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September 22, 2006 Newsletter

September 22, 2006

This Week on

Partying To Celebrate A Decade

Author Talk: Janet Fitch, Author of PAINT IT BLACK

FIRST Featured Historical Fiction Author --- Jeff Shaara, Author of THE RISING TIDE

Now in Stores: THE MISSION SONG by John le Carre

Now in Stores: HOW I WRITE by Janet Evanovich

Featured One to Watch Author: Lise Haines, Author SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY

Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Tara Taylor Quinn, Author of IN PLAIN SIGHT

Party Photo Gallery

What's New on

Vote in the 2006 Quill Awards

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog Poll: Banned Books Week

Question of the Week: Banning Books --- Is it Ever Okay?
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
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

Partying To Celebrate A Decade

Tuesday night we celebrated the 10th anniversary of The Book Report Network with a party at Ruby Foo's in the city. Authors, publishing friends, agents and friends of the company joined us and shared stories from the last decade. It was a really fun evening. You can see photos of some of the events of the evening here.

My favorite color is aqua, and thus when we were planning the menu I insisted on blue Curacao margaritas being a part of it so these drinks would give a touch of color to the room!

Over the last 10 years we have worked to develop new features for our readers --- and we will continue to do that. Thus it seems fitting that this week we are kicking off our NEW Historical Fiction Feature with historian and novelist Jeff Shaara. A modern master of the historical novel, Jeff Shaara has painted brilliant depictions of the Civil War, the Revolutionary War and World War I. Now he embarks upon his most ambitious epic, a trilogy about the military conflict that defined the twentieth century that begins with THE RISING TIDE, which comes out November 7th. We have 20 Advance Reader Copies of THE RISING TIDE by Jeff Shaara to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. A description can be found below. If you are interested, please send your name and mailing address to [email protected] by Friday, October 6th, 2006.

We also have Advanced Reader Comments for Jed Rubenfeld, author of THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER, and John Boyne, author of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS. Readers had very interesting things to say about these two very different books that both combine history and fiction.

The party consumed most of this week --- with plans and post-party chatter, but we still have a full lineup for you, including an interview with Janet Fitch whose long-awaited novel, PAINT IT BLACK, is now in stores. We also have a review of Janet Evanovich's nonfiction work, HOW I WRITE. Crafting a work of fiction is a lot more difficult than it often appears. For those of you who think about trying your hand at this, you first may want to read Evanovich's tips.

In other news, here's something special for Diana Gabaldon fans. The author of A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES has done a seven-episode podcast where she discusses everything from how the Outlander saga came to be to her encounters with ghosts to how her novels evolve. Episodes 1-4 are now live. Fans will have a chance to be part of the last podcast as Diana will host an author chat that will be recorded and edited for the final episode. Full details are here:

Next weekend I am off to Madison, Wisconsin for Bouchercon, the mystery/suspense/thriller conference, which I am looking forward to. And for those of you looking for other bookish events in the upcoming months, may we suggest: The National Book Festival on Saturday, September 30th, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C; The Baltimore Book Fair on September 29th, 30th and October 1st at Mount Vernon Place; Great Reads in the Park in New York at Bryant Park on October 15th; and the Miami Book Fair from November 12th to November 19th in Miami. I will be at the latter two events as my Wisconsin trip overlaps with the first two.

To all of our Jewish readers, here's wishing you a Happy New Year. Have a great week...spend some time with a book in hand.

Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])

List of titles reviewed and featured on September 22nd.

List of titles reviewed and featured on September 15th.

Click here to send us your 10th Anniversary wishes and read what other readers had to say.

Author Talk: Janet Fitch, Author of PAINT IT BLACK

Janet Fitch --- author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling novel WHITE OLEANDER --- has written her second work of fiction, PAINT IT BLACK. In this interview, Fitch describes the highs and lows that come hand in hand with a successful publication, and shares the words of wisdom she imparts to her creative writing students at the University of Southern California. She also touches upon the common traits that bind her protagonists together and explains how the creative impulses of others (music, visual art, etc.) have inspired her own work.

PAINT IT BLACK by Janet Fitch (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
In this follow-up to her Oprah's Book Club favorite WHITE OLEANDER, Janet Fitch delivers a sharp-edged, emotionally harrowing novel that is every bit as engrossing as her beloved debut. This is a powerful story of passion, first love and a young woman's search for a true world in the aftermath of loss.

-Click here to read an excerpt from PAINT IT BLACK.

Click here to read an interview with Janet Fitch and a review of PAINT IT BLACK.

FIRST Featured Historical Fiction Author --- Jeff Shaara, Author of THE RISING TIDE

We are so excited to be launching a NEW Feature --- Historical Fiction --- and Jeff Shaara is the perfect inaugural author. A modern master of the historical novel, Shaara has painted brilliant depictions of the Civil War, the Revolutionary War and World War I. Now he embarks upon his most ambitious epic, a trilogy about the military conflict that defined the twentieth century that begins with THE RISING TIDE, which comes out November 7th.

We have 20 Advance Reader Copies of THE RISING TIDE by Jeff Shaara to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. A description can be found by clicking the link below. If you are interested, please send your name and mailing address to [email protected] by Friday, October 6th, 2006.


THE RISING TIDE begins a staggering work of fiction bound to be a new generation's most poignant chronicle of World War II. With you-are-there immediacy, painstaking historical detail, and all-inclusive points of view, Shaara portrays the momentous and increasingly dramatic events that pulled America into the vortex of this monumental conflict.

More than an unprecedented and intimate portrait of those who waged this astonishing global war, THE RISING TIDE is a vivid gallery of characters both immortal and unknown: the as-yet obscure administrator Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose tireless efficiency helped win the war; his subordinates, clashing in both style and personality, from George Patton and Mark Clark to Omar Bradley and Bernard Montgomery. In the desolate hills and deserts, the Allies confront Erwin Rommel, the battlefield genius known as "the Desert Fox," a wounded beast who hands the Americans their first humiliating defeat in the European theater of the war. From tank driver to paratrooper to the men who gave the commands, Shaara's stirring portrayals bring the heroic and the tragic to life in brilliant detail. 

Click here to read more about Jeff Shaara and THE RISING TIDE.


Now in Stores: THE MISSION SONG by John le Carre

THE MISSION SONG by John le Carre (Political Thriller)
Reviewed by Alexis Burling
John le Carre has penned yet another high-stakes thrill ride full of espionage, global meddling and inter-character intrigue. Like his highly praised THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD and his most recent novel turned award-winning blockbuster film, THE CONSTANT GARDENER, THE MISSION SONG rummages underneath the surface of shady intercontinental government dealings --- this time on Eastern Congolese soil.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE MISSION SONG.

Click here to read our review of THE MISSION SONG.


Now in Stores: HOW I WRITE by Janet Evanovich

HOW I WRITE: Secrets of a Bestselling Author by Janet Evanovich with Ina Yalof (Writing)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
HOW I WRITE details the elements of writing and publishing a novel, offering practical and inspiring advice on such subjects as structuring a plot and handling rejection. It combines one of today's most successful fiction writers (Janet Evanovich) with a published nonfiction writer who teaches creative fiction (Ina Yalof).

Click here to read our review of HOW I WRITE.


Featured One to Watch Author: Lise Haines, Author SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY

We are so excited to be featuring Lise Haines as our newest One to Watch author. The author of IN MY SISTER'S COUNTRY is a provocative and intelligent writer whose newest title, SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY, hits stores September 15th and explores the boundaries of sex, love and friendship.

-Click here to read a new excerpt from SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY.
-Click here to see our Advance Copy Winners.
-Click here to read praise for SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY.

Beauty and privilege, a charming, handsome husband and two promising young daughters, money, a beach house on the Pacific --- Jane has everything that Mattie thinks she wants. But Jane always works to damage what she's given. Mattie knows that better than anyone.

But even she is caught off-guard when Jane leaves her whole life behind one broken morning before dawn. And it will take Mattie awhile to see that, by driving away, Jane has forced open the questions that have always hung in the air between them --- the ones that are hardest to answer --- questions about desire and envy and integrity. These are the issues of the heart that reveal themselves, not through the bold and dramatic gestures of a woman like Jane, but in even the briefest moments and the smallest of acts.

With the same rich language and keen, compassionate eye that earned acclaim for her first novel, Lise Haines delves here into the forces that memory and touch raise in our lives and our most private hungers.

Click here to read more about Lise Haines and SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY.


Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Tara Taylor Quinn, Author of IN PLAIN SIGHT

We are thrilled to be featuring Tara Taylor Quinn as our newest Romantic Suspense Author. Lisa Jackson fans will fall hard for Quinn's unique ability to explore edgy subjects with mesmerizing style. Her newest title, IN PLAIN SIGHT, hits stores October 2nd and it's sure to satisfy her old fans and garner her new ones as well.

-Click here to read a new excerpt from IN PLAIN SIGHT.
-Click here to see our Advance Copy Winners.
-Click here to visit Tara's website,

More about IN PLAIN SIGHT:
Are those red laces in the hiking boots of the youth sulking in your favorite mall?  If so, beware. The red laces could signal danger IN PLAIN SIGHT --- and a tie to white supremacists who want to strike fear in people like you and me.


On the outside, Arizona chief prosecutor Janet McNeil is the epitome of a driven, daring attorney who lives life by her own rules. But inside her world is in chaos. Terrifying nightmares keep her in a constant state of anxiety. Yet saving face is imperative now that she's prosecuting a member of a white supremacy organization, a killer who wouldn't think twice about using his twisted followers to silence Jan for good.

It looks like an ordinary neighborhood.....

Neighbor Simon Green is the only person who isn't begging her to quit the case. Simon, an ex-police officer with dark secrets of his own, understands how vital it is to obliterate violence and hate. But when one word from the most unlikely source threatens to change their lives forever, Jan must decide what risks she's willing to take.

Quinn's latest Romantic suspense hits the stands with Publisher's Weekly and USA Today support and follows through on a road unlike any other as she attacks an edgy subject with boldness and compassion.

Click here to read more about Tara Taylor Quinn and IN PLAIN SIGHT.

Party Photo Gallery

On Tuesday, September 19th, approximately 250 people gathered at Ruby Foo's Restaurant in Times Square to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Book Report Network. The guest list included authors, publishers, literary agents, publicists, reviewers, members of the press and friends of the company. We are pleased to share with you some photos taken on this momentous evening.


Click here to see all of our Party Pictures.

What's New on

The following guides are now available on

ABIDING DARKNESS by John Aubrey Anderson
AFTER THIS by Alice McDermott
ALL MORTAL FLESH by Julia Spencer-Fleming
BEFORE I GO by Riley Weston
BLOOD MASK by Lauren Kelly
BREADFRUIT by Celestine Vaite
FIRE WITH FIRE by Allan Kahane
FIRST AID by Janet Davey
FRANCA'S STORY by Diane Kinman
THE GUY NOT TAKEN by Jennifer Weiner
HELEN OF TROY by Margaret George
THE HISTORY OF LOVE by Nicole Krauss
LUCY by Ellen Feldman
THE MEPHISTO CLUB by Tess Gerritsen
THE ONLY BEST PLACE by Carolyne Aarsen
PIECE OF WORK by Laura Zigman
RIVER'S EDGE by Marie Bostwick
THE SNOW FOX by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
THE STOLEN HEART by Lauren Kelly
THREE WISHES by Liane Moriarty
THE VOTE by Sybil Downing
YOU'VE GOT TO READ THIS BOOK by Jack Canfield and Gay Hendricks

Please note that these titles, for which we already had guides when they appeared in hardcover, are now available (or coming soon) in paperback:

AMERICAN HEROINES by Kay Bailey Hutchison
AT FIRST SIGHT by Nicholas Sparks
CITIZEN VINCE by Jess Walter
THE CONJURER'S BIRD by Martin Davies
GARBAGE LAND by Elizabeth Royte
THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold


Vote in the 2006 Quill Awards

On August 22, 2006, the nominees for the second annual Quill Book Awards were announced. Sponsored by Reed Business Information and NBC, the Award is designed to act as an industry qualified "consumers choice" program that honors excellence in writing and publishing, recognizes the creators of great literature, and promotes reading and literacy initiatives. The winners will be announced at the Quills Awards Ceremony on October 10th, in New York City. Click here to vote.




Click here to read the nominees and vote.


This Week's Reviews and Features

THE RIGHT ATTITUDE TO RAIN: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel by Alexander McCall Smith (Mystery)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
In Alexander McCall Smith's delightful new installment in the bestselling and beloved series featuring Scots philosopher Isabel Dalhousie (editor of the Review of Applied Ethics) and her no-nonsense housekeeper, Grace, readers are allowed a peep into Isabel's personal life for the first time.

A SPOT OF BOTHER by Mark Haddon (Fiction)
Reviewed by Sarah Egelman
Talented writer Mark Haddon proves that the success of his stunning debut, the international bestseller THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, was no fluke. A SPOT OF BOTHER --- an extraordinary look at mundane dysfunction --- is a page-turner and a pleasure.

WHEN MADELINE WAS YOUNG by Jane Hamilton (Fiction)
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
When Aaron Maciver's beautiful young wife, Madeline, suffers brain damage in a bike accident, she's left with the intellectual powers of a six-year-old. In the years that follow, Aaron and his second wife care for Madeline with deep tenderness and devotion as they raise two children of their own. Narrated by Aaron's son, Mac, this engrossing and satisfying story chronicles the Maciver family through the decades.

THE DEAD HOUR by Denise Mina (Mystery)
Reviewed by Kathy Weissman
The grim, sleepless world of a journalist's night beat is the setting for this gifted Scottish writer's sixth crime novel. The book is poignant and hard-edged at the same time --- exactly like Paddy Meehan, the bold, profane young reporter (and unofficial investigator) whose adventures in lust, pain, guilt and elation are its driving force. 

JAMES TIPTREE, JR.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips (Biography)
Reviewed by Pauline Finch
In this brilliant, passionate and superbly detailed account of author Alice B. Sheldon's mercurial life, Julie Phillips has not only given the world a long-needed definitive biography, but has done so with the style and energy of a first-rate novel.

UNCOMMON CARRIERS by John McPhee (Transportation/Literature)
Reviewed by Harold Cordry
Over the past eight years, John McPhee --- a superb reporter with a keen eye for detail and a gifted storyteller --- has spent considerable time in the company of people who work in freight transportation. UNCOMMON CARRIERS is his sketchbook of these workers and his journeys with them.

DYING LIGHT by Stuart MacBride (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Stuart MacBride's second novel (following COLD GRANITE) marks the reappearance of his protagonist, Detective Sergeant Logan MacCrae. A detailed authenticity combines with a dark Scottish sense of humor and a lively cast of characters in DYING LIGHT.

LIFELESS by Mark Billingham (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
The latest in a series of novels featuring British detective Tom Thorne, LIFELESS is the thrilling story of a man who is as driven to find a ruthless killer as he is to bring about his own self-destruction.

THE GRAYS by Whitley Strieber (Science Fiction)
Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard
Drawing on a lifetime of research, Whitley Strieber --- author of the #1 bestseller COMMUNION --- offers up a fictional account of the conspiracy behind alien presence on Earth while also giving us a startling look inside the alien mind that will astound, frighten and enthrall readers.

WORLD WAR Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (Fiction)
Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds
The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks traveled across the United States and throughout the world, recording the testimony of men, women and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living --- or at least the undead --- hell of that dreadful time.

Click here to read our reviews and features. Blog

September 8th Entries:
-What I Did On My Summer Vacation
-Reflecting on 9/11: The Books

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: Banned Books Week

September 23rd-30th is Banned Books Week. Are you aware of books that are on this list?

Not sure
Knowing that a book is on a banned list...

Makes me want to read it more
Makes me want to read it anyway
Makes me skip it
I am not sure how I feel.
I have never heard of a book being banned.
Answer the Poll here.

Read a list of upcoming books here. Browse our author bibliographies by clicking here Sign up for Author Newsletters here.
Question of the Week: Banning Books --- Is it Ever Okay?

What do you think about books being banned? Should it happen? What would be a reason to ban a book?

Please note our Question of the Week will update October 6th.

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 two great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of FOR ONE MORE DAY by Mitch Albom and MOTOR MOUTH: An Alexandra Barnaby Novel by Janet Evanovich.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on October 6th.


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 [email protected]. Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us.

Those who are subscribed to the newsletter by September 30, 2006 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: THE BOOK OF FATE by Brad Meltzer, FOR ONE MORE DAY by Mitch Albom, FRAGILE THINGS: Short Fictions and Wonders, by Neil Gaiman, THE GUY NOT TAKEN: Stories by Jennifer Weiner and THE TESTAMENT by Eric Van Lustbader. Last month's winner was Alice from Walla Walla, WA, who won HELEN OF TROY by Margaret George, MESSENGER OF TRUTH by Jacqueline Winspear, RICOCHET by Sandra Brown, SNOW BLIND by P. J. Tracy and TRIPTYCH by Karin Slaughter.

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

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