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November 4, 2005 Newsletter

November 4, 2005

This Week on

Let The Shopping Begin.... Talks to David Morrell, Author of CREEPERS

Author Talk: Anne Rice, Author of CHRIST THE LORD

Holiday Basket of Cheer: Spotlight on 700 SUNDAYS by Billy Crystal and Weekly Basket Giveaway

Our Newest Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Peter Temple, Author of BAD DEBTS and BLACK TIDE

Now In Stores: ORDINARY HEROES by Scott Turow

Now In Stores: THE LOST PAINTING by Jonathan Harr

New Guides on

November Books Into Movies

Author Newsletter Contests

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog

Poll: Holiday Shopping
Question of the Week: Book-Giving
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- THREE Prizes!
Quick Links to Features On The Book Report Network
Past Reviews
Can't See the Graphics? Read This Newsletter Online
Past Question of the Week: Name up to five authors you would like to hear give online audio interviews.
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
Summer Beach Bag Promotion
Holiday Basket of Cheer Promotion

Let The Shopping Begin....

This week starts revving up for the holidays. Pumpkins be gone; it's time to start readying for "The Great Shop," which is what people tend to do these next 8 weeks. Stuck on what to give --- and get? Wonder no more.

We are launching a new promotion this week, our Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest, which highlights 8 titles that we think are perfect for holiday giving. For those of you who loved the Summer Beach Bag promotion, this contest is similar to that, but with a twist to celebrate gift-giving. Each winner will receive a basket of holiday-themed goodies and TWO copies of the featured book. The idea is to keep one book for yourself --- and give the other. To make this easy, we are providing wrapping paper and a bow.

Our first book is 700 SUNDAYS by Billy Crystal. I never got to see Crystal's show on Broadway, but I did see his performance at Book Expo America where he talked about 700 SUNDAYS. The title references the time Crystal spent with his dad, who worked two jobs six days a week. His only free day was Sunday and Crystal treasured those days. His dad died when he was 15, so he calculates he had 700 Sundays with him. His book reads wonderfully and will make you think about your own family memories. As our reviewer, Stuart Shiffman says, "This book makes a wonderful holiday gift --- but first buy one for yourself!"

In two weeks or so we are going to launch a robust What to Give/What to Get section that you will want to note. Our plan: Getting the right book into recipients' hands, whether those hands be yours or someone else's. To us, there's a perfect book for every person. And we'll help you find it!

I picked up my advance copy of the New York Times Book Review on Tuesday and noted that for the first time since it came out --- 136 weeks ago for those of you who are counting --- THE DA VINCI CODE is not on the printed bestseller list. It dropped to number 16 and only 15 books appear in the printed review though you can read the next 15 online. This is called the extended list. I call this Bookish Trivia.

I got lots of notes about changing clocks last week. I even wrote a blog about it last Sunday night, which you can read here. Larry Kilmer, who is one of our readers, told me about a book that talks about the history behind the changing of the clocks, SPRING FORWARD: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time by Michael Downing. In an interview with the author in the Boston Globe I learned "that the reason the clocks change at 2 AM is because this was done to accommodate the railroad schedules. When we fall back and gain an hour, every train, including Amtrak passenger trains, simply stop on the tracks for an hour, no matter where they are, waiting for the clock to catch up with them. There are always one or two people who take the train in October precisely to sit in stillness." So for those of you looking for a new adventure, there you go.

Two great interviews this week --- one with David Morrell, the author of CREEPERS, and the second with Anne Rice, whose new book is CHRIST THE LORD. I have read both books and these interviews will definitely whet your appetites for some good reading.

I need to start thinking about a Thanksgiving dinner menu this week. Also, a reminder for those of you going to the Miami Book Fair November 17-20: I am going to be there. There's a great lineup of authors. See for details. Though there was lots of damage in Florida with Hurricane Wilma, the fair will go on as scheduled.

Have a great week...happy reading....

Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])

List of titles reviewed and featured on November 4th

List of titles reviewed and featured on October 28th Talks to David Morrell, Author of CREEPERS's Carol Fitzgerald and Joe Hartlaub interviewed David Morrell, the award-winning author of FIRST BLOOD, the novel in which Rambo was created. In this interview, Morrell discusses his childhood hobby of exploring abandoned buildings as the basis for his latest work, CREEPERS, and sheds light on the historical rise and fall of New Jersey's Asbury Park as a symbol of the failed American Dream. He also elaborates on his use of Poe's theories about readers' attention spans and discloses a few details about his upcoming projects.

CREEPERS by David Morrell (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
On a cold October night, five creepers gather in a run-down motel on the Jersey shore and prepare to break into The Paragon Hotel. The once-magnificent structure is now boarded-up and slated for demolition. But soon after they enter the rat-infested tunnel leading to the hotel, they find more than they bargained for.

Click here to read our interview with David Morrell and a review of CREEPERS.


Author Talk: Anne Rice, Author of CHRIST THE LORD

In this interview, Anne Rice --- best known for her hugely successful Vampire Chronicles series --- recalls the events in her life that led to the writing of her latest work, CHRIST THE LORD. She discusses the intensive research and little creative license she utilized in order to keep her novel true to Christian narratives, and reveals her fear and apprehension over taking on such a monumental challenge. Rice also explains how, despite making a name for herself penning dark tales about the supernatural, she does not consider writing about Jesus Christ to be a departure from her previous works.

CHRIST THE LORD: Out of Egypt by Anne Rice (Fiction)
Reviewed by Karen Campbell
Anne Rice's magnificent novel about the early years of Jesus Christ is based on the Gospels and on the most respected New Testament scholarship. The book's power derives from the passion its author brings to the writing, and the way in which she summons up the voice, the presence, the words of Jesus who tells the story.

-Click here to read an excerpt from CHRIST THE LORD.

Click here to read an interview with Anne Rice and a review of CHRIST THE LORD.


Holiday Basket of Cheer: Spotlight on 700 SUNDAYS by Billy Crystal and Weekly Basket Giveaway

The holiday season is upon us! At this means it's time for us to share the spirit of the season with you with our Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest.

Each week from November 4th through December 16th we will spotlight a different title, and readers will have the chance to win one of five holiday baskets filled with winter-themed items as well as two copies of the featured book. Why two? One is to keep, of course, and one is for someone on your holiday gift list. We will also include festive wrapping paper and a bow to make the gift-giving hassle-free.

700 SUNDAYS by Billy Crystal (Memoir)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
A poignant, hilarious, and personal portrayal of his youth, Billy Crystal's one-man show "700 Sundays" broke Broadway box office records and received a Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event. The popular actor and comedian has now produced a book based on the play, a delightful autobiographical journey that is sure to elicit tears and laughter from readers everywhere.

Click here to read all the details of our Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest.


Our Newest Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Peter Temple, Author of BAD DEBTS and BLACK TIDE

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Peter Temple is the newest author in our Debut Suspense/Thriller feature. Temple is one of Australia's most acclaimed writers, and has worked as a journalist, magazine editor and teacher. He is the author of eight novels, four of which have received the Ned Kelly Award for crime fiction. BAD DEBTS and BLACK TIDE are the first and second titles in his celebrated Jack Irish series, which is just being released in the States.

New this week:
-Click here to read an excerpt from BAD DEBTS
-Click here to see our Advanced Copy Winners.

More about BAD DEBTS:
Jack Irish doesn't immediately remember ex-client Danny McKillop when he picks up an unexpected voicemail message - his life is hard enough without having to dredge up old problems. But when Danny turns up dead, Jack has no choice but to take a walk back into the dark and dangerous past.

With suspenseful prose and black humor, Peter Temple builds an unforgettable character in Jack Irish and brings the reader on a journey that is as intelligent as it is exciting.

More about BLACK TIDE:
Jack Irish is recovering from his last foray into the criminal underworld when he agrees to look for the missing son of Des Connors, the last living link to Jack's father. It's an offer he soon regrets, as he discovers that prodigal sons often go missing for a reason, and they always have something to hide.

The second book in Peter Temple's Jack Irish series, BLACK TIDE takes us back into a brilliantly evoked world of pubs, racetracks, and sports -- not to mention intrigue, corruption, and violence.

Click here to read more about Peter Temple, BAD DEBTS and BLACK TIDE.


Now In Stores: ORDINARY HEROES by Scott Turow

ORDINARY HEROES by Scott Turow (Fiction)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
Stewart Dubinsky knew his father served in World War II and was told how he rescued Stewart's mother from the horror of a concentration camp. But when he discovers, after his father's death, a packet of wartime letters to a former fiancée, and learns of his father's court-martial and imprisonment, he is plunged into the mystery of his family's secret history and driven to uncover the truth about this enigmatic, distant man who had always refused to talk about the war.

-Click here to read an excerpt from ORDINARY HEROES.

Click here to read our review of ORDINARY HEROES.


Now In Stores: THE LOST PAINTING by Jonathan Harr

THE LOST PAINTING by Jonathan Harr (Current Affairs/Art History)
Reviewed by Jamie Layton
Last seen 200 years ago, Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Caravaggio's The Taking of Christ and its disappearance have long tantalized art aficionados. When graduate student Francesca Cappelletti stumbles upon a reference to the work, she sets out to unravel the mystery of what became of it.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE LOST PAINTING.



Click here to read our review of THE LOST PAINTING.

New Guides on






The following guides are now available on

Going Overboard by Sarah Smiley
Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
The Grace That Keeps This World by Tom
The Loves of Charles II by Jean Plaidy
The Memoirs of Helen of Troy by Amanda Elyot
The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart
The Preacher's Daughter by Beverly Lewis
A Private Hotel for Gentle Ladies by Ellen
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman

Click here to see all our guides on


November Books Into Movies

November brings a multitude of offerings for book-loving cinephiles. There's major buzz surrounding the newest Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but as we gear up for Oscar season, other highly anticipated projects are vying for the spotlight. From the much-hyped adaptation of Jane Austen's classic PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, the long-awaited Jennifer Aniston vehicle Derailed, and the timely and topical Jarhead, to the wild and zany adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's picture book ZATHURA and the delectable Juliette Binoche's star-turn in Bee Season (based on Myla Goldberg's beloved first novel), this month's lineup promises to incite dialogue and debate. These are movies that demand to be discussed and mused on long after the credits roll.

But the cinema isn't the only place you'll find movie versions of your favorite books. This month Hallmark Hall of Fame presents Silver Bells on CBS, which is based on the bestselling novel by Luanne Rice. So grab some popcorn, and chill out on the couch or head to your favorite theater --- November is the month for the movies everyone will be talking about.

Click here to read our Books into Movies feature.


Author Newsletter Contests

Sign up for the following author newsletters and be eligible to win prizes.

Nicholas Evans - Subscribers who sign up for Nicholas Evans's newsletter by November 30, 2005 will be entered in a random drawing to win one of five signed copies of THE DIVIDE. Click here to sign up: Nicholas Evans

Daniel Silva - Subscribers who sign up for Daniel Silva's newsletter by November 30, 2005 will be entered in a random drawing to win a signed copy of PRINCE OF FIRE. Click here to sign up: Daniel Silva

Nelson DeMille - Subscribers who sign up for Nelson DeMille's newsletter by December 31, 2005 are eligible to win one of five signed copies of the hard-to-find hardcover MAYDAY. Click here to sign up: Nelson DeMille

Joseph Finder - Subscribers who sign up for Joseph Finder's newsletter by November 30, 2005 will be entered in a random drawing to win a signed copy of COMPANY MAN. Click here to sign up: Joseph Finder

Kate White - Readers who sign up for Kate White's newsletter by December 31, 2005 will be eligible to win a contest prize of a Beauty Basket and signed copies of OVER HER DEAD BODY and 'TIL DEATH DO US PART. Click here to sign up: Kate White

Kristin Hannah - One lucky subscriber will be chosen from those who sign up for the Kristin Hannah newsletter by December 31, 2005 to win a copy of the paperback of THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE. Click here to sign up: Kristin Hannah

Marcia Muller - Subscribers who sign up by December 31, 2005 will be entered in a contest to win one of five signed copies of Marcia's limited-edition short story collection TIME OF THE WOLVES. Click here to sign up: Marcia Muller

Click here to see all our authors on the web.

This Week's Reviews and Features

COMES A HORSEMAN by Robert Liparulo (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
FBI agents Brady Moore and Alicia Wagner, the protagonists in Robert Liparulo's debut novel, are accustomed to grisly crimes like the so-called Pelletier Killings. But when the pair uncovers ancient prophecies that link the victims, the wrath of the killers turns on them.

NEVER HAVE YOUR DOG STUFFED: And Other Things I've Learned by Alan Alda (Memoir)
Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller
Alan Alda --- a star on Broadway, an Oscar nominee for The Aviator, and the only person ever to win Emmys for acting, writing and directing during his eleven years on "M*A*S*H" --- recounts the perils and pitfalls of life as a working actor in this warm and funny memoir.

SIDE BY SIDE by John Ramsey Miller (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Winter Massey is a former U.S. marshal who has made too many enemies on both sides of the law. Lucy Dockery is a judge's daughter who's never had to fight for anything in her life. But now Lucy and her young son have been kidnapped and sentenced to die --- unless her father agrees to set a vicious criminal free.

THE OXFORD MURDERS by Guillermo Martinez (Mystery)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
A series of deaths rocks academic Oxford as a famous mathematics professor and an Argentinean graduate student join intellectual forces to solve the mystery of the symbols drawn in notes from the apparent killer, before another body turns up.

ANDREW JACKSON: His Life and Times by H.W. Brands (Biography)
Reviewed by Ron Kaplan
Historian H.W. Brands follows Andrew Jackson from his days as a rebellious youth, risking execution to free the Carolinas of the British during the Revolutionary War, to his years as a young lawyer and congressman from the newly settled frontier state of Tennessee, and his two terms as President of the United States.

WISH by Melina Gerosa Bellows (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
When your entire life has been one long search for that mysterious "something" that will finally make you happy and complete, what you want changes faster than the fashions in Vogue. But that doesn't mean you stop wishing, does it? This is Bella Grandelli's heartbreaking, hilarious, and seemingly hopeless quest.

Click here to read our reviews and features. Blog

October 30th Entry:
Time Time Time...See What's Become of Me....

October 21st Entry:
My Role as a Book Concierge to My Friends
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.
Read a list of upcoming books here. Browse our author bibliographies by clicking here. Sign up for Author Newsletters here.
Poll: Holiday Shopping
When do you start your holiday shopping?
I already started.
I am starting these next few weeks.
I start after Thanksgiving.
I start in December.
I wait until the last minute.
I have finished shopping already.
I don't buy holiday presents.
Do you purchase books to give to friends and family for the holidays?
I never have, but I would if I thought it would be appropriate
Answer the Poll here.

Question of the Week: Book-Giving

What book are you most inclined to give this year?

Please note: Our question of the week will update November 18th.

Answer the Question of the Week here.

Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- THREE 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 PENELOPIAD: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus by Margaret Atwood, TEACHER MAN by Frank McCourt, and a SIGNED audiobook of CREEPERS by David Morrell.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on November 18th. 

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 [email protected]. 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 ([email protected])

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