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October 31, 2008 Newsletter

October 31, 2008

This Week on
Happy Halloween…And It's Finally Back: The Hour We Lost

Now in Stores: THE GATE HOUSE by Nelson DeMille Talks to M.J. Rose, Author of THE MEMORIST Talks to Katherine Neville, Author of THE FIRE Talks to Carla Neggers, Author of COLD PURSUIT

Author Talk: Christopher Fowler, Author of THE VICTORIA VANISHES

Feature Story: Art Spiegelman, Author of BREAKDOWNS

Featured Women's Fiction Author: Marie Bostwick, Author of A SINGLE THREAD

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: John Lutz, Author of NIGHT KILLS

Featured Mystery Mayhem Author: M. C. Beaton, Author of A SPOONFUL OF POISON
This Week's Graphic Novel Reviews
New in Paperback for October
This Week's Reviews

Poll and Question of the Week: Multitasking While Reading

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

Historical Fiction Promotion

One to Watch Promotion
Books Into Movies
Bestseller Lists
Coming Soon
New in Paperback
Happy Halloween…And It's Finally Back: The Hour We Lost
I am soooo ready for the hour we lost last spring. I am convinced that THIS is the hour that stands between me and morning swimming. There is a new branch of the Y four minutes from my house that is open from 5:15-7:15AM (during the day it is a school for autistic children) and in the evenings. I am convinced that with this hour I can be IN the pool next week early in the morning since my normal wake time sans alarm is 6:45. That now will be 5:45. I can pretend I am living in the Caribbean (same time zone) and SWIM. I will consider it reverse jetlag. Stay tuned to see if this fitness plan works! Of course I have my usual 24 or maybe 63 things planned for this extra hour. I am sure you feel the same way.

I love Halloween. I'm ready to resurrect my witch’s costume, which includes my full-length St. John gauzy black skirt that I usually wear to black tie events, my black cashmere sweater, a very scary wig and hat…and this year a new broom that has a teal handle and multi-colored bristles. Tres chic. One year, as I was trampling after the kids through some brush, all I was thinking was, “If I catch this skirt on a branch, WHAT will I wear to the National Book Awards?” But by maximizing my wardrobe like this, I see I took something valuable away from all those years at a fashion magazine --- multipurposing my wardrobe! My husband bought three kinds of candy that I am not interested in, which is a good thing! Now if he had picked up peanut M&Ms, it would have been quite another story.

San Jose was bookishly fun last weekend. I enjoyed many of the panels during the weekend, but one of the real highlights was an impromptu cocktail soiree I ended up throwing together at my hotel Saturday night with an assorted group of authors that included Masha Hamilton, Garth Stein, Joshua Henkin, Jennie Shortridge, Victoria Zackheim and Susan Ito, along with our monthly blogger Esther Bushell and Trish Collins, who has blogged for us on occasion, and other assorted publishing folks and friends of friends who found their way to join us. I really love evenings like this when people just come together, mostly unplanned, and I can just watch people getting to chat with one another.

Friday night I enjoyed meeting Deborah Copaken Kogan, who wrote BETWEEN HERE AND APRIL, a book I truly enjoyed that might not be on your radar. Sunday afternoon I interviewed Garth Stein for Book Club Girl's on Air radio show and we talked about his book THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, which has been on the New York Times bestseller list for an astonishing 24 weeks. Given the volatility of the list, this is quite a feat. You can listen to the interview here. I also had the pleasure to meet a longtime reader of ours, Barbara Heller, who with her husband has taken a year off and they are traveling around the country in a 22-foot van. She was just fun to talk to. She has been dealing with space issues in the van and thus was carrying a Kindle. During Garth Stein’s talk she downloaded his book right onto it, of course prompting my thought that authors cannot sign Kindle books! She also won a HUGE gift basket over the weekend and has a fun blog piece about it and the weekend here.
Tuesday night Nelson DeMille's publisher threw a book party for his new book THE GATE HOUSE. Large book parties used to be rigueur; these days they are much more rarely done. So it was a lot of fun to gather with everyone who works on Nelson’s books and celebrate with them. This week we bring you Kate Ayers's review of THE GATE HOUSE, which she enjoyed as much as I did. DeMille tells a page-turning story, and there are great lines to keep you laughing. We just finished a redesign of Nelson’s website that you can see here. Be sure to check out the audio interview where he talks about THE GATE HOUSE, as well as the terrific video piece where he tours Oheka Castle, one of the famous Gold Coast mansions, and provides some terrific commentary.

We have three author interviews this week. The first is with M.J. Rose, whose book THE MEMORIST is just out. It’s the second in her Reincarnationist series, and in this interview she explains the role that music --- including the work of Beethoven, who is a central figure in the novel --- has played in her writing process. I have to share that now all I can think about was who I might have been in a past life and who I might come back as in my next life. I like MY life so this is definitely something I ponder. The second is with Katherine Neville, whose book, THE FIRE, was awaited for 20 years. In this interview Neville explains why this sequel took two decades to write and describes her purpose --- despite her lack of knowledge on the subject --- in utilizing the game of chess as a multifaceted conceit in these two books. And after, I was ready to ask Katherine to teach me chess! The third interview is with Carla Neggers, whose book COLD PURSUIT was inspired by the wintry winters outside her home as well as her father’s stories of seafaring adventures, which instilled in her a feeling of wanting to tell stories and wanderlust.

Be sure to check back next week as we feature week one of our Holiday Cheer Promotion/Contest, an opportunity for you to win books this holiday season. 

Phew…Lots going on this week...good thing we gain an hour....
Very sad news this week hearing of the death of Tony Hillerman. Years ago I went to the National Book Festival, and as I was walking through the author signing area, there was one line that was exceptionally long, so I followed it to the front to see who the author was. It was Tony Hillerman. People were there with stacks of books for him to sign, and he was greeting each one and listening to their stories. I read a story this week about how many folks had in their possession a signed Hillerman novel, and it made me realize just how generous he had been with his time to his readers.
I am flying to Miami for the Miami Book Fair and will be there from the 12th to the 16th. Will any of you be there? If so, drop me a note and we can plan to get together! Over the weekend I am going to start plotting what I want to do there. 

As you know, I keep politics off this site. But I am going to leave you with these words about the election. On Tuesday, go vote. No excuses. And if the line is long, bring a book. Think of the reading you can get done while you wait; it will make you WISH there was a line! And if you are living any place where they still punch the ballot, please press hard so we all are not left hanging on the outcome. I am sooooo ready for this election to be over. Have a great week....

Carol Fitzgerald (


Now in Stores: THE GATE HOUSE by Nelson DeMille

THE GATE HOUSE by Nelson DeMille (Suspense)
After much urging, Nelson DeMille has bowed to readers’ pleas and taken up the story of John and Susan Sutter 10 years after Susan killed her Mafia lover on the famed Gold Coast of Long Island. Back then, they went their separate ways. Now they’re back at Stanhope Hall, her family estate, and her dead lover’s son lives next door. These are ingredients that make for an explosive and highly entertaining story. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE GATE HOUSE.
-Take a video tour of Oheka Castle, one of the famous Gold Coast mansions, with Nelson DeMille and discover the backstory to THE GATE HOUSE.
-Visit Nelson DeMille’s official website,

Click here to read a review of THE GATE HOUSE. Talks to M.J. Rose, Author of THE MEMORIST

In this interview with's Joe Hartlaub, international bestselling author M.J. Rose recalls the specific event during a family vacation in Vienna that inspired the plot of her latest work of fiction, THE MEMORIST, and explains the role that music --- including the work of Beethoven, who is a central figure in the novel --- has played in her writing process. She also shares some of the favorite books she has read recently, discusses details about where the Phoenix Foundation series is headed and reveals which of her 10 novels is her favorite.

THE MEMORIST by M.J. Rose (Suspense)
As a child, Meers Logan was haunted by memories of another time and place, always accompanied by the faint strains of elusive music. Now the hand of the past has reached out again. Determined to unlock the mystery of who she once was, Meers travels to Vienna. With each step, she comes closer to remembering the connections between a clandestine reincarnationist society; the lost Memory Flute linked to Ludwig van Beethoven and rumored to open the door to the past; and to David Weiss, a journalist who knows all too well how the past affects the future. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read a review of THE MEMORIST.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE MEMORIST.
-Visit M.J. Rose's official website,


Click here to read our interview with M.J. Rose. Talks to Katherine Neville, Author of THE FIRE

Katherine Neville's latest work of fiction, THE FIRE, resumes the story she began 20 years ago in her critically acclaimed, bestselling debut novel, THE EIGHT, involving a magical chess set wielding dangerous powers that once belonged to the legendary emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Charlemagne. In this interview with's Donna Volkenannt, Neville explains why this sequel took two decades to write and describes her purpose --- despite her lack of knowledge on the subject --- in utilizing the game of chess as a multifaceted conceit in these two books. She also discusses the best way to go about researching the locations where her novels are set, reveals which real-life historical figure she'd most like to converse with over a meal, and shares details about her next project involving painters in the 1600s.

THE FIRE by Katherine Neville (Suspense)
Katherine Neville’s groundbreaking novel, THE EIGHT, dazzled audiences more than 20 years ago and set the literary stage for the epic thriller. A quest for a mystical chess service that once belonged to Charlemagne, it spans two centuries and three continents, and intertwines historic and modern plots, archaeological treasure hunts, esoteric riddles and puzzles encrypted with clues from the ancient past. Now the electrifying global adventure continues, in Neville’s long-anticipated sequel. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

-Click here to read a review of THE FIRE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE FIRE.

Click here to read our interview with Katherine Neville. Talks to Carla Neggers, Author of COLD PURSUIT
New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers has written over 50 novels, including TEMPTING FATE, THE WIDOW, THE ANGEL and the newly released COLD PURSUIT. In this interview with's Amie Taylor, Neggers describes how the idea for this latest work arose from the main characters instead of the plot and explains how her atmospheric home in Vermont inspired the story's New England setting. She also discusses how her parents instilled in her both a sense of wanderlust and the need to tell stories, shares her personal writing philosophy and reveals details about her next book, THE MIST, set for publication in June 2009.

COLD PURSUIT by Carla Neggers (Romantic Suspense)
A number of prominent figures have been killed under mysterious circumstances in the past year, all unconnected. But when an esteemed U.S. ambassador is slain in a questionable hit-and-run in Washington, D.C. and his stepdaughter vanishes mere hours later in the mountains of northern New England, suspicions are raised by a Secret Service agent and a recovering Special Forces soldier. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

-Click here to read a review of COLD PURSUIT.
-Click here to read an excerpt from COLD PURSUIT.


Click here to read our interview with Carla Neggers.


Author Talk: Christopher Fowler, Author of THE VICTORIA VANISHES

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Mystery and thriller writer Christopher Fowler's latest release, THE VICTORIA VANISHES, is the sixth installment in a series featuring two elderly detectives in London's Peculiar Crimes Unit, Arthur Bryant and John May. In this Author Talk, Fowler provides a bit of background information about the series, including how his protagonists got their names and the real-life inspiration behind the unusual police division where they work. He also discusses his fascination with London's underbelly, shares details about his writing process and names some of the writers who have influenced his work.

THE VICTORIA VANISHES by Christopher Fowler (Mystery)
A lonely hearts killer is targeting middle-aged women at some of England’s most well-known pubs --- including one torn down 80 years ago. What’s more, Detective Arthur Bryant happened to see one of the victims only moments before her death at the pub that doesn’t exist. Now, with the public on the verge of panic and their superiors determined to shut the Peculiar Crimes Unit down for good, Detectives Bryant and May must rise to the occasion. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read a review of THE VICTORIA VANISHES.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE VICTORIA VANISHES.


Click here to read an Author Talk with Christopher Fowler.

Feature Story: Art Spiegelman, Author of BREAKDOWNS
Always known for pushing limits and testing boundaries with his work, legendary comics artist Art Spiegelman accomplished something risky, innovative and, for the most part, unwanted in 1978: he collected and published six years' worth of experimental, autobiographical comics in a large-format album called BREAKDOWNS. In the wake of its re-release by Pantheon,'s John Hogan penned this feature story about a conversation he had with Spiegelman, who discusses why --- at the age of 30 --- he felt the need to take on such a project and recalls the initial challenges he faced in getting the work published. He also shares his thoughts on the growing popularity and success of comics, and muses on the impact this retrospective has had on both his own work and the medium.

Click here to read John Hogan's feature story about Art Spiegelman.


Featured Women's Fiction Author: Marie Bostwick, Author of A SINGLE THREAD

New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick has captivated readers everywhere with her historical fiction titles, including FIELDS OF GOLD and ON WINGS OF THE MORNING. In A SINGLE THREAD, her first full-length novel to take place in a contemporary setting, Bostwick weaves the unforgettable story of four very different women whose paths cross, changing their lives forever. A SINGLE THREAD is now available in stores.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from A SINGLE THREAD.
-Click here to read Marie Bostwick’s bio.
-Click here to see Marie Bostwick's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for A SINGLE THREAD.
-Visit Marie Bostwick's official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

It’s a long way from Fort Worth, Texas, to New Bern, Connecticut, yet it only takes a day in the charming Yankee town to make Evelyn Dixon realize she’s found her new home. The abrupt end of her marriage was Evelyn’s wake-up call to get busy chasing her dream of opening a quilt shop. Finding a storefront is easy enough; starting a new life isn’t. Little does Evelyn imagine it will bring a trio like Abigail Burgess, her niece Liza and Margot Matthews through her door...

Click here to read more about Marie Bostwick and A SINGLE THREAD.


Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: John Lutz, Author of NIGHT KILLS

A multiple Edgar and Shamus Award winner, John Lutz is the author of over 40 books, including SWF SEEKS SAME, which became the film Single White Female, and THE EX, a critically acclaimed feature for HBO. In NIGHT KILLS, his terrifying new thriller now available in stores, former NYPD detective Frank Quinn and his team of brilliant law enforcement misfits return to hunt down a cold-blooded killer.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from NIGHT KILLS.
-Click here to read John Lutz’s bio.
-Click here to see John Lutz's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for NIGHT KILLS.
-Visit John Lutz's official website,
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about NIGHT KILLS:
New York Times bestselling author John Lutz returns with a gruesome, page-turning psychological thriller. A former NYPD detective is hunting for a madman: someone is shooting young women in the heart, defiling their bodies, and only leaving their torsos to be found. No one knows the true motives behind a rampage of cold-blooded murders…or how much more terrifying it’s going to get.

Click here to read more about John Lutz and NIGHT KILLS.

Featured Mystery Mayhem Author: M. C. Beaton, Author of A SPOONFUL OF POISON
M. C. Beaton is the New York Times bestselling author of the Agatha Raisin mysteries as well as the Hamish Macbeth series. In A SPOONFUL OF POISON, Beaton’s latest installment in the Agatha Raisin series now available in stores, Agatha and her team of private detectives are called to duty when a festive family event becomes the scene of two murders.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from A SPOONFUL OF POISON.
-Click here to read M. C. Beaton’s bio.

-Click here to see M. C. Beaton’s backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for A SPOONFUL OF POISON.

-Click here to see our finished copy winners.

When Agatha Raisin goes to the remote hamlet of Comfrey Magna to politely turn down a public relations job, she encounters the stunning green eyes of handsome widower George Selby, and promptly agrees to do whatever PR work the village needs. But as events in Agatha’s new adventure A SPOONFUL OF POISON unfold, the rural festival Agatha is promoting soon takes a deadly turn, and Agatha must investigate the toxic spiking of some local preserves.

Click here to read more about M. C. Beaton and A SPOONFUL OF POISON.

This Week's Graphic Novel Reviews
CAIRO by G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker
Five strangers become entangled in a huge supernatural plot in CAIRO, a quick-witted romp through modern Egypt and ancient mythology, both at the same time. It’s an enchanting combination of magic realism and sociopolitical fairy tale. Reviewed by John Hogan.

LOVE AND ROCKETS: New Stories, No. 1 by the Hernandez Brothers
In a continuation of the landmark ’80s independent comic series Love and Rockets, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez deliver a new collection of stories that shows they haven’t lost their touch. Reviewed by John Hogan.

Click here to see all our graphic novel reviews and features.

New in Paperback for October
October’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes DUMA KEY, Stephen King’s mesmerizing tale of a man whose recent injuries lead him to Florida’s Duma Key, where he begins to paint --- even as dark mysterious forces guide his creative abilities; WORLD WITHOUT END, the highly anticipated sequel to Ken Follett’s THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH, in which the residents of a 14th-century English town find themselves at a crossroad of new ideas; THE EVER-RUNNING MAN by Marcia Muller, a Sharon McCone mystery that focuses on the San Francisco detective’s attempts to track down a shadowy figure who has been leaving explosive devices at the various offices of her husband’s security firm; HOLLYWOOD CROWS, a crime novel from Joseph Wambaugh in which LAPD cops Hollywood Nate and Bix Rumstead become caught up with bombshell Margot Aziz; and BOOM!, Tom Brokaw’s exploration of how famous people, ordinary citizens and the national mindset were all affected by the tumultuous decade of the 1960s.
Click here to see our New in Paperback feature for October.

This Week's Reviews
ROUGH WEATHER: A Spenser Novel by Robert B. Parker (Mystery)
Spenser returns in this 36th installment of Robert B. Parker’s long-running series. The Boston private eye is hired to be a personal bodyguard for a rich woman at her daughter’s wedding on a private New England island. But the bride is abducted during the ceremony, and Spenser comes face to face with his most deadly opponent. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.

SONGS FOR THE MISSING by Stewart O'Nan (Fiction)
It was the summer of her Chevette, of J.P. and letting her hair grow. It was also the summer when, without warning, popular high school student Kim Larsen disappeared from her small midwestern town. Her loving parents, her introverted sister, her friends and boyfriend must now do everything they can to find her. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

I SEE YOU EVERYWHERE by Julia Glass (Fiction)
"We are as different as white chocolate and seaweed," considers one of the sisters at the center of Julia Glass's third work of fiction. Novels about sisters who are polar opposites, who often live life in tension with one another, are nothing new. Glass's talent, however, is to find perceptive moments of clarity within well-worn territory. Here she uses an episodic storytelling technique similar to the one she employed with great success in her National Book Award-winning novel THREE JUNES. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE RIGHT MISTAKE: The Further Philosophical Investigations of Socrates Fortlow by Walter Mosley (Fiction)
Walter Mosley’s modern-day Socrates, a street-wise ex-con, demonstrates more moral knowledge than most contemporary moral philosophers in this gravelly but tender novel of right action in a world determined to be wrong. Reviewed by Max Falkowitz.

THE ROAD HOME by Rose Tremain (Fiction)
Already the winner of Britain’s prestigious Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction, Rose Tremain’s marvelous novel follows Lev, an immigrant from Eastern Europe, as he makes his way in London. Even as he discovers a new vocation, Lev is haunted by the fate of his village and family in the old country. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.

NOW THE DRUM OF WAR: Walt Whitman and His Brothers in the Civil War by Robert Roper (History)
Walt Whitman's volunteer work in the military hospitals around Washington during the Civil War is the stuff of American legend. But what led him to that rather curious calling? Historian Robert Roper examines his notebooks and letters and explores his place in the Whitman family to attempt an answer to that puzzle. Reviewed by Robert Finn.

ALL ABOUT LULU by Jonathan Evison (Fiction)
Weakness has always been a concern for William Miller: growing up vegetarian in a family of bodybuilders will do that to a person. But William is further weakened by the death of his mother, the arrival of a new stepmother, and his irrepressible crush on his new stepsister, Lulu. As Lulu faces down her own challenges, William watches his life shift into tumult and despair. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol.

Read this week's reviews here.


Poll and Question of the Week: Multitasking While Reading


When you read, do you multitask? Check as many as apply.

No, for me, it's all about the book.
I only multitask when I am reading a cookbook or a how-to book.
I also watch television.
I also listen to music.
I also knit or crochet.
I also exercise.
I also do household chores.
I also eat or drink.
I also drive (if it's an audiobook).
Since I read so much, there are way too many multitasking things going on to list them all here.
Other (Please specify)
I am not sure what I do.

-Click here to answer our poll.


If you have a favorite book that you re-read, what is it?

-Click here to answer our question.



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 DIVINE JUSTICE by David Baldacci and SALVATION IN DEATH by J.D. Robb. Tell us what you are reading and rate the titles 1-5 by noon on November 14th to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on November 14th.
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.

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Those who are subscribed to the newsletter by October 31, 2008 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: THE BRASS VERDICT by Michael Connelly, BURN OUT by Marcia Muller, THE GATE HOUSE by Nelson DeMille, A MOST WANTED MAN by John le Carre and TESTIMONY by Anita Shreve. Holly from Dartmouth, MA
was last month's newsletter winner. She won AMERICAN WIFE by Curtis Sittenfeld, THE BOOK OF LIES by Brad Meltzer, FIRST DAUGHTER by Eric Van Lustbader, THE GIVEN DAY by Dennis Lehane and THE LUCKY ONE by Nicholas Sparks.

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