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November 25, 2005 Newsletter

November 25, 2005

This Week on

Here Comes the Holidaze Talks to Peter Temple, Author of BAD DEBTS and BLACK TIDE Talks To Douglas Preston, Author of TYRANNOSAUR CANYON

Holiday Basket of Cheer: Spotlight on THE CHRISTMAS HOPE by Donna VanLiere and Weekly Basket Giveaway

Announcing our Holiday What to Give/What to Get Guide!

What to Give/What To Get --- Holiday Spirit: Books Perfect for Holiday Reading

What to Give/What To Get --- Teen's Choice: Books Perfect For Teens

What to Give/What To Get --- Child's Play: Books Perfect For Kids

What's New on

New in Paperback for November

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog

Poll: Unwrapping a Book
Question of the Week: Breaking Bread With The Author
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 Question of the Week: What book are you most inclined to give this year?
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
Holiday Basket of Cheer Promotion

Here Comes the Holidaze

I actually am writing this letter the day before Thanksgiving since I am attempting to have a quiet, relaxing holiday weekend. For all of you who know me well, stop snickering; I do hear you. I am making a mega-course Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow and to date have not prepared one thing. Thanksgiving is all about chopping while watching the parade and then trying to time everything so you can have dinner at a reasonable hour with all food hot and available at exactly the same time. No wonder we need a long weekend to follow this!
Friday will be about decorating the house for Christmas. This means I will discover all the ornaments I bought all year and stashed in the attic. There will be a moment of realization that the tree will not have enough branches for all of them. It's cold enough to have a fire, which means there will be much debate over who gets the wood for the fire from outside. Somewhere during the weekend I will assess the presents I already have and make lists. The next few weeks are all about lists. Sunday we are decorating a tree for a charity event. This year I was so caught up with work projects that we are not creating something special for this. Instead we are doing our usual tree theme there, which is Whimsical Southwest. It will work.
This holiday I am vowing to take some shortcuts like that instead of constantly running in six directions when I have time for two.
I want you to have the same kind of holiday. This week we are launching our What to Give/What to Get Guide with just that in mind. We are featuring titles in 12 categories that are perfect for giving and getting. Here's another concept to ponder --- buying gifts in quantity. We really think that the items in the Stocking Stuffers category can work for more than one person! All the titles in this Guide and in the Holiday Basket of Cheer feature are listed on our Shopping List, which follows this opener. May we suggest you print it for when you go shopping?
For those of you who would like to escape to the movies this weekend, do so with suggestions of Books Into Movies from Jennifer Krieger, our resident movie buff. We also have a list of books that came out in paperback this month, compiled by Tom Donadio.
I wrote a new blog entry about my wonderful trip to the Miami Book Fair last weekend. I do look forward to doing that again in the future.
To all of you...enjoy the weekend and the leftovers. And remember, this extra time off means time for more reading in between those holiday plans. Have a good week.

Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])

List of titles reviewed and featured on November 25th

List of titles reviewed and featured on November 18th

Click here to read out Books Into Movies Feature. Talks to Peter Temple, Author of BAD DEBTS and BLACK TIDE's Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight Team (Carol Fitzgerald, Joe Hartlaub and Wiley Saichek) interviewed acclaimed Australian novelist Peter Temple about his latest endeavors, BAD DEBTS and BLACK TIDE. Temple cites his interest in the law as the catalyst for this new series, and discusses elements of his own personality that are infused into that of his protagonist, Jack Irish. He also names his major literary influences, shares his initial reason for becoming a writer, and describes what he hopes American readers will learn from his books.

BAD DEBTS by Peter Temple (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
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.

BLACK TIDE by Peter Temple (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
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.

Click here to read our interview with Peter Temple and reviews of BAD DEBTS and BLACK TIDE. Talks To Douglas Preston, Author of TYRANNOSAUR CANYON

Douglas Preston has collaborated with Lincoln Child on such novels as BRIMSTONE, THE RELIC and STILL LIFE WITH CROWS. In this interview with's contributing writer Roberta O'Hara, Preston talks about his latest solo release, TYRANNOSAUR CANYON, which showcases his lifelong interest in paleontology and his experiences working at the American Museum of Natural History. He discusses his penchant for reusing characters from previous works, explains why he incorporates greed into his fiction, and touches upon how he decides which story ideas will be pursued individually and which should be developed into joint novels.

TYRANNOSAUR CANYON by Douglas Preston (Thriller)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
Tom Broadbent, whom readers first met in THE CODEX, stumbles upon the body of Stem Weathers, recently shot by a hired assassin. Moments before his death, Weathers entrusts Broadbent with a well-worn notebook and requests that Broadbent deliver the book to his estranged daughter. Broadbent promises to do so, and thus begins his family's embroilment in a conflict he never could have foreseen.

Click here to read our interview with Douglas Preston and a review of TYRANNOSAUR CANYON.


Holiday Basket of Cheer: Spotlight on THE CHRISTMAS HOPE by Donna VanLiere 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.

This week our featured title is THE CHRISTMAS HOPE by Donna VanLiere.

Our Holiday Basket of Cheer is a woven basket stocked with holiday-themed items. Along with two copies of THE CHRISTMAS HOPE by Donna VanLiere, green-and-tan checkered wrapping paper and a matching bow --- winners will receive a cinnamon spice-scented Illuminations candle, Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate mix, gourmet vanilla marshmallows, sweet-smelling Cinnamon sticks, delicious Chewy Peps peppermint candies, soft comfy slipper socks and blue-green treated pinecones that will color your holiday fire.

THE CHRISTMAS HOPE by Donna VanLiere (Fiction)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Patricia and Mark Addison have long given up the hope of having a meaningful Christmas. But this year, Patricia's job as a social worker will lead her to a very special five-year-old. This heartwarming story of a couple numbed by grief and a little girl's love that rekindles the spark in their marriage will tug at your heartstrings.

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


Announcing our Holiday What to Give/What to Get Guide!

 ( ) knows that readers crave ideas for gift-giving --- and getting --- at the holidays. With this in mind we're offering a What to Give/What to Get Guide with "Reader Perfect" suggestions in 12 categories.

We have book ideas for everyone on your holiday list. And while you're looking for gifts for others, may we suggest you jot notes for the books YOU want?

Please note that all the titles spotlighted in the What to Give/What to Get Guide will be on our shopping checklist each week (found in the bottom of the newsletter opener), which you can print and bring with you when you do your holiday shopping.

Click here to read our What to Give/What to Get Feature.


What to Give/What To Get --- Holiday Spirit: Books Perfect for Holiday Reading

Our Holiday Spirit titles are books inspired by all the warm and wonderful --- and sometimes not so warm and wonderful --- feelings the holidays bring about.


COMFORT AND JOY by Kristin Hannah


QUIZMAS: Christmas Trivia Family Fun by Gordon Pape & Deborah Kerbel

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS: Anniversary Edition by Clement C. Moore

SNOWWOMAN IN A BOX by Alison Trulock and Sarah O'Brein, illustrated by Adam McCauley



THIS CHRISTMAS by Jane Green, Jennifer Coburn & Liz Ireland

THE WORST NOEL: Hellish Holiday Tales by Collected Authors

Click here to read more about the Holiday Spirit Titles featured in our What to Give/What to Get Guide.

What to Give/What To Get --- Teen's Choice: Books Perfect For Teens

Our Teen's Choice category features teen-tested books that will appeal to even the most discerning teen reader.

THE DATING GAME #3: Can True Love Survive High School? by Natalie Standiford


ELSEWHERE by Gabrielle Zevin 


THE FORETELLING by Alice Hoffman 

THE GIFT OF NOTHING by Patrick McDonnell

THE IT GIRL by Cecily von Ziegesar 

ONLY WITH PASSION by Katarina Witt

RAVEN'S GATE: The Gatekeepers Book 1 by Anthony Horowitz 


TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer 

Click here to read more about the Teen Titles featured in our What to Give/What to Get Guide.

What to Give/What To Get --- Child's Play: Books Perfect For Kids






Our Child's Play category features the old favorites and new books that the kids in your life will love to unwrap.


FAIRYOPOLIS by Cicely Mary Barker

HIGH IN THE CLOUDS by Paul McCartney, Geoff Dunbar & Philip Ardagh


LEAF MAN by Lois Ehlert 

THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD by Watty Piper, illustrated by Loren Long 

MICE, MORALS & MONKEY BUSINESS by Christopher Wormell 

SNOWMEN AT CHRISTMAS by Caralyn Buehner, illustrated by Mark Buehner 

WINTER'S TALE: A Pop-up Journey by Robert Sabuda

WIZARDOLOGY: The Book of the Secrets of Merlin by Dugald Steer; illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert, John Howe, Tomislav Tomic & Helen Ward

Click here to read more about the Kids Titles featured in our What to Give/What to Get Guide.

What's New on, The Book Report Network's website for Christian readers, has been updated. Our features include a roundup of titles perfect for the holiday season, a tribute to C.S. Lewis and his Chronicles of Narnia series, and interviews with Larry Julian and Tracie Peterson, who each responded to the Faithful Fifteen, a list of questions developed to give readers insight into Christian authors --- and what they write. We have also added 14 new reviews in three different categories: Fiction, Christian Living, and Marriage & Family Life.


Click here to visit


New in Paperback for November

November's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes Nelson DeMille's memorable and disturbing NIGHT FALL, a fictional account of the TWA Flight 800 disaster; THE BROKER, an international thriller by John Grisham set predominately in Bologna, Italy; LIFE EXPECTANCY, another nail-biter from one of the masters of the suspense genre, Dean Koontz; MISTRESS OF THE PEARL, the third installment in Eric Van Lustbader's fantasy saga The Pearl; VANISHING ACTS, in which Jodi Picoult explores what happens when a young woman's past catches up to her just in time to threaten her future; THE DOCTOR'S WIFE, a compelling psychological thriller from debut novelist Elizabeth Brundage; MOST WANTED by newcomer Michele Martinez, the first book in a series of suspense novels featuring federal prosecutor Melanie Vargas; and DOWNTOWN: MY MANHATTAN, Pete Hamill's brilliant tribute to the city he loves.

Click here to read our New in Paperback Feature.

This Week's Reviews and Features

THE LIGHTHOUSE by P.D. James (Mystery)
Reviewed by Kathy Weissman
Adam Dalgliesh, P.D. James's poet/detective, is back in an absorbing mystery involving an eccentric handful of murder suspects, each with something to hide; two ambitious inspectors who don't get along; and a remote island that harbors its own secrets.

Click here to read an excerpt from THE LIGHTHOUSE.

LIGHT FROM HEAVEN by Jan Karon (Fiction)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
It's the final encore for the characters of Mitford, "the little town with the big heart," as the curtain rings down on the long-running series. Fans who have devotedly read each of the Mitford Years novels will be delighted that this long-awaited conclusion is everything that might be hoped for --- and a little bit more.

THE CITY OF FALLING ANGELS by John Berendt (Nonfiction/Literature)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
John Berendt, the author of MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL, tackles the thorny problem of who or what caused the catastrophic fire that destroyed Venice's opera house, while giving a glimpse of everyday life there.

A CRACK IN THE EDGE OF THE WORLD by Simon Winchester (History)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
Simon Winchester, the international bestselling author of THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN and KRAKATOA, presents a wide-ranging study of the history, science and folklore of earthquakes. He centers on the great San Francisco quake of 1906 as one spectacular example of the genre, but uses a much wider lens to consider the whole complex and frightening subject.

THE PENELOPIAD by Margaret Atwood (Mythology)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
An early installment in an ambitious, multinational myth retelling project involving Canongate Books and two-dozen other international publishing houses, Margaret Atwood's THE PENELOPIAD vividly reimagines the familiar myth of Odysseus from the point of view of his long-suffering wife, Penelope.

THE BEATLES: THE BIOGRAPHY by Bob Spitz (Biography/Music)
Reviewed by Ron Kaplan
After years of research around the world, hundreds of unprecedented interviews, and the mining of tens of thousands of documents (many never before seen), Bob Spitz has written a biography packed with details and anecdotes that Beatles fans have been waiting for.

Click here to read our reviews and features. Blog

November 23rd Entry:
Musing the Miami Book Fair

November 18th Entry:
Books for Boys

November 17th Entry:
My 24 Hours with Joan Didion

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.
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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: Unwrapping a Book
Which of the following would you most like to receive as a gift this holiday season?

A book
A gift certificate to a local bookstore
A gift certificate to an online bookseller
Nothing book-related
Answer the Poll here.

Question of the Week: Breaking Bread With The Author

What author would you most like to have over for a holiday dinner?

Please note: Our question of the week will update December 2nd.

Answer the Question of the Week 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 FOREVER ODD by Dean Koontz and MARY, MARY by James Patterson

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on December 2nd. 

Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.


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