hills Mall. I was doing a version of the Happy Reader Dance when I saw this!)

I am off to prepare for my younger son's birthday. He turns 10 this weekend --- double digits! And here comes the snow in the NY/NJ area. It's the perfect weekend to read something great and then tell us about it at Word of Mouth.

-- Carol Fitzgerald (

THE BROKER by John Grisham

THE BROKER by John Grisham (Suspense)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman

After receiving enormous pressure from the CIA, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. It seems that Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.

Read our review of THE BROKER here.


THE SAME SWEET GIRLS by Cassandra King

THE SAME SWEET GIRLS by Cassandra King (Fiction)Reviewed by Carol Fitzgerald

From the celebrated author of THE SUNDAY WIFE comes a new novel about a spirited, tight-knit group of Southern women who have been holding biannual reunions ever since they were together in college and are now coming to terms with the decisions they've made in their lives.

Click here to read a review of THE SAME SWEET GIRLS.

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Richard Montanari, Author of THE ROSARY GIRLS

Richard Montanari, author of THE ROSARY GIRLS, is our new featured Suspense/Thriller author. THE ROSARY GIRLS will be in stores on February 15th.

New This Week:
-Read an excerpt from THE ROSARY GIRLS

-Read more about Richard Montanari
-Visit Richard Montanari's website:

Richard Montanari has written an astounding novel that pits two besieged detectives against a fiercely intelligent serial killer. Relentlessly paced and vividly told, THE ROSARY GIRLS is a smart, emotionally complex, fiercely gripping thriller from an author who takes chances, breaks new ground, and leaves readers haunted and moved long after the last page is turned.

Read more about Richard Montanari and THE ROSARY GIRLS here.


ONE TO WATCH: THE EFFECTS OF LIGHT by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

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Our newest One To Watch author is Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. Her novel, THE EFFECTS OF LIGHT, is beautifully and delicately written. It will be in stores on February 1st.

New: Read an excerpt from THE EFFECTS OF LIGHT

Here's more about THE EFFECTS OF LIGHT:

This richly evocative, poignant novel about two sisters, whose lives are forever altered by a series of photos, marks the debut of a remarkable talent. Their precocity and ethereal beauty soon make them the favorite subjects of photographer and family friend Ruth Handel, whose celebrated images of children involve nudity. The girls are at the center of a firestorm of controversy, with shattering results. Now, 13 years later, Myla Wolfe is living back east and finally edging toward romance, when she begins receiving mysterious communications that force her to confront her past and reclaim her future.

Read more about Miranda Beverly-Whittemore and THE EFFECTS OF LIGHT here.


Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Michele Martinez, Author of MOST WANTED


Our new featured Debut Suspense/Thriller author is Michele Martinez. Her novel, MOST WANTED, is a solidly written pageturner that will have you craving the second book in the series. It will be in stores on February 15th.

New This Week:
-See the winners of the ARC mailing.

Here's more about MOST WANTED:

Melanie Vargas is a hardworking, hotshot federal prosecutor in New York City with a rising career in the law and a marriage that's on the rocks. On an innocent evening stroll with her child, Melanie stumbles across a horrifying crime scene. It's the kind of high-profile case that can make her name, and Melanie wants in. But what she doesn't realize is that this opportunity will bring her dangerously close to a hard-to-resist FBI agent who may have secrets of his own -- and even closer to a dark, sadistic killer who seems to be one step ahead of her every inch of the way.

Read about Michele Martinez.
Sign up to get news about Michele Martinez.
Go to the website for
Michele Martinez.

Read more about Michele Martinez and MOST WANTED here.


Featured Website:

This Shakespeare website presents readers with a wealth of information on the life of William Shakespeare, including a timeline and a complete list of his works. It also features 15 brand new Shakespeare editions, which Bantam Classics will release this winter, and interactive games to help readers better understand the Bard's work. Don't miss the "Interview A Shakespeare Character" Essay Contest, which gives you an opportunity to win an entire set of Bantam Classic Shakespeare editions, which is open until March 1st. Your task is simple: conduct a Q&A with the Shakespeare character of your choice!

Click here to check out

Read our reviews and features here. Read our reviews and features here. Read the reviews and features here.

This Week's Reviews and Features

VALLEY OF BONES by Michael Gruber (Thriller)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
Miami detective Jimmy Paz risks his job and his life as he struggles to unearth the truth about the death of a foreign oilman and the woman who is suspected of murdering him.

THE GIRL WHO MARRIED A LION: And Other Tales from Africa, by Alexander McCall Smith (Fiction Anthology)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
Fans of Precious Ramotswe, lady sleuth extraordinaire of Botswana's First Ladies' Detective Agency, will recognize the colorful, virtuous notes of African culture throughout this beguiling selection of folktales from Botswana and Zimbabwe.  

BLACK WIND by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler (Fiction/Action & Adventure)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Dirk Pitt and his two children work together to prevent a South Korean industrialist from getting his hands on two submarines whose cargo carries a revolutionary new strain of biological virus. 

BROKEN FOR YOU by Stephanie Kallos (Fiction)
Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller
In her debut novel Stephanie Kallos tells the moving story of a dying woman who decides to use her remaining time to help other "broken" souls by opening up her house to strangers.

THE GOOD GUYS by Bill Bonanno and Joe Pistone, with David Fisher (Thriller)
Reviewed by Bob Rhubart
Former undercover FBI agent Joe Pistone (aka Donny Brasco) and former Mafia prince Bill Bonanno have crafted an entertaining mystery that manages to combine insider knowledge of the mob and the FBI with well-drawn characters, frequently hilarious dialogue, and enough gunplay and violence to add a satisfying edge.

CHALKING IT UP by Stephanie Bavaro (Chick Lit)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
After being laid off from work, Heather Hall, a thirty-two-year-old mother of three, is forced to supplement her husband's income with a variety of dead end jobs for ungrateful employers. Eventually, Heather begins to realize what she was meant to do all along.
FALSE START: How The New Browns Were Set Up To Fail, by Terry Pluto (Nonfiction)
Reviewed by Bob Rhubart
Award-winning sportswriter Terry Pluto takes a hard look at the first five years of the new Cleveland Browns franchise, chronicling the backroom deals, big-money power plays, poor decisions, and plain bad luck that have dogged the new Browns franchise since its inception.

Read this week's reviews and features here.

Browse through forthcoming books here. Read about books that have won awards here. Sign up for Author Newsletters here.

Make Your Book Club a Jane Austen Book Club: Discuss MANSFIELD PARK, Featured in THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB

Ever thought about making your book club a Jane Austen Book Club? Given the success of the bestseller THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB, by Karen Joy Fowler, we're sharing with book clubs what they need to make this happen. For six months, we will publish a discussion guide that Fowler has written expressly for book clubs for one of the six Jane Austen titles mentioned in the book. Our third selection this month is MANSFIELD PARK.

To make this Austen celebration even more fun, we are selecting 5 groups to each win 12 copies of MANSFIELD PARK for their discussion. Interested? Send us your name and mailing address by writing by January 31, 2005 to be eligible to win. See complete list of rules at the link below.

In case you missed past month's selections:
Sense and Sensibility



Read more about how to make your club a JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB here, as well as details on how to enter the contest.


Michael L. Printz Award

2000 marked the debut of the Michael L. Printz Award, which was established to recognize a book that "exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature," according to the Young Adult Library Services Association division of the American Library Association. The Award is named for Michael L. Printz, a former school librarian at Topeka West High School in Kansas. Throughout his career he was a respected colleague and teacher, and an active and dedicated member of YALSA. He passed away in 1996.

The Printz winner and up to four honor books (or runners up) are chosen annually by a committee of nine YALSA members.

This year's winner is HOW I LIVE NOW by Meg Rosoff.

Click here to read more about the Printz Award.

Read more about the awards here. Read more about the awards here. Read more about the awards here.

Newbery and Caldecott Winners -- And Other Children's Book Prizes Announced This Week

The American Library Association has announced its 2005 awards, honoring the best books published in 2004.

The Newbery winner is KIRA-KIRA by Cynthia Kadohata

The Caldecott winner is KITTEN'S FIRST FULL MOON by Kevin Henkes. Read more about Kevin Henkes at

We have information about these winners and the runners up, which are called Honor Books. for those of you who would like to know more about them, as well as other prizes that were announced on Monday. Books that are awarded these prizes make wonderful additions to a children's home library.

See more about the Newbery, Caldecott and other award winners here. Blog

January 17th Entry:
Reading Italian (Grisham Style), Tsunami Aid (Author Style) and Celebs (Without Style)
Note: You can read past blogs here as well.
Sign up here to get notified each time this blog is updated.
Click here to read the blog.
Poll: Upcoming Releases


Would you like to see a list of books that are "soon to be published" posted in the bookstore when you shop for books?

Not sure

Do you think you would buy more books if you knew what was going to be coming out in the upcoming weeks?

Not sure

Answer the Poll here.

Question of the Week: Name Those Authors

Question: Name up to three authors who you would like to be made aware of upcoming releases for.

Please note: Our next question update will be on February 4th.

Answer the Question of the Week here.

Read more about THE BROKER here. Read more about IN MEMORY OF RUNNING here.
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes!

Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't.

This week we have some great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of THE BROKER by John Grisham and THE MEMORY OF RUNNING by Ron McLarty. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on February 4th.

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 (see the link on the upper right) or change your preferences below.

Those of you who wish to send mail to, please see the form on the Write to Us page. We were forced to move to this format after we were inundated with SPAM at the other address. If you would like to reach me, please write Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us.

Quick observation --- we have noticed that many of you have been changing your Internet providers in the past month. If you do, please be sure to "take us along" by signing up for the newsletter in your new name!

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

--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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