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December 11, 2009 Newsletter December 11, 2009

Lighting Up the Holiday

One of my pet peeves over the holidays --- strings of holiday lights that do not work. We have had a number of holiday gatherings at our office space, thus in addition to my “famous” turquoise tree in my office, I wanted to place white lights around greens on the bookshelves in the larger area. I brought in a large plastic container of lights from our attic that I have stored through the years, certain that I had more than enough to do the job. I was so sadly wrong. Going through TWENTY sets of lights, I found ONE that worked three quarters of the way. Luckily, it was one of the long strings so I could use it.

I did toss all the other NINETEEN sets of lights into the garbage, feeling like I was getting over my addiction to trying to salvage them by realizing that a) I have no idea why they do not work, and b) I am NOT going to work on them to repair them at any point. If any of you can repair lights, I take my hat off to you. If I so much as try to change out a dead bulb, I typically manage to break it. Thus, I feel like I completed a huge step in a recovery program giving up the concept that these will miraculously work next December when they have not for the last six.

One of my favorite things to do over the holidays is to drive around and see how houses are decorated with lights/wreaths, etc. I prefer the classy looks of the houses decorated tastefully, but there is a part of me that just smiles when I see “tacky-run-up-the-electric-bill-over-the-top” decorations. And the houses that get news coverage for the way they are done up when they are really done wild I have been known to go out of my way to visit.

In between parties, life has not been dull at the office. We have two new sponsored author features starting this week. The first is a Women’s Fiction feature for Barbara Delinsky’s NOT MY DAUGHTER, which takes on the subject of teen pregnancy, motherhood, right, wrong and just “what does it take to be a good mother?” Readers can win a copy of the book when it releases on January 5th. The second is BURN by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy, a thriller about a woman who chooses wealth over friendship. The book comes out January 12th, but we have some advance copies you can win and comment on.

This week's Holiday Basket of Cheer brings you a collection of inspirational titles --- HER INHERITANCE FOREVER: Texas: Star of Destiny, Book 2 by Lyn Cote, LEAH’S CHOICE: Pleasant Valley, Book One by Marta Perry, A LINEAGE OF GRACE by Francine Rivers, THE MOMENT BETWEEN by Nicole Baart, PRAYERS FOR SALE by Sandra Dallas and STRAY AFFECTIONS by Charlene Ann Baumbich --- along with our usual holiday-themed goodies. Lots of great reading here! By the way, the scent from the cinnamon sticks in these baskets have permeated the lower level of the house, making me feel like I live inside a cookie whenever I trek down there. For next week’s contest there will be a special surprise, so be sure to tune back in for details.

We have reader comments for RAINWATER by Sandra Brown and URGE TO KILL by John Lutz. You can see what they had to say by clicking here for RAINWATER and here for URGE TO KILL.

For those of you not on Facebook, here is a link to a blog post that spotlights many of the topics we covered this week. The ones about news of the third Stieg Larsson book (THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST), the PILLARS OF THE EARTH TV miniseries, and e-book release delays touched off the most discussion. You can become a fan or join Facebook here.

I got a holiday card from Joseph Finder this week that was just great and gets “Card of the Year” so far from me for the wit of it. The cover of it is above. The inside reads, “Seasons Greetings from Jolly Old St. Nick (Nick Heller, that is) and Joseph Finder.JUST terrific. (For those not in the know, Nick Heller is Joe's new series character.) I love clever and THAT card is clever. Speaking of cards, I need to design/write our family card. I am thinking I should just sign up every one of our friends and family for the newsletter. Then they can read what we are doing all year. I can smack up a picture of our family with a message in one of the newsletters and be done with it. Hmmmm…I need to think about this.

We are continuing to post our Author Holiday Blogs. My schedule this week was hectic, thus I was happy these were arriving to me in email. Want to sign up to get our blog posts in email? Just click here and you can make that happen! Also, if you have been busy and are behind schedule with your blog reading, just click here and you can catch up. I love reading these stories, which are looks inside these authors' lives.

I am working on an afghan for my sister that I started three years ago and I want to have it ready for Christmas. I did not like the way it was coming, twice, so I put it away. I have made this new rather ambitious goal with the realization that she arrives next Saturday. It has about 20 different yarns in it, thus if I tote this around, I resemble a knitting bag person. I know this is the reason this project has not been done thus far. But I am determined to try to make this happen, though perhaps New Year’s is a more befitting goal! Maybe New Year's 2011...her birthday is New Year's Day so this is a very clever backup plan.

Speaking of knitting, Debbie Macomber stopped by the office during the week with a wonderful yarn book and some turquoise (how does everyone know me so well?) yarn to celebrate my birthday. She shared pictures of her yarn shop in Port Orchard, Washington. I am planning to be in Seattle and Portland for an extended trip in March, and I hope to get over there to shop! My vow for next year is to try to incorporate more side trips into my conference travel to ensure that I am seeing more when I am on the road.

Greg is into exams, which is not fun for any of us; Cory is into high jinks with his friends. With his new phone he has been texting me all week. Of course, I am not tethered to my phone, so we have a new issue going on since he will now say, “hey I texted you” and assume I read it. I stand amused since I got him the phone so he would communicate better. I guess be careful what you wish for!

This weekend is all about trying to make Christmas happen around here. Like shopping. Stuck on what to buy? Be sure to consult our What to Give/What to Get list for ideas on what to purchase for all your family and friends. Here’s to successful shopping, lovely reveling and the spirit of the season.

Also, to our Jewish friends, Happy Hanukkah! Here's to your menorahs lighting up better than my strings of Christmas lights!

Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])

Now in Stores: THE CHRISTMAS SECRET by Donna VanLiere

THE CHRISTMAS SECRET by Donna VanLiere (Fiction)
When Christine Eisley saves the life of a woman who works in Wilson’s department store, the owner of Wilson’s wants to find her and thank her, but Christine has disappeared. He sets his grandson, Jason, to the task of finding the mysterious “Christy.” Jason, an accountant by trade who has lost his job to downsizing, thinks he is “above” working at Wilson’s. Soon, he discovers that this new task gives him more than he bargains for. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE CHRISTMAS SECRET.
-Click here to read Donna VanLiere’s holiday blog post, “Donna VanLiere on CHARLOTTE'S WEB.”


Click here to read a review of THE CHRISTMAS SECRET.

Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest on --- Spotlight on a Collection of Inspirational Titles

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. While you are searching for the perfect gifts, we want to remind you that books make affordable, personal and wonderful gifts for EVERYONE on your list --- and are a nice way to treat yourself as well!

From November 13th through January 4th we will spotlight a different title or collection of titles, and readers will have the chance to win one of five holiday baskets filled with winter-themed items as well as a copy of the featured book(s).

This week we’re spotlighting six wonderful inspirational titles: HER INHERITANCE FOREVER: Texas: Star of Destiny, Book 2 by Lyn Cote, LEAH’S CHOICE: Pleasant Valley, Book One by Marta Perry, A LINEAGE OF GRACE by Francine Rivers, THE MOMENT BETWEEN by Nicole Baart, PRAYERS FOR SALE by Sandra Dallas and STRAY AFFECTIONS by Charlene Ann Baumbich. Our Holiday Basket of Cheer is a woven basket stocked with holiday-themed items. Along with copies of each of the titles above, winners will receive Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate mix, gourmet hand-cut vanilla marshmallows, Peppermint bark candy, red wool gloves, a decorative holiday spatula, a snowman dish towel, cinnamon sticks, and a snowman mini planter perfect for a small tree or single bulb.

To enter, fill out this form and answer the following question by Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 11:59PM. You can find the answer by reading an excerpt from PRAYERS FOR SALE here.

Where is Nit from?

HER INHERITANCE FOREVER: Texas: Star of Destiny, Book 2 by Lyn Cote
(Historical Romance)
The second book in the Texas: Star of Destiny series by Lyn Cote, HER INHERITANCE FOREVER is an unforgettable story of faith, duty, destiny and love that unites a proud Tejano lady and an American cowboy in a time of great upheaval in the West.

-Read more about Lyn Cote and HER INHERITANCE FOREVER here.

LEAH’S CHOICE: Pleasant Valley, Book One by Marta Perry (Historical Romance)
All of Pleasant Valley seems to think the newcomer from Lancaster County is the perfect match for Leah Beiler, a teacher in their small town. But Daniel Glick’s past haunts him. Though he cannot miss the beauty in Leah’s bright eyes and patient ways, he also sees a reminder of his pain-filled marriage. Leah, too, has a burden to bear.

-Read more about Marta Perry and LEAH’S CHOICE here.

A LINEAGE OF GRACE by Francine Rivers (Historical Fiction)
In this compilation of the five books in the bestselling Lineage of Grace series by Francine Rivers, we meet the five women whom God chose --- Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary. Each was faced with extraordinary --- even scandalous --- challenges. Each took great personal risk to fulfill her calling. Each was destined to play a key role in the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World.

-Read more about Francine Rivers and A LINEAGE OF GRACE here.

THE MOMENT BETWEEN by Nicole Baart (Fiction)
Abigail Bennett was completely in control of her life until tragedy pushed her to the brink of something she’s never experienced: Obsession. Now she’s given up everything she’s ever worked for to chase down the object of that obsession.

-Read more about Nicole Baart and THE MOMENT BETWEEN here.

PRAYERS FOR SALE by Sandra Dallas (Fiction)
In 1936, two women form a friendship in the Colorado mining town of Middle Swan. Hennie Comfort is 86, and reluctantly facing a move to live with her daughter in Iowa. But in the meantime, she shares her amazing life stories with a newcomer, 17-year-old bride Nit Spindle. The result: a warm and luminous patchwork quilt of a book that readers will not soon forget.

-Click here to read a review of PRAYERS FOR SALE.
-Read more about Sandra Dallas and PRAYERS FOR SALE here.

STRAY AFFECTIONS by Charlene Ann Baumbich (Fiction)
The last thing Cassandra Higgins expects out of her Sunday is to be mesmerized at a collectors’ convention by a snowglobe. She’s enjoying some mommy time, with husband Ken at home tending their brood of four young boys, when she’s utterly charmed by the one-of-a kind globe containing figures of three dogs and a little girl with hair the color of her own. It sparks long-dormant memories for Cassie, of her beloved Grandpa Wonky, the stray she rescued as a child, and the painful roots of her combative relationship with her mother.

-Click here to read a review of STRAY AFFECTIONS.
-Read more about Charlene Ann Baumbich and STRAY AFFECTIONS here.


Click here to read all the details of our Holiday Basket of Cheer feature.'s Special Blog --- Authors on the Holidays

Between now and Christmas Day, more than 60 authors are sharing their favorite memories of giving or receiving a book at the holidays.

The following authors shared their stories this past week:

-Meg Waite Clayton on the Tales of Beatrix Potter
-Stephen Coonts: Christmas Memories
-Hallie Ephron: Books to Grow Into
-Melissa Mayhue on The Nancy Drew Mysteries
-Gesine Bullock-Prado: An Open Letter to All the Holiday Elves
-Heather Gudenkauf on RAMONA AND HER FATHER
-Lauren Grodstein's Eight Nights of Books


Click here to read our Authors on the Holidays Blog.


New Featured Women's Fiction Author: Barbara Delinsky, Author of NOT MY DAUGHTER

Bestselling author Barbara Delinsky returns with NOT MY DAUGHTER, her new emotionally-charged novel that begs the central question: What does it take to be a good mother? Once again, Delinsky challenges our notions of unconditional love and the complex relationships between mothers and daughters. NOT MY DAUGHTER will be released on January 5th.

We have 10 copies of NOT MY DAUGHTER to give away to readers who would like to read the book upon its release on January 5th and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, December 18th.

-Click here to read Barbara Delinsky's bio.
-Visit Barbara Delinsky's official website,


When Susan Tate's 17-year-old daughter, Lily, announces she is pregnant, Susan is stunned. A single mother, she has struggled to do everything right. She sees the pregnancy as an unimaginable tragedy for both Lily and herself.

Then comes word of two more pregnancies among high school juniors who happen to be Lily's best friends --- and the town turns to talk of a pact. As fingers start pointing, the most ardent criticism is directed at Susan. As principal of the high school, she has always been held up as a role model of hard work and core values. Now her detractors accuse her of being a lax mother, perhaps not worthy of the job of shepherding impressionable students. As Susan struggles with the implications of her daughter's pregnancy, her job, financial independence and long-fought-for dreams are all at risk.


Click here to read more about Barbara Delinsky and NOT MY DAUGHTER.


New Featured Suspense/Thriller Authors: Ted Dekker and Erin Healy, Authors of BURN

Following the success of KISS, Ted Dekker and Erin Healy team up again for a tightly-wound thriller with BURN, a novel about choices and their consequences. A young woman disappears with an enormous sum of money, abandoning her best friend for dead. However, the past is harder to hide from than it seems. BURN will be available in stores on January 12th.

We have 10 advance copies of BURN to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, December 18th.

-Click here to read Ted Dekker's bio.
-Click here to read Erin Healy's bio.
-Visit Ted Dekker’s official website,
-Visit Erin Healy’s official website,

More about

Years ago, the Gypsy kumpania where Janeal Mikkado lived was attacked by outsiders. With her best friend about to be consumed by a fire, Janeal had two options: try to save her friend --- at serious risk to her own life --- or disappear with the million dollars that she had just discovered...

But the past is quickly coming back to haunt her. Both the best friend and the boyfriend that she was sure were dead have reappeared in her life, as has someone who knows about the money. There's a debt to be paid for the money she found, but there's an even greater debt she must face --- and if the chaff isn't burned from her own heart, it will consume her.


Click here to read more about Ted Dekker, Erin Healy and BURN.

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Jeffery Deaver, Contributor to WATCHLIST

Jeffery Deaver leads a talented team of fellow bestselling authors in WATCHLIST: A Serial Thriller, two novellas penned by 21 of the world's foremost suspense/thriller writers. Now packaged together, THE CHOPIN MANUSCRIPT and THE COPPER BRACELET feature characters and plots created by Deaver with contributions from Lee Child, Joseph Finder, Lisa Scottoline and many more. WATCHLIST will be available in stores on January 5th.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from WATCHLIST.
-Click here to read Jeffery Deaver's bio.
-Click here to see Jeffery Deaver’s backlist.
-Click here to read more about the contributing writers to WATCHLIST.
-Click here to visit the official website of the International Thriller Writers Association.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about WATCHLIST:
From International Thriller Writers comes WATCHLIST: two powerful novellas featuring the same thrilling cast of characters in one major suspenseful package. THE CHOPIN MANUSCRIPT and THE COPPER BRACELET are collaborations of some of the world’s greatest thriller writers, including Lee Child, Joseph Finder, Lisa Scottoline, and Jeffery Deaver, who conceived the characters and set the plots in motion. The other authors each wrote a chapter and Deaver then completed what he started, bringing both novellas to their startling conclusions.


Click here to read more about Jeffery Deaver and WATCHLIST.

Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Mary Burton, Author of DYING SCREAM

Bestselling author Mary Burton is back with another thrilling, chilling novel in DYING SCREAM. Here, she pairs a detective with a wealthy widow to uncover a family's dark, twisted path. DYING SCREAM is now available in stores.

-Click here to read an excerpt from DYING SCREAM.
here to read Mary Burton's bio.
-Click here to read critical praise for DYING SCREAM.
-Visit Mary Burton's official website,
-Click here to read Mary Burton's blog post, "Mary Burton on Rekindling Fond Holiday Memories."
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.

More about

Mary Burton takes readers down the horrific path of an affluent family’s dark past where well-hidden secrets unveil a series of grisly crimes, forcing a widow and a detective to explore a twisted, forbidden love that someone will kill for, again and again.


Click here to read more about Mary Burton and DYING SCREAM.

Featured Women's Fiction Author: Janice Y. K. Lee, Author of THE PIANO TEACHER

Janice Y. K. Lee's debut novel, THE PIANO TEACHER, was a national bestseller upon its release in January, and is now poised for even bigger things as the paperback edition hit shelves on November 17th.

-Click here to read a review of THE PIANO TEACHER.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE PIANO TEACHER.
here to read Janice Y. K. Lee's bio.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE PIANO TEACHER.
-Visit Janice Y. K. Lee's official website,
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.

More about
Set in Hong Kong during the outbreak of World War II, and its aftermath 10 years later, THE PIANO TEACHER alternates between the lives of two vastly different women whose destinies are linked by the events of the war.

Click here to read more about Janice Y. K. Lee and THE PIANO TEACHER.

font face="verdana,helvetica,sans-serif">Now in Stores: COCO CHANEL & IGOR STRAVINSKY by Chris Greenhalgh

COCO CHANEL & IGOR STRAVINSKY by Chris Greenhalgh (Fiction)
In 1913, at the premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, the young couturiere Coco Chanel witnesses the birth of a musical revolution --- one that, like her designs, ushers in something profoundly modern. Seven years later, she invites Stravinsky and his family to her villa, and the charge between them ignites into an affair. As they both enjoy a new burst of creativity, their love threatens to overtake work, family and life. Soon to be a major motion picture!


Click here to read more about COCO CHANNEL & IGOR STRAVINSKY.

What to Give/What to Get Gift Guide: Spotlight on Titles Perfect for Holiday Reading

Headed out to do some holiday shopping? Before you go, check out our What to Give/What to Get feature with ideas in 14 categories.

We have been spotlighting the various categories in the newsletter these past few weeks. This week we're featuring our final three categories: Holiday Spirit, Stocking Stuffers and Slam Dunks. First up --- Holiday Spirit.

Getting into the holiday spirit is a piece of cake with these sweet holiday-inspired treats that will put you in the mood for mistletoe, snowmen and reading by the fire.

Our featured titles in this category are:


THE CHRISTMAS DOG by Melody Carlson
THE GIFT by Cecelia Ahem
KISSING SANTA CLAUS by Donna Kauffman, Jill Shalvis and HelenKay Dimon
LAKESHORE CHRISTMAS: The Lakeshore Chronicles by Susan Wiggs
READ AND SHARE: The Story of Christmas by Gwen Ellis
SANTA IN A STETSON by Janet Dailey
SNOW ANGELS by Fern Michaels, Marie Bostwick, Janna McMahan and Rosalind Noonan
A WEE CHRISTMAS HOMICIDE: A Liss MacCrimmon Mystery by Kaitlyn Dunnett
WISHIN' AND HOPIN': A Christmas Story by Wally Lamb
YULE BE MINE by Lori Foster

Click here to see our Holiday Spirit category.


What to Give/What to Get Gift Guide: Spotlight on Stocking Stuffers

Our Stocking Stuffers category is a veritable treasure trove of perfect mini-gifts for the book lover, of any genre, on your list.

Our featured titles in this category are:

CHRISTMAS IS GOOD!: Trixie's Guide to a Happy Holiday by Trixie Koontz, edited by Dean Koontz
QUIET REFLECTIONS OF HOPE: 120 Devotions to Start Your Day by Baker Publishing Group

QUIET REFLECTIONS OF PEACE: 120 Devotions to End Your Day by Baker Publishing Group

Click here to see our Stocking Stuffers category.


What to Give/What to Get Gift Guide: Spotlight on Sports Titles

Guys are notoriously hard to shop for, but the books in our Slam Dunks category may be just the thing for the sports enthusiast on your list.

Our featured titles in this category are:

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?: The Story of Rocco Mediate's Extraordinary Battle with Tiger Woods at the US Open by Rocco Mediate and John Feinstein

GAME SIX: Cincinnati, Boston, and the 1975 World Series: The Triumph of America's Pastime by Mark Frost
HARVARD BEATS YALE 29-29 by Kevin Rafferty
JENKINS AT THE MAJORS: Sixty Years of the World's Best Golf Writing, from Hogan to Tiger by Dan Jenkins
PERFECT: Don Larsen's Miraculous World Series Game and the Men Who Made It Happen by Lew Paper
STROKES OF GENIUS: Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played by L. Jon Wertheim

Click here to see our Slam Dunks category.

This Week's Reviews

THE DISCIPLE by Stephen Coonts (Thriller)
In this new novel by New York Times bestselling author Stephen Coonts, Iran is weeks away from acquiring nuclear weapons and has every intention of using them to strike first. Only Tommy Carmellini and Jake Grafton can stop a nuclear nightmare
. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE DISCIPLE.
-Click here to read Stephen Coonts’s holiday blog post, “Christmas Memories.”

CLEAVING: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession by Julie Powell (Memoir)
Julie Powell thought cooking her way through Julia Child's MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING was the craziest thing she'd ever do --- until she embarked on the voyage recounted in her new memoir. CLEAVING is both messy and mouthwatering --- kind of like the butchery she practices. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

WISHIN’ AND HOPIN’: A Christmas Story by Wally Lamb (Fiction)
WISHIN’ AND HOPIN’, an affable holiday novel from the author of the bestsellers SHE’S COME UNDONE and THE HOUR I FIRST BELIEVED, is about a 10-year-old boy in 1964 who is navigating the pitfalls and pleasures his suburban Connecticut life affords him. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

STONES INTO SCHOOLS: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Greg Mortenson (Current Events)
In THREE CUPS OF TEA, Greg Mortenson floated the startling idea that it is better for the impoverished peoples of Pakistan and Afghanistan to build schools for them than to drop bombs on them. Now, STONES INTO SCHOOLS carries forward the heartening story of his nonprofit and non-governmental Central Asia Institute as it spreads its crusade for women’s education over a wider area. Reviewed by Robert Finn

WAR DANCES by Sherman Alexie (Fiction/Short Stories)
Sherman Alexie delivers a heartbreaking, hilarious collection of stories that explores the precarious balance between self-preservation and external responsibility in art, family and the world at large. With unparalleled insight into the minds of artists, laborers, fathers, husbands and sons, Alexie populates his stories with ordinary men on the brink of exceptional change. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

LAST WORDS by George Carlin with Tony Hendra (Memoir)
Over the last 15 years of his life, George Carlin enlisted friend and fellow comic Tony Hendra to help him assemble what they jokingly referred to as a “sortabiography.” Now Hendra has brought to fruition LAST WORDS, an engaging memoir of Carlin’s life in show business and a serious examination of the art of comedy. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

BRYANT & MAY ON THE LOOSE: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery by Christopher Fowler (Mystery)
The Peculiar Crimes Unit is no more. After years of defying the odds and infuriating their embarrassed superiors, detectives Arthur Bryant and John May have at last crossed the line. While Bryant takes to his bed, his bathrobe and his esoteric books, the rest of the team take to the streets looking for new careers --- leading one of them to stumble upon a gruesome murder. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE MORNING SHOW MURDERS by Al Roker and Dick Lochte (Mystery)
Billy Blessing, a successful restaurateur and cooking segment host on “Wake Up, America!,” is basking in the glow of his success until the night his executive producer and general nemesis, Rudy Gallagher, is murdered with poisoned food from Billy's restaurant. Now Billy is the prime suspect. Unless he can sort this mess out, he stands to lose his job, his restaurant and, most importantly, his freedom. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

WORMWOOD, NEVADA by David Oppegaard (Science Fiction/Thriller)
After six years of marriage, Tyler and Anna Mayfield decide it’s time to leave their Nebraska home and start a new life. Tyler accepts a teaching job in Wormwood, Nevada, a desert town with an odd assortment of characters. Things in their new home change from strange to dangerous after a meteorite lands in the middle of a parking lot. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

THE LAST FOUNDING FATHER: James Monroe and a Nation's Call to Greatness by Harlow Giles Unger (Biography)
Harlow Giles Unger reveals the dominant political figure of a generation. A fierce fighter in four critical Revolutionary War battles and a courageous survivor of Valley Forge and a near-fatal wound at the Battle of Trenton, James Monroe (1751–1831) went on to become America’s first full-time politician, dedicating his life to securing America’s national and international durability. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

Read this week's reviews here.

Poll, Question and Word of Mouth

Are you giving books as gifts this holiday season?

Not sure

Are you hoping to receive books as gifts this holiday season?

Not sure

-Click here to answer our poll.


What book did you love so much that you would want to give multiple copies of it this holiday season?

-Click here to answer our question.

Word of Mouth:

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

This week we have three great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of NANNY RETURNS by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, THE PARIS VENDETTA by Steve Berry and U IS FOR UNDERTOW by Sue Grafton. Tell us what you are reading and rate the titles 1-5 by noon on December 18th to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.

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 December 31, 2009 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month, one winner will be selected to win the following five books: THE DISCIPLE by Stephen Coonts, LA'S ORCHESTRA SAVES THE WORLD by Alexander McCall Smith, NANNY RETURNS by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, THE PARIS VENDETTA by Steve Berry and U IS FOR UNDERTOW by Sue Grafton. Susan from New Hope, PA was last month's newsletter winner. She won BREATHLESS by Dean Koontz, THE HUMBLING by Philip Roth, THE LACUNA by Barbara Kingsolver, PIRATE LATITUDES by Michael Crichton and UNDER THE DOME by Stephen King.

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

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